Veggie Bean Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

A few weeks ago when I posted the soba noodle stir-fry and mushroom barley risotto with you I shared that I was making some changes in my eating. I have been trying to eat more fruits, vegetables and grains, but more notably than that, I have been making huge cuts in the amount of animal meat that I am eating. As in, virtually none. I haven’t cut meat out completely, as I still eat it from time to time when I go out to eat (although I’ve been choosing vegetable and pasta-based dishes more and more frequently), but at home I can’t remember the last time I prepared it. As a result, I have been doing a lot of trial and error with vegetarian dishes that are hearty enough for lunches and dinners. As I was flipping through my Joy of Cooking book looking for something else, I stumbled across these burgers. My lunches have been much more enjoyable ever since!

I have previously made regular ol’ black bean burgers and then created a spin-off black bean mushroom burger, but this latest creation blows both of those out of the water. Not only do they contain black beans and mushrooms, but there is also brown rice, grated carrots and a few other veggies packed into the burgers. They are hearty, pretty large, and along with the sweet potato fries, keep me full all afternoon, which is great since I struggle with afternoon snacking. I like to eat mine with a dollop of sour cream, and fresh salsa when I have it in the house.

I don’t have much of a recipe when it comes to my sweet potato fries; they are more of a “throw together” type of thing.

I take one sweet potato and slice it up into sticks about ½-inch in diameter…

Then drizzle just a tiny bit of olive oil over them (just enough to lightly coat), and toss with a combination of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Spread them out on a baking sheet…

And bake at 450 degrees F until they are browned, flipping them about halfway through.

They are such a satisfying (and healthy!) addition to a meal, and they go extremely well with these veggie bean burgers.

I struggle with lunches filling me enough while still being healthy so I don’t reach for snacks in the afternoon; I could use some help. What are some of your favorite healthy and filling lunches? Thanks for the suggestions!

Two years ago: Old-Fashioned Spice Cake
Three years ago: Pesto Pasta & Chicken

Veggie Bean Burgers

Yield: 6 burgers

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup grated carrots
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Two 15½-ounce cans black beans, rinse and drained
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1½ cups cooked brown rice
1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil


1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the grated carrots, chili powder and cumin and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mash together the black beans, mustard, soy sauce, ketchup and parsley. Stir in the onion and carrot mixture. Add the cooked brown rice and chopped mushrooms, stirring to combine. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

3. For the mixture into six patties. Heat the 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the burgers and cook over medium-low heat, for 5 to 8 minutes per side, until browned and crisp.

(Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking)


61 Responses to “Veggie Bean Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries”

  1. Jen of My Tiny Oven on June 15, 2011 at 12:07 am

    This whole meal looks amazing! I love sweet potato fries! Can’t wait to give the black bean burgers a try!!


    • Jen of My Tiny Oven on June 15th, 2011 at 12:11 am

      oh ya, my favorite lunch is a quinoa salad with feta cheese, cucumber and some fresh dill! Drizzle with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper!
      Fresh and tasty and the quinoa keeps me feeling full all afternoon!!


      • ashley on June 16th, 2011 at 9:47 am

        quinoa has a lot of protein and i also like to add a chobani yogurt to my lunches which has filling protein as well


  2. Karpoozi on June 15, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Those look great, I’ll have to try them.

    I’m all for legumes for lunch. My favorite is roasted chickpeas. Cheap, delicious and super easy to prepare. I also make falafel style patties, with some ground onion, herbs and lots of cumin. I bake em to reduce the fat content.

    Don’t know if I’ve commented before, but love your blog. Made a couple of your recipes and they were excellent. You are my favorite food blogger! Thank you!


  3. Katrina on June 15, 2011 at 1:09 am

    This looks like a lovely, healthy meal! Thanks for posting this, I’m glad you’re eating healthy!


  4. Glenda on June 15, 2011 at 4:13 am

    These are two of my favorite things!!!
    Got to try the twist you have put on them!!!
    Thanks so much!
    I am going to share this on my blog


  5. Maris (In Good Taste) on June 15, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Sweet potato fries are definitely up there as a very favorite food!


  6. The Café Sucré Farine on June 15, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Those sweet potato fries look amazing, I will be making these soon since I have a pile of sweet potatoes that need to be used! Love your flavor combinations!


  7. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on June 15, 2011 at 6:08 am

    I’d like a huge pile of those sweet potato fries!


  8. Heather (Heather's Dish) on June 15, 2011 at 7:25 am

    i adore veggie burgers…they’re so versatile and i feel great about eating them!


  9. Ann on June 15, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Looks delicious! Good for you for taking that first step on a healthy lifestyle! I’ve done the EXACT same thing – it’s tough, but rewarding…. Black bean burger look great and I make a very similar fry, except I use olive oil, salt, pepper & rosemary.


  10. Suzi on June 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Hello! I’m new(er) to your blog and love this post! I love to make sweet potato fries as well and in addition to what you topped them with, I also like to add Cajun seasoning! It’s so good!


  11. Molly on June 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Isn’t it amazing how some cookbooks always seem to have what it is you’re looking for? I love having the Joy of Cooking on my shelf for when I have no idea what to do for dinner.


  12. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray on June 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I honestly wish I could send you a thank you gift basket right now. I’ve been searching and searching for a recipe like this–I’m trying to cut back almost completely on red meat (which is not easy in a family of steak and burger lovers), and it’s been really frustrating. Both the burgers and sweet potato fries look delicious and healthy, and like something I could put together myself! Hooray! 🙂


  13. Regina on June 15, 2011 at 9:51 am

    These look awesome! Thanks for the great recipe. I have also been trying to cut a lot of meat out of my diet so these will be a perfect addition to my dinner recipes.


  14. RavieNomNoms on June 15, 2011 at 10:15 am

    That is like my dinner made in heaven! Totally looks delicious!


  15. A in NL on June 15, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Cabbage salad fills me up. Take about 1/2 head of raw white cabbage and some spring onions. Make a dressing from about 2 T sugar, 3 T vinegar, some olive oil, and the seasoning package from chicken top ramon. That will make enough dressing for your entire head of cabbage, so save some for the next day. Smash up the top ramon noodles and sprinkle half the package on top. You can also add some lightly browned sliced almonds and sesame seeds. If you have baked a chicken recently you can add some leftover chicken meat as well, but since you said you were reducing your meat intake, you can leave that out (I don’t usually add it). This is what I’ve had for lunch the last two days, and I’m looking forward to having it tomorrow, even though I don’t generally care for cabbage.

    Another thing I enjoy for lunch is leftover ratatouille (which can be eaten cold) with bread.

    I also chop up extra carrots when I’m making dinner so I can keep carrot sticks in the fridge, because I find that I am lazy when I’m not in ‘preparing meal’ mode. If the carrot sticks are there, I’ll eat them, but if they aren’t, I’ll eat something like cereal, so the trick is to ensure that the right kind of snacks are always available. Snacking isn’t really a bad thing, if you’re doing it because you’re hungry and the food you pick is healthy.


  16. Maria on June 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

    A perfect meal! I could eat this every day!


  17. Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow on June 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Yum! Those look amazing! I can’t wait to try that!!


  18. Barbara | Creative Culinary on June 15, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Both look great but I have to say…sweet potato fries are the bomb!

    I’m big on leftovers for lunch but if I have none, a salad. Always my own dressing and always a combination of different vegetables and fruits although I have to say…fruit is winning. Lettuce, berries and nuts with a fruit based vinaigrette; my new favorite thing.


  19. A in NL on June 15, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I forgot to mention to add salt and pepper to that dressing, but you’d probably have figured it out.

    If you have access to a microwave for lunch, you can always go with leftovers. Try my veggie enchiladas if salad isn’t filling enough for you–it’s a favorite at our house, but I can only ever eat 1 (for dinner). Sorry the recipe isn’t written out properly, but it’s more of a method than a recipe for me.

    First make a tomato sauce. I do this at least an hour before, so the flavor can develop. If you have fresh tomatoes, use them, but otherwise passata will work. I use tomatoes, water, some salt or half a veggie bouillon cube, a bay leaf, and a touch of sweetner (I use agave). When it has simmered for a while, remove the bay leaf and puree. Add a touch of oregano and let it reduce to a really thick sauce.

    Prepare some beans (I use a mix of kidney & black beans, which I soak in water w/ baking soda and then rinse and cook, but you could use canned beans, just rinse them off). Puree them along with part of a package of chestnut mushrooms to get a nice thick paste (you can add a bit of water or olive oil if needed). Set aside.

    In a pan, lightly blacken at least one red bell pepper which has been sliced in strips. Set it aside. Next, slice your reserved mushrooms and cook them in the pan (at a lower heat than the pepper), then set them aside. Now fry the following: one chopped onion, 1 toe of minced garlic, and 1 finely chopped green chilli pepper. Optionally add 1 package of ground meat substitute–it doesn’t add flavor but it does add bulk. Add some frozen or canned corn.

    Warm some corn tortillas so that they become pliable. Spread a thick layer of the bean/mushroom paste, then top with the onion/corn/fake meat mix. Add bell peppers and mushrooms. Roll it up and set it in a baking pan. I can usually fit about 7 in, which makes at least 2 meals for 2 people. When you have filled the pan, pour the tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle the top with grated cheese (I like a good aged Gouda so that I don’t have to use very much to get the flavor). Put in an oven preheated at 180 c for 20 minutes.

    While it is cooking, take a carton of greek yogurt (I use lowfat, about 500 g) and add about 1/3 of a pureed garlic toe, juice from 1/2 a lime, and salt to taste.

    Serve with the yogurt, and optionally with some chopped cilantro.


  20. The Mistress of Spices on June 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

    These sound good! I’m always on a quest for the perfect veggie/bean burger recipe since the readymade patties that they sell here in France leave much to be desired. These sound like they would really hit the spot, and the sweet potato fries look great too! As for filling lunches, I like a hearty quinoa salad (usually with veggies and chickpeas or some type of beans), accompanied by a fruit and some yogurt. That does it for me since the quinoa and chickpeas/beans provide lots of good protein and fiber.


  21. Hannah at FleurDeLicious on June 15, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I love homemade veggie burgers, but it can be hard to find recipes that are flavorful enough. These don’t sound like they’re lacking in flavor at all! Can’t wait to try them!


  22. Barbara on June 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

    As a vegetarian I love the new veggie turn in the blog. One of my favorite veggie dishes is simple; grilled tofu. I know it sounds weird but you get all the good yummy marinade and a simple (tofu is marginally processed) protein. Simply wrap the tofu in a towel and press for an hour to get excess juices out of it. Marinade in your favorite marinade and slap it on the grill. The longer you leave it the more water evaporates out and the firmer the tofu gets. I also continually baste the tofu while grilling. My favorite is bbq sauce with a high enough heat to caramelize the sugars in the sauce on the outside of the tofu.


  23. Melissa on June 15, 2011 at 11:27 am

    What a great recipe! I love the addition of the brown rice and mushrooms! The recipe I usually make is similar, but these look even better! I’ll have to give them a try.

    I usually eat lighter at lunch, but I love big salads! Lots of volume without weighing me down.


  24. DessertForTwo on June 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Who knew the old Joy of Cooking has vegetarian options? You must have the updated version. This looks like my kind of meal! Love sweet potatoes, brown rice & beans!


  25. Sonia The Healhty Foodie on June 15, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I just love these! They look super delicious and are packed with wholesome goodness. I am sooo adding them to my must try list!


  26. Sonia The Healhty Foodie on June 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Oops, I wasn’t done commenting… hate when I do that! 😉

    I was gonna say, why fight the urge to snack in the afternoon? I am a strong advocate of the 5-6 meals a day theory. Have lighter meals, but eat often. That way, you don’t suffer from hunger and it keeps your metabolism fired up!

    Plus, I find that if I don’t have my afternoon snack, I will get so hungry by the time supper is on the table, I will either eat the whole time I am making it, or eat way too much for supper. This ends up being counter productive, as I probably ingest more calories that way than if I would’ve had that afternoon snack…

    Oh, and I meant to say, your sweet potato fries are just gorgeous. You just gave me this HUGE craving for sweet potato fries! Ever tried a tiny little drizzle of honey on them? OH MY YUM! 😀


  27. meg jones on June 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    thanks so much for this recipe! i’m doing a similar thing – trying to go vegetarian for the summer, although i’m still eating fish. it’s been a fun process for me, trying to find new alternatives to things that i love to eat. i tried to make veggie burgers a few weeks ago and it didn’t go very well…they didn’t have a great texture. but these look delicious – i can’t wait to try this out, and hopefully i’ll have more success!


  28. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on June 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Looks like a great meal! Good for you for trying to eat healthier!


  29. holly on June 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    i am a very picky meat eater. and during the past year i’ve made lots of tiny steps to being as healthy as i can be(work in progress). so i am always keeping an eye out for vegetarian or vegan recipes, that don’t include mounds of soy protein but are still filling, healthy and easy to cook, bake or prepare raw. a couple recipes i have tried recently are out of the book “power foods”.
    they are way yummy hot or as cold leftovers,just keep the breads and fillings separate until ready to eat 🙂

    a friend once told me…
    before you reach for a snack ask yourself “am i hungry enough that i would eat an apple?” if your answer is “yes”, then you are probably physically hungry, so grab a healthy snack. if your answer is “no” but you would eat maybe a cookie, then you’re probably bored or thirsty, so go for a walk and drink a bottle of water. 🙂

    i love your blog 🙂 and i love that you are considering meatless recipes 🙂 it gets me excited to cook and bake more often. thank you! 🙂


  30. Audrey Ellen on June 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I love the flavor combo of black beans and sweet potatoes, this looks like a great vegetarian bbq meal!


  31. The Housewife on June 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Ooo! You seem to have read my mind! I’ve been dreaming of bean burgers ever since I saw them on Mad Hungry… Now if only I could snap my fingers and get served some burgers! 😛


  32. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on June 15, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    These look amazing! I tried making some black bean burgers a while ago, but failed miserably. I’m bookmarking this recipe to try ASAP.


  33. Apron Appeal on June 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    It’s ok to be hungry after lunch. In fact it’s totally normal. Yes it’s important to have a solid lunch, but it’ just as important to have good snacks to reach for. I’ve recently been turned on to the whole Green Monster Movement and I think a basic one would make a great snack – so long a you don’t load it with protein and other powders.


  34. juju on June 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Wow, this recipe looks so good. I’ve got all the ingredients at home, so I wil be making this!


  35. Tali on June 16, 2011 at 4:25 am

    I love that you now have veggie recipes! I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 7 years now and it’s always great finding recipes that don’t just involve pasta and cheeses. I look forward to making these recipes in addition to the yummy cookies/cakes that I’ve tried 🙂


  36. Mushrooms Canada on June 16, 2011 at 10:47 am

    YUM! What a healthy looking meal… and I just love sweet potato fries!
    – Brittany


  37. Jen on June 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I have been searching for a good vegetarian burger recipe that my husband will like. I try to make at least one vegetarian meal a week for us (he is a dedicated omnivore, so cutting meat out entirely would be difficult if not impossible) so I will definitely be trying this recipe in the near future.

    As far as filling lunches…why do you need to fill up? There is nothing wrong with healthy snacking, and, in fact, it is widely considered to be more healthy to eat many small meals throughout the day, as opposed to two or three big meals. Here are some healthy snack options:

    -Low- or no-fat yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh fruit
    -A smoothie made out of yogurt, frozen fruit, a handful of raw oatmeal, and a splash of milk (this is one of my favorite breakfasts, actually)
    -A small bowl of oatmeal or cold cereal
    -A salad, a handful of raw vegetables, or a piece of fruit
    -A hard boiled egg
    -A piece of whole grain toast, maybe topped with some peanut butter and jelly
    -Some string cheese
    -Some curry-roasted chickpeas
    -A handful of tortilla chips with salsa

    Portioning is key, of course. Eating the whole bag of chips and the entire jar of salsa probably isn’t all that healthy, but salsa, especially if you make your own or buy homemade from a local, is all vegetables and loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Eating a few tablespoons with a single serving of a semi-healthy tortilla chip is a great snack.


  38. Sunny on June 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I would also like to cut back on eating so much meat. The burgers look VERY delicious and I’d love to try them one day. Adding quinoa instead of brown rice is a great idea as well.
    I have a few recipes using quinoa and really like using it instead of rice. It has so much great protein!


  39. Barbara on June 16, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I made these tonight and they turned into more of a black bean hash. Do you have any tips for getting the patties to stay together?


    • Michelle on June 17th, 2011 at 11:21 am

      Hi Barbara, I just really worked and packed them tight when I was shaping them, and then made sure the bottoms were really crisp before flipping them. Hope that helps!


      • Barbara on June 25th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

        I made them again and this time put the beans and rice in a food processor and then added some bread crumbs later. They stayed together so much better!


  40. Michele on June 16, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Any substitutions for mushrooms? The family doesn’t like them at all. I was thinking just more beans & rice?


    • Michelle on June 17th, 2011 at 11:22 am

      Hi Michele, You can actually just omit the mushrooms if you’d like.


  41. Danielle on June 16, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    MMmm, just made these burgers for dinner tonight! Even my meat eating husband enjoyed them 🙂


  42. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on June 17, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I love veggie burgers with black beans in them! And those fries look delicious too!


  43. Michelle on June 17, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Thanks for all of the veggie and snacking tips! To clarify, I’m not opposed to healthy snacking at all, but 9 times out of 10, I “graze” in the afternoon, and not on healthy things! Usually I end up full by the time dinner rolls around. So I think if I’m a little more satisfied after lunch one healthy snack during the afternoon should work 🙂


  44. Lee Chuah on June 17, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I have the same problem as Barbara. I have made veggie burgers using different recipes, including yours, and they fall apart when I try to flip them in the pan. Is there anyone who has some tips on this besides trying to pack the patties as tight as possible?


    • Ashley on July 10th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

      The best I can say is to use a large, thin spatula that the entire patty can fit on. If you flip them and they break off at all, they can easily be reshaped with the spatula. Make sure you only flip them one time, otherwise you’re going to have issues so time it well. Good luck!


  45. Tracy on June 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I can’t even tell you how much I can’t wait to try these burgers. Most veggie burgers have nuts in them which is why I usually have to avoid them. I’m so excited to try these!!


  46. Ashley on June 20, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    As a pescetarian (but mainly a vegetarian) I am always happy to find new recipes! The burgers are on the cast iron skillet as we speak and the sweet potato fries just came out of the oven. Only problem: how do you get the burgers to stay together when you flip them? maybe I didn’t mash the beans enough?


    • Michelle on June 20th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Ashley, I just kept the spatula close to the skillet and turned carefully. Enjoy!


  47. Kooky Girl on June 22, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I love stuffed vine leaves – vine leaves stuffed with rice and herbs. They’re healthy, tasty, meat-free – and filling.


  48. Francesca on June 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    All I can say is WOW! We had these for dinner last night & I’m eating one for lunch right now…they are beyond flavorful. I actually prepared the burgers on Sunday night and let them sit in the fridge (uncooked) until dinner Monday evening (I knew they’d be time consuming otherwise). I had a hard time flipping the first burger, but then I got the hang of it. We put these on buns with Colby-jack cheese…amazing!


  49. Ashley on July 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Hey! I tried this recipe last night and it was AMAZING. I’ve been trying black been and mushroom burgers for years and have never had great results, until last night. The rice and carrots really add a great dynamic and the mustard/soy flavor was great. I was skeptical about not needing an egg, but you really don’t. I’ve frozen 4 uncooked patties for later. Oh and I added a dollop of all-natural ranch dressing and some hot sauce, which pushed it over the edge. Thanks for the recipe.


  50. Caiti on April 27, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I made these for dinner tonight and everyone LOVED them. Its an awesome recipe! Do you have any advice for preparing ahead and storing, or freezing uncooked patties? I’d love to be able to take them or lunch when i’m short on time or a stove, but i don’t know if prep-ahead is something that should even be attempted with bean burgers 🙂


    • Michelle on April 29th, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Hi Caiti, I have made these in batches and frozen them once they are cooked and cooled, but I have never tried to freeze uncooked patties. I hope that helps!


  51. Brittany on July 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    These came out awesome. I used corn instead of mushrooms.. Just what I had on hand.


  52. Cindy on January 4, 2016 at 11:33 am

    For some reason, I cannot view the photos on this particular recipe. Is there something I can do to view the photos?


Leave a Comment

(Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for your patience! If it is your first time commenting you may want to review the Comment Guidelines.)