African-Inspired Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers
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5 from 4 votes

African-Inspired Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers

Grains of paradise are the seeds of a plant that grows in the swamps along the West African coast. They impart a complex peppery flavor with hints of cardamom and citrus. If you don’t happen to have them, use freshly ground black pepper and a little cardamom, as noted in the ingredients list.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: sweet potato burgers, vegan burgers, vegetarian burgers
Servings: 10
Calories: 152kcal
Author: Susan Voisin


  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes about 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans divided, or 1 15-ounce can rinsed until water runs clear and drained
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter optional
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon minced ginger root or 1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon grains of paradise crushed, or ground black pepper plus 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt if desired
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on your heat tolerance
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 1/2 large green pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 cup oats quick or old fashioned rolled oats, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten or a gluten-free flour blend


  • Cook the sweet potatoes until tender. You may microwave them, but for best flavor, pierce them several times with a fork and bake at 425 F until they are tender but still firm, 30-50 minutes depending on size of the potatoes. Allow to cool until you can easily peel them. (You can prepare the potatoes in advance; just bring them to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.)
  • Place the sweet potatoes into a food processor. Add HALF of the drained black beans, along with the peanut butter, garlic, and all the spices. Process briefly until everything is combined and the potatoes are mashed. (You can also do this in a bowl with a potato masher and lots of wrist action.)
  • Scoop the potato mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining black beans, onions, green pepper, and oats. Stir well to combine. Add the gluten or other flour and stir well to make sure that it’s distributed evenly. The mixture should be very thick and not too wet; if it seems wet, add a little more oats or gluten to get a very heavy “dough.” Set aside while you preheat your oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. (You may also oil a non-stick baking sheet.)
  • Form the mixture into 10-12 burgers, using 1/3-1/2 cup per burger. Burgers should be no more than 3/4-inch thick. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until outside is firm and brown but center is still a little soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before removing from baking sheet and serving.


Without peanut butter, contains 131 calories and .7g fat.
Each burger with peanut butter is 3 points on Weight Watchers Freestyle program. Without peanut butter, one burger is 2 points and 2 burgers count 5 points.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.2g | Protein: 7.4g | Fat: 2.3g | Sodium: 285.2mg | Fiber: 5.4g | Sugar: 3.7g