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Black bean and watercress vegan burger

Keri Astill-Frew / 14 December 2018

A delicious veggie burger that's far healthier than its meaty counterpart but certainly not lacking in flavour.

Black bean and watercress burgers
Black bean and watercress burgers

Preparation time

20 minutes

Cooking time

20 minutes




  • 2 400g tins black beans
  • 1 small sweet potato, baked in its jacket until soft
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 50g tinned sweetcorn, drained
  • 90g fresh breadcrumbs (roughly 3 slices)
  • 30g watercress, chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • 4 burger buns (dairy and egg free)
  • 2 ripe avocadoes (optional)
  • Tomato relish or other sauce of your choice


1. Take a large frying pan and place it over a medium heat. Add in a splash of oil. When the oil is hot, toss in the onion, red pepper and garlic along with a pinch of salt and the chopped red chillies if using. Stir-fry for roughly three minutes then tip into a bowl and allow to cool.

2. Drain the black beans in a colander and rinse with cold water until it runs clear. Line a tray with a tea towel and tip the beans into the tray, patting the top dry with another tea towel to remove as much water as possible. Place half of the beans into a large bowl and mash well with a fork.

3. Cut the softened sweet potato in half before scooping out the flesh and adding to the bowl along with the remaining black beans. Add in the onion and pepper mix, sweetcorn, breadcrumbs, paprika and watercress and use your hands to combine everything thoroughly. Season the mix to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Form four large patties and leave to chill in the fridge for at least half an hour before cooking.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Wipe out the frying pan you used for the onion and pepper mix and return to a medium heat. Add a splash of oil into the pan. Once the oil is hot use a spatula or slice to carefully place each burger patty into the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side before placing into the oven for 10 minutes or until piping hot throughout.

6. Remove the patties from the oven and leave to rest for a minute while you prepare the buns. Slice the buns in half and toast (either under the grill or in the toaster). Slice the avocado. Place a burger on the bottom of each bun, then top with avocado slices and a good dollop of tomato relish or other sauce. Serve and enjoy! You could also top the burgers with a variety of other fillings including sliced tomatoes, fresh watercress or sliced red onions.

Our thanks to for providing this recipe

Visit our vegan recipe section for more meat-free cooking ideas


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.