Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Veggie Burger

This sweet potato veggie burger took a little time to develop. It started with the flavour profile: sweet potato, maple and caramelized onions.  Then came getting the texture right, which can be tricky; you need to get it in the middle of too mushy and too crumbly.  The result is a sweet and savoury burger that is delicious any time of year, not just summer.  

I have pictured it served as a traditional burger for the summer time.  However, you can easily serve this burger pattie as a main course anytime of year: in spring try it with over quinoa with fresh peas; add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the recipe for the Thanksgiving table, or in the winter try it with a bed of steamed swiss chard alongside curried chickpeas.

You can easily prepare parts of it ahead of time (steaming or roasting your sweet potatoes, cooking the rice and even caramelizing the onions) and quickly assemble and cook them on busy days.

Serving it up as a burger

While this burger will translate throughout the seasons, I do love it in the summer served up as a traditional burger.  One my must haves on this burger is the bed of kale, avocado, grainy mustard and thick red onion slices. The kale give the burger some real substance to bite through and adds a great salty flavour to balance the sweetness of the burger.

To make the kale, I simply wash and tear kale leaves into bite size pieces and spread on a baking tray. I coat the kale with about 1 tablespoon of extra vigrin olive oil, a half teaspoon of salt, and two tablespoons nutritional yeast.  Pop the kale into the oven with the burger patties and bake for about 15 minutes.  You want to wilt the kale but not make kale chips.  Depending on whether you want to serve them warm on the burger or cold you can bake them when you first put the burgers in or near the end of the cooking time.

 What is Nutritional Yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a yellowish flakey seasoning with an cheese-like flavour.  It’s popular among those following a plant based diet as it rich in B vitamins, in particular B12– it’s the only non-animal source of B12. You can generally find this in the section of your grocery store that carries organic food, in bulk food stores or health food store.  You can also buy it online from Amazon.


Maple Pecan Sweet Potato Veggie Burger
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Caramelize the onions. In a medium sized pan, over medium-low heat melt coconut oil and add the onions. Stirring occasionally to avoid burning, you will cook the onions until they are soft and golden (about 20 minutes).
  3. Add the garlic and maple syrup and cook until liquid is absorbed and onions are brown and jammy.
  4. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet, and toast on the top rack in the preheating oven. Watch carefully, so as to not burn, this should take no longer than 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can toast the pecans in a dry sauté pan over medium low heat on your stove top. It will take about 5-7 minutes, with a careful eye and occasional shaking so that they don't burn. Remove from the oven to cool. When they are cool, roughly chop the pecans.
  5. In a large bowl combine the sweet potato, rice, salt, pepper and pecans. When the ingredients are well combined, add onions and stir just to combine.
  6. Form the mixture into six even sized patties and bake on parchment paper lined baking sheet for 45 minutes, flipping at the 25 minute mark. Alternatively, you can cook these on a barbecue, but make them up ahead of time and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to allow the patties to set, and cook them on a veggie grill pan.

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