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Finger on the Pulse: Black and Butter Bean Burgers

Mmmmmm, I do love beans and legumes, otherwise known as the Pulses family.  Here at Izzie’s Kitchen HQ we cook regularly with pulses as they are an inexpensive but delicious, low-fat way of getting a nutrient-dense meal.

A pulse is an edible seed that grows in a pod. Pulses include all beans, peas and lentils, such as:

  • baked beans
  • red, green, yellow and brown lentils
  • chickpeas (chana or garbanzo beans)
  • garden peas
  • black-eyed peas
  • runner beans
  • broad beans (fava beans)
  • kidney beans, butter beans (Lima beans), haricots, cannellini beans, flageolet beans, pinto beans and borlotti beans

Pulses are a great source of fiber, protein & iron and are really good for those who don’t get protein by eating meat, fish or dairy products.

However, they can also be a healthy choice for meat-eaters. You can add pulses to soups, casseroles and meat sauces to add extra texture and flavor. This means you can use less meat, which makes the dish lower in fat and cheaper.  They’re often bought in cans and if you do get the canned ones, check the label and try to choose ones that have no added salt or sugar.

I’ve got a really good recipe here for a black and butter bean combo burger which is totally delicious and a good weekend recipe for either the grill or the frying pan!



Black and Butter Bean Burgers

Serves 6



  • 400 g can black beans
  • 200 g can butter beans
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 fresh red chilli (or 1/2 tsp chilli powder)
  • ½ a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime , plus extra to serve
  • 2 handfuls of rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp salted peanuts (you can also use almonds)
  • ½ tsp ground cilantro
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Olive oil
  • Plain flour , for dusting
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Large handful of grape tomatoes
  • Chopped cilantro and mint
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Drain the beans, peel and coarsely chop the onion and de-seed and finely chop the chilli. Chop the cilantro leaves. Finely grate the lime zest.
  2. Blitz the oats and nuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the beans, the onion, chilli, ground cilantro and cumin, cilantro leaves, lime zest and a good drizzle of oil.  Season well with salt and pepper & blitz to combine.  Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Divide into 6 balls then flatten into burgers on a clean surface dusted with flour and smoked paprika. Place on a tray and chill for at least an hour.
  4. Cook the burgers on a hot grill or in a frying pan for 4 to 5 minutes each side, or until lightly charred and cooked through.
  5. Chop the tomatoes and avocado into bite size pieces and add to a small bowl then add the chopped cilantro and mint.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, some lime juice and season with salt and pepper.  Mix gently to combine.
  6. Serve the burgers with the salsa and with some lime wedges for squeezing over.

p.s. These burgers are very delicate and will probably break apart a little during the cooking process.  You can add some flour to the mixture to firm them up more.

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