Throughout my life, I’ve been burned by countless bad veggie burgers. Finally, I decided enough was enough. Tired of tasteless patties thrown together as afterthoughts, I knew it was time I took matters into my own hands. And so, my Sweet Potato Falafel Burger recipe was born.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for a world where vegetarian alternatives abound, making me feel less left out when the summer barbecue season begins. But after one too many soy-based burgers that weren’t doing anything for my tastebuds and meat-free takes that made me resort to a DIY grilled cheese situation (OK, not the worst option), I had to act. And with this Sweet Potato Falafel Burger recipe (literally) in hand, I’m now actually looking forward to months of grillin’ gatherings ahead.
In my quest for a really good, homemade veggie burger, I turned to a few ingredients that offer a hearty bite and that I always have on hand. I wanted flavor on flavor (on even more flavor), something that was easy to assemble, and would keep everyone coming back for seconds. Get ready for a recipe that ticks all the boxes—and more.
How To Make This Sweet Potato Falafel Burger Recipe
Like the name suggests, these burgers are a combination of classic falafel ingredients and everyone’s favorite tuber, sweet potatoes. With the savory flavor and kick of spice, you can bet these burgers will be delicious.
The issue with a lot of veggie burgers is that the texture can sometimes be too soft. And while they might taste delicious, it makes it a little hard to assemble and eat burgers when they don’t have enough texture. I’ve noted a few ways to make assembly and cooking easier to bring you one step closer to a tasty result.
- Pre-cook your veggies. This reduces the amount of water in the burger and allows for a firmer texture. A quick, shortcut route? The microwave! This cuts down on cook time tenfold. Plus, sautéing the onions with the spices not only brings the flavor out of the spices, but removes the water as well.
- Chill your patties. Setting your burgers in the fridge makes them easier to handle/cook. I recommend chilling for at least an hour if you want to cook these the same night. But if time allows, let your patties chill overnight.
- Oven vs. Pan-Seared. These burgers can be made either in a stove-top pan or in the oven. If you’re using a pan, generously oil the pan and make sure to allow the burgers to brown completely before flipping them to prevent sticking. Also don’t form patties too wide, as this will make it harder to flip and perhaps break the burger. Which, if that happens, don’t worry, just squish it back together. If using the oven, note that it will dry the burgers out just slightly, so make sure to generously oil on both sides and flip half-way through cooking.
What do I serve with my burgers?
While the burger patties are packed with flavor, I have the most fun when it comes to assembly. You’re fully welcome to let your creativity and cravings guide your way (highly recommend!), but take comfort in knowing there’s no shortage of inspiration to get you started.
Everyone loves a classic, and nothing says nostalgia like tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese (plus, of course, the condiments of your choice). But when it comes to my personal preferences, I like leaning into Mediterranean flavors, and I find that this approach pairs perfectly with this particular recipe.
For a burger that tastes like you’re sitting down to dinner on a gorgeous Greek island, start with a feta yogurt dressing. I love this recipe’s salty tang and its ability to balance out the burgers’ sweetness. The good news, too, is that this dressing couldn’t be easier to mix up. Blend a little feta with Greek yogurt, and add your lemon juice and cilantro if you’d like. Spread over your buns. Go.
If that combo doesn’t speak to you, you can also try red onions and cucumbers for a fresh bite. I also think caramelized onions or charred veggies could be delicious toppers. Have some fun experimenting with different ingredient pairings and making your own personal burger perfectly tailored to your tastes.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a summer-ized burger if you didn’t serve crunchy potato chips or your favorites fries on the side.
For the Ultimate Summer Barbecue
Remember: These burgers are just a part of the summer kick-off equation. For all my veggie-friendly pals and meat-eaters alike, try out the following pairings for the ultimate summer menu.
- Watermelon and Tomato Caprese Salad For some freshness that’s a tasty contrast to these on-the-sweeter-side burgers, this salad is a go-to.
- Cucumber and Feta Salad If you’re opting for the feta and red onion on these burgers, use the leftovers to assemble this salad for a tangy-savory combo.
- Green Goddess Pasta Salad For something a little heartier on the side of the burgers, I love this green goddess pasta salad. It can be made ahead of time, and the bright flavors balance out a hearty meal.
- Honey-Grilled Peaches With Ice Cream No gathering is complete without dessert, and these grilled peaches are a delicious finish to any party.
- 1 large sweet potato, 315g, microwaved and cooled
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, freshly ground or 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, freshly ground or 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Microwave sweet potato on potato setting until fork tender. Peel potato and add to a large bowl. With a fork, mash. It does not need to be completely smooth. Set aside to cool while you prep the other ingredients. (You can also use the oven to cook potato if you prefer, but the microwave will cook the potato quicker.)
- In a large stove top pan, add a splash of oil and the breadcrumbs. Bring to a medium heat and toast until golden brown, stirring to keep the crumbs from burning. Once toasted, add the crumbs to the bowl with the sweet potatoes.
- Add 2 tbsp of oil to the pan and add the chopped onions with the spices and toast until the onions are lightly golden and spices are fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- In a large food processor, add the chickpeas and cooled onions and spices. Pulse until chunky, using a spoon to scrape the bottoms as needed. If using a small food processor, pulse onions and chickpeas together in two batches. Add the mixture to the bowl with the sweet potatoes and breadcrumbs.
- Mix sweet potatoes, breadcrumbs, and pulsed onion chickpea mixture together until it forms a cohesive texture. Add the lemon juice and combine. The mixture should not be sticky but shouldn't be dry either. If too dry, add 1 tbsp of water only if absolutely needed.
- Form patties out of about 1/2 cup of the mixture each. I formed patties that were just a bit smaller than my palm and not too thick.
- Set formed patties on a parchment lined sheet tray or plate and let rest in fridge for at least an hour.
- To cook on the stovetop, add a generous helping of oil to pan and bring to a medium heat. Add patties and cook on each side until golden brown. To avoid sticking, use a good pan and plenty of oil, as well as waiting until the bottom is golden brown before flipping.
- To cook in the oven, drizzle patties with oil and cook for about 20 minutes on each side until golden brown at 400 degrees F.
- Serve with favorite burger toppings. Enjoy!
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Loved the flavors however none of my patties stayed together. I revamped it into a has with my favorite toppings. Will attempt again as a burger recipe. Otherwise I will just follow this and make it into a chickpea sweet potato has. Served alongside salad.