Chipotle Sweet Potato Burgers

$6.30 recipe / $1.58 serving

STOP. THE. PRESSES.

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 28 reviews
chipotle sweet potato burgers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Total Cost: $6.30
Cost Per Serving: $1.58
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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.

    OR...

    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.

82 Comments

  1. 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!

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

  3. 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. :)

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

    Thanks!

    • 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.

  6. jayme says:

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

  7. 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 :)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. These were really good with Tapatio Hot Sauce!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. Elsa says:

    Would bread crumbs work as well as cornmeal? I’m thinking about making this for a potluck. I’m a broke student so if I can use what I already have on hand, that would be awesome.

    • They will have a different texture and you may have to play around with the quantity because they absorb moisture differently than cornmeal, but, that being said, yes you can use breadcrumbs in a recipe like this. :)

  15. celibelle says:

    With the recipe doubled…I’m not a fan of spicy hot or cilantro so I replaced the pepper with mild salsa, maybe half cup, and replaced cilantro with green onions. I also added about a 1/4 tsp pure chipotle powder, just for a little kick ;) I then tried baking for 15 mins at 410 degrees F. The baking actually gave it a nice firm shell. And still tastes delicious! Just thought I’d share :)

  16. mohammad ashori says:

    delish!!
    I didn’t use enough chipotle pepper and a little too much cornmeal on the outside. but otherwise fantastic.

  17. These were really good! I subbed canned diced chiles because I hate dealing with adobo.

    As you warned, they turned out very soft – this was maybe not ideal for a burger. I used my leftover patties to make quesadillas the next day and they were AMAZING. I also think the uncooked burger mix would taste very good as an enchilada stuffing.

  18. stanley polley says:

    Ok, since this is my 4th time returning to find/make this recipe… I should comment to say “Holy Hell these are fantastic.” My wife bugs me about making these constantly. Thanks for the amazing blog.

  19. Erin says:

    Just made these tonight and OMG! I love the crust you get from pan frying, and while my burger was softer, it stayed where it was supposed to. I loved the smoky spice you get from the chipotle. Will definitely be making again!

  20. Hannah says:

    These are fantastic!! My husband liked them so much that we’re making them again tonight. We don’t eat much bread though, so I put a fried egg and avocado on top. Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

  21. OMG SERIOUSLY AMAZING

    My husband does not share my wild passion for sweet potatoes, but he had to admit these were stupendously good. The chipotle makes it–all that rich, smoky, umami-laden depth of flavor. We made sriracha mayo to go with it, which has all the virtues of sriracha and mayo and is therefore the food of the gods.

  22. These are so good and very cheap. The texture is definitely not firm like a beef burger; I’ve doubled the cornmeal in the mix and it makes for a slightly firmer patty. I like to eat them on a whole wheat bun with mayo and a little bit of sambal oelek (chili paste).

  23. Cara says:

    Wow. These are DELICIOUS. Thank you so much for another amazing recipe!

  24. puncturedbicycle says:

    When I open a tin of chipotles I use my immersion blender to make the peppers and sauce into a purée, which is much easier to use than the whole peppers.
    You could stop there, but I usually add some pickled lemon peels, lemon juice, garlic and smoked paprika and keep in the fridge in a clean glass jar. I use this as a sauce for pizza, chicken, fish, etc, or you can add greek yogurt and mayo to make a dip. I couldn’t live without this stuff.
    Can’t wait to try these burgers.

  25. Stephanie says:

    Beth, I’m making these right now…they smell amaaazing. Can’t wait to eat them. Just wanted to finally comment and say thank you so much for all of your fabulous recipes! I’ve been telling everyone about your website and book- they’ve been such a life-enhancer for me!

  26. I just made these for the first time and although they are super delicious, I just can’t really call them burgers (note: I did fry mine) because they are so soft the patties just squeeze out the side of the bun!
    I only formed/cooked two patties, so I may try experimenting with the rest of the batch to get a better texture. I’ll try to come up with something other than egg, but I’m ok with eggs as a last ditch! I’m contemplating a little bit of oat bran for a bit of density.
    I really love the taste of the chipotle in there, though. I had mine with avocado and some honey dijon mustard!

  27. Aaron S. says:

    Made these lastnight for the first time. They are freakin delicious – everyone loved them. The 13oz sweet potato I used ended up making 6 pretty good sized patties. At first I tried to make 4, but they were HUGE.

    I thought they would be a little more spicy with that chipotle pepper, but I didn’t notice any heat. I might try adding another pepper next time :). I wonder if adding some Gorgonzola crumbles to the mix would be good…

  28. Lindsay says:

    One more question. Can I make the mixture before hand then cook the burgers a couple of hours later?

  29. Lindsay says:

    Hi Beth,

    If I am using black beans that I made from dried beans, do I still need 15 oz?

    • I think you’ll want about 1.5 cups. I’m not sure if the ounces listed on the can includes the liquid around the beans, which you’d drain away, but it’s definitely a weight measurement rather than a volume measurement.

  30. Evan says:

    I just made these. I ate the first one after it was done before starting the next one in the pan. After finishing it, I threw out the other three patties. It was pretty much flavorless and I knew I wouldn’t eat the rest of them during the week.

  31. Szandra says:

    We absolutely LOVE this burger! I make a creamy cilantro, tomatillo dressing to put over the patties and avocados! Delicious!

  32. robin says:

    When people make double batches and freeze:

    Do they freeze in raw form or cooked form?
    Thanks – gonna make these tonight!

    • I cooked them first, allowed them to cool completely, then tightly wrapped in foil and placed in a freezer bag. When you are ready to eat one, just put it in your lunch bag and allow to defrost in the fridge, then zap it for about 1.5min in the microwave! Super easy.

  33. morgan says:

    I made these for lunches and i made a triple batch to freeze and they are not going to survive the weekend. Oh my god are they amazing . Also they are the second foray into trying to get myself to like beans and it was a win. For me, my friends and beans themselves. Thankyou so much!!

  34. Carrie says:

    I made these for dinner last night and they were fabulous! I made a double batch so we’d have some leftovers to put in the freezer. This is a definite keeper!

  35. Karen says:

    I really like the flavor of these burgers. I must have done something wrong though because they blew apart while I was eating it. I think I may have added too much sweet potato. I used 3 small ones that I weighed out to one pound. Probably would use less next time. I ended up wrapping a huge lettuce leaf around the sandwich to keep it together and had an enjoyable dinner.

  36. Geoff says:

    I know its not quite the grilling season yet (well, unless you are weird like me and rough it), but how well would these stand up on grill? I know a lot of veggie burgers fall apart, and I’ve been looking for something for my vegetarian girlfriend to eat while I enjoy meat.

    • This one is quite delicate, if I remember correctly, so I’m not sure it would do well on the grill.

      • Vickie says:

        I was wondering the same thing. These would be tasty for the veggie friends I like to invite to BBQs.

    • justine says:

      maybe if you bake them on some alu foil instead of just on the grill… even if they do fall apart at least they won’t fall through the grill.

  37. These were absolutely fantastic! My wife and I both loved them! Thank you Beth for another awesome recipe!

  38. Cyndi says:

    This is a go to recipe we use very often! My husband LOVES these!!

  39. Gerri says:

    Yum! These were super easy and amazingly delicious. Next time I will triple the recipe and freeze a bunch – if they last that long!

  40. I think everyone needs to stop what they’re doing and make these. They were so easy, and so SO yummy! I think I might add a second pepper next time, but if you’re not sure of your heat tolerance, stick with one! Skipped the mayo and topped with some Cholula chipotle sauce. I’m excited to make more next week and stock a few in the freezer.

  41. Anna says:

    Made these last night, first time making my own veggie burgers, despite being a vegetarian for years. :) Added a dash of worcestershire sauce and went easy on the adobo (had guests with sensitive stomachs). Turned out great, wish there was a little more something to help hold the patties together. Also I tried both baked and fried, the baked were much more popular, although next time I’d flip them over half way through for browning on both sides. Thanks for a great veggie recipe!

  42. We made these two weeks ago as a desperate attempt to use all of our CSA veggies.. My husband couldn’t stop raving about them and had an experience like you at work during lunch. I am now HAPPILY making these again (doubling the batch to freeze) for lunch! Thank you for a great, tasty, and egg-free burger!

  43. Lauren says:

    I am SO getting the few things I need for these tomorrow and making them. Omnomnomnom

  44. Samantha says:

    OK so like, my family is completely obsessed with these. Some of us would be perfectly happy having these for dinner every night for the rest of forever. They’re just so amazing on a nice toasted kaiser, slathered with chipotle mayo (just mix some of that chipotle sauce with mayo), squirt of sriracha, and some sliced avocado. The only changes we made were to use almond meal instead of cornmeal (because my mom likes to cut corn wherever she can), add some chili flakes, and extra chipotle (we’re a spicy family). But, wow. You did not oversell these. Amazing.

  45. Marta says:

    My old roommate had exactly the same plates. What a coincidence! I’ll be trying these in a few days because they look AMAZING!

  46. Emily says:

    Love these! We added some smoked paprika and then made a chipotle mayo to go along, quite tasty. I think I might also try to use the mixture as an enchilada filling one of these days.

  47. I made these last night and they were incredible! I was thinking of putting more of the chipotles in there, but I’m glad I didn’t, they had just enough kick!

  48. Aubrie says:

    Yet another recipe from your website that my boyfriend and I will add to our gluten free arsenal! Keep up the good work!

  49. Cady says:

    I combine sriracha into the beans/corn mixture, char on a cast iron pan, then follow up with the oven. I think the texture is worth the extra minutes.

  50. Erin says:

    These are awesome! I have never used a chipotle pepper before, and this recipe inspired me to try them. I’ve made many of your recipes and they are now favorites, and this one will be added to that list. I love that I can store them in the freezer and have a healthy meal ready anytime I need it.

  51. I’ve made these twice now and they are such a big hit with my husband and I – I slather it with some mayo and sriracha … we love that it is a meatless meal but neither of us ever feel deprived! Thanks (love lots of your recipes BTW!)

  52. mandie says:

    I wanted to say THANK YOU for all of your amazing vegetarian recipes! Every one we have tried we have loved, including these awesome burgers!

  53. Rachel says:

    These are amazing. So fast and easy to make, and they taste awesome. Thanks for this fantastic blog.

  54. Yum! These sound fabulous!

  55. We made these last night and they were delicious! I’m glad I tripled the recipe since we now have a stash in the freezer. I thought they were quite spicy but our three kids gobbled them up so I guess they were just right! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  56. Amanda says:

    I swear I would starve to death if it weren’t for you.

  57. I made these tonight and they were awesome! I forgot to add the corn, but it was still really good. These are my new favorite bean burgers. My five year old even asked for a second burger. Win + Win. It’s always wonderful when the kiddies like the grown up people food, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too spicy once all mixed in.
    Thanks for posting.

  58. My husband really liked these, but as you predicted, the mushiness kind of weirded me out. I really like all the ingredients though, just not on a burger. Maybe as deep-fried veggie balls?

  59. These are flippin’ amazeballs. I’m making them again tonight when I get home. Had dijon mustard instead of mayo. I give it two noms up.

  60. Jade1977 says:

    I’ve made these a few times now. We love them just the way they are. I’ve baked and fried them and prefer baked, only because it’s easier, and we typically have oven baked fries with burgers.

  61. I made this the very day I read this recipe. SO GOOD! I added three peppers instead of one, and it added a lot of flavor but not too much heat. Great recipe, thanks!

  62. These look absolutely delicious! With these flavour combinations, I am sure these will be a hit for us. Can’t wait to try! THANKS :)

  63. Tom B says:

    I made these last night and topped them with a little (ok, a lot) of sriracha and they were pretty awesome.

    I also made a batch with beef instead of beans, as beans don’t agree with my girlfriend, and they were also pretty good. The burgers had an interesting texture from the combination of potato and beef.

    thanks for all the great recipes, beth!

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