Sandwiched in a spelt bun, these seasonal sweet potato burgers are just right for autumn weather. They’re baked, not fried, so they need less hands-on time and you can prep any sides or toppings while the burgers are in the oven.
These are especially easy, because you don’t need a food processor – it is simply mixed in a large bowl. The sweet potato has to be roasted ahead of time, but that can be done days in advance, and everything else comes together very quickly indeed.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chickpeas: this is cooked or canned, drained and rinsed well. You can sub another bean like white beans, but chickpeas have a bit more texture, so the burgers will be a bit softer if using another bean.
- Sweet potato: while this does need to be cooked ahead of time, roasted sweet potato will keep for several days and is good to have on hand. I imagine winter squash could be substituted but I haven’t tested it.
- Add-ins: to make these nut-free, use sunflower seeds or another seed instead. Change up the spices as you’d like and use parsley substitutes if needed.
Veggie Burger Tips
The big one is avoiding the dreaded mushy patty. It’s a big let down for many vegan burgers, but there are a few ways to get around it: one, don’t mix the ingredients into a paste – leave some texture!
Two, don’t use too much liquid. A little olive oil and apple cider vinegar adds flavour to these burgers, but it’s kept to a minimum because the roasted sweet potato is adding much of the moisture.
Three, use grains along with the legumes and vegetables. In this case, whole grain brown rice, chickpeas, and sweet potato make up the burger base, along with onion, garlic, parsley, and spices.
Lastly, add something with more of its own texture that won’t soften during baking. Walnuts add richness, a bit of crunch, and keep it seasonal.
If you’d like to take an extra step to add a bit more depth here, sauté the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes before adding, and toast the walnuts. It’s not necessary but can mellow out the onions and add another layer of flavour with the walnuts.
How to Store
Storage: the unbaked mixture will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Baked burgers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, but will dry out slightly.
Freezing: it’s better to freeze the unbaked mixture rather than the finished burgers, which tend to dry out after being frozen. Simply transfer unused burger mixture to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and bake as usual.
- Use day old rice: first, I do prefer short-grain brown rice for burgers, as it’s a bit stickier than long. Day old rice has a different starch structure and the burgers will hold together more effectively than with freshly cooked rice.
- Roast the sweet potato: steaming it will add too much water to the mixture and cause softer burgers. Roasting also gives a better flavour, so it is all-around preferable.
Toppings and Sides
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Chickpea Sweet Potato Burgers
- 1 large sweet potato roasted (about 500g / 1lb)
- 150 grams cooked chickpeas or canned, drained and rinsed
- 300 grams cooked brown rice day old if possible
- 1 small red onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 20 grams fresh parsley chopped
- 75 grams walnuts in small pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mash the (skinned) sweet potato with a fork until fairly smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mash into a rough consistency that holds together when pressed.1 large sweet potato, 150 grams cooked chickpeas, 300 grams cooked brown rice, 1 small red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 20 grams fresh parsley, 75 grams walnuts, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Separate the mixture into about 10 equal balls, then use your hands to form them into patties about 2 cm (3/4 in.) thick. Place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly golden. The burgers will be slightly delicate right out of the oven, but can be lifted with a spatula. Serve with buns and toppings.
- Leftovers keep well at room temperature for a couple of days, and the mixture freezes well before baking. If frozen after baking they tend to get a bit crumbly after thawing.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.