These black bean fritters are crispy and full of spicy flavor, making them a perfect for a vegetarian main dish! Drizzled with cilantro sauce, you’ll be coming back for seconds!

black bean fritters on a plate

Why I Love This Recipe

These black bean fritters only take a few minutes to make and they’re a great way to add some protein and fiber to your dinner plate. They’re a simple main dish but you could also enjoy them as a side dish or serve them on top of a salad.

Black Bean Fritter Ingredients

  • Onion– I used half of a yellow onion but you could use part of a white onion.
  • Black beans– I recommend using unsalted beans so you can control the saltiness of the finished recipe.
  • Egg– This helps bind the fritters together so they hold together.
  • Cumin– This adds a warm, earthy spice to the fritters.
  • Cayenne– This is optional but if you like things spicy, give it a try!
  • Smoked paprika– I love the smoky flavor this adds to the fritters.
  • Garlic powder– You can substitute fresh garlic, if you prefer.
  • Salt– A little salt enhances the overall flavor.
  • Panko crumbs- These are slightly larger and crispier than traditional breadcrumbs, which add a nice crunch to the outter layer of the fritters. They also help bind the fritters together.

What’s the difference between panko crumbs and bread crumbs?

Panko crumbs are made from white bread with the crusts removed. It’s processed into flakes and then dried. Panko crumbs tend to absorb oil more than traditional breadcrumbs and the end result is a crunchier crumb. You can substitute breadcrumbs if that’s what you have, but panko crumbs will give you a crunchier crust on the fritters.

How to Make Black Bean Fritters

Add the onion to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Then add the black beans, egg, and spices.

black bean fritter ingredients in a food processor

Pulse 4-5 times until mixed, but still chunky.

black bean fritter ingredients in a food processor

Stir in 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs. The mixture will be sticky, but should hold together.

black bean fritter ingredients in a food processor

Scoop about 1/3 cup of the bean mixture and shape into a thin patty. Cover with panko crumbs.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the fritters and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

Flip and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Drizzle with cilantro sauce and serve.

black bean fritters on a plate

Black Bean Fritter Tips

  • Be sure to rinse and drain the black beans completely. The goal is to remove as much liquid as possible otherwise the fritters might be too soggy.
  • I highly recommend pairing these fritters with my cilantro sauce. It’s creamy and full of fresh, citrusy flavor, making it the perfect balance to these fritters!
  • Cook the black bean fritters in two batches. Be sure to only use half of the oil for the first batch so that you have leftover oil for the second batch.
  • It’s important to use an oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil. I do not recommend olive oil which is best used at lower temperatures.

What to Serve with Black Bean Fritters

Serve these fritters as a main dish, pairing them with this Street Corn Salad and your favorite tortilla chips. Or enjoy these black bean fritters with a bowl of creamy Enchilada Soup. You could also enjoy them on top of a bed of greens with your favorite taco salad ingredients like salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips!

How to Store Leftover Fritters

Unfortunately, leftover fritters won’t be quite as crispy and delicious as the firtters that are fresh out of the pan! But if you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, add a little oil to a skillet and pan-fry until heated through.

More Black Bean Recipes

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black bean fritters on a plate

Black Bean Fritters

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 Fritters 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These black bean fritters are crispy and full of spicy flavor, making them a perfect for a vegetarian main dish! Drizzled with cilantro sauce, you’ll be coming back for seconds!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup panko crumbs, divided
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or another neutral high-heat oil
  • 1/3 cup of cilantro sauce or salsa

Instructions

  1. Add the onion to a food processor and pulse 4-5 times until finely chopped.
  2. Add the black beans, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and egg to the food processor. Pulse 7-9 times until the mixture is chunky.
  3. Stir in 3/4 cup panko crumbs.
  4. Shape the bean mixture into 10 small patties.
  5. Dip each patty in panko crumbs.
  6. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium-high heat, for 30 seconds.
  7. When the oil is hot, add half the fritters and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Flip and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until crispy.
  8. Transfer the fritters to a plate.
  9. Add the second tablespoon of oil, then cook the remaining fritters.
  10. Serve with cilantro sauce or salsa.

Notes

This blog post was originally published in May 2013. Updated December 2021.

Keywords: black bean fritters