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
- 1 lb. sweet potato ($1.00)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels ($0.31)
- 1 15oz. can black beans ($1.19)
- 1 whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce ($0.33)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal, divided ($0.12)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.03)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.03)
- 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro (optional) ($0.19)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil (for frying) ($0.02)
- 4 wheat rolls ($1.42)
- 1 avocado ($1.19)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional) ($0.45)
- Wash the sweet potato well and then poke it several times with a fork so that steam can escape while it cooks.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Divide the sweet potato mixture into four (or six) portions and shape each into a patty, approximately 3/4 inch thick. Use the remaining 1/4 cup of cornmeal to coat the outside of the patties. This will provide a nice crunch to the burger.
- To cook the patties in a skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. 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.
- Spread one tablespoon of mayonnaise on each bun and top with a chipotle sweet potato patty. Slice the avocado and place 1/4 of the slices on top of each burger. Top with extra cilantro leaves, if desired.
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Step By Step Photos
First 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.
To 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).
While 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.
When 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.
The 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.
Once 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.
Stir 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.
The 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.
You can either fry the burgers in a skillet with a little oil (about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat) or…
Bake 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.
While 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.
And then it’s time to experience… NIRVANA.