Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

Lest you think all I eat all day are pancakes and stuffed cupcakes, I’m sharing with you today one of my favorite recipes that I’ve made recently:

As a pescatarian, one of the only meat dishes I miss most are burgers. Along with chicken nuggets (weird) and dumplings with meat stuffing like xiao long bao (TOTALLY justified), those are about the only things that I have to work to resist. Veggie burgers are good (I’m all about the mashed-beyond-all-recognition texture, duh), but just not quite the same. I’ve had some good veggie burgers and I’ve had some bad ones. For the most part, I like them.

BUT. I recently had an outstanding, though very garlicky (can the Breath gods please remove their curse?), veggie nut burger. The menu described the burger as a “veggie patty made with sautéed vegetables, potatoes, almonds, fresh corn, bread crumbs, and organic hummus.” So I an easy sweet potato veggie burger I’d been eyeing and added more veggies, almonds, corn,  flax and spices.

I also tried making another veggie (lentil, really) burger a few nights later, which looks like it has the potential to be mind-blowing, but I took a few shortcuts and it turned out fairly well, but nothing super essential. Still, I think it’s worth giving a try sometime. When you have a few hours on hand.

Minus the corn and peas, don’t those look oddly like the real thing?? Anyway, I have to tell you a secret. None of these photos are the burger that I’m writing about. I tried a second version (the pinker, salmon-burger-looking-shot up there) without onions to oblige my sister, but it just wasn’t the same, although it was prettier. Adding onions (super key), flax and black-eyed peas will make these slightly darker and speckly. Don’t be alarmed they’ll be delicious. This version photographed used butter beans, a closer match to what the original recipe suggested (cannellini beans) than the black-eyed peas I used on a whim.  Sweet potato and black-eyed peas are actually delicious. Who knew?


This “recipe” is more of a veggie burger guideline, in case you’ve never made them before. This is a very basic, easy, tasty, hard-to-screw up recipe, in my opinion. The single most important factor to remember is to make your patties small, because these are prone to falling apart. Smaller = easier to handle and faster to cook. But like pancakes, you want to cook them fairly medium for a medium amount of time. High heat will scorch the outsides while leaving the middle raw while low heat will take forever.

Also, don’t over-salt these. (Or anything, really.)

I’m officially obsessed. These are so nutrient-packed and filling. The next time I make veggie burgers, I want to add any and all of these ingredients:

  • lemon juice
  • brown rice
  • black rice
  • carrot
  • cumin/sage
  • parsley
  • cauliflower
  • lentils
  • celery
  • parmesan
  • feta
  • mozzarella in the middle

Sweet Potato Burger

1/2 small onion, diced
1 can black eyed peas, butter beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas, or any other bean you want
1 large sweet potato, mashed
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup corn (I used canned)
1/2 cup peas (I used frozen)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (otional)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
garlic powder
dried parsley

Heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook until brown, translucent and soft, stirring occasionally (about seven minutes). While onion is cooking, mash together the sweet potato and peas/beans with a fork until slightly chunky, but with most of the peas smashed to oblivion. Crush the almonds into shards with your fingers, and add the almonds, corn, peas, flax, onion, flour and combine. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley to taste. Form into palm-sized (~3 to 4″) patties with your hands.

Heat another teaspoon or two of olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot (but not smoking, that’s bad), add two or three patties at a time and cook until golden brown and crispy on the bottom, about three minutes, depending on the size of your patty. Flip and cook until browned on the other side.

Serve with tomatoes, pickles, a salad, fluffy quinoa, crusty artisan bread, whole wheat-y bread, soup, with melted cheese on top…possibilities are endless!


25 responses to “Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers

  1. I’ve just made these for my family. They were yummy and my kiddies ate them all up. My 5 year old even asked if we could have them every day!!! Thanks for your recipe ideas. I used chickpeascos I knew the kiddies liked them and also added some grated cheese. They go very well with tomato chutney 🙂

    • Sarah, I’m so glad to hear that! I’m really happy you guys enjoyed–cheese and tomato chutney sound like fabulous accompaniments! Thanks so much for letting me know 🙂

  2. Pingback: Sweet Potato Cupcakes With Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting « Putney Farm « Straddle The White Line·

  3. Veggie burgers are like my weakness. I love them and I will pretty much order them off any menu. I have been known to enjoy a falafel burger for breakfast at my favourite cafe 😛 These look great. Tahini and mayo and I’m in!

    • Oh wow, falafel for breakfast actually sounds pretty fantastic! And I agree, veggie burgers are (generally) sooooo good.

      I actually tasted plain tahini for the first time last night and was NOT a fan! It’s a very strong taste…did you like it the first time you tried it, or did you have to acquire a taste for it?

    • Haha they ARE jam packed with stealthy healthy ingredients! I would be so thrilled if your girls ended up liking them! You can definitely customize them with any vegetables that they already like 🙂

    • Aw yay! Let me know if you do make them and like them! They’re so easy and kind of fun to make–you could have your nieces help you! I had my boyfriend help me make the patties lol.

  4. My friends and I love veggie burgers best. I love sweet potatoes and this is an excellent change! Sounds so good right now!

    • Aww thank you! Sweet potatoes add such good flavor to these burgers and really are great for binding everything together. All-around awesome ingredient!

  5. I’ve actually been researching sweet potato burger ideas myself! I’m enamored with the combination of roasty sweet potatoes, avocado, and garlicy labneh. (And perhaps a few quick pickled onions and a cheddar pull-apart bread?) Now I can add yours to the list!

  6. My friends and I love eating veggie burgers. We always keep a box of Trader Joe’s Veegie Masala burgers in the freezer at all times. Haha. I love sweet potatoes and these veggie burgers look so delicious! I love xiao long bao too, but I actually prefer the pan fried ones (sheng jian bao i think?). I’m a little sad, I haven’t found a good dumpling place in the Bay Area yet. 😦

    • Oh YUM that sounds like a great staple to have on hand!!

      And what WHAT?? NO GOOD DUMPLING PLACE?? Okay I can’t remember–are you in Berkeley? This might be kind of far from you, but we’ve been here a lot: http://www.yelp.com/biz/shanghai-dumpling-shop-millbrae and they have veg dumplings for me which I loveeeeeeee. They’re handmade and SO yum. But I’m sure there must be others closer to you!! I’ll check with my fam and get back to you…dumplings are a MUST!

  7. Mmmm, I love veggie burgers! My favorite comes from a local (and semi-famous) restaurant here in my town called Justus Drugstore. I’ve never attempted to make my own veggie burger, but I love sweet potatoes and am always looking for a recipe to use them in. This will be perfect!!

  8. I’m SUCH a meat lover but you make these look so good that I need to try at least one – I love how you listed guideline ingredients – can’t wait to mix and match haha

    • Aww yay!!! Yeah I am super excited to keep trying different combos. I had a tofu salad with this “black rice crunch” the other night and it was deLICIOUS!! And now I want a veggie burger with black rice crunch. Must figure out how to make that asap! Also. How good do cheese-stuffed burgers sound?? Good thing I’m not vegan!

    • Thanks Bam 🙂 I’m glad you understand. And just when I was getting the hang out of biting them to let the steam out before eating them!

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