sweet potato and lentil burgers
I never really liked sweet potatoes — until the day I tried them with tahini. From that day on, I’ve totally fallen in love with their softness and sweetness, swapping regular potatoes for them as often as I can. I now not only love them with tahini, but also in soups, mashes, roasted dishes and veggie burgers, such as these sweet potato and lentil burgers that I can’t get enough of.
These vegan burgers are so easy to put together and are full of plant-based ingredients: red lentils, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, warm spices, sweet corn and breadcrumbs. You won’t even need an egg to bind them together, because the cooked and mashed sweet potato does the job so perfectly well.
I like chopping the sweet potato into cubes and cooking it in a bit of olive oil with the onion and the garlic, which brings out its sweetness and gives it so much more flavor. Once cooked, the sweet potato can be easily mashed and combined with the rest of the burger ingredients. I use a mix of cumin, paprika and dried thyme to season the burgers, but I’d see oregano and parsley in them too if you don’t have any thyme on hand.
I’m pretty sure that these burgers would work well with white or red beans instead of lentils, but I haven’t tried that yet. If you do, do let me know how they come out, and if not, I’ll give the combination a try next time!
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- ½ cup dry red lentils
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 1 small sweet potato (250g), peeled and diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canned sweet corn
- 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- Tahini parsley sauce, for serving
- Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse the red lentils in a sieve and put them in a pot with 1 cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer 8 to 10 minutes until cooked through. Drain if any liquid remains and set aside in a big bowl to cool.
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and the sweet potato and cook for 1 minute. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes (stirring from time to time) until the sweet potato is cooked through. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 1 more minute. The vegetables should be cooked through and mushy, but don't let them burn or become golden.
- Add the sweet potato to the bowl of lentils and mash them together with a fork. Add the cumin, thyme, paprika, salt, corn and breadcrumbs and mix to combine.
- Form small patties with your hands and place them side by side on the baking sheet.
- Cook for 15 minutes on one side, then flip them and cook them for another 10 minutes until golden.
- Serve the warm burgers on a plate drizzled with some tahini parsley sauce.