We’re setting up our vegan grilling menus to include a variety of tasty meat-free burger recipes. This sweet potato burger is an actual award-winning recipe that scored Nikki Haney, creator and writer of the blog The Tolerant Vegan, a whopping $2,000 for her entry in the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission’s No More ‘Mallows Recipe Contest.
Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burger
Adapted from the blog The Tolerant Vegan. You can bake the burgers in the oven or fire up the grill for your summer meals.
- 3 medium North Carolina sweet potatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1/2 cup dry roasted pecans, chopped
- 1 small sweet onion, very coarsely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 sandwich buns
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pierce sweet potatoes and microwave together until soft, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Mash firmly into measuring cups to make 2 cups; transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over high heat, bring water and the quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cover, simmering until the water is nearly absorbed and the quinoa appears transparent, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove quinoa from the stove and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.
- In a separate saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the cayenne pepper.
- Add butter mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes along with the kale, cooked quinoa, pecans and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Mix well and form the mixture into 4 patties. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet.
- Bake for 35 minutes, turning once at the halfway point.
- When the burgers have around 15 minutes left to bake, make the onion topping.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add the onion and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
- Cook and stir for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
- Cook and stir until onions are slightly brown, about 3 more minutes, then remove from heat.
- Transfer burgers to buns and top each with onion mixture.