Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

Jan 23 2012 by
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I have a family of picky eaters.  They are not only picky but VERY suspicious of new things.  I made these burgers a few months ago and they all liked them.  Recently I made them again.  Normally I’m pretty much left alone in the kitchen but this last time everyone was around and when I got out the standard orange sweet potatoes I got “the look” from each of them.  You know the “the look”.  It’s the I-don’t-eat-weird-colored-foods-and-even-if-it-tastes-good-I’m-going-to-pretend-I-don’t-like-it look.  And of course once dinner was prepared everyone complained that they didn’t like the burgers.  My husband even commented that I should just use regular potatoes instead of the yucky sweet potatoes.

Did you know that sweet potatoes come in 2 different varieties.  The white sweet potato looks just like it’s orange counterparts on the outside but inside it looks like a regular white potato.  Aside from the lack of beta carotene, the white sweet potato is pretty much identical to the orange variety.  Anyone see where I’m going with this?

Last week I again made these sweet potato quinoa burgers.  I made sure everyone was around when I got out the sweet potato and mashed it up.  My husband even came up and gave me a kiss as I was cooking and thanked me for using ‘regular potatoes’.  I just smiled.

Believe it or not everyone loved the burgers again!  It’s a miracle I tell ya!  True story folks.  Sad but true.



  • 1 can (15 ounces) no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups cubed sweet potatoes, peeled (about 3 regular sized potatoes)
  • 3/4 cup sweet corn, frozen or fresh (thawed if frozen, fresh grilled corn would be excellent in this dish)
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Gold Oil or olive oil
  • heaping 1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour (you can also use finely ground rolled oats or almond flour)
  • 2 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • fresh black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (optional – Tabasco Garlic Pepper Sauce works great in these burgers)


  1. Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil on the stove.  Add the sweet potatoes and lower the heat to simmering.  Let the potatoes cook for about 20-30 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.  (You can also use a steamer bag and cook the potatoes in the microwave.)
  2. While your potatoes are cooling preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non stick foil.
  3. Once your potatoes have cooled use a fork to mash them.  You want them mashed but not creamy.
  4. In a large mixing bowl add half of the black beans and mash them with a fork.

    Add the rest of the beans and the remaining ingredients

  5. Add the rest of the beans and the remaining ingredients.  Stir until just combined.
  6. Form the mixture into 10 balls.  Flatten and shape each ball into a disc. Each burger should be about 1/2″ thick.

    Place each patty on your prepared baking sheet

  7. Place each patty on your prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the burgers over once halfway through baking.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve!

Nutritional Info:

Makes 10 burgers.

Serving size 1 burger.

Nutrients per serving:  Calories: 132.5, Cal. from Fat: 28.5, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 21.5g, Fiber: 4.5g, Sugars: 2.5g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 30.1mg, Chol: 0mg


These burgers save really well.  Make sure you let them cool completely before storing.  Place them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  You can also store them in freezer safe bags in the freezer for up to 6 months.  To reheat simply place on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees until warmed all the way through.

You can pan fry these burgers if you wish.  I think they taste like hash browns this way!  Heat a pan to medium heat and add a tbsp or so of oil.  Cook on each side for about 5 minutes each or until golden brown.

To grill the burgers, bake in the oven for 10 minutes on each side.  Remove the burger from the oven and place on a preheated grill (make sure to grease your grill properly).  Grill each side for about 3 minutes.

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  1. Samy says:

    Wow, looks delicious! It must have took some time to prepare these.

  2. Al says:

    Looks good…we’re going to try this in a few days

  3. Marisa says:

    We just finished these and loved them! And I LOVE your white/orange sweet potato story. Sounds like something that would happen in our house. ;) I’ll be blogging our burgers in a few days, and I’ll link back to your post. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

    • Sarah says:

      So glad to hear you all like them! Thanks in advance for the link back. Hope you readers like them as much as my family does!


  4. Katherine says:

    Mine didnt stick together, what did i do wrong!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Katherine,

      I’m not sure what when wrong. I’ve made this recipe many, many times and I’ve never had a problem getting them to stick together. For each patty I take a bit of the mixture, roll it in a ball and then squish it between my palms and form it until a patty. If it helps you can also try a burger press. Sorry it didn’t work out for you. :(


  5. Sarah Taylor says:

    Hello! I just made these as well, and mine will not stick together either. I can’t even flip them :(. We spread them on the buns like peanut butter and it worked. They taste really good though! I wish I know what I did wrong, I followed the recipe to a “T”!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Sarah,

      First off I have to say it’s crazy seeing a comment come through from Sarah Taylor as that was my maiden name!

      Hmm, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t hold together. I literally make these burgers at least once a week and I’ve never had any issues. Did the mixture seem too wet? If the quinoa is not cooked properly and is too wet or if the sweet potatoes are cooked too long and turn to a mushy mess then that can affect the outcome of the burger. Also, if you are using canned beans you need to make sure that they are well drained. I always compact mine into a ball then flatten between my palms – it works every time! I wish I could be more help. I’ve actually thought about doing a video demonstration for this burgers but things have been really busy at the moment. I’ll try to get get a video posted sometime soon. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!


  6. Megan says:

    I just made these tonight and they were fantastic! I had no problems getting them to stick together like others mentioned. I took half the batch and baked them in the oven and the other half I pan fried. The pan fried burgers tastes just like hash browns. My husband loved them and ate 3 burgers and my 2 teenage sons finished off the rest of them. We will definitely be making these again and again! Thank you so much for such all the wonderful recipes.


    • Sarah says:

      So glad to hear they turned out! Thanks for the feedback!


      • Loreebee says:

        I just made these for my daughter, who cannot have soy, dairy OR gluten. This was a huge a++++!!!

        Mine were a bit sticky, but had no problems at all staying together.


  7. Katherine says:

    I couldnt find the garbonzo bean flour so I used the oats. However I didnt cook the oats and I am thinking that where I went wrong. I think I’ll try the almond flour next time. I think this is where I went wrong, however they were delicious even though they werent perfect.

    • Sarah says:

      Garbanzo bean flour is really absorbent which might have made the difference in the burgers not holding together. Oat flour isn’t as absorbent but still should work just fine, you might just need a bit more. The oats shouldn’t be cooked. If you are making your own oat flour you need uncooked oats and you need to grind them to a fine powder. If you’re using almond flour I recommend buying one as opposed to making it yourself. Unless you have a very powerful blender it’s hard to get the almonds as processed as they need to be. Let me know how they end up turning out and which method worked for you.


  8. Crystal says:

    We tried this tonight, the taste was good.. The burgers seemed a little mushy, the consistency was a little soft.. We even baked them for about 5 minutes longer. But overall they were good!

  9. Thank you so much for this recipe. I made a version last night that everybody loved. I used quinoa flour and included the sweet potato skins for added texture. So delicious!

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  10. Tricia vaughn says:

    Hey. I just made these for a friend and for me to have and freeze. Very good. Just trying to think of recommended side dishes since you have the veggies and starch. Hmmm any ideas?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Tricia,

      You could make a fruit salad to go with the burgers or even a regular veggie salad. While there are some veggies in the burgers it doesn’t contain any green leafy vegetables so a green salad would be a great side.


  11. Mary says:

    These were awesome! I made them exactly as directed and they came out great! Thanks for the wonderful recipe, I can’t wait to try more :)

    For people having trouble with the patties being mushy or falling apart- I made sure my beans were fairly dry after I rinsed them, and I also let the patties sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes before cooking. I used rolled oats that I made into a “flour” in my food processor. I probably let the potatoes cook too long because they did get a little mushy, so next time I won’t boil them as long so I can get a more lumpy texture instead of creamy

  12. Joan says:

    We made these this week and LOVED them. We made a substitution with slow roasted veggies in place of corn. Funny though, now reading through the comments, I realize that I made them without any flour at all!! They were still great and still stayed together. We topped them with melted Havarti and a tiny crumble of blue cheese- delicious! Thanks. Maybe next time I’ll try to put in ALL the listed ingredients and see how that goes. LOL

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Joan,

      I’m glad to hear they held together ok with the flour! These are one of our favorite burgers and I make them often. Glad you enjoyed them.


  13. Ann Marie S. says:

    I was drawn to this recipe because the description you gave of your family sounded JUST LIKE MINE! My husband is very much a burger-must-be-beef kind of person. Well, I just made these for dinner and they were a hit! Everyone LOVED THEM! I did find them a bit mushy and hard to flip. I may have overcooked the potatoes though. A few extra minutes in the oven and the second batch was easier to flip. I used all almond flour that I ground in my Vitamix and cut back halfway on the spices because my kids don’t like really spicy foods. I’m so glad there’s enough to freeze for another meal. I will definitely be making these again! Thank you!!

    • Sarah says:

      So glad to hear you enjoyed them Ann Marie! These freeze really well and they are perfect toss in the oven for a super quick dinner. I always have a few batches ready for busy nights when I don’t feel like cooking.


  14. val says:

    Any reason that baking them and then scooping out the flesh wouldn’t work?

  15. Putting these in the oven now! They tasted so yummy when I was seasoning them thanks for the great idea! -Meg

  16. Erin says:

    These were so tasty! Thanks for a great recipe – roasted the sweet potatoes and left the skins on for some texture (especially since I didn’t have corn in the house). Topped it with some arugula/walnut pesto and goat feta. Didn’t need a bun!

  17. Michelle says:

    I’ve been looking at this recipe for months, and tonight i’m finally going to make if for my parents and a friend! (my mom said to just tell dad we are having “burgers,” not meat-free burgers!) i am wondering what you think about using corn flower (masa harina) instead of the garbanzo bean flour, because i bought it to make corn bread and haven’t used it since. I could do the ground up oats though.

    • Sarah says:

      Corn flour and garbanzo bean flour have completely different properties and I’m not sure you would come out with good results if you substituted with the corn flour. The ground up oats will work fine – I’ve used it a few times when I’ve been out of garbanzo bean flour.

      I hope the burgers turn out good and everyone enjoys them. Keep us posted!


  18. These were fantastic. Thank you! I have featured them on my site with credits to your site :-)


    With Compassion

    • Sarah says:

      Wonderful job Brett! Beautiful photos! I’m so glad you enjoyed the burgers. These are still one of my families most favorite burgers and I love anything I can pull from the freezer when I don’t feel like cooking!

      We’re honored to have inspired you!


  19. OliviaRose says:

    Made these last night and LOVED them! Mine stuck together just fine and were of perfect texture! I don’t know why some had trouble getting their burgers to stay together. Maybe some people are not used to making veggie/bean burgers and expect them to hold like a regular hamburger? Thanks for the recipe! This one’s a keeper!

    • Sarah says:

      That’s great to hear OliviaRose! Working with veggie burgers is DEFINITELY different than working with regular ‘meat’ burgers. You need to spend more time shaping and forming them into a patty. You can just roll them into a ball and smash them into a patty. They are more delicate but the more you make them the easier they are to work with and so worth it!

      Thanks for letting us know you enjoyed them.


  20. Shannon says:

    I know you use cooked quinoa, but is it 1/2 cup before cooked or after its cooked?

  21. Jenna says:

    So good! I’m decidedly not vegetarian or vegan, but I came across this recipe and just HAD to try it (I LOVE quinoa more than life itself, and I will eat a bean and corn anything, any time). I made these tonight and although I’d already eaten since it was so late by the time I was finished (long day at work), I still nibbled at one to taste. A tad sweet maybe but otherwise 9.5/10! The seasonings were bang on and I used some grilled corn as per the suggestions and it was well worth it.
    I, too, had a problem getting them flipped halfway through, but I laid another sheet of parchment on top of them, inverted them onto another baking sheet, and just popped them back in the oven. My quinoa was a little wet/gluey so that may have been why they were so moist, but I blasted them on convection for an extra 10 mins and that crisped them up. I can’t wait to pan-fry one in the morning with my egg!

    • Sarah says:

      Awesome Jenna! So glad to hear you enjoyed them. They are one of my families favorite burgers. I love having a stash of them in the freezer for easy meals when I’m running low on time. Thanks for letting us know how they turned out!


  22. Gabrielle "Gabi" says:

    Have you tried any other grain with this recipe? Like Amaranth or Millet? I am just wondering as I would like to “up” the fiber and/or nutrient value of the burger w/o loosing the flavor. Thanks!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Gabi,

      I have not try it with Amaranth or Millet but it should work ok. Garbanzo bean flour is very absorbent and really helps to keep the burgers together. If you replace it with another flour you might need to add a bit more to get the burgers to form properly. If you try it please let us know how it turns out!


  23. Reanna says:

    Hello, I just wanted to write you and tell you how amazing I think this recipe is. Not only did I enjoy this the first time around as burgers. I put it on half of Ezekiel 4:9 burger bun with spinach and some avocado smashed up like a “mayo”. Mine were a little on the crumbly side so the avocado spread helped keep it together. Added a side of cottage cheese, mango and orange. So good!!!

    I also froze some. They thawed wonderfully and this time I broke them in halfp and put them in a tortilla with lettuce, avocado, sour cream and a little salsa… and let me tell you… YUM!

    I will for sure be making this again! Especially since they freeze so nice you can pack them with parchment paper between and take them out when you need them.

  24. Erin says:

    LOVE quinoa and sweet potato…put them together even better! The recipe was delicious and made enough to freeze for leftovers. Thank You for sharing!

  25. Elizabeth says:

    These were so good! I didn’t have any trouble forming burgers either. I even had some user-error mistakes (forgetting the garlic and sunflower seeds). I added a chopped jalapeno instead of using hot sauce. My non-vegetarian boyfriend really liked them topped with bacon. I will be trying your other recipes.Thank you!

  26. Leah Prather says:

    OH MY GOSH these burgers are amazing! i cooked my quinoa in vegetable stock to add a little more flavor and i loved the spiciness that the tabasco and cayenne gave them. i had everything in the house except for the sunflower seeds so i left them out and they were still incredible. thanks for the awesome recipe!

  27. Sherri D. says:

    I only have cans of black beans with salt added. Should I reduce the amount of salt that I add to the recipe?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Sherri,

      Yes, I would eliminate the salt from the recipe. Also, it will help a lot of rinse the beans REALLY well and this will help get rid of some of the saltiness. Once everything is well mixed and you are ready to form into patties, give the mixture a taste and add more salt if needed.


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