Black Bean “Juicy Lucy” (A Badass Burger)

When I was first starting out with vegetarianism (about 7 years ago!), I relied heavily on processed meat substitutes for many meals. Morning Star Farms black bean burgers were a go-to when I’d visit the family. In fact, coming from a home full of strict carnivores, it was usually my only option. I’ve grown a lot over the years and now steer clear of Morning Star Farms and other processed faux-meat products. (Many of them contain GMOs; MSF in general is owned by the Kellogg company, which is known to be against the labeling and a supporter of GMO foods.)

These days, I tend to make my own burgers and meat substitutes from scratch. I use organic and local ingredients, minimizing my consumption of corporate brands. I believe the only vote you REALLY get in this consumerist country is with your dollar, so I make sure mine go to as local and pure sources as possible! I support local farms and family-run companies that have my best interest, not corporations that are only in it for big profit$. 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you a really badass black bean burger. So badass, that I couldn’t even wait to post this recipe. I literally still have half a burger sitting next to me right now! LOL!!!


When I lived at home for a few-months stint between college and “real life,” I watched a lot of Food Network and the Travel Channel. Basically any show about food, I’m there. Most shows involved meat (of course), but I’d often imagine things I could replace or substitute for it instead. One meal that always stuck in my mind was a burger called the “Juicy Lucy.” It’s this burger with the cheese INSIDE (and some outside, too, for good measure 😉 ). Holy !@#$ this thing looked good!

It’s been many years and now I’ve finally gotten around to recreating a vegetarian version. And man, was it worth the wait! I used an aged, smoked cheddar inside (and a little outside, too) and served it on some fresh baked garlic & herb bread (recipe here) with all the fixins’! YUM!!!


Black Bean “Juicy Lucy” Burger

*This is another recipe where the ingredients were eyeballed. All measurements are ‘guesstimates.’ Please adjust the wet/dry ingredients & seasonings accordingly. 🙂

You need:

  • 2 cans organic whole black beans
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 – 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • garlic salt, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, mustard powder, & pepper to taste
  • your favorite cheese to stuff inside!!!! 🙂


First, you want to use a food processor (or a potato masher) to process the beans. You don’t want them super mushed (like refried beans), so only pulse them a few times and leave some beans whole. Now you want to add the additional ingredients and mix with your hands. When the texture is firm enough, begin to form your patties. Each burger will consist of 2 patties that you will fuse together into one. (This is very scientific stuff. 😉 ) To make this easy, form the bottom patty on your cutting board and create an indention in the middle. Add a healthy amount of cheese and then add the smaller patty on top, pinching them together to form one large patty.


I then seared my patties on either side in a skillet before adding sliced cheese on top and placing them in a 400 degree oven for about 10 – 15 minutes.


Oh yeah… It was definitely everything I had hoped for. Maybe more. I mean, take a look at this guy:


Quality “Juicy Lucy” with half the heart attack. And from the crumbs on my bf’s plate, I’m thinkin’ this is gonna be the go-to burger around my house from now on. I hope you enjoy!!! 🙂


This post was shared on Mind, Body, and Sole’s Wildcrafting Wednesday and Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Day’s, Sustainable Ways!


6 thoughts on “Black Bean “Juicy Lucy” (A Badass Burger)

  1. That looks awesome, though I’m vegan and will skip the cheese. And thank you for using whole ingredients and not resorting to that pre-packaged chemical laden crap. That’s an unhealthy trap too many of us fall into. I too used to be hooked on MSF…

    • I’m sure a good, homemade nut cheese or something like caramelized onions could be substituted and equally delicious! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Been looking for a simpler “bean burger” recipe without a list of ingredients that needs a trip to the store. That being said, I am choosing to combat cancer via the natural alternative route and am vegan and glutton free! So, what purpose does the added glutton have? Is it an egg replacement, so I could use soaked chia seeds? I’m sure I can find some pretend bread crumbs (wheat free bread is the worst) and am excited to try this! And I’m new to your blog and I’m going to your recipes next to find the homemade nut cheese. Thanks for sharing!

    • You’re very wise for choosing the natural route and good luck in your journey! The gluten is a binder, so you could definitely try replacing with chia eggs! You might have to add a little more gluten-free breadcrumbs and maybe a little GF flour.. But should be do-able! I’d love to hear how it turns out! 🙂

    • You can try the substitutes in the comments above.. Maybe a chia egg (or real egg if you eat them) and some GF breadcrumbs would do the trick! Thanks for reading!! 🙂

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