Black Bean Cakes

Black Bean Cakes recipe from

Getting a lot of protein when you’re a vegetarian isn’t always easy. Most restaurants load you down with tons of bread and pasta or offer you bland tofu or bean dishes. Often when cooking at home you rely on the same few recipes that you know your family will eat rarely making vegetarian cuisine a win. We have been making Black Bean Cakes since Kenya was just a lanky toddler. He would sit there holding on to his Black Bean Cakes with two little hands nibbling and babbling away. It still makes me so happy to think about I want to eat him up!

For this Rewind Wednesday I wanted to share one of our all time favorites. Yes, they’re a super friendly toddler recipe, but also a hit with adults. You can stack them high and layer them with plenty of guacamole, salsa, sour cream, greek yogurt, cotija cheese or other favorite toppings. These savory cakes pack not only a power punch of protein, but plenty of flavor and fun in every bite!

Black Bean Cakes recipe from

One of Kenya's (many) favorite foods are black beans. He loves them with brown rice or quesadillas, or even just on their own. I wanted to come up with another fun way for him to enjoy them.

Black Bean Cakes recipe from

Beans are an incredible source of fiber and iron and because of their soft texture they’re perfect for forming into these little black bean cakes. Sometimes I find it hard to come up with delicious vegetarian recipes which are truly filling, but these totally fit the bill.
I love serving these to Kenya with a little guacamol-wee and sour cream for him to dip in.

Black Bean Cakes recipe from

Trust me, the only major problem I had making these was keeping my husband away from them. Luckily, most of the ingredients are things I keep on hand, so I quickly cooked up an extra batch so we would all have plenty to munch on at dinner and throughout the next day.

Black Bean Cakes recipe from

Photos by Matt Armendariz

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Black Bean Cakes (Makes About 20 Patties)

Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 15 mins

nut free


  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ear of corn, cut off the cob (or 1 cup frozen kernels, defrosted)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil


1. Place all the ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor and puree.

2. Heat a large saute pan over low to medium heat with 1 tbsp oil.

3. Place 1 Tbsp of the bean mixture in the pan. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture into an even circle (the size and shape of a pancake).

4. Cook for 3 minutes.

5. Flip on the other side and cook another 3-4 minutes or until cooked through.

6. Cook remaining patties, adding about 1 tbsp oil for each batch, and move to a plate.

7. Cool and serve.

*Allow to cool, transfer to a ziploc bag, label and freeze up to 4 months. When ready, defrost in fridge for 24 hours or heat in oven for 10 minutes at 300.

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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.