Chipotle Sweet Potato Burgers

$6.30 recipe / $1.58 serving


I’m sure I was getting some pretty weird looks in the lunchroom today because I was audibly moaning between every bite of my Chipotle Sweet Potato Burger and staring at it in awe. Seriously the best thing I’ve eaten in quite a while (and those Black Bean & Avocado Enchiladas were pretty spectacular… not to mention the Philly Cheesesteaks).

So here’s the cool thing about these burgers – the patty itself is vegan and gluten free. I happened to put them on wheat buns and slather some mayo on the bun, but you could easily use veganaise or wrap this puppy up in a gluten free tortilla. Either way, the burger itself is gonna blow your little taste bud brains.

Non-meat burgers come in a lot of textures… This burger is rather soft and moist compared to most because I didn’t use any flour or eggs as a binder. Because of that, you want to be careful while handling them so they don’t fall apart on you. It’s worth it, I promise.

I tested two cooking methods (I knew you’d want to know). I fried two of them up in a skillet with a little oil and I baked the other two after coating them with non-stick spray. Each method had pros and cons. The skillet was tasty, obvi, because it was cooked in oil. But, because it cooked quickly, it was more moist and therefore softer and more likely to fall apart. The baked patties only browned on the under side, were a bit drier, and therefore more solid. Both tasted great. I’ll stick to the skillet method because it’s faster and, well, oil=yum.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burgers

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burgers

4.8 from 30 reviews
chipotle sweet potato burgers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $6.30
Cost Per Serving: $1.58
Serves: 4
  • 1 medium (1 lb.) sweet potato ..... $1.00
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels ..... $0.31
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans ..... $1.19
  • 1 whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce ..... $0.33
  • ½ cup (divided) cornmeal ..... $0.12
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder ..... $0.02
  • ½ tsp cumin ..... $0.03
  • ½ tsp salt ...... $0.03
  • ¼ bunch cilantro (optional) ..... $0.19
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (for frying, optional) ..... $0.02
  • 4 medium wheat rolls ..... $1.42
  • 1 medium avocado ..... $1.19
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (optional) ..... $0.45
  1. Wash the sweet potato well and then poke it several times with a fork so that steam can escape while it cooks.
  2. To cook it in the microwave: wrap it loosely with a paper towel, set it on a microwave safe plate, and microwave on high for five minutes. Carefully squeeze the potato to make sure it is soft all the way through. If it is not, microwave longer, in one minute increments, until it is soft all the way through (mine took 8 minutes).
  3. Took cook it in the oven: heat the oven to 400 degrees and then bake the potato for 45-60 minutes, or until it is soft all the way through (either directly on the oven rack or on a baking sheet).
  4. While the sweet potato is cooling, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Place the frozen corn in a large bowl. Drain and rinse the black beans. Allow as much excess water to drain away as possible, and then add them to the bowl with the corn. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and then add them to the bowl, along with half of the cornmeal (1/4 cup), garlic powder, cumin, and salt. Take one chipotle pepper out of the can, mince it, and then add it to the bowl along with about one teaspoon of the adobo sauce from the can.
  5. Once the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and add it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Stir everything together and then either use a potato masher or the back of a fork to slightly mash the beans. Cover and chill the mixture for 30 minutes to allow the cornmeal to absorb some of the moisture.
  6. Divide the sweet potato mixture into four (or six) portions and shape each into a patty, approximately ¾ inch thick. Use the remaining ¼ cup of cornmeal to coat the outside of the patties. This will provide a nice crunch to the burger.
  7. To cook the patties in a skillet, heat ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over a medium flame. When the oil is hot (it should look wavy on the surface), add two of the patties. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until the patties are golden brown. Add more oil and cook the remaining two patties. Remember to turn the patties carefully as they are quite soft and can fall apart.


    To cook the patties in the oven, Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and then coat lightly with non-stick spray. Place the patties on the foil and then spritz the top of the patties lightly with non-stick spray (this will help it crisp up). Bake for 25 minutes, or until the patties are heated through and the bottoms are golden brown.
  8. Spread one tablespoon of mayonnaise on each bun and top with a chipotle sweet potato patty. Slice the avocado and place ¼ of the slices on top of each burger. Top with extra cilantro leaves, if desired.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burgers

Step By Step Photos

cook sweet potatoFirst cook the sweet potato. I like to do this in the microwave because it takes less than ten minutes, as opposed to almost an hour in the oven. Either way, you’ll want to prick the skin several times with a fork to allow steam to escape as it cooks.

cooked sweet potatoTo cook it in the microwave, loosely wrap the sweet potato in a paper towel and then cook on high for five minutes. Give the potato a gentle squeeze to make sure that it is soft all the way through. If the center is still stiff, microwave more, in one minute increments, until the center is soft. Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes. (Or you can bake it in a 400 degree oven for 45-60 minutes).

chipotle peppersWhile the sweet potato is cooking, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients. This is what the little can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce looks like. These peppers have a smokey, spicy flavor. You can usually find them in the Hispanic ingredients section of most major grocery stores.

open chipotlesWhen you open up the can, this is what you’ll see. Little fat peppers and lots of sauce. You can freeze the rest of this can, so that you don’t have to buy a new one every time you want to use one or two peppers. Just transfer it to a small freezer bag.

chipotle pepperThe peppers are pretty small, but potent. Just take one pepper out of the can and mince it up (remove the stem if it is attached). Also take about one teaspoon of the sauce from the can and add it to the bowl with the other ingredients.

burger ingredientsOnce the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and add it to a large bowl along with the corn kernels, drained and rinsed black beans, roughly chopped cilantro, 1/4 cup of cornmeal, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and minced chipotle pepper + sauce.

mash ingredientsStir everything together and then use either a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash up the beans. Refrigerate this mixture for about 30 minutes so that the cornmeal has time to soak up some of that moisture.

shape pattiesThe mixture will be very wet, but you should be able to form it into four patties. These patties were pretty large, so you may even want to do five or six patties. Use the remaining 1/4 cup of cornmeal to coat the outside of the patties. This adds a nice texture to the finished burger.

fry burgerYou can either fry the burgers in a skillet with a little oil (about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat) or…

baked burgersBake them in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes. I sprayed the tops with non-stick spray, although the tops didn’t brown at all. The patty in the front is flipped over so you can see the browned bottom. Flipping half way through baking may be a good solution, although I haven’t tried it.

dressingWhile the patties are cooking, you can prepare the buns and toppings. Need help with slicing avocados? Check out this step by step photo tutorial. I used mayonnaise for a little extra moisture, but that’s optional. Why am I just now thinking about how awesome sriracha would be on there? Someone please try it for me.

Chipotle Sweet Potato BurgerAnd then it’s time to experience… NIRVANA.


  1. Kristin says:

    Another easy and delicious recipe!

  2. Kathy says:

    Could I substitute almond meal for cornmeal?

  3. Can I add an egg in here instead of the cornmeal?

    • The egg will actually add moisture and the cornmeal acts to absorb moisture, so I think an egg would make the mixture too wet and gooey to form into patties.

  4. Katie says:

    Hi Beth, would you recommend cooking these on a foreman grill? If so how long would you cook them for?

    • I think 5-7 minutes should do the trick on a Foreman grill. They’re a little delicate, so be sure not to press the top down too hard on the grill or they’ll just squish down. Everything in the mix is edible even uncooked, so you’re really just heating them through. :)

  5. Joannie D. says:

    Delicious! The texture is awesome!

  6. Suji says:

    Did you use cornmeal so it helps with binding? I want to make these tonight and I dont have cornmeal on hand so I wanted to know if I could leave this ingredient out :)

    • The cornmeal helps absorb some of the moisture from the sweet potatoes to make the burger a bit more solid. It doesn’t really bind, per se, just makes it less mushy. If you have bread crumbs you could try that, although it will flavor the patty a bit.

  7. Tomi B. says:

    I’ve had this bookmarked and finally made them this evening thinking they’d be for lunches this week. They’re gone! (My family devoured them, not just me:) So good! I actually used the pulp from my juicer after juicing two small sweet potatoes and followed your recipe! Thank you!

  8. I usually hate the taste of vegetarian burgers but my oh my, these were delicious and I actually like these better than beef or turkey burgers. Yum!

  9. Melissa says:

    Does anyone know if this recipe will work without the beans? (I have an allergy/intolerance for all legumes–the higher the protein content, the sicker I get.) I understand that I might have to play with the ingredient ratios… suggestions?

    • Jason says:

      Are lentils legumes? That would be a easy 1:1 replacement. If not, a starchy vegetable like softened carrots could work, and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa are great in meatless burgers. Possibly mushrooms, though I’ve never tried that since they’re not my taste.

      • Melissa says:

        Unfortunately, peas, peanuts, lentils, and all beans (including soy) are legumes. I also react to sesame and quinoa. I like the foods, but they don’t like me, (or at least my digestive tract doesn’t like them.) I loved the one small bowl of split pea soup I had and haven’t had a doughnut in 10 years because I have not found any that do not contain soy flour. :( At least I can eat most tree nuts in small quantities and haven’t landed in the hospital like my niece and some friends.

    • Melissa says:

      In my last post, I forgot to say how much I like your site, especially the pictures and the no-nonsense approach! (Another site with a somewhat similar recipe had the cook dicing and then boiling the sweet potato(es)–wasting time and nutrients, while adding nothing to the taste. Mike it or roast it, which ever is your preference, then get to it!)

      • Melissa says:

        I meant first post…. Anyway, I tried this recipe with minor adjustments and LOVE it! The hardest part of this recipe was waiting the 1/2 hour for the cornmeal to soak up the extra moisture before I could cook it! (I kept snitching!)
        However, I was worried that if I did not use beans, that I would have a problem with the ?cohesiveness? of the already soft patty and a loss of volume from the missing ingredient. So, what I did: 1) I sauteed some onions and added them to the mixture 2) I added 1/4 cup more frozen corn 3) since we had a bag of frozen bell pepper strips, I pulled out about 1/2 cup of green and a few red for color 4) put in more than 1/4 cup corn meal–more like 1/3 cup in the patty mixture.
        Now, I can’t wait till we get more sweet potatoes and I can make a mega batch to freeze–if they last that long! Thanks again for such a yummy recipe!

  10. Holy Yummers!! I made this for dinner last night and it was tasty!! Will add this to my cooking arsenal! Thank you

  11. Whit says:

    These were great the day I made them, and I was also able to freeze them and eat them during Finals Week. Thanks for helping out a starving student. :)

  12. Sunny says:

    This was an amazing recipe! I used rolled oats instead of cornmeal and it worked out perfectly. Just take some oats and grind them up in the blender. A little healthier and works just as well.

  13. Rebecca says:

    Hi Beth! Wanna try this recipe, but I really don’t like spicy food. Any recommendations to substitute the pepper? Will the burgers totally lack flavor if I forgo the pepper completely?


    • It will definitely change the flavor because in addition to being spicy, the chipotles have a wonderful smoky flavor that goes nicely with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. You can try using some ancho chile powder instead, though. It has a similar smokiness, but only a small amount of heat.

  14. jayme says:

    When I went to make this, I accidentally forgot to buy the I just popped everything into a skillet. AMAZING.

  15. Sophia L says:

    These were seriously delish! And way easier to make than I expected, too. Mine was good with the buns a little toasted to contrast some with the soft burger :)

  16. Christine says:

    This was insanely good. I am a meat-lover, but this was so filling and flavorful, that I didn’t miss the meat. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Mandy says:

    THESE. ARE. SO. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! I totally get the whole moaning with every bite thing, haha! I didn’t get to try it with avocado because apparently I bought an entire bag of mushy brown avocados :/ but they were so delicious!

    • Mandy says:

      I keep making these over and over… but I ran out of corn meal so I used ground flax since I have an excessive amount of it on hand. It worked great! The flavor and crunchiness isn’t quite as great as the corn meal, but it got the job done.

  18. These were really good with Tapatio Hot Sauce!

  19. Sarah says:

    My goodness these look DELICIOUS!!! How spicy are they? Just wondering if my kids will eat them.

    • It just depends on how much chipotle you put in there. Chipotles are pretty spicy, so a tad more or less can really change the spice level. You can try adding just some of the adobo sauce from the can instead of the actual pepper to get that smoky, slightly spicy flavor without going overboard.

  20. I made these the other night. They tasted great (mmmm especially with extra mayo) BUT I had such a hard time with the softness while cooking…I added an egg and a little bit more cornmeal to help bind it, but it was still a struggle getting them into the skillet. And then flipping them was a little difficult.

  21. Beth do you have suggestions for some side dishes to go with these delicious burgers? I’m thinking typical fries might result in potato overload here.

    Love your site and the book! Thank you so much for so many outstanding recipes!

    • I think something green would be nice. Maybe roasted broccoli? I like to coat fresh broccoli in oil and chili seasoning, then roast until it’s a little brown and crispy. I could honestly eat an entire bunch of broccoli that way, it’s just that good!

Speak Your Mind


Rate this recipe: