Black Bean Cakes with Queso Fresco

Quentin Bacon
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.


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

Nutritional Information

Calories 344
Fat 11 g
Satfat 3 g
Monofat 6 g
Polyfat 2 g
Protein 19 g
Carbohydrate 44 g
Fiber 13 g
Cholesterol 111 mg
Iron 4 mg
Sodium 562 mg
Calcium 151 mg


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.