Black Bean Cakes with Creamy Avocado Dip

I didn’t acquire a taste for legumes until relatively recently. When I was a kid I refused to touch garbanzo beans, and whenever my Mom made chili, I picked all the red kidney beans from my bowl before I deemed it safe for eating.  I’d never even heard of lentils and all the legumes we ate can out of a can anyway, including the gluey refried variety I would occasionally grant safe passage into my belly.

A few years ago, though, I decided to rehabilitate my relationship with beans. I had gone away to college, my palate had grown adventurous, and I began to realize that beans are not only for chili or for dumping, cold, slimy, and straight from the can, on top of (and subsequently ruining) a perfectly decent dinner salad.

Once I set aside my childhood dislike and began to slowly incorporate bean-centric recipes into my cooking, I realized that actually, I adore beans. Like, I could eat them every single day and I would never get bored adore them.

Since I am the primary cook in the house, I have inflicted my legume-loving tendencies upon my husband and daughter. Some weeks we might have two or three dinners where beans take center stage as the primary protein.  Luckily, my husband doesn’t seem to mind one bit, and beans just happen to be one of my toddler’s favorite foods.


The black bean cake recipe I’m sharing today has appeared on our table a lot recently. The ingredients come together easily, and the texture and taste of the finished cakes falls somewhere between falafel and veggie burger. We like to serve these with a side of creamy avocado dip, but good old guacamole and pico de gallo also make for fabulous condiments.

Black Bean Cakes with Creamy Avocado Dip
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
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Somewhere between falafel and veggie burgers, these black bean cakes make a great main dish. For a veggie-friendly appetizer, form smaller patties.
  • 3 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cups flour, plus ½ cup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • Avocado Sauce
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 avocadoes, mashed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. In a medium bowl, mash black beans until they begin to hold together
  2. Add the next 5 ingredients and stir well to combine
  3. In a second bowl, mix ¾ cups of flour with the last 4 ingredients
  4. Add dry ingredients to bean mixture and stir well to combine
  5. Heat ¼ cup of cooking oil in a skillet
  6. Form the bean mixture into patties and dredge through remaining flour to coat
  7. Working in batches, fry the patties for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown
  8. Drain cooked patties on paper towels to remove excess oil
  9. Mix together the avocado sauce ingredients and serve immediately

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