As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to do more things with vegetables. I wanted to change the way I was looking at side dishes, and bring vegetables to the forefront of my meals. I have tried everything from soups to stir-fries. 

For these vegan black bean and corn burgers, I was inspired by the Mexican street corn I would get back home in Houston at the farmers market. Elote is a delicious roasted corn dish made of sour cream, mayo and cotija cheese. It’s creamy, with a nice tangy taste. Bringing these elements in with the black bean makes a moist and delicious burger. Although I’m not vegan myself, I decided to make this vegan. Feel free to sub out the dairy-free ingredients for your preferred ones. In the end, you’ll have a hearty black bean burger. 

Make patties ahead and store in the fridge or freezer to use any time. Serve with your favorite sandwich toppings, kick back and enjoy.

Vegan black bean and corn burgers with avocado crema 

Time: 30 minutes to prep | 30 minutes to cook

Makes: 5-6 patties/servings


For the black bean and corn burger patty:

  • 2 15-ounce cans of black beans
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs 
  • ¼ cup oat milk (or preferred dairy-free milk) 
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil 
  • 1 ½ cups corn (I used fresh corn off a cob, but canned or frozen works, too. If you’re using canned corn, make sure to drain and rinse it beforehand.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • ⅓ cup vegan sour cream (I used Forager brand)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro 
  • ½ cup vegan feta (crumbled) or Monterey Jack cheese (shredded) 
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 2 teaspoons cumin 
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • Juice from 1 lime

For the avocado crema spread:

  • ½ cup vegan sour cream 
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • ½ small/medium avocado; ripened 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


For the avocado crema:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, pulse until avocado is incorporated. Set aside in the fridge until ready for use. 

For the burgers:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Pour one can of beans on a prepared baking sheet. 
  3. Place in oven and bake until beans split open, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven. Raise oven temperature to 425 degrees. Adjust one rack to second from the bottom position.
  5. Mush beans with potato masher or fork, until the majority are mashed, forming a paste. 
  6. In a small bowl, add breadcrumbs and oat milk. Set aside. 
  7. In a medium saucepan, add oil. Heat over medium-high to high heat. Add corn and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for five minutes or until corn becomes fragrant. 
  8. Remove from heat. 
  9. Add sour cream, cilantro, cheese and seasonings. Mix with a rubber spatula until combined.
  10. Add mashed black beans. Drain and rinse the second can of black beans before adding to mixture. Add breadcrumbs, cornstarch and lime juice. Combine well. 
  11. Once mixed, use a ½ cup measuring cup to scoop out dollops onto a prepared baking sheet. Press into the shape of a patty. Repeat with the remaining mixture. 
  12. Place on second-to-bottom rack in oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Flip and repeat. 
  13. Serve on your favorite bun, with avocado crema and choice of toppings. I recommend red onions, avocado and lettuce.