These sweet potato and bean burgers are vegan and gluten free but don’t let that fool you! They are SOOOO full of flavour, high in protein, delicious and nutritious ! Your new favourite veggie burger!

sweet potato and bean burgers, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers, SpicyFig

I developed the recipe for these sweet potato and bean burgers 5 years ago, when I first began catering for the Cleanse and Reboot. The Cleanse is a group detox program coordinated by nutritionist Christine Kjeldbjerg that focuses on liver detoxification. During the 2-3 week program we follow a diet with the following guidelines:

  • No gluten
  • No dairy
  • No nightshade vegetables
  • No sugar
  • No alcohol
  • No soy
  • No high sugar fruits
  • No beef or pork
  • No mushrooms, eggs, peanuts, cashews, among other things….

Before catering, my career as a chef was in the mega-yacht industry. I occasionally had the odd client following a fad diet or under dietary restrictions. However, most of the time my guests were on holiday and were there to indulge. It was an atmosphere of excess with a menu to match. Quite fun for a chef.

So, when Christine asked me to cater the cleanse and handed me the list of restrictions my immediate thought was “Oh fuuuuudge.” She’d taken more than half of my ingredients away! But, as they say…..necessity is the mother of invention. I enjoyed my new challenge and now, 5 years later, I have quite a lovely basket full of “cleanse friendly” recipes. These sweet potato and black bean burgers are one of my favourites. I now teach them in my vegetarian workshops and feel that it’s time to share here.

sweet potato and bean burgers, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers, SpicyFig

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers…

These beauties are smoky, slightly spicy and full of Southwest flavour. One thing they are not is hard. Or dry. For that reason I don’t serve them on a bun (also because we are following a gluten free diet). Nor do I cook them on a grill or BBQ. I have another veggie burger recipe for that kind of cooking which I will share soon. These veggie burgers are best eaten on a bed of greens with the delicious guacamole and optional salsa piled on top.

When making veggie burgers….

It is very important to give the veggie burgers time to rest in the fridge after you have formed them and before cooking them. The ingredients need to come together and the cool temperature of the fridge makes them harder and easier to work with when placed in a hot pan. If you combine all of the ingredients, form them into patties and try to cook them straight away they will be too soft and difficult to work with. Another key thing to use for this recipe is a good non-stick pan. The sweet potato and black bean burgers are deliciously moist but that means that, without a good pan, they will easily stick to the bottom and become messy.

Freezing them……

These little veggie burgers freeze well. So, if going to the effort to make them you might as well make a double batch and pop some in the freezer. That’s what I do! Just freeze them in a way that they are flat and not touching each other. If you can put a baking sheet in your freezer that’s a great way to start. Once you have frozen the burgers you can compact them by placing them in a ziplock freezer bag and just removing them as you need. But you must freeze them before doing this, otherwise they will stick together and get smushed.

More Cleanse recipes…

If you are following the Cleanse and Reboot here are a few more recipes that fit the guidelines: Slow Roasted salmon with Kale and Chickpeas, Lentil, Sweet Potato and Asparagus Salad and Creamy Coconut Dressing with Ginger and Cilantro.

sweet potato and bean burgers, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers, SpicyFig

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers

sweet potato and bean burgers, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burgers, SpicyFig

These delicious veggie burgers are vegan and gluten free but totally delicious!

  • Author: Jessica Verity
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: vegetarian
  • Cuisine: Southwest


  •  1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (red or white ok too if you can’t find black) *
  • 1/2 red onion, small dice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (about 1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder **
  • 1 teaspoon minced chipotle chiles (optional) plus some liquid if desired ***
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut oil or vegetable oil for cooking.
  • For Guacamole:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 plum tomato, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 1 1/22 Tablespoons lime juice (to taste)
  • 1/2 jalapeño or small red chili, seeds removed and minced
  • salt to taste
  • For Salsa:
  • 3 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and cut into small dice
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 1/2 jalapeno or red chili, seeds removed and minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F

  2. Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven until soft. Remove from the heat and peel away and discard the skin. Put the flesh into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher.

  3. Place the beans in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher until they are all smashed but slightly chunky.

  4. Add beans to the bowl with the sweet potatoes along with the onion, coriander, quinoa, almond flour, cumin, chili powder, chipotle and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  5. Form the burgers into patties by using about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of the mixture for each burger. Sprinkle the tops of each burger with a bit of extra almond flour and press lightly into the burger. Place the burgers on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before cooking. 
  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Cook the burgers a few minutes on each side until you get a nice crust and they are hot through. This should take about 5 minutes per side. 

  7. To make the guacamole: remove the avocado from the skin using a large spoon. Coarsely mash with a potato masher. Stir in the remaining ingredients and season with salt to taste.
  8. For the Salsa: Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
  9. Serve on a bed of greens with optional guacamole and pico de Gallo (salsa).


* Cooked black beans are readily available in US supermarkets. Not the case here in France. I usually use jarred red or white beans but sometimes go to the effort to cook black beans (available in bio markets). Just make sure to soak the beans overnight before cooking them.  

** Chili powder is an American spice blend that does not exist here in France. (I bring mine from the US) You can add a bit extra of the other spices to compensate.

*** Chipotle chiles are smoked jalapeño chilis and are beyond delicious. Easy to find in the US but here in France they can be ordered at sous or

Keywords: veggie burgers, sweet potato and bean burgers