Island Black Bean Burgers with Avocado Salsa

These vegan black bean burgers are full of texture and Caribbean spice. The crunchy peanut butter and bite of the cashew nuts adds a nice bit of body, and the polenta gives a good crisp coating. I love them spicy, but you can leave the chilli out if you prefer. If you have a nut allergy, try using tahini in place of the peanut butter, and stir in some sunflower seeds instead of the cashews.

Found in this book

Ainsley's Good Mood Food

Ebury Books


Heat a small drizzle of oil in a frying pan, add the onion and pepper and gently sweat over a low-medium heat for 3–4 minutes until a little softened. Add the garlic, chilli and jerk seasoning and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Pulse the nuts in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then tip into a large bowl. Put the softened onion and pepper, half the black beans, the rice, peanut butter, mayo, breadcrumbs, coriander and lime zest into the food processor. Season well and blitz for 30–45 seconds until well combined. Scrape the mixture from the sides and blitz again until combined but still with plenty of texture. Transfer to the bowl with the nuts and remaining beans and mix well with your hands, adding a little more peanut butter or mayonnaise if the mixture is too dry, or breadcrumbs if too wet. Divide the mixture evenly into 4 and shape into burger patties with your hands. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to firm up.

Meanwhile, mix the salsa ingredients together in a bowl to combine. Season with salt to taste and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the hot pepper mayo ingredients.

Spread the polenta on a plate with a small pinch of salt and gently coat the patties on all sides.

Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the burgers, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3–4 minutes without moving. Gently turn over and cook on the other side for 3–4 minutes or until heated through and a crust has formed. (Alternatively, spray the burgers with oil and bake in the oven at 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 for 12–15 minutes or until crispy.)

Lightly char or toast the burger buns, then spread a dollop of the hot pepper mayo onto the base. Add some shredded lettuce, top with a burger and add a good spoonful of salsa. Top with a little more hot pepper mayo and finish with the burger bun top.



  • For the Black Bean Burgers
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or coconut oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 medium-hot red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp jerk seasoning
  • 45g cashew nuts
  • 1 x 400g tin black beans, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 125g ready-to-eat brown rice or bulgur wheat
  • 1 heaped tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp vegan mayo
  • 25g panko breadcrumbs
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • zest of ½ lime
  • 3 tbsp fine polenta
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Salsa
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, stoned and finely diced
  • 2 ripe vine tomatoes, de- seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • a pinch of caster sugar
  • zest and juice of ½ lime
  • For the Hot Pepper Mayo
  • 3–4 tbsp vegan mayo
  • hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • To Serve
  • 4 burger buns, halved
  • crisp lettuce leaves, shredded