Recipe: Black Bean Veggie Burger with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

The veggie burger has become ubiquitous as the vegetarian option of choice for many bars and low-key restaurants.  As a sports fan, I appreciate a place where I can watch a game and enjoy a “non-meat” meal.  Enter the veggie burger.  Here’s what I don’t understand though, why do so many restaurants serve these mushy patties filled with peas and carrots that don’t even come close to resembling a burger?  I love peas and carrots, quite a bit actually, but in a burger?  Absolutely not.  Why not just serve a vegetable sandwich…

I made my ideal sports bar fare the other night – a veggie burger that tastes and feels like I’m eating a real burger (smoky, hearty, solid texture, spicy and definitely without green or orange things falling out).  I added some sweet potato fries and sautéed spinach because in a perfect world, this is what every low-key restaurant and bar would serve.

Black Bean Veggie Burger with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 4

**I served the burger on grilled whole grain toast with a roasted red pepper hummus, grilled onions and romaine lettuce.



  • 1 15oz. can of no-salt-added black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • ½ white onion
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil


Preheat oven to 350.  Mash beans in a bowl, you want it pretty smooth but not completely.  Set aside.  Place onion and red pepper in a processor and pulse until smooth (if you do not have a processor, skip this step and just finely chop the peppers and onions).  Combine the vegetables, hot sauce, cayenne and egg with the beans.  Add breadcrumbs and mix well.  Form mixture into 4 patties.  Cover a baking sheet in foil and spray lightly with a cooking spray or oil.  Place patties on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes; flipping once.  Remove from oven.  In a skillet, heat sunflower oil.  Place patties in pan and brown each side, about 2 minutes total.

* To make this gluten free you could easily replace the breadcrumbs with a gluten free flour such as brown rice or chickpea.

Sweet Potato Fries


  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 450. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, and cut each half into 8 wedges. In a large bowl, combine the cut potatoes, oil, salt and pepper. Toss until potatoes are evenly coated. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake until edges are crisp and potatoes are cooked through – about 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.



  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds spinach, trimmed, well washed, and dried
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a sauté pan, heat oil over high heat until very hot. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 to 2 minutes; the spinach should turn bright green and wilt slightly. Remove spinach from heat, sprinkle with black pepper.


  • Black Beans: Extremely high in fiber, protein and antioxidants.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Rich in Vitamin A and C.  Both Vitamins A and C are powerful antioxidants that work in the body to remove free radicals (free radicals are chemicals that damage cells).
  • Spinach: An excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.




2 thoughts on “Recipe: Black Bean Veggie Burger with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

  1. yum.
    I wonder if you used a sticky grain like polenta or millet if you could substitute those for the egg and ww bread crumbs to make a gluten free version?

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