Black Bean Burgers with Comeback Sauce Recipe


What's our secret to a tasty black bean burger? The slow cooker. Slow cook the beans in broth kicked up with smoky bacon and sautéed aromatics, then use them to make these hearty Black Bean Burgers topped with a spicy, smoky sauce. You can easily make the burgers vegetarian by omitting the bacon and swapping the chicken broth for vegetable when slow cooking the beans. We've paired this flavorful burger patty with Comeback Sauce. This mayonnaise-based sauce hails from Mississippi, but Southerners all across the Deep South love the spicy kick it gives to a plethora of fried, grilled, and steamed foods.

Black Bean Burgers with Comeback Sauce
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke
Active Time:
40 mins
Slow Cook Time:
6 hrs
Total Time:
7 hrs 40 mins
4 serves


  • 1 pound dried black beans

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil

  • 1 yellow onion (about 10 oz.), chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)

  • 1 red bell pepper (about 8 oz.), chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 3 thick-cut bacon slices (about 4 oz.), chopped (optional)

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tbsp.)

  • 1 jalapeño chile, halved lengthwise

  • 6 cups lower-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)

  • 2 tablespoons grated yellow onion

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 slices Muenster cheese

  • 4 brioche buns, toasted

  • 4 butter lettuce leaves

  • 1 large tomato, cut into 8 thin slices


  1. Rinse and sort beans according to package directions. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper, and, if desired, bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  2. Transfer onion mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker; add beans, jalapeño, chicken broth, salt, brown sugar, cumin, pepper, and oregano. Cover and cook on LOW until beans are tender, about 6 hours

  3. Stir together mayonnaise, sweet chili sauce, smoked paprika, ketchup, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

  4. Process 1 1/2 cups drained cooked black beans and 1/4 cup mayonnaise mixture in a food processor until smooth, about 10 seconds.

  5. Stir together pureed bean mixture, 2 cups drained Black Beans, beaten egg, panko, grated yellow onion, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl. Cover and chill mixture 30 minutes. Form bean mixture into 4 (8 oz.) patties; chill 30 minutes.

  6. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high and cook patties until heated through and a crust forms, about 4 minutes per side.

  7. Top each patty with 1 slice of Muenster cheese; cook until melted. Divide remaining mayonnaise mixture evenly among buns; add 1 patty, 1 butter lettuce leaf, and 2 tomato slices to each bun.

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