Sweet Potato Burgers

So, many of Transgustatory’s fans on its Facebook page have requested recipes that use sweet potatoes. This makes perfect sense to me: they are colorful, chock-full of flavor, incredibly healthy, and available year-round (though their peak growing season is during fall and winter). They are unbelievably rich in vitamin A (over 700% of the RDA per serving!), and also good sources of vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin and fiber. Given the fact that so many fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins A and C go out of season this time of year, it makes perfect sense to have them frequently through the colder months.

There really is no need to give hints and suggestions for this recipe, as it is simple to make and impossible to mess up. All of the seasonings can be adjusted to taste: feel free to start off with less than the recipe calls for, and then increase until the flavor makes you smile and sigh a little.

For instance, this recipe was passed on to me by my friend and fellow activist Anne. Anne does not like cilantro, and doesn’t like the flavor of ginger (and other spices) to be too intense. I however, could probably dine on salads made solely from cilantro and ginger quite happily for some time. So, while she substitutes parsley for the cilantro and uses closer to 1 tablespoon minced ginger, I was more than a little generous with both of these ingredients. I also have a rare reading complication that causes me to read “cloves garlic” as if it were “heads garlic.” Don’t ask me how much I put in. It was a lot.

So, play it by ear (or tongue), and make them so they are as mild or spunky as you prefer.

One thing: if you do decide to substitute parsley for the cilantro, make sure you use the flat-leaf Italian parsley and NOT the curly parsley. Curly parsley has an evil, magical ability to take away the flavor of anything it touches. Avoid it as if it was your most evil ex. Using it will basically turn anything you make into a boring dish only suitable for consumption by fundamentalist Republicans. Don’t do it.

Sweet Potato Burgers

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 c quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3/4 c minced red onion
  • 3/4 c chopped peanuts, soy nuts or cashews
  • 3/4 c chopped cilantro OR 1 c chopped Italian parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-3 T minced fresh ginger, to taste
  • 1 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 t salt
  • Peanut oil (for frying)
  • Sesame seed rolls (VEGANS: be sure to make sure to check with the bakery regarding the ingredients!)


  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Thinly sliced red onion 
  • Tamarind chutney (VEGANS: be mindful of the ingredients in the chutney!)
  1.  Put the prepared sweet potato cubes in 1/2 galon boiling vegetable broth. Boil until soft, 10-20 minutes. Drain and mash until smooth.
  2. Mix all the ingredients (except for the oil, rolls and garnishes) together and form into 1/2-inch thick patties the size and shape of the rolls you are using. 
  3. Preheat oven to 200-250 degrees F. Wrap the rolls in aluminum foil and allow to warm while the burgers are cooking.
  4. Preheat a skillet over medium/medium-high heat, or preheat an electric skillet to 325 degrees F. Add 1-2 T peanut oil and heat until the oil is to temperature.
  5. Fry until crisp and deep golden brown, turning once: be gentle with the patties, so they don’t break apart!
  6. Serve on warmed rolls, garnished with cucumber, tomato, avocado, red onion and chutney.

6 responses to “Sweet Potato Burgers

  1. According to my home-health aide certification course, vegan items can be kept for up to one week before being eaten. However, I tend to err on the side of safety a bit: I would keep the patties for 5 or 6 days at the maximum end of it.When I made this recipe, I fried up a few the first night, then I kept the patties well wrapped in the fridge and cooked them on demand: my lunches pretty much kicked ass that week!

  2. We made them last night, and came out with 6 good-sized patties, which we'll cook tonight. I think next time I'll do 1.5x the recipe and save a few. We'll let you know how they taste.

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