Emily’s Black Bean Cakes

Dec 6, 2012

Back when I was in the restaurant business, one dish my customers always loved was black bean cakes. Relatively simple to prepare, especially with the convenience of canned black beans, these creamy patties make a delicious appetizer, or the centerpiece of a vegetarian meal.

When my computer crashed earlier this year, I lost my beloved recipe for Black Bean Cakes. A quick Internet search found a recipe by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse of New Orleans.

Emeril is a consummate marketer, and as would be expected, his recipe uses products that his company manufactures.

While I don’t have easy access to Emeril’s products, I do have a pantry stocked with many of my own condiments and sauces, and Emily’s Taco Salsa was the perfect match. Mashed cooked black beans are combined with salsa, egg and spices, formed into patties, dredged in seasoned flour, and then fried in a skillet.

If I’m not cooking for my vegan or vegetarian friends, I like to use locally sourced fats like lard or bacon. Don’t be afraid to make extra, as black bean cakes store well in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick, go-to meal. Plus they are packed with protein, fiber, and iron.

Emily’s Black Bean Cakes are my new favorite dish: crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. An easy, delicious and nutritious meal that will knock your socks off!

Black Bean Cakes

Emily's Black Bean Cakes

Cheryl Wixson
These delicious cakes are a riff on a recipe by Emeril. He serves them on a bed of guacamole. As avocadoes aren’t grown here in Maine, I like to serve them on a bed of sautéed spinach or kale.
Servings 8 cakes


  • 4 tablespoons lard, bacon fat, or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cups cooked beans (2 - 15.5 ounce cans, drained & rinsed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Emily's Taco Salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Taco Seasonings
  • sea salt and fresh pepper to taste


  • Heat 1 tablespoon fat in pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  • In a pie plate, whisk together the all purpose flour, Taco Seasoning, sea salt and fresh pepper. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the black beans. Add the egg, salsa, cumin, cayenne pepper, onions and garlic. Pulse to mix well and mash, but keep the texture chunky.
  • Scoop out 1/3 cup of bean mixture into the pie plate. Pat into a cake and dust on both sides with the flour mixture. Place on a sheet of waxed paper. Repeat and make 8 bean cakes. (The cakes will be delicate)
  • Heat the remaining fat in a heavy, non-stick skillet. Carefully transfer the cakes to the skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides and heated through.

Cheryl's Notes

Serve with yogurt or sour cream and Emily’s Taco Salsa.
Nutritional analysis per cake: 171 calories, 7 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fat, (0 grams trans fat), 37 mg. sodium, 6 grams fiber.

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