Recipe Challenge: Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Burger

Recipe Challenge: Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Burger

Remember that veggie burger I raved about a couple weeks ago? The main ingredients were black eyed peas, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and kale and ranked as the best veggie burger I have ever eaten. It was crispy, flavorful, vegetable-heavy but not too fibery burger bliss. 

So naturally I was excited when Meredith and I decided on this sweet potato, black bean, and quinoa burger from A Thought for Food as the first recipe in our veggie burger challenge.

I made minor modifications to the original recipe, primarily leaving out the jalapeños because I wasn’t sure of how spicy of a burger I wanted. Plus, I forgot to buy those at the store (oops!) and I wasn’t about to make a special trip just for them. I also swapped whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour.

So how did this sweet potato, black bean, and quinoa burger fare as the first recipe in our challenge?

Overall, I enjoyed it, and I may make it again to attempt to actually make it properly, since I accidentally missed a key step in cooking the burger.

Recipe Challenge: Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Burger



Regular readers probably already know this about me, but I am a bit of a lazy cook. Perhaps lazy is not the appropriate adjective – let’s say unfussy. I love cooking from home, but on weekend nights and weekends after a hike or a long run, I don’t particularly desire a tedious and complicated meal.

I firmly believe that healthy eating is best done when simple. There’s no need to make things overly complicated, especially when most of us have busy lives full of family, work, running, hobbies, and more.

Because I view healthy eating as such, a good veggie burger recipes needed simple preparation. A longer cooking time didn’t pose an issue as long as a majority of the time was hands-off, letting the oven do the work type preparation.

The preparation for this sweet potato, black bean, and quinoa veggie burger played to my West-Coast-chill approach to the culinary arts. The sweet potato baked in the oven while I caught up on emails and the quinoa cooked quickly over the stove in the meanwhile. (Both of these can be prepped in advance as well).

Making the burgers themselves required little effort: stirring, shaping, chilling, frying (which I forgot to do, more on that in a moment), and baking.

Recipe Challenge: Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Burger

Taste and Texture:

My go with the first recipe reminded me of the importance of following each step for recipe success. While my veggie turned out quite tasty, the texture was a bit on the softer side – not quite the crispy burger I desired.

In terms of taste, I enjoyed the combination of smoked paprika, garlic, and sweet potato. The overall flavor was earthy (but in a good way, not musty – be sure to rinse your quinoa though!) and the burger was satisfying.

I enjoyed mine over greens with a drizzle of tahini as a nutritious late lunch.

I texted this to Meredith, and she pointed out what I missed – fry the burgers before baking! And this, my friends, is why you should not try to multitask too much.

Recipe Challenge: Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Burger


I’ve mentioned a few times before how I track my nutrition during hard training cycles and right now to make sure I get enough protein since I’m eating less meat. So I uploaded the ingredients to MyFitnessPal and calculated the nutritional stats based on 6 servings (since I made 6 burger patties).

Now keep in mind that no calculator is completely accurate, so actual nutritional data may vary.

With quinoa AND black beans, this veggie burger provides all of the essential amino acids – which is important if you are getting your protein from plant-based sources. However, you only get 11 grams of protein, which is not quite as much as runners should aim to get at a meal (20-30 grams per meal is ideal).

Each burger contained 10 grams of fiber (55 grams of carbohydrates total), with more than 1.5 times your daily vitamin A needs, 28% of daily iron (which is quite a lot of iron from a vegetarian meal), and 750 mg of potassium.

I overall genuinely enjoyed these veggie burgers, but part of me also wonders if I would have liked them with a higher ratio of beans and quinoa (more protein) and less sweet potatoes. But that’s partially because I also enjoy sweet potato oven fries on the side of homemade burgers and, as I discussed earlier this week, I need to make a deliberate effort to eat more protein.

So would I recommend this recipe? Yes – especially if you follow the directions! 

Have you ever accidentally flubbed a recipe by missing a step of ingredients?
What new recipe have you tried recently?
What are your weekend plans?

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14 Responses

    1. You should try them – veggie burgers are surprisingly easy to make at home! Plus a lot of the ingredients are pantry staples so they’re nice busy nights or right before making grocery trip. I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  1. I couldn’t wait to read your post even though we talked about the recipe! this was so fun, seriously lol…I found the burger extremely satisfying but I wonder if that’s because Included the Ezekiel roll as part of the meal. Those rolls have additional protein which may have done the trick. I also used coconut flour (2 tablespoons) in place of the regular flour. I meant to ask you how many burgers you ended up with? I used less of the ingredients and came out with 5 really good-sized burgers. I think more quinoa would definitely work in the recipe. Can’t wait for our next challenge! And I never fully read the instructions, I always do my own thing!

    1. I wonder if that is it – I just had mine on a salad since I sort of snacked through the early part of the afternoon. Mine ended up with 6 burgers with two sweet potatoes – I really couldn’t imagine using even more sweet potatoes in them! I think more quinoa would have been better as well! This is so fun and I’m excited for this week!

  2. Lol! I’ve totally missed important recipe directions before. There’s nothing worse than after all your hard work, going in for that first bite and all you get is…meh. Despite missing a step, the burger sounds good and does look pretty tasty!

  3. I just saw on Meredith’s blog you guys made these! My mom has a lentil burger recipe she makes that’s yummy. I’m flying out to South Beach tomorrow for a week and can’t wait!

    1. I agree – I want protein from my burgers, especially because I can’t resist carbs in the form of fries on the side! I’m hoping next week’s veggie burger packs a bigger protein punch.

  4. This looks very yummy!!!!
    I have to try this out!
    We usually make our salmon burgers 🙂
    Instead of meat, we use salmon but it takes a lot of prep time. But the end result never disappoints us.

    But this veggie burger sounds so tasty!

    1. Salmon burgers are so good! How do you make your own – do you have to use any binder? I love salmon, tuna, trout, any of that fish and it sounds worth the prep time to make a homemade burger!

      1. yes, before I got the blender, I used to just cut them into pieces and then cut/pound/do whatever it took to get the salmon like ground meat. After my husband saw what I was doing, he suggested getting a small blender so it’ll make it a little easier 😉
        I would grind the salmon to make the “meat” part. It’s good! I should make some again and share the photos/recipe. You’re making me hungry (it’s almost lunch time here) hehe.

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