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

4.7 from 22 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. 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. :)

  2. 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 :)

  3. mohammad ashori says:

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!


    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.

  9. 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).

  10. Cara says:

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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…

  15. Lindsay says:

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Szandra says:

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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!!

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

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

  25. Cyndi says:

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

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