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Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers

It’s burger time! Introducing tempeh black bean burgers glazed with a sweet and spicy sauce. They’re incredibly moist, packed with textures, and don’t lack flavor. They’re topped with crunchy coconut bacon and drizzled with a creamy garlic-smoked paprika sauce! The addition of tempeh takes the protein content of these burgers to new highs.

What I had in mind while making these burgers was to use smoked salt to give them a smoky flavor. The thing is, it didn’t work. I would have to add a ton of salt to get the desired smokiness. So instead, I relied on smoked paprika and a touch of liquid smoke.

Regarding the toppings, I didn’t go overboard because 1) It doesn’t need it. These burgers are already packed with veggies, plus they are moist and super soft. Just a sprinkle (okay, more like a handful) of coconut bacon and the garlic tahini sauce on top make it perfect. Now I won’t judge if you sneak in a slice of tomato here and there. And 2) I didn’t want a foot-tall burger, just a delicious, juicy burger. Something simple, satisfying, and delicious.

Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers

It all starts with the veggies: onion, garlic, carrots, and red bell peppers. Sauté a few minutes and then combine with black beans, spices, oregano, tomato paste, and liquid smoke in the bowl of a food processor. I also added almond butter for more richness and almond flour to retain moisture and bend all the ingredients together. Oh, and a drizzle of maple syrup because everyone needs a little sweetness in their burgers.

Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers

After processing a few seconds, you should get a chunky purée. You don’t want to process too much to keep some beans whole. Once it’s done, it’s time to add the tempeh and process a few more seconds until just incorporated. Tempeh adds protein and more texture to the burgers.

Then you form patties and pan-fry for 3-5 minutes on each side. Since these burgers are soft and moist, they are delicate, so make sure your pan is non-stick and well-greased.

Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers

Last but not least, brush the burgers with an easy 4-ingredient sweet and spicy glaze and top with coconut (or eggplant) bacon! A few salad leaves and that garlic tahini sauce on top are all you need to finish these tempeh black bean burgers.

Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers
Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers

If you are into burgers, you will love these! They are super soft, smoky, and protein-packed. The addition of coconut bacon and a garlic tahini sauce takes them to the next level!

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers
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Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers

Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers

4.73 from 11 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Soft and moist veggie burgers with black beans and tempeh for a protein boost!
Prep Time : 40 minutes
Servings 3 Burgers
Calories 391 kcal



  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1 15-ounce can can cooked black beans about 1 and 1/2 cup drained
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 cup chopped tempeh
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup coconut bacon for topping (optional)

Sweet and Spicy Glaze

Garlic Sauce

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika



  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly, until onions start to brown.
  • Next, add the diced carrot and red bell pepper. Drizzle the soy sauce and stir. Cook for another 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
  • Add the soy sauce, maple syrup, almond flour, tomato paste, almond butter, cooked black beans, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and liquid smoke. Pulse for 5-7 seconds or until the black beans are roughly mashed. You don't want to process too much. Keep some beans whole.
  • Then, add the tempeh and process for another 3 seconds until just incorporated.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the toasted pine nuts. You can sub for crushed roasted cashews if you prefer. Nuts add a nice crunch.
  • Using your hands, form 3 burger patties and place them on a plate lined with parchment paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, cook the burgers on each side for 3-5 minutes, until slightly brown. Use a large spatula to flip the burgers carefully, as they are soft they are delicate. Once cooked, brush the top and sides with the sweet & spicy glaze.
  • To assemble: Toast your buns. Transfer the burger to a bun, and top it with 2 tbsp of coconut bacon and 2 tbsp of garlic sauce. Add your favorite toppings: salad, tomatoes, etc, and serve. You can also serve these "bunless" with a salad or green veggies on the side.

Sweet and Spicy Glaze

  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients together.

Garlic Sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust the consistency to your liking by adding more or less water.


If your burgers appear too soft or moist, add more almond or oat flour until you get a soft, non-sticky consistency.


Serving: 1 Burger | Calories: 391 kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.6 g | Protein: 20.1 g | Fat: 20.3 g | Fiber: 11.3 g | Sugar: 4.2 g
Course : Main Course
Cuisine : American
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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This looks fabulous, Thomas! I have all the ingredients on hand (!) so can make it today without venturing into freezing winter weather. Can’t WAIT to taste it! Thanks, as always, for your great vegan recipes!

I am a burger person and love a good burger. I am loving your take on the patty. Looks really GOOD

I wanna try this recipe, it looks SO good! I was just wondering why there is almond butter in the burger, seems quite strange to me for a combination? Hhahaha thank you

This recipe looks delicious! Will try it. But where did you get those gorgeous buns?

5 stars
I used the recipe to make smaller veggie patties to eat with vegetables. So super flavorful, they reminded me of barbeque flavored chips in a very good way! And I especially liked the tempeh bits!

5 stars
I love tempeh!! Lightlife is the best I’ve got some in my fridge right now so i can’t wait to try these!

Another great success. The burger and bun both. Thanks Thomas.

5 stars
I want to try making them using tempeh bacon instead of regular tempeh to give it a smokier taste. Hmm

5 stars
This is my favourite ‘go to’ burger recipe! Great texture and full of flavor! Thank you Thomas!

5 stars
I finally made these burgers. I subbed Lightife tempeh bacon for the regular bacon. They had a great flavor and consistency. I will be making them again. I didn’t make the sauces and used some bottled ones I already had- Primal Kitchen Garlic Aioli Mayonnaise and Sky Valley General Tso Sauce. Yummy.

Hi Thomas! Do you think the tempeh could be substituted with textured soy protein pieces at all?

5 stars
Hi Thomas, I am having some trouble with the burger falling apart. This is happening both in the pan and in the oven. The burger pictured looks thick. I have been reducing the thickness but still falls apart. However, the burger does take shape really well when I am forming them. I am almost tempted to use vital wheat gluten but wanted to avoid it.

I have made these yet but will do so this week.

I live on my own and will have excess burgers at the end if cooking. Can I freezer any left over burgers.

3 stars
Mine turned out dry, any suggestions to make these kind of vegan patty soft and moist? Thank you 🙂

[…] you are looking for tempeh recipes, check out this Creamy Cucumber Salad with Miso Tempeh, Smoky Tempeh Black Bean Burgers, Dan Dan Noodles with Tempeh Scramble, or these Peanut & Sesame Tempeh […]

[…] if you are looking for a burger that contains only whole foods I would recommend checking these Smoky Tempeh Burgers, which are still a favorite here. This recipe makes use of textured vegetable protein (TVP) and […]

5 stars
Looks fabulous: have not made yet, but am beginning to research all these delicious veggie/vegan burgers. thank you so much!

5 stars
also should have said, I am anxious to make my own instead of paying quite a lot for LiteLife etc. Even though they are very good for busy people.

Thomas for some sad reason I can not get to the High Protein Burger recipe. I’ve tried various ways. I wonder if something went wrong with that page.
LOVE that recipe and wanted to check the recent comments.

I also love this recipe, by the way!!!!
Keep up the good work and THANK YOU!

Got it! The page is now working!

Just made these tonight and they were incredibly delicious! These are massive burgers though (I made them into 3 burgers as instructed). I can’t seem to eat more than half of one! Thank you for sharing!

5 stars
This was seriously good! I didnt have almond flour but went ahead with regular flour and it worked just fine!

It was nice and moist (no need to add water). I would recommend cooking it on medium-low heat so the inside can “cook” a little. I froze the extra in a freezer zip loc bag.

4 stars
Hi! I just made these today for the first one. I’m new to this stuff and I’m sure I can do better. They smell great but are so mushy. How can I get them to be more firm?