Triple-Bean Vegetarian Chili Burgers

Chili season is long gone.  Don’t try convincing me otherwise either; it’s simply too hot for a steamy bowl of chili.  It’s not too hot, however, for a delicious bean burger… So let’s combine the two, shall we?  Hearty beans seasoned with rich, smoky spices and smothered with a flavorful sauce.  Ditch the spoon: Chili burgers for everyone!

Triple-Bean Vegetarian Chili Burgers

I know bean burgers aren’t typically known for their good looks, but these will win over your taste buds.  They’re absolutely delicious.

Trust me. Veggie burgers are my thing!

Triple-Bean Vegetarian Chili Burgers

Triple-Bean Vegetarian Chili Burgers


Triple-Bean Vegetarian Chili Burgers

We're bonkers for these Vegetarian Chili Burgers!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Vegetarian Chili Burgers
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup seasoned chili beans (pinto beans in chili sauce)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white/yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (smashed and minced)
  • 1 flax egg or 1 large egg
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1-2 tsp avocado oil (or favorite healthy oil)
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp parsley (dried or fresh)
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (dooooo it!)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  1. If you're using a flax egg instead of a regular egg, prep that first. Whisk 1 tablespoon of ground flax [or chia seeds!] with three tablespoons of cold water and set it to chill in your fridge for 15-20 minutes. Don't stress the timing too much, you basically just want to give the flax time to reach an eggy consistency.

  2. Heat a burner to medium-high and saute your onion and peppers in 1-2 tsp of your favorite healthy oil. I finely chop 1/4 cup of red and 1/4 cup of yellow onion but you can use 1/2 cup of any onion you have on hand if needed.
  3. Add the garlic towards the end of the cooking process so it doesn't burn and cook until veggies are translucent and tender.
  4. While the veggies cook, measure out your spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Next drain and rinse the black and kidney beans but leave the chili beans in the sauce when you measure them out; unless they are extremely saucy/runny, in which case you can measure out the beans alone and pour out any extra sauce. Add your beans to a large mixing bowl along with the sauteed garlic/onion/peppers, oats, flax, flax egg, and herbs/spices.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Feel free to use a large spoon or potato masher to slightly smush everything together or leave the beans whole for a super chunky veggie burger that will crumble easily on salads and such. I like them chunky but sometimes I'll mash up the kidney beans a little since they're so large.
  8. Next form the bowl-of-yumminess into balls four balls.
  9. Cup each veggie ball in your hands and squeeze tightly to compact the ingredients. This will help them hold shape.
  10. Next press each ball into a disc and form into patties.
  11. Place them on a parchment paper lined plate, cover, and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  12. Feel free to prep these overnight for the following day! I typically make one burger right away and then leave the remainder in the fridge overnight to cook up for lunch or dinner the following day.
  13. Ready to eat? Pour a teeny bit of oil in a skillet, heat to high, and cook for a few minutes on each side until you're left with a golden crust.
  14. Spread them with chipotle sauce and pile them high with every veggie you can get your hands on, then wrap them in leafy green lettuce or a fluffy bun and commence face-plantage.
  15. Wrap any burgers that you don't plan on stuffing your face with immediately in foil, saran wrap, or an air tight container and pop in the fridge or freezer for a quick meal.
  16. Making some to freeze? To freeze, simply cook the burgers, allow to cool a bit, and then freeze [spaced] on a plate or cookie sheet. Once they've had a chance to partially freeze you can pile them in baggies or your favorite airtight container. Viola! Fast food without the freaky ingredients.
  17. To re-heat frozen burgers, simply bake about 20 minutes at 400 F.
Homemade Chipotle Aoli

Chipotle Aoli
1/4 cup homemade or all-natural mayo
1/2-1 large chipotle pepper [in adobo sauce]
1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a pinch of salt
veganize by subbing vegan mayo and you’re good to go!

Chipotle Aoli 2
4 TBSP homemade of all-natural mayo
2 TBSP plain greek yogurt
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 chipotle peppes [in adobo sauce]
1/2 parsley
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a pinch of salt

spice it up: Add a dash or two of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and/or sriracha to make it spicy!  Obviously this version is my favorite — I like to add all three to the sauce!
To make either sauce, finely chop your chipotle pepper and whisk it together with the remaining ingredients or simply combine all ingredients in a small food processor/blender and pulse.  Taste, and then add more of any of the above ingredients that you’d like to amplify.  I make it a little bit differently each time depending on my mood — sometimes with extra garlic and sometimes with a whole lot of heat!  It’s super flexible and ridiculously tasty!  Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to dig in!
Triple-Bean Vegetarian Chili Burgers

special diets and swaps

Brontosaurus Chefs these burgers are 100% vegan and gluten-free <3

T-Rex Chefs put down the meat and make some veggie burgers! Please? Try one straight up veggie-style and I promise to look the other way if you insist on putting bacon on your next burger.  Deal?  Ooh!  And if you don’t have flax/chia on hand but have eggs, feel free to use an egg to bind the burgers.  You can also use panko breadcrumbs instead of the oats in a pinch but the oats are a bit healthier… so use them if you have them!
Vegetarian Chili Burger Lettuce Wrap
Chili Burgers

so . . . how were they!?

Smoky, savory, and beyond flavorful! There’s something magical about being able to enjoy a hearty chili in burger form. Whether you smother it in sauce and slap it on a fluffy burger bun or veg it up even further with a refreshing lettuce wrap, you’re in for some serious yum.

The chili-style spice blend and chipotle aoli give this manly burger the ability to win over vegetarian, vegans, and carnivores alike. My skeptical husband insisted “chili is for bowls; not burgers!” until I waved this bad boy in front of his face. He changed his tune pretty quickly and STOLE MY BURGER! Luckily I made two batches and was able to whip up my own instead of partaking in our usual game of tackle-the-pilot-until-he-gives-me-my-food-back. Though I’m not above biting my husband for swiping my dinner.  Serves him right. 

I got a bit off topic there, eh?  You should make these.  Preferably now.  Preferably in mass quantities so you can stock your freezer with amazingness.  They’re that good.

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  • Michelle

    Do you think these could just be baked?

    • Jenn

      It’s a been a long time since I recipe tested them [I’ve been pan-frying them and then baking the leftovers and frozen burgers for what seems like years now!] so I forget if there was an issue with straight baking? I think they might crack without having the sear from the light pan frying [barely any oil is needed!] and it may be that sear that also keeps them moist? [ahh hate that word!] You could try it with one and if it seems too dry or crumbly lightly sear the rest? I always just sear them all [I make 8 at once] and then pop half in the fridge, half in the freezer, and then bake.. so there shouldn’t be a huge issue, but I do remember thinking the sear was key to the perfect veg burger. Hope my ramble helps! xoxo

  • I made a double batch of these this weekend (because I’m incredibly lazy about cooking when my husband is out to sea, and then basically don’t eat), and I’m about to eat the last patty! These are a new favorite, and have made the list for deployment meals! Thanks so much!

  • I like the sound of these. I’ve been looking for a good veggie burger so I can’t wait to give these a try, especially since grilling season is upon us. Thanks, as always, for your deliciousness.

  • Miss Smart

    I don’t think they look like a hot mess at all. I think they look like heaven. I want them. NOW. (You are a genius.)

  • Hi! I just found your blog! I wish I would have found it sooner, I love the idea of what I ate wednesday link-up. I have seen it on other blogs, but didn’t know where it originated from until now. Will definitely join in on the party next wednesday! Great blog!!

  • Oh boy these look great! But for the record, I did make a big crockpot’s worth of veg. three bean chili last week and it made awesome veg. nachos, over quinoa, and oh, on my spoon.

  • Yum! These burgers sound perfect! I love the flavor combinations.

  • Yum, yum, yum, and I LOVE your nail varnish! This recipe is so perfect for me right now because I’ve been on a huge bean kick lately 🙂 In other words, thanks for sharing!

  • This looks delicious! I wish I could eat legumes as if I could I’d so be making it 🙂

  • I want these sans oats baked on nachos. aioli drizzle.

  • This looks so good! The second Aioli looks to die for! Will have to try this recipe!

  • I kind of don’t agree with you on the chili thing, and I kind of get angry with Kyle sometimes because he think the same thing…I will crave chili during August in Texas. But, I could definitely get down with these burgers! I think they are going to make the weekend recipe list!

  • Yes. Yesyesyesyes, YES!
    Well…that got a little more When Harry Met Sally than I wanted originally but dear lord these have to get in my belly. Your bean burgers have never let me down before, and I’m sure these will be just as freaking AMAZEBALLS esp. with that Aioli! Thanks for sharing you goddess, you!

  • These look delicious!! Also my bestie and I have that same shared brain thing, we call it the hive mind 🙂

    • really, it’s because I hang out in her bushes to spy on her. Hive mind sounds nicer, though.

  • These sound great, Jenn! The one time I tried to make veggie burger, they were a mess…operator error. I will try again with this. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  • Now that I know what is in that amazing sauce that has been tempting me for days I can’t wait to make it, and then put it on EVERYTHING!! The burgers look good too 🙂

  • I keep a fork in hand for convenient hand-stabbing of food thieves. I picked up that habit in high school. My guy friends quickly learned to leave my plate alone. 😛

    These look delicious and tooootally every bit as hearty as a meat-filled burger!

  • These sound AWESOME!! And I bet that the chipotle aoli puts them over the top!

  • Why did I read this AFTER eating dinner?! Pass me the chipotle aioli. And the beans. Musical fruit… yes, I’m a 6 year old.

    P.S. You ARE coming to Blend next year. xoxo

  • Wowzaaaahs…these sound like they need to get in my belly IMMEDIATELY. You are simply brilliant, girl!!

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