Black Bean Farro Burgers

Farro? What is farro? 

That is the first question others have asked when I tell them about the most recent meal I've been dishing out. 

Farro is an ancient grain--a whole grain I commonly encourage patients to try to experience more whole grains other than the well-known brown rice and whole wheat. This grain, which has been eaten for thousands of years around the world, has a earthy, nutty flavor with a hearty, yet soft texture. It is commonly used in soups and salads--or, hey, why not in a burger?

Keep in mind, however, that farro does contain gluten. This burger would not be a good recipe to make for friends or family that may have a gluten intolerance or celiac's disease.

I spy a cutie in the background! #elenigram

I spy a cutie in the background! #elenigram

In our house, we absolutely love my "traditional" black bean burger recipe. But I was looking for a new recipe to try since I had farro in the pantry and wanted to try something new. And admittedly, I have so many different types of grains in my pantry that my husband kindly asked me to start using some of what seems to be the thousands types of different whole grains in the pantry.


This burger is simple to make and puts a new twist on a black bean burger. The liquid smoke and BBQ sauce definitely gives it a barbeque like flavor. After eating up my leftover burger at work this morning, my co-worker said "Who's lunch is that? It certainly couldn't be you, Alison." You bet it was--she couldn't believe it smelled like barbeque! Others lingered in the room to find out what that glorious smell was. 

Yep. That's the vegan's lunch. 

Someone's excited for the burgers!

Someone's excited for the burgers!

Black Bean Farro Burgers

Recipe Adapted from: The Whole Serving

Makes: 5-6 Burgers


Cook the farro according to the directions on the package. After it is cooked, set aside in a large bowl. 

While the farro is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When heated, add the chopped onions. Saute the onions until soft and translucent. If the onions begin to stick, add vegetable broth or water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the onions to the cooked farro.

Next, add the rinsed and drained black beans to the farro and onion. Using your hands mash together the mixture. Some whole beans will remain and the mixture should start sticking together.

Add the liquid smoke, sugar, garlic, smoked paprika, steak seasoning, bread crumbs, and BBQ sauce. Mix well and let the mixture sit about 5 minutes, allowing the bread crumbs absorb some of the moisture. 

Patty into 5-6 burgers, depending on the size of your burger. 

To keep the burgers oil free, heat a griddle or non-stick skillet. Add and cook until heated through, about 4 minutes on each side.

If using the grill or other pan, lightly oil the burgers to help prevent sticking. Cook until heated through. 

We love to enjoy the burgers on a toasted, sprouted bun with caramelized onions, extra BBQ sauce, and avocado. Enjoy!


2/3 cup farro, uncooked

1 small onion, chopped

3-4 tablespoons vegetable broth, or water

1, 15 ounce can, low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoons liquid smoke

2 tablespoons sugar

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 1/2 tablespoon steak seasoning of your choice

1 1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons BBQ sauce