Restaurant-Inspired VEGETARIAN Black Bean Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

I'm SO excited this week! Why?! Because I'm going to consistently start sharing some of my favorite recipes for Tasty Tuesday - starting right NOW!

How would you like to save $60 on a delicious restaurant-inspired dish? Well, read-on and I'll show you how!

For my birthday this year, my good friend brought me to one of her favorite restaurants so that we could nom to our heart's content on something that she had RAVED about for MONTHS - Black Bean Burgers!

Let me just tell you, that this dish was love at first bite! I loved the texture of it and of course the flavors were to die for! They served the black bean burger in a tortilla, instead of a bun with sweet potato fries and a chipotle aioli. 

Now- I'm in love with this dish. But it's $9 for one serving at this restaurant. And even though I would love to stuff my face with this on a daily basis, well I can't afford it!

So, I decided I'd try my hand at re-creating the deliciousness in my own kitchen! 

Annnnnnnnnnnnd SUCCESS!

But what's even better than it tasting delicious? The fact that I was able to make 8 servings of this dish for just about the same cost as one meal at my local restaurant!

What you need:

For the burgers & fries:

  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper - $1.25
  • 1 Sweet Onion - $0.48
  • 2 Cans of Black Beans - $1.38
  • Large Eggs - $1.99
  • Tortillas - $1.49
  • Shredded Colby Jack Cheese (Optional) - $1.99
  • 2 lbs Sweet Potatoes (2 large) - $1.92
    • Note: You do also need about 1C of breadcrumbs. I already had some so I am not counting that in the price

For the sauce:

  • Chipotle in Adobo - I actually had to get something slightly different the first time I made this, but this is what would be best! - $2.79
  • Lemon - $0.59
  • Eggs (above)

TOTAL Budget: $13.88

You will also need some spices - garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin!

So - for about 1.5X the cost of the meal at my favorite restaurant, you can make 8 servings of this meal! Isn't that nuts? For me to get this much food at the restaurant it would cost me $72!!

$72 for 8 servings at the restaurant vs. $13.88 for 8 servings of home-cooked deliciousness!

I'm still trying to process this. That's $60 of savings!

Okay - so yes, this is much more cost-effective than going out to eat! And I promise you, it's just as delicious!

So, let's get cooking!


To make burgers:

  • Cut up pepper and onion (I quartered/eighth-ed mine) and pulse in food processor until coarsely chopped
  • Remove pepper/onion mixture from food processor and strain out as much water as possible. If you have a fine, mesh strainer that would be best. Otherwise, I just used a regular, noodle strainer, put a paper towel on the bottom, and squeezed as much liquid as possible out. Set the mixture aside in a bowl.
  • Pour both cans of beans into strainer and drain the excess liquid. Rinse the beans with water and then dry as much as possible.
  • Put beans in food processor. Pulse just slightly until you start to see about half of the bean mixture break down. You want there to still be some texture to the beans so don't process fully. I pulsed and broke down about half of my bean mixture. The other half was still relatively solid. 
  • Pour bean mixture into bowl with pepper/onion mixture. Add 1-2 T of chili powder, 1-2t of cumin, and 1T of garlic powder and mix in spices. Feel free to adjust this depending upon your taste preferences. I like a little more cumin and a little more garlic powder.
  • Add 2 eggs and 1 C of bread crumbs. Mix until well combined
  • Shape mixture into 8 black bean patties.
  • To cook you can either:
    • Grill/saute on medium for 5-8 mins per side
    • Bake them at 375 for 10mins per side
    • Refrigerate them for later
    • Or freeze them for a quick heat and eat dinner later on
      • I chose to grill the one that I was eating that night and refrigerate the rest! 

To make sweet potato fries

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray
  • Cut potatoes into fry-sized pieces and place into a single layer on the baking sheet
  • Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 mins, or until crisp, tossing occasionally
  • Combine with garlic and Parmesan and serve immediately

To make Pepper Aioli

  • Place 2 egg yolks, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 t sugar, 1/2 t salt, and 2 T Chipotle in adobo in food processor. Pulse to combine.
  • Turn processor on and slowly pour in 3/4 C of vegetable oil. Process until aioli forms, about a minute. Turn off, scrape sides, and then process again until thoroughly combined.
  • Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to use!

Assemble and Enjoy!

  • After preparing the aioli, take your black bean patty, top with a little aioli and some cheese (if desired), and wrap it in a tortilla into a nice little package. Saute for about 5 minutes per side on medium until slightly crispy and tortilla "burger" holds together nicely!
    • If preparing from refrigerated patties, you may want to zap your black bean burgers in the microwave before preparing your black bean tortilla burger to make sure it's warmed all the way through!
  • Enjoy your tortilla burger with some sweet potato fries on the side.
    • If you're reheating refrigerated sweet potato fries, broil your fries for 5-10 minutes before serving! That way they're nice and crispy!

That's it!  It's a little bit more complicated than my typical MOTWs, but equally as cheap and delicious! And a little bit of a healthy cheat! :-)