Homemade Black Bean Burger, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Columbia

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 
4 burgers

Vinnie Livoti, director of food services, modified this recipe, which some might already consider healthy, to be less salty. “This recipe was reworked to get the sodium content within our CHEF (Corporate Healthy Eating Focus) program’s nutritional guidelines,” Livoti says. Chef Lawrence Wright, the on-site chef for Southern Foodservice Management, BlueCross BlueShield’s corporate partner, worked with Southern’s corporate chef to change the type of beans used. The original recipe used a canned black bean in juice, “but going to a dried bean brought down the sodium by over 200 milligrams per serving,” Livoti explains.


2 lb. dried black turtle beans
2.5 qt. water
1/2 cup diced fresh green bell peppers
1/2 cup diced fresh yellow onion
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 large egg
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. red hot pepper sauce
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns
4 lettuce leaves
8 slices tomato


  1. Cover beans with water, soak overnight in refrigerator at internal temperature of 40°F or below. Drain and discard excess liquid.
  2. Combine beans and 2.5 quarts water in large pot. Cook for one and a half hours, or until tender; minimum internal temperature should be 140°F or above.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly spray parchment-lined sheet pan.
  4. In medium bowl, mash black beans with fork until thick and pasty. In food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion and garlic. Stir in mashed black beans.
  5. In small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin and hot pepper sauce. Stir egg mixture into mashed bean mixture. Mix in breadcrumbs until mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide into 4 patties.
  6. Place patties on baking sheet and bake about 5 minutes on each side, until internal temperature reaches 145°F. For service, place patties on flattop grill to brown outside. Serve on toasted whole-wheat bun with lettuce and tomato slices.

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
chefs council spread

Last October, we published the results of FoodService Director’s first annual Chefs’ Council Menu Trends survey, revealing predictions for menu shake-ups in 2016 . Many of the predictions panned out, including an increase in snacking, ever-spicier flavor profiles, veg-centric plates, fresh-pressed juices and build-your-own options. Now we’re back with next year’s forecast, culled from our panel of 50 Chefs’ Council members—culinarians representing the core segments of noncommercial foodservice. Some of the flavors, ingredients and cuisines expand on current trends, while others go off in...

Ideas and Innovation
sushi plate

We wanted to add sushi, but that’s not really my expertise. So we found a great local company that offered to put three sushi chefs on-site every day. They supply the ingredients, and if we meet the minimum revenue each week, than we receive a percentage of sales. We have been exceeding the weekly minimum sales, which we track in our POS, in two days.

Managing Your Business
coffee barista

Whether it’s a morning routine, an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening social ritual, few things are as universally appealing as coffee. Sixty-five percent of respondents in Technomic’s 2016 Beverage Consumer Trend Report say they ordered a cup of hot joe from a foodservice location in the past month, and 59% say the same about cold coffee. Everyone has an opinion about what makes it good, whether it’s a low price, a unique blend or a friendly barista.

“Coffee is so personal. There are a lot of people that are Dunkin’ fans. There’s a lot of Starbucks people,” says James Dravenack,...

Ideas and Innovation
star wars storm trooper

My favorite event—because I’m kind of dorky—is our “May the fourth be with you” (aka “Star Wars”) day on May 4. The whole dining team dresses up, and we offer things like Chewbaklava, Boba Fettuccine and BB-8 Buckeyes. We had a guest cry because they got to take a picture with Chewy.

FSD Resources