These crispy black bean croquettes are a super easy vegetarian appetizer to serve at a Cinco de Mayo party. Serve them with guacamole or salsa for dipping, and watch them disappear in no time!

Vegetarian black bean croquettes on a bed of cabbage.

What We Love About This Recipe For Bean Croquettes

Okay, you may need to sit down for this one.

This recipe is fried.
I can see the hate mail piling up as I type this.

My guess is that you never thought you would live to see the day that you saw a fried recipe on “Healthy” Seasonal Recipes. And you guys, when I put this recipe on my editorial calendar I questioned my sanity a bit.

I have to admit that I had to search my soul AND phone a friend (really–I did) when it came time to decide whether or not to move forward with this recipe. You see, I had it in my mind, I wrote the hypothesis draft and tested it, and LOVED it, and my family LOVED it. But then I thought of you dear people and I worried you would think I was crazy, that you would leave me forever, click unsubscribe because you would think this recipe was dreadfully unhealthy because it is fried.

But then I ran the analysis and realized that only ½ cup of the oil is absorbed in the frying process, which works out to be less than a tablespoon of oil per serving. So I asked myself, if I could convince you that these vegetarian fritters are actually pretty nutritious (3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and only 2 grams of saturated fat) would you like this recipe too? My suspicion was that you would, because a fried appetizer (or a chocolate cake for example) every once in a while keeps cravings away. And if you’re like me, that if you’re going to eat fried food, you want to know what’s in it, and you want it to be worth it!

To make the final determination, I decided that I would have to ask one of you. I literally reached out to one long-time reader, and asked her if I WAS crazy. Would she just scroll right on by if she saw a fried recipe in her feed and say, nah… too unhealthy. She said she might, and that she actually had a bit of a frying anxiety.

But then she read through the recipe, saw how easy it was and confirmed that she would in fact like the recipe. So here I am out on a limb with my pot of hot oil. Hope you all will support me. My guess is that if you’re still reading, you want to know about the 5 ingredient Black Bean Croquettes.

With that being said, read on, because these are totally worth it!

Ingredients For This Recipe

Black Beans

Black beans are a great ingredient for vegetarian dishes. They can be used in recipes as a meat substitute, binding agent, or simply just to add flavor. I used canned black beans, but if you have more time and patience, you can absolutely use dry black beans that have been soaked overnight and cooked.

Fresh Bread Crumbs

I decided to use fresh bread crumbs for this recipe instead of store-bought bread crumbs. Which means I made the breadcrumbs from bread. All you do is cut off the crusts, and then blast the bread in a food processor. This way, you’ll end up with fluffy moist breadcrumbs. They go into the bean mixture and help hold them together so the croquettes don’t shatter in the oil. I tried this with gluten-free bread, and sadly they didn’t hold together at all. The fresh bread crumbs on the outside become crispy when they are fried and really add a nice texture contrast.

Other Ingredients

  • ½ cup salsa or picante sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups avocado or grape seed oil, for frying

Step By Step Instructions To Make These Bean Fritters

About that frying anxiety. Let me help quell those fears. Foremost: If you have a candy thermometer in your kitchen, attach it to the side of the pan to regulate the temperature of the oil. The thermometer really takes the guesswork out of frying, and it can actually make the croquettes absorb less oil. That’s because when the oil is not hot enough the croquettes soak up the oil too much and become greasy. So wait until the thermometer says 350 degrees and you’ll be good to go! Also if you have a fume hood, turn it on!

The texture of these Black Bean Croquettes when the batter is still wet is really loose, but have faith. That’s part of the beauty of them when they are cooked, I mean fried– gasp that still sounds strange– the outside is super crispy, but the inside is really tender and savory. In this video, you can really get a sense of the texture of the filling.

Step 1: Pulse Beans

Pulse beans and salsa in a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment until it forms a coarse paste. Add the egg and pulse, 4 to 5 times. Scrape down the sides of the blender and add 1 ½ cups of bread crumbs. Pulse, scraping sides as needed until fully incorporated but not too smooth.

Step 2: Form Croquettes

Divide the bean mixture into 12 croquettes, about 2 generous tablespoons each. Place the remaining ¾ cup bread crumbs in a shallow dish and roll the croquettes into the breadcrumbs. Set aside.

Step 3: Fry Bean Croquettes

Heat oil in straight-sided skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches 350ºF. Gently lower 6 croquettes, 1 at a time, into the hot oil (careful as it may splatter). Cook, flipping once with a slotted spatula until the breadcrumbs are deeply golden and the croquettes are hot all the way through, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from oil and set on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the remaining 6 croquettes, adjusting heat to make sure the oil temperature remains around 350ºF.

Step 4: Serve

Serve the black bean croquettes hot with avocado and salsa served on the side.

Black bean fritters with a side of guacamole.

FAQs and Expert Tips


How to store extra fresh bread crumbs?

Store your homemade breadcrumbs in a dry, clean airtight container or glass jar for up to a year. If you live in a more humid, warm area, keep it in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze these?

You can freeze these bean fritters either fully cooked or uncooked. Wrapped them individually and freeze for up to three months.

How do you keep vegetarian fritters from falling apart?

When making black bean burgers, or really any kind of burger, you need a binder to keep them from falling apart. In this recipe, the binders are egg and breadcrumbs. You could use cooked quinoa or rice instead if you need a gluten-free option.

These black bean croquettes with a side of guacamole.

Additional Vegetarian Recipes To Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie


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These five ingredient black bean croquettes are an easy vegetarian appetizer to serve for a Cinco de Mayo party. Serve with guacamole or salsa for dipping! Healthy Seasonal Recipes | Katie Webster

Black Bean Croquettes Recipe


  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x

Description

These crispy black bean croquettes are a super easy vegetarian appetizer to serve for a Cinco de Mayo party. They’re made with only five ingredients and are ready in just 30 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup salsa or picante sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups fresh bread crumbs *See tip
  • 2 cups avocado or grape seed oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Pulse beans and salsa in a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment until it forms a coarse paste. Add egg, and pulse 4 to 5 times. Scrape sides and add 1 ½ cups bread crumbs. Pulse, scraping sides as needed until incorporated but not too smooth.
  2. Divide mixture into 12 croquettes, 2 generous tablespoons each. Place the remaining ¾ cup bread crumbs in a shallow dish and roll the croquettes into the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in straight-sided skillet or saucepan over medium high heat until 350 degrees F. Gently lower 6 croquettes 1 at a time into the hot oil. Let cook, flipping once with a slotted spatula, until the breadcrumbs are deeply golden and the croquettes are hot all the way through, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from oil and set on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining 6 croquettes, adjusting heat to make sure oil temperature remains around 350 degrees. Serve hot with salsa.

Notes

How To Make Breadcrumbs:

To make fresh bread crumbs. Slice dark crust off day-old bread. Break or cut into quarters. Process in food processor fitted with steel blade attachment until forms crumbs. 4 to 6 slices bread equals about 3 cups, depending on brand of bread.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Calories: 206
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 393 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Keywords: Vegetarian Fritters, Bean Fritter, Croquettes Recipes Vegetarian, Bean Croquettes