These Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers are insanely good — they’re robustly flavored, thick, hearty (without being soggy!), and easy to make, thanks to a few shortcuts.
Try some of our other vegetarian burgers like this Black Bean Burger or this all-purpose Veggie Burger.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger
There are few savory combinations I love more than sweet potatoes and black beans. These Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito Bowls are a particular favorite containing that combo. So, naturally, it was time these two ingredients made it into a vegetarian burger recipe!
During the summer, my kiddos ask for this beef burger recipe just about every night. So, while I’ll oblige to beef burgers at least once a week, I like to also incorporate some burger patties that have a few more veggies. Cue: this recipe! It’s loaded with good-for-you ingredients and tons of veggies, but also totally family friendly. Even my cheeseburger-obsessed hubby will admit these veggie burgers are crazy good!
- Cooked brown and wild rice: Any cooked and leftover grain will work. To keep things as easy as possible, we use this packaged rice blend and microwave it for 1 minute. One container is the perfect amount here. Virtually no prep time, but good grains in your burger!
- Use pre-minced garlic from the jar to save chopping time.
- Use a large (12-cup) food processor (here’s the exact food processor I use) to quickly break down and incorporate ingredients. Using a large food processor, the Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger patties will be ready in a jiffy!
- Typically, sweet potatoes take quite a bit of time to cook until tender and they’re hard to chop when they’re raw. So we use a shortcut here: the microwaveoven. Microwaved sweet potatoes have tender flesh and soft skins that peel off in a cinch.
- Canned beans: While you can use dried beans and cook them (here’s our favorite Black Beans recipe), using canned beans is a great shortcut.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger Toppings
- Lettuce: Butter, Romaine, Boston, green leaf lettuce — they all work for this vegetarian delight. We typically use green leaf lettuce.
- Avocado: A good, ripe avocado is unbeatable! The combination of the Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger patty with a ripe, creamy avocado is the best! See “quick tip” below.
- Tomatoes: A good thick-sliced tomato is a tasty topping.
- Redonion: Thinly sliced red onion or pickled red onions make a flavor statement. We use half the red onion for the patty filling, so you’re left with half to add to the burgers!
- Mayo. We love Hellman’s/Best Foods® on these burgers — the better the mayonnaise, the better the flavor. Don’t skimp here — the mayo pulls everything together beautifully!
You can tell if an avocado is ripe when it yields to gentle pressure (think: touching the tip of your nose). Can’t find a ripe avocado? We love having these perfectly ripe avocado minis on hand. Grab the pack that lists “Hass Avocados” only in the ingredients instead of getting the guacamole blends! A packet (or half of one) works great instead of avocado on these burgers.
The Best Buns: Brioche!
In my opinion, there is nothing better than a Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger on a briochebun. And once you have those buns, you’ve got to toast them with some melted butter. Trust me–they’re the best! Rub softened butter generously on the insides of the bun. Place them (butter side facing down) on a large pan or grill over medium heat. Toast buns for about 30 seconds to a minute or until golden brown. Remove from heat. Subsequent batches will be quicker as the pan continues to get hotter!
- Make a burrito: Grab your favorite tortilla, crumble a patty (or two) inside, along with cheese. Fold it up and cook for a few minutes per side in a skillet to get the tortilla crispy. Serve with your favorite toppings like guacamole, sour cream, salsa, etc.
- Lettucewrap: Add a crumbled burger patty, veggies, and cheese inside a piece of lettuce. Drizzle a sauce (like this Cilantro Lime Sauce) right on top.
- Make a southwesternsalad: Break up a Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burger over a bed of lettuce and add other southwestern veggies. Drizzle a chipotle dressing (like the dressing on this Chipotle Chicken Salad) on top!
- Vegetarian nachos: Crumble the patty on top of tortilla chips, add plenty of cheese, and heat in the oven. Add your favorite nacho toppings such as pico de gallo, guacamole, and fresh lime.
- Add to chili: Make this Vegetarian Chili and crumble a few patties into it.
How To Make A Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger
Our top tips for success on this recipe:
- Dry the beans completely: wet beans = too much moisture!
- Chill: These patties get wet in the fridge, but firm up perfectly when we freeze them for 25-30 minutes. Once the patties are chilled thoroughly, they’re ready to cook!
- Use panko breadcrumbs: Panko is similar to regular bread crumbs, but it creates a much crunchier, crispier, lighter, and more delicate result. Using panko ensures a more nuanced texture than regular bread crumbs deliver.
Frozen Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
Since we freeze the burger patties before cooking, it’s also the perfect opportunity to save some for later! Tightly wrap individually frozen patties and then add them to a large freezer bag. You can cook the patties straight from the freezer, adding a couple of minutes to cook time as needed.
More Sweet Potato and Black Bean Recipes:
- One-Skillet Sweet Potato Burrito Bowlwith melted cheese
- Sweet Potato Nachoswith black beans and corn
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato and Black Bean Egg Rollswith an irresistible sauce
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladaswith brown rice and salsa
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Chiliwith the best seasoning blend!
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger
- 1lb; 5 oz.sweet potatoes(Note 1)
- 1can (15 oz.)black beans,rinsed & drained
- 3/4cupgrated carrot(~1-2 carrots)
- 1/3cupgrated red onion(1 onion)
- 1/2cupdry-roasted cashews
- 1-1/2teaspoonminced garlic
- 1/4cupcoarsely chopped fresh cilantro,optional
- 2teaspoons eachpaprika, ground cumin
- 1teaspoonchili powder, garlic powder
- 1-1/4cuppanko breadcrumbs
- 1/2cupgrated Parmesan cheese(Note 2)
- 3/4cupcooked brown/wild rice(Note 3)
- Salt, pepper, and olive oil
- For serving: 9 buns (we love Brioche best!) and softened butter, mayo, green leaf lettuce, ripe (soft) avocado or guacamole, tomato, red onion, cheese slices(Note 4)
SWEET POTATO PREP: Wash and scrub the sweet potato(es). Pierce several times with the tines of a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate and heat until fork-tender, about 5-8 minutes, rotating halfway through. Remove from the microwave and cut in half lengthwise. Set aside to cool slightly and then peel off the skins (they should come off easily). Once cool enough to handle, coarsely chop, measuring to get exactly 1 and 1/3 cup; set aside.
PREP: Thoroughly drain and rinse black beans. Shake off and set aside to dry. Use the large side of a grater to grate peeled carrots and then grate 1/2 of a large red onion. Measure to get 3/4 cup grated carrots and 1/3 cup grated onion (lightly packed) and set aside.
FOOD PROCESSOR: Add 1/2 cup cashews to a large (12-cup) food processor and pulse 10 times or until coarsely chopped (but not smaller). Add in the prepared black beans, red onion, carrot, sweet potato, 1-1/2 tsp garlic, 1/4 cup cilantro, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, and salt & pepper to taste (I add 1/2 tsp of each). Pulse 5 times. Scrape down the sides, stirring everything, and pulse another 5 times. Scrape sides and pulse another 5 more times. Ingredients should be well incorporated. Finally, add in the 2 tbsp mayo, 1-1/4 cup panko, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Pulse to combine, stirring in between about 10 pulses. Finally, add cooked rice blend. Pulse 3 times, scrape edges and stir. Then pulse 3 more times (we’re only pulsing to incorporate the rice–we don’t want to break it down or you’ll get gummy burgers!). See Note 5 for troubleshooting.
FORM PATTIES: Pack a 1/2-cup measuring cup with the mixture and plop onto a parchment-paper or foil-lined sheet pan. Repeat to get 9 mounds of the mixture. Divide any remaining mixture among the mounds to evenly disperse. Lightly spritz your hands with cooking oil spray and then shape each mound into a patty by pressing it down on the sheet pan and shaping it with your hands. Each patty should be about 3/4-inch thick and about 4 inches wide. Place shaped patties in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
COOK ON STOVETOP: Heat a drizzle of oil (about 2 tbsp) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add 3 patties straight from the freezer to the pan and cook until browned, golden, and crispy– about 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes or until deeply golden. Transfer to a plate. Cook the next batch following the same method. Don’t crowd the pan with too many burgers at a time.
ASSEMBLE: Toast buns (Note 6). Place the bottom of the bun on a plate and add mayo. Layer with lettuce, veggie patty, avocado, tomato, and onion. Add mayo to the top bun. Sandwich together and enjoy promptly.
Note 2:Parmesan cheese. Parmesan from a can will be too salty and overpowering in these patties. Use the freshly grated — sandy-like consistency from the store. Here’s exactly what we use.
Note 3: Cooked brown and wild rice: Any cooked and leftover grain will work. To keep things as easy as possible, I use this packaged rice blend and microwave it for 1 minute. One container is the perfect amount here!
Note 4: Toppings: We love a good ripe avocado on these burgers. Can’t find a ripe avocado? We love having these perfectly ripe avocado minis on hand. Choose a type that lists only «Hass avocados» in the ingredients instead of getting the guacamole blends. If you’d like to add cheese to your burgers, add a slice of cheese as soon as you flip the patty. Cover the pan with a lid to help the cheese melt. Once the cheese is nicely melted, the patty should be cooked.
Note 5: Trouble-shooting: Mixture falling apart? Pulse longer. Too wet? Add a bit more panko.
Note 6: Toast the buns: This adds tons of flavor and keeps the buns from getting soggy too quickly. Spread softened butter generously on the insides of the bun. Place them (butter side facing down) on a large pan or grill over medium heat. Toast buns for about 30 seconds to a minute or until golden brown. Remove from heat. Subsequent batches will be quicker as the pan continues to get hotter.
Nutrition information is for the burger only. Since buns and toppings will vary according to preference, those stats aren’t included.
We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.