Admittedly, veggie burgers probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of quinoa and sweet potatoes, but I cannot describe just how well these two ingredients work to form the base of these burgers. The flavors are, in a word, bright. The sweetness of the potatoes with the fresh parsley, sunflower seeds, and protein-packed quinoa… It’s like a garden in your mouth.

When I was working on the “perfect” veggie burger recipe several months ago, I learned a lot of lessons about getting the right meaty texture that holds together like a burger (namely, using rolled oats to soak up moisture and ground flaxseed to hold everything together). Those same lessons have been applied, but we’re taking the flavors in a completely different direction.

In one sense, this sweet potato & quinoa burger is the perfect yang to my classic veggie burger’s yin. If you want something deep and earthy and full of umami, see The Perfect Veggie Burger recipe. But if a bright, fresh, sweet, and flavorful meal that will still put some meat on your bones is what you’re looking for, this recipe has you covered.

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Makes 5-6 Patties

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed

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Preheat the oven to 400º F

Step One

Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/2 inch rounds. Add these to a baking sheet and bake at 400º F for about 25-30 minutes, until thoroughly cooked and tender. This dry cooking method will seriously dry out the potatoes, but that’s what we want here.

Meanwhile, cook a batch of quinoa according to package instructions (typically 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa) until fluffy. Set both the sweet potatoes and quinoa aside for now.

Step Two

In a food processor, combine the parsley, garlic, and sunflower seeds and just pulse them several times to make a kind of chunky pesto (which is incredibly delicious by itself…). Set this aside.

Step Three

The flaxseed here is used like an egg, which will bind the ingredients together and create a much more “meaty” texture in the finished burgers. To do this, combine 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed with about 1/4 cup of water and set aside for 5-10 minutes until it creates a gel.

Step Four

Finally, we’re ready to actually start making the burgers! Back in the food processor, combine 1 cup of the cooked quinoa with 1 cup of the baked sweet potatoes (simply smash as many of the rounds as you can into a 1 cup measure) along with the rolled oats. Pulse this mixture until it has turned into a smooth puree. Then, add in the remaining ingredients (the parsley garlic sunflower blend, paprika, soy sauce, and flaxseed gel). Pulse several times until incorporated.

Step Five

Lower the oven heat to 325º F and measure out the burgers into 5-6 round patties, about 1/2 inch thick onto parchment paper or a Silpat. Stick in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes on one side, then carefully use a spatula to flip and cook for another 20 minutes or so until thoroughly firm. Allow to cool before serving with fresh greens, avocado, and slices of red onion. Leftovers can be stored for weeks in the freezer.

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