Sweet Potato Bean Burgers

22 Jan


If you are a vegetarian who likes to dine out, you have surely had your fair share of bean burgers.  Although I have been known to groan when finding out a bean burger is my ONLY option on a menu, truthfully, I do love them.

What helps keep things interesting is the wide variety of bean burgers you’ll find out there if you’re looking.  Black bean burgers, quinoa bean burgers, black eyed pea burgers, spicy pepper bean burgers, curry chickpea burgers…everyone has their own spin on it.  And you can, too!


This is a great basic burger recipe that utilizes basic ingredients and leftovers you probably already have in your kitchen.  A can of beans – any kind, really, but cannellini beans are especially creamy.  A baked sweet potato and some cooked rice/grains.  Plus some pantry and fridge staples – bread crumbs, spices, onion, garlic.  A dash of tahini gives the mixture a little nuttiness, and the maple enhances the sweetness of the sweet potato.

You could stop here, or you can keep layering in the flavors.  Make it spicy with roasted hot peppers, chili powder and cayenne!  Make it fresh with a squeeze of citrus and fresh chopped herbs!  This time, I went back to my pantry and found two more additions…


Liquid smoke and nutritional yeast!  Liquid smoke is powerful.  You only need a few drops to add a hint of fresh-off-the-BBQ taste.  Nutritional yeast….you may have to hunt for this stuff.  Vegans use these powdery flakes to add a nutty/cheesy taste to dishes.  It’s also packed with protein, fiber and vitamin B, so why not sprinkle it on everything!

Just mash and mix and taste along the way until your bean mixture tastes great.  How should it look?  Like a bowl of mush.  Don’t expect it to hold together like ground beef, but feel free to add a bit more cooked rice to make the mixture thicker.  From here, you can refrigerate the mixture so that it’s easier to shape into patties.  I wish I hadn’t skipped this step!!

When you are ready to cook, divide the mixture into 4 – 6 even patties, drop into a bowl of panko bread crumbs and coat on all sides.  I baked mine with a spritz of canola oil spray on both sides.  You can also pan fry these.  However you cook them, make sure to let them cool slightly before building your burgers – it helps them hold together!

Top your burgers with whatever your heart desires!



I made some yummy vinegary quick pickles, sliced up some avocado and layered on some peppery arugula along with dijon mustard and Charles’ homemade hot pepper mayo (hot sauce stirred into mayo).

These are SO good!  Give them a try, and add your own spin.  You can’t go wrong with bean burgers!

Sweet Potato Bean Burgers

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1/4 of a medium sized red onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Spices to taste (I used an every day seasoning blend.  Feel free to use a spice blend you like or just salt/pepper)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of cooked grains like brown rice, quinoa, etc
  • Liquid smoke to taste (Start with 5-6 drops and increase from there)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
  1. Bake your sweet potato at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes.  Set aside to cool, and lower your oven temperature to 350.
  2. Rinse and drain beans, then mash them together with the sweet potato, onion and garlic.  I used a pastry cutter for this step, but you could also use a potato masher.
  3. Use a fork to stir in all other ingredients EXCEPT the bread crumbs.
  4. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes to an hour.  In the meantime, spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Divide mixture into 4-6 equal portions.  Form each into a rough patty shape and coat with bread crumbs.
  6. Add formed, coated patties to cookie sheet in a single layer.  Spray the tops of the patties with a layer of cooking spray.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake an additional 5 minutes on the other side.  Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for at least 5 additional minutes.
  8. Top as desired!

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