These hearty sweet potato black bean burgers are loaded with ingredients you can feel good about, but most importantly they taste great!
If you crave burgers and big flavors, give these vegetarian patties a try. Loaded with the bold flavors of the southwest, you can feel good about sinking your teeth into each savory bite.
What are they?
The foundation of these sweet potato black bean burgers is obviously sweet potato and black beans. Southwestern-inspired vegetables such as corn, red onion, and poblano peppers are added with chili powder and paprika. A generous drizzle of BBQ sauce adds a touch of sweetness and a hint of smoke.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Sweet potatoes - Use roasted sweet potatoes, however, leftover grilled sweet potatoes would add a phenomenal smoky flavor.
- Black Beans - Use one 15 ounce can of black beans, make sure they are drained and rinsed before mixing them into the recipe. Unlike my black bean burger recipe, the beans don't need to get mashed. You can substitute other canned beans.
- Quick oats - These are the binder that holds the patties together. I tested breadcrumbs as well but didn't like them as much, but they can be used as a substitution in a pinch.
- Sweet corn kernels - Use fresh, frozen, or canned corn. If using canned, make sure to drain the liquid.
- Poblano peppers - These add a subtle heat to the patties, feel free to substitute jalapeno or even serrano if you want to ramp up the spiciness.
- Red onions - Yellow onion can be substituted.
- Garlic - If you are out of fresh garlic you can add ½ teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
- Seasonings - Flavor the patties with chili powder, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, and BBQ sauce.
How to make them
Making your sweet potato black bean burger patties is very simple. Start with cooked sweet potatoes and remove any skin. These are placed in a large mixing bowl and mashed until smooth. After this, all of the remaining ingredients can be added and mixed together.
Your sweet potato black bean burger patties can be made into whatever size you prefer. However, I typically use about ½ cup of the mixture to form patties. Patties should be as wide as the bun you are using and about an inch thick.
Tip: Using wax parchment paper allows you to easily transfer the patties into your skillet without them sticking.
Place the sweet potato burgers in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-low heat and cook for approximately 4 minutes per side, or until heated through. Flip as needed. Then serve on a bun with your favorite toppings and condiments.
Note: It is important to use a lower heat for these vegetarian patties than you would for a traditional burger. The exterior of the patty will burn faster, while the inside takes a bit longer to come up to temperature.
Topping & Condiments
As with any burger, you can customize the toppings to fit your tastes. However, if you want some suggestions I recommend the following.
- Hamburger bun - If you are making a healthier patty, using a healthier bun makes sense. I typically serve these on a whole wheat bun. Toasted, of course.
- Vegetables - I typically recommend green leaf lettuce for burgers, but tender baby spinach leaves work well with this recipe. A slice of red onion and a couple of tomato slices finishes this off nicely as well.
- Cheese - Adding cheese will pack on a few more calories, but pepper jack, in particular, complements the flavors nicely.
- Condiments - Chipotle mayo works really well on these patties. Alternatively, you can use a blend of mayo and BBQ sauce.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
You can make sweet potato black bean burgers in advance, or simply prepare the burger mixture a day in advance and cook everything the next day. Store everything in an airtight container or cover it all in plastic wrap. Any leftover burgers that have been cooked should be gently reheated in a skillet over medium low heat for best results.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
- Nonstick skillet
- Potato masher
- 1 pound sweet potatoes (cooked)
- 15 ounces canned black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 cup quick oats
- ½ cup corn kernels
- ½ poblano pepper (seeded and chopped)
- ½ red onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- whole wheat bun
- baby spinach
- red onion (slices)
- chipotle mayo
- If sweet potatoes are not cooked yet, bake them in 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until completely tender when pierced with a fork.
- Remove skins from sweet potatoes and discard.
- Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mash smooth with a fork, then add all remaining ingredients. Mix throughouly to combine.
- Working with approximately ½ cup mixture at a time, form into patties. The size can be adjusted to fit your preferences.
- Sweet potato black bean burgers can be cooked in a nonstick skillet on medium low heat for 4 minutes per side. Flip more frequently if threatening to burn.
- Serve on whole wheat bun, with choice of toppings such as baby spinach, red onion and tomatoes.
This recipe was originally published here on May 28, 2020.