Blue Cheese Burger {Healthy Burger with Black Beans}


This Blue Cheese Burger recipe with caramelized onion marmalade is all decadence on the outside, with a healthy sneak within. I’ll keep the secret if you do!

Blue Cheese Burger made with black beans and lean beef topped with caramelized onion jam on a plate with greens

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My healthy burger trick: make the patties with a mix of lean ground beef and black beans!

  • Black beans are inexpensive and full of healthy plant-based protein and fiber.
  • Beef gives you savory flavor, protein, and zinc, but you don’t need as much of it when your patties are a mix.

I make a mean black bean Vegan Burger and stellar turkey burgers too (especially these Teriyaki Burgers), but combining beef AND beans didn’t occur to me, until I watched Rachel Ray do it on the Food Network years ago.

Brilliant!

a blue cheese burger with red onion jam on a whole wheat bun

Because these blue cheese burgers require less beef, they are less expensive, healthy, more budget friendly, and planet friendly.

They are everything I want a burger to be (and more):

a blue cheese burger on a wheat bun with a bite taken out of it beside salad greens

How to Make a Blue Cheese Burger

With a combination of black beans, beef, blue cheese, and caramelized onion marmalade, these burgers are an irresistible flavor mash-up between two buns.


The Ingredients

  • Ground Beef. To keep things healthy I opt for 90% lean ground beef.
  • Black Beans. These magic little beans lighten up this recipe, while still providing essential protein.
  • Egg. Acts as a binding agent to help the patties stay together while cooking.
  • Dijon Mustard. Adds a little zip and bite to the patties.
  • Worcestershire Sauce. Compliments the beef and contributes a savory element to contrast the sweet onion marmalade.
  • Blue Cheese. Pungent, tangy, and creamy. It gives these black and blue burgers richness.

Ingredient Note

My favorite blue cheese for these burgers is Gorgonzola. It’s rustic, full-flavored, a little salty, and can be found in most grocery stores. Feel free to mix it up and try one of these other popular blue cheese varieties.

  • Maytag Blue Cheese
  • French Roquefort
  • English Stilton
  • Red Onions. Caramelize and reduce beautifully to make the sweet, colorful marmalade that gets piled high on these burgers.
  • Balsamic Vinegar. Balances the sweetness of the onion marmalade by adding a little acidity.
  • Brown Sugar. Helps the onions caramelize and gives the marmalade additional nuance.

The Directions

caramelizing red onions in a pan
  1. Caramelize the onions. Set aside.
mashed black beans in a glass bowl
  1. Mash up the black beans in a large bowl.
beaten egg, spices and mashed black beans in a bowl
  1. Add the egg and spices and stir to combine.
ground beef and mashed black beans in a bowl for burger patties
  1. Add the beef and mix until everything is incorporated.
uncooked beef and black bean burger patties formed on parchment
  1. Shape into patties, then brush both sides with mustard.
grilling beef and black bean burger patties in a cast iron skillet
  1. Cook the burgers, flipping once.
melting blue cheese on burger patties in a skillet
  1. Top with blue cheese and onion marmalade. Serve on toasted buns of your choice. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Store leftover burger patties, in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Onion marmalade may be kept in a separate airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently warm marmalade in the microwave until heated through. Warm the patties in a skillet, covered, with a bit of water to keep them from drying out. Top with blue cheese, broil to melt and then serve topped with marmalade on buns.
  • To Freeze. Cooked burger patties may be kept frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator prior to reheating.
caramelized red onion marmalade on a blue cheese burger

Serve Your Blue Cheese Burgers With

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Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

The Best Grill Plate

This reversible grill plate fits over two stovetop burners for even heating and heat retention. Use it to sear, fry, or grill. It’s already seasoned too!

Blue Cheese Burger made with black beans and lean beef topped with caramelized onion jam on a plate with greens

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Let me know what you thought!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do Blue Cheese Crumbles Melt?

Because of its soft, creamy texture, blue cheese melts quickly and smoothly when warmed.

What Does Blue Cheese Taste Like?

Don’t be put off by its appearance or smell. Despite being called “stinky cheese”, blue cheese is actually rather delicious. Most varieties have a strong, pungent flavor that is both sharp and salty. If you’re new to the blue cheese game, try a mild variety, such as Gorgonzola

Can Blue Cheese Go Bad?

Yes. While all varieties of blue cheese are flecked with mold that’s totally safe to eat, they can still spoil (by growing mold you don’t want to eat). For freshness, keep blue cheese blocks wrapped tightly in plastic and crumbles stored in containers with tight-fitting lids.

Why Add Egg to Burgers?

An egg is often added to burger recipes where other ingredients are mixed into the ground meat (like black beans) to help bind everything together.


  • To prepare the onion marmalade, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add onions, brown sugar, and salt. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dark golden brown and tender. Add balsamic vinegar and cook 2 additional minutes. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, heat a large oven proof skillet over medium high. Place rack in the upper third of your oven and set oven broiler to high.

  • Next, prepare the burger patties by mashing the black beans in a large bowl. Add beaten egg, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and worcestershire. Mix until incorporated.

  • Add beef and stir in gently with a fork, being careful not to compress the meat. Divide the mixture into 6 portions and shape into approximately 3 1/2 inch-wide patties. Brush each side of the patties with remaining mustard.

  • Brush the skillet with extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking. Add the burgers to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the mustard forms a golden crust. Flip, top with blue cheese, then cook for 3 additional minutes, longer if you prefer the burgers more well done.

  • During the last moments of cooking, place the skillet under the oven broiler for 30 seconds to finish melting the blue cheese.

  • Top blue cheese burgers with a heaping spoonful of onion marmalade and serve immediately on toasted buns.

  • TO STORE: Keep leftover burgers, deconstructed, in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Onion marmalade may be kept in a separate airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently warm marmalade  in the microwave until heated through. Reheat the burgers in a nonstick skillet with a bit of water, covered to help them steam and not dry out. Top with blue cheese, broil to melt and then serve topped with marmalade on buns.
  • TO FREEZE: Cooked burger patties may be kept frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator prior to reheating.

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 598kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 35gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 105mgPotassium: 743mgFiber: 9gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 341IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 290mgIron: 6mg

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