Have you ever heard of Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers? When I first started making veggie burgers at home, it seemed I was trying to replicate what I typically found at the store. You know, the frozen disk type? And those are fine for convenience sake. But I found that if I spend a little time in the kitchen, I could freeze whatever we didn’t need for the evening and have homemade burgers, from the freezer, at our convenience. Homemade!
I’ve also found that veggie burgers can be made from many different whole foods. When you make them at home, you can get creative, and know exactly what is going into your food!
This particular recipe uses sweet potatoes as its base, but also incorporates lentils and quinoa which helps bind all the ingredients together. Kale adds texture and bulk while the feta gives the burger an added creamy demention. The panko bread crumbs encrust the burger to give it a nice, crisp texture.
What I love most about this burger, besides that it makes a lot of burgers and I can freeze so many of them for future use, is that it is packed with delicious, wholesome, good-for-you foods.
The sweet potato offers loads of vitamin A and beta carotene, while the lentils and the quinoa give you a bit of fiber and protein. And the kale… oh the kale. What can I say? Kale snuck into this burger because I love it so much! This super food is protective against cancer, aids in the body’s detox system and is anti-inflammatory. Kale Yeah!
I am a fan of spicy food so when the option of using either smoked paprika or hot smoked paprika presented itself, you know I chose hot smoked paprika. But either will do because really, you’re going for that smoky flavor that blends right in with the sweet potato to yield a smoky sweetness that is irresistible.
Before you cook these burgers, pull any extra you may want to freeze for future use. The patties freeze quite well and just require thawing in the fridge before cooking.
There are more ways than one to enjoy the sweet potato patty. They can easily be enjoyed without the bun and can be modified by making the patties smaller and served as an appetizer or in a pita or gyro. I like to serve these with a lemon garlic mayo (recipe below) but I find that spicy mustard is a delicious addition as well.
The texture is creamy yet the quinoa, and panko give it a bit of crunch. They are not as firm as what you would typically buy in the store and you’ll get a bit of squeeze-out when you cut it, but they hold up well enough to support all the condiments that your burger can hold. So pile em on!
Sweet Potato Veggie Burger
For the Burger:
- 1/3 C Quinoa Rinsed Red or White
- 1/3 C Red Lentils
- 1 1/3 C Water
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 lb medium Sweet Potatoes about 1 1/2
- 2 1/4 Cup Lacinato Kale deveined and chopped (about 12 leaves), AKA dinosaur kale
- 1/2 C Feta crumbled
- 1/4 C Minced Chives
- 2 Cloves Garlic minced
- 2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika hot or regular
- 1 C Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1/4 C Coconut Oil for pan frying
For the Mayo:
- 1 C Mayo Organic
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 4 Cloves Large of Garlic minced
- 2 Pinches of Salt
For the Burgers:
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place quinoa, lentils, water and salt into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, turn to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Remove lid and allow excess water to steam off. Set aside.
- Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a parchment lined pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. You want them soft when you give em' a squeeze.
- Meanwhile crumble the feta, mince the chives, devein the kale, and scale out all other ingredients.
- When the potatoes are finished cooking, cut open and allow to cool. Once cool, deskin the potato, place in a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add the kale and mash some more (this helps break down the cell walls of the kale). When the potato and kale are incorporated, add the quinoa and lentil mixture and minced garlic, lemon, paprika, feta, chives, and salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Place the panko bread crumbs in a small bowl.
- Use a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop out a portion of the sweet potato mixture, packing it in. Tap the scoop, face down on the side of the bowl with you hand underneath to catch the portion. Reshape as needed and place the portion on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Repeat this 9 more times until all of the patties have been formed.
- Place each portion in the panko bread crumbs, turning and covering all surfaces as needed. Place back on the sheet pan. The patties are quite delicate, but reshape easily. Just pat them back into shape. Repeat until all patties are covered in bread crumbs. Using the flat, solid side of a measuring cup, press each patty to gently flatten it. Reshape as needed.
- Place in refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking. If you want to freeze some, place the number of desired frozen patties on a parchment lined sheet pan and place in freezer. Freeze for an hour, remove and store in a freezer zip lock bag.
- Preheat oven to 200F. To cook the patties, place 3 Tbs coconut oil in non stick frying pan. Heat oil on med-high until it shimmers. Place 3-4 patties in the pan, without crowding them and cook on each side for about 4 minutes. Place on a paper towel to catch any excess oil. Then place in a 200F oven to keep warm until ready to serve.
For the Mayo:
- Combine all the ingredients and whisk well. Serve cold with or without the bun.
Recipe NotesRecipe Adapted from The New York Times