Black Bean Cakes with Queso Fresco

black-bean-cakes-queso Quentin Bacon


  • 3 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (pasteurized)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup salsa fresca
  • Minced fresh cilantro (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place beans in a large bowl; mash lightly with a fork. Add eggs and cheese; whisk with fork until combined.

  2. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, stir in onion and garlic; cook until onion is soft and golden (2-3 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in cilantro; remove from heat.

  3. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper (taking into account how well-seasoned your beans were initially) into bowl with beans. Add onion mixture; stir with fork just until combined. (The consistency should be like thick cookie dough. If not, add a bit of flour).

  4. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, and set aside. Using a large spoon or your hands, form bean mixture into 8 cakes; place onto prepared pan. Bake until golden and crisp (about 30 minutes); serve hot or at room temperature with salsa and cilantro, if desired.

    Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 35 minutes; Total time: 40 minutes.

    Cilantro, onion, and garlic perk up these earthy bean cakes; feel free to throw in a minced fresh jalapeño if you like your black beans on the fiery side.

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings (serving size: 2 bean cakes plus 1/4 cup salsa)

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 344
Fat per serving: 11g
Saturated fat per serving: 3g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 6g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 19g
Carbohydrate per serving: 44g
Fiber per serving: 13g
Cholesterol per serving: 111mg
Iron per serving: 4mg
Sodium per serving: 562mg
Calcium per serving: 151mg

Good to Know

Slow-release carbs, like the ones in black beans, have been shown to lower blood sugar and may even help to reverse diabetes.