Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers

by Gena on August 12, 2010

Thanks, as ever, for the sweet and thoughtful responses to my last post. Yes, my mother is a remarkable woman. And yes, there’s a faint resemblance!

A few days ago, I mentioned that staycation week featured one stellar dinner. This is it. I developed and tested the recipe a few days before heading to my mom’s, and I was thrilled when it held up to a second try. It’s delicious, filling, versatile, easy, and high in protein, and it’s perfect for omnivores. It features two of my favorite foods — sweet potatoes and chickpeas — and you can make it either in the oven or on the stovetop. Impressed yet? The recipe is for sweet potato and chickpea burgers, and it’s destined to become a staple for me.

Most of the bean burgers I’ve experimented with have been make with whole or mashed beans. This recipe features chickpea flour (I used the Bob’s Red Mill brand, but you can probably find others), so that the texture of the finished burger is crispy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. Could you substitute actual beans? Probably, but you’d probably have to tweak the recipe in other ways, so if you want to make this particular burger at home, go ahead and invest in the chickpea flour. It’s very versatile; if you have leftover, you can make some socca!

Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers (yields 2 burgers — enough for 1 or 2 people, depending on appetite)

2 small yams or sweet potatoes
1/3 cup chickpea flour
2 heaping tablespoons flax meal
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp dijon mustard (optional)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, or 1 tbsp dried parsley (optional)
Dash pepper

1) Bake or steam sweet potatoes till tender. Remove skins, and scoop flesh into a food processor fitted with the S blade.

2) Add remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl down and process again, adding as much water as you need to make the mix smooth and uniform. Careful here! If you add even a tablespoon too much, you’ll end up with a dough that’s too soft to form into patties. Add the water sloooowly.

3) Stop as soon as the mix is even, and shape it into two burgers. You can either

  • bake the burgers at 375 for about twenty-five minutes, or
  • spray a pan with coconut oil and grill them on each side till crispy and cooked through. I prefer the texture from baking, but either works!

4) Enjoy!

My mother was mighty dubious when I told her we were having sweet potato burgers for dinner; lord knows what she expected! So I watched with nervous anticipation as she began to eat. You can imagine how thrilled I was when she looked up, smiled, and, with a mouth still full of her very first bite, exclaimed “mmmm!” Success! It always makes me happy to feed my mom something that she loves.

The fact that I also loved the taste was a nice bonus.

If you’ve already tried and enjoyed my homemade sunshine burgers, I suggest you start rotating this recipe into the mix. It won’t dissapoint!

So tomorrow at noon I head out to the Windy City for the HLS. I can’t believe the weekend has snuck up on me so quickly! I can’t wait to see so many of my blogger friends, and to meet quite a few others with whom I’ve only corresponded so far. I can’t wait for the weekend to begin.

As you guys know, I’ll also be presenting at the summit on Saturday afternoon (the schedule is online here). Caitlin and I are moderating a talk called Stop Staring Over Your Shoulder. The focus of our presentation will be the danger of self-comparison in the blog world. Can reading food blogs make us susceptible to food fads or diet pressure? Can they instill a sense of pressure to undertake superwoman fitness routines? How can they be directly linked to such conditions as orthorexia? We hope it will be a tough and hard hitting presentation, with tons of audience feedback (so if you’re attending on Saturday, start thinking of things to ask me now!). For those of you at home, the summit will be streaming live. I’ll be sure to post info on that after a full recap of my first day in Chi-Town later tomorrow night.

For now, enjoy your Fridays!


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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Pearl Lee August 12, 2010 at 10:51 pm

yum! those burgers look delish!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) August 12, 2010 at 11:18 pm

The burgers look awesome and I love that you developed them and pre-tested them in advance of going to your moms…nothing like “winging it” and having a possible kitchen calamity. Not that that would ever happen to you, but it would to me and as much as i hate to pre-test, it’s worth it…they look and sound awesome! I have never worked w/ chickpea flour; or even heard of Socca til the Pure girls posted about it…I know, I must be living under a rock LOL

Anyway all of the questions you asked at the end that you and Caitlin are going to cover. Wow. I never wanted to go to HLS really when everyone was buying their tickets; it just wasnt a biggie to me. But… in the past week, I have been increasingly bummed I didnt plant to attend b/c now I want to go! And hearing you speak would be awesome and participating in the discussion!

I think to answer your questions, food blogs do perpetuate ALL of those things, but no more so than mainstream society, the media, and women at large just always comparing and trying to one-up each other or compete with each other. Sad but true.

Food blogs contribute to all those things you mentioned but they are not the source, nor even a main cause; society as a whole is. We need to change society and in the process food blogs may change..may. Probably not, but it’s anice thought :) Anyway HAVE A BLAST and I want all the juicy deets :)



Ameena August 12, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I love this recipe…I love every ingredient in it and can actually eat them all! That rarely happens with my 1000 allergies. :)

Good luck with your presentation. Too bad I won’t be there but I can’t wait to read about it/watch it afterwards.


pure2raw twins August 12, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Good luck with the presentation! Though I am sure you will do great ;) We wish we could be there to meet you and many other great bloggers! HLS looks like so much fun, maybe next year?

Those burgers look great. And yes leftover bean flour would be great for socca! HAHA


Jackie (Peaces of Earth) August 13, 2010 at 12:03 am

I have been eating so much socca lately, so these will be perfect for testing out the flour on something else. Super easy, too!! Mine kind of recipe. :)

I am so sad I’m missing out on HLS, but I will definitely be watching the live stream. I’m really interested to see what you and Caitlin have to say, as well as the panel Anne is moderating. I think that it’s so easy to compare yourself to other bloggers, when there are SO many lovely, healthy, beautiful ladies out there. But, to me, the point of blogging is to find our own voice and our own definition of “healthy”. I love the blogging community because it acts as an inspiration to me and a catalyst to finding MY best self. For the people that do compare, I think, unfortunately, that’s something that they’re going to do regardless of if they’re reading blogs or not.


Heather (Heather's Dish) August 13, 2010 at 12:08 am

i am making this very very soon, it sounds amazing! is your panel going to be recorded? i’m not there but would love to hear it!


bitt August 13, 2010 at 12:20 am

I would so love to hear your talk. Believe it or not for me, the more I read blogs and stay away from raw forums, the healthier thoughts about eating are. Probably because I stick to nice down-to-earth blogs like yours. Interesting questions you raise!

Would love to try those burgers. Chickpea flour is actually one of the cooked foods I tolerate pretty well and sweet potatoes are Chris’s favorite.

Have a good trip!


Gena August 13, 2010 at 7:52 am


Ya know, I never have been on a raw forum, and probably never will. I took a glance at those as I got into raw foods, and knew pretty instantaneously that theirs was an approach to the lifestyle that I had zero interest in. The health alarmism was just more than I could handle!



Nicole - yuppie yogini August 13, 2010 at 1:07 am

Thanks…you’ve just given me my weekend dinner party meal!


Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) August 13, 2010 at 4:50 am

Those look wonderful! I love the flavor combination. I’d probably mash whole chickpeas, but I’ve been wanting to try chickpea flour for awhile now and this might give me the excuse. :)



JL Goes Vegan August 13, 2010 at 6:23 am

Gena, you’ve outdone yourself! These burgers, I’m sure will be a new staple for me. Mostly certainly, the go to dish when hosting omni’s! Thank you!


Karen August 13, 2010 at 9:10 am

Yum- these look super yummy. Also the salad on the side is beautiful and simple- which dressing is that drizzled over it? I am having a bbq tomorrow night and I am thinking about making these and one of your avocado salads… Thanks Gena and have a great time in Chi-town :)


Sharon S. August 13, 2010 at 9:18 am

Those look awesome! With the chickpea flour, it reminds me of panelle, which is a sort of fried sliced chickpea polenta. It’s one of my cooked food weaknesses! I’m definitely going to try this!


Christine (The Raw Project) August 13, 2010 at 11:47 am

Wow, these look wonderful and like something hubby and I could enjoy. And something I could prepare for family gatherings. Thanks!


Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather August 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I am so excited to try these! I have chickpea flour on hand but no sweet potatoes :(


Caleb August 13, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Wow, I am totally trying this. I love sweat potatoes!


Gena August 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Hahaha, caleb! You wrote “sweat potatoes” :)


Kelly August 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Hi! These look awesome but I’m allergic to flax–is there a sub for the flaxmeal?


Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) August 13, 2010 at 12:50 pm

I love how simple this recipe is- but it looks scrumptious!!



emptyjar August 13, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I just wrote a post about the dubious nature of the “self-help” lit in our bookstores and around us. Just some thoughts on it because it can be looked at in several different perspectives. But I cite an article in my post that discusses some interesting thoughts.


Annie@stronghealthyfit August 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Your panel discussion sounds so interesting! Wish I could be there to hear it.


Sarah August 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Thanks for the recipe, Gena, those look amazing! So bummed to miss out on your presentation this weekend, I’m sure you’ll rock it.


Judy August 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Yummy burgers – I recently discovered socca and it’s pretty darn good.

The talk you will be doing sounds interesting, and it’s something I have thought about before. I used to have a food blog, and a nutrition blog, but I have stopped both now to focus on this sewing blog. However, when I was more involved in food blogging, I found it very competitive, and almost high-school like – people judging, making assumptions, and little cliques of the ‘popular’ crowd who seem to always KNOW everything. It got really tiring, and is part of the reason why I stopped blogging. I still read a lot of blogs, and sometimes I still see that behaviour but I try not to let it bother me anymore. To each their own – that is my current mantra.

Have fun at the summit :)


Tricia August 13, 2010 at 8:40 pm

You have just combined two of my most favorite foods: Chickpeas and sweet potatos. I love you.


Lisa August 13, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Yummm, I made these tonight for my 16 month-old boy and myself, I used sprouted dried lentils (tru roots) ground up in the coffee grinder i/o chickpea flour. i was skeptical at first after making the dough – tasted like raw lentil flour. cooked them both ways – liked the crust from the frying pan but the texture was better from the oven. they’re so satifying. great recipe!


Maria@runningcupcake.co.uk August 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Hi- I found you via a link on no meat athelete, and those chickpea sweet potato burgers look divine! I am always on the lookout for a delicious bean/ veggie burger- yours are a bonus because they dont have many ingredients, plus I LOVE sweet potato!


Gena August 16, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Yay! Hope you like.


Tiina August 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I made these burgers for dinner tonight and they were great. I didn’t have a food processor on hand, so just used a regular old fashioned masher and they turned out great. I didn’t have to add any water at all, but maybe because I didn’t have any flax on hand. I added dried chives which I like. Thanks Gena!

I looked up socca, and will try that with the flour as well. Do you have ways to eat socca, do you make it into a pizza?

I’ve been following your great blog for a while, but this is the first time I comment! I live in Montreal, and if you are ever up this way, there are some great vege restaurants around- in fact there are lots. Crudessence is one that I think you’d love- cru means raw in French, and it is in fact a 100% raw and living food restaurant. They even hold “cooking” classes! My friend Cathy, who ironically lives in Brooklyn, introduced it to me when she was visiting. She is the sweetest human being that I know, and she has a nutrition blog also- Cathyshealthtips.com if you care to check it out. All the best Gena.


Jessica June 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Thank you for the great recipes. I’ve been vegan for 4 years and developed a gluten and soy allergy somewhere along the line. Ive been searching for recipes since. I made these for lunch today and omitted the cumin and added cayenne (just personal preference, I dont like cumin) and added a little cinnamon. The flavor was great but the texture was a little soft. I’m wondering if I didn’t fry them long enough. Do they cook low and slow? The texture on the crust was great. I’ll be trying them again soon!


Yui May 7, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Oh I am going to love this dish. I love to have something mashed and then bake or fry them. I usually do this to mashed potatoes. This would be a new to my taste. And as far it is made from sweet potato, I am going to love it. Thanks for the recipe.


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