Spicy Bean Cakes

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on August 11, 2009


Julie shared this recipe with me and I thought I’d give it a whirl!  I left off the sour cream lime sauce (trying to keep it dairy free!).  Paired with corn and sweet potato circles.  A fabulous and tasteful meal!

Since I bought a GINORMOUS sweet potato, I only grated half of it and then sliced the other half into thin circles that I added to the cookie sheets for broiling.  They cooked up perfectly along side the bean cakes!

This meal makes 8 spicy bean cakes, plus sweet potatoes and corn!  I was doubtful this would be enough for us…but the spicy bean cakes were quite filling!  Fiber fills you up!!!  We were all stuffed after this meal.  Even my “beans make me throw up” child liked these!  That is a direct quote from this afternoon when I was preparing these!

We all LOVED these! 

1/4 large red onion, finely chopped ($.25)
2 hot peppers, finely chopped (from the garden)
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed ($.10)
1 Tbsp olive oil ($.10)
1 Tbsp ground cumin ($.10)
2 cans black beans, no salt added ($1.66)
1 large sweet potato (about 1.3 lb.) ($1.16)
1 egg ($.08)
1/2 cup bread crumbs ($.20)
4 corn cobs ($1) On sale this week!



1. Chop red onion, hot peppers.  Crush garlic.  Add to skillet with olive oil and ground cumin.  Saute for 2-3 minutes.


2.  Drain and rinse 2 cans of black beans.  I forgot to cook dried beans in time to get this ready.  Oh well!  It would have been MUCH cheaper to have made my own beans :)  Add to bowl and mash with potato masher.


3.  Once peppers and onions have sauted, add to mashed beans.


4. Grate 1 sweet potato.  Add grated sweet potato, egg and bread crumbs in with the beans and sauteed veggies.


5. Mix well until it all sticks together.


6.  Divide into 8 balls and place the bean balls on a greased baking sheet. (**See note below.)


7.  Flatten into patties.


8. Slice the leftover sweet potato (if you have extra sweet potato) and add to baking sheet in between the bean patties. (I used 2 baking sheets to fit all the patties and sweet potatoes.)

9. Broil for 10 minutes, then flip both the bean cakes and the sweet potato circles.  Broil for another 3-4 minutes.  (Flip carefully…the first few that I flipped sorta fell apart and I had to piece them back together.  The smaller and thinner patties stayed together during flipping.  **I suggest making 12 smaller and thinner patties for these to be successful!).  Sweet potatoes will be ready to eat at this point.  If you want them to be a bit crispier, then remove the bean cakes and return the sweet potato circles under the broiler for 4-8 minutes, or until they reach your desired crispiness.

10. Boil corn for 4-5 minutes in large saucepan.

11. Serve Spicy Bean Cakes with Sweet Potato Circles and Corn Cobs.

This would also be great with brown rice! And the boys liked mixing the bean cake with the corn!

Cost $4.65

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam August 11, 2009 at 7:37 pm

yum, Erin – we love black beans and I thought I had tried it all, but never these. :)


Megan August 11, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Oh, that sounds good! I wasn’t a black bean fan until recently, so I might have to give these a try.


Christina Baita August 11, 2009 at 11:39 pm

Are these jalapenos? We have a ton of them from our garden and I’m wondering what to do with them. Your kids ate these, really? Not too spicy? I can’t wait to try it.


Alisa - Go Dairy Free & Frugal Foodie August 11, 2009 at 11:43 pm

mmm, those look delicious! Now if only I can sneak those beans past my husband.


Alta August 12, 2009 at 7:20 am

This sounds delicious! I wonder…would the leftovers (if there were any) reheat well the next day in a microwave? Just thinking, this might also make a yummy lunch!


Hope :) August 12, 2009 at 8:24 am

This looks great! I can’t wait to give them a try. I’ve got peppers from the garden just waiting to be used!


Sara @ ThrivingMama August 12, 2009 at 8:30 am

I love making bean burgers and have found that you can make them in a large batch, freeze them on a cookie sheet and transfer them to a freezer bag to save on prep time later. I also discovered this summer that frozen bean-burgers cook very well on the grill. Make your potatoes in a foil packet – like this http://bit.ly/WwiNi. Cook everything on medium-low and avoid the oven all together.


LindaGR August 12, 2009 at 9:58 am

Hi Erin,

I have a child who is allergic to eggs. What can I use in replacement for this recipe?
We loved black beans. We usually just mashed up the black beans and make tacos for breakfast.
Your recipe sounds very good! Can’t wait to try it.



Beth in Ohio August 12, 2009 at 10:21 am

I’m with Alisa. The recipe sounds so tasty (minus jalepenos, I can’t stand anything more than mild unfortunately) and I love black beans, but my picky teen daughter DOES NOT. Other beans, yes; black beans, no way! I’ll just have to somehow prepare them without her around asking me what I’m making. She’s so suspicious!


Heather Solos August 12, 2009 at 10:33 am

I bet pintos would work for these, too. My husband isn’t the world’s biggest black bean fan, but we keep trying new things despite it. ;)


Mama Bird August 12, 2009 at 12:52 pm

That is so funny…I made these last night too. They were yum. Had leftovers for lunch today too. :)


Kathy August 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Erin, this recipe reminds me of bean cakes I had when I was a teenager in the UK – I was part of an exchange program working on conservation projects and most members of our teams were vegetarians. I can’t wait to try these out!!!

LindaGR, it seems like the egg is used as a binder – perhaps substituting olive oil might suffice? Seems like a tasty experiment ;)


Deborah August 14, 2009 at 10:49 am

Made these for dinner last night and they were delicious. Hubby is having the leftovers for lunch today :-)


Jenny August 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm

LindaGR, if you need to substitute for egg, I have had good luck with using a generous tablespoon of soy flour and a scant tablespoon of water in place of the egg.

I would not suggest the oil that Kathy recommended. In my experience, this contributes to the patties breaking up more when cooking instead of binding them together..

If black beans aren’t a favorite in your family, I suggest trying lentils; pintos would also work well. My sister makes a great lentil and brown rice patty using a similar method and list of additional ingredients as listed above.


Jessica September 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Hi! I’ve made these beans twice now (and have been quietly following your blog for quite some time!), and the first time went perfectly using canned beans. The second time, I tried it with dried beans – which I had never used before in any recipe – and they completely fell apart. The mixture tasted delicious and I used it as a sort of sloppy-joe type sandwich instead, but I was just wondering if you knew a possible cause of it. The mixture definitely didn’t look as sticky as the first one did, and I’m sure an extra egg would have helped, but I didn’t know if maybe the switch from canned to dried beans could have caused the breaking apart.


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