MainsSandwichesVeganVegan Sandwiches

Veggie Burgers Perfect For Late Lunches

20 mins Cook
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Do you know my favorite veggie burger? If not, it’s about time. I have high standards when it comes to veggie burgers but these put the rest to shame. I have a feeling it could be your favorite veggie burger too.

Hearty and filling, these veggie burgers offer a tantalizing mix of flavors. They start with a base of quinoa, black beans, and oats. It is then enriched with sweet potatoes, fresh herbs and selected spices. A little sweet and a little spicy, in the best sense of the word.

You might recognize this recipe as a sweet potato and black bean veggie burger that has been hidden in the archives for quite some time. You could have enjoyed these burgers in my Love Real Food cookbook.

Or maybe it’s the first time you’ve seen these burgers. If so, I’m sharing why this veggie burger recipe is my favorite:

These burgers are absolutely delicious. In fact, these are the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. , keeps its shape during and after cooking. Many veggie burgers are a hassle to make and eat, but these are completely hassle-free.
These burgers can be cooked in the oven, on the stove or on the grill. You can also freeze it, so you can eat it deliciously even if you make it all at once.

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Veggie Burgers Perfect For Late Lunches

Veggie Burger Cooking Options

You have three cooking options for these veggie burgers, and we’ll start with my favorite one.

1) Oven Baked
We love to bake our veggie burgers in the oven. The easiest way to cook a lot at once, it cooks beautifully and is golden on all sides.

2) Grilled
Hamburgers that are delicious even when grilled! I managed to grill the burgers on the grate without falling apart. (If that doesn’t work, let the burger cool slightly before trying it again.)

3) Stovetop
Finally, you can make these veggie burgers in a stovetop pan. It’s not my favorite method because the stove needs more babysitting than the oven, but it’s totally doable. These burgers are very juicy inside. See the recipe note for details.

Veggie Burger Ingredients

These veggie burgers are made with easy-to-find, healthy ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

Sweet potatoes: For best results, weigh your sweet potatoes at the store to make sure you’re starting with the right amount. Cut them in half and roast until tender.
Quinoa: Start with raw (uncooked) quinoa. See recipe for cooking instructions. Alternatively, if you have 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa left over, you can use that instead. Millet can also be used as a substitute for quinoa (see recipe notes for details).
Black Beans: Canned or home-cooked, rinsed and drained.
Red Onion, Coriander, Garlic: If you’re sensitive to these flavors, don’t worry. There is none. It softens during cooking and has a delicious finish.
Seasoning: Add smoky barbecue flavor with adobo sauce (canned chipotle peppers made with adobo) or smoked paprika. Also add cumin, chili powder and salt.
Pressure Cooking Oats: Oats absorb excess moisture and provide whole grains. You can also use old-fashioned oats that have been briefly pulsed in a food processor or blender to grind them.

Veggie Burger Serving Suggestions

Burger Accompaniments

Serve these burgers as, well, burgers! Find some great buns, or use butter lettuce leaves for a low-carb, gluten free options. Add any of the following:

Veggie Burgers Perfect For Late Lunches

Veggie Burgers Perfect For Late Lunches

Do you know my favorite veggie burger? If not, it's about time. I have high standards when it comes to veggie burgers but these put the rest to shame. I have a feeling it could be your favorite veggie burger too.
prep time
1 hour
cooking time
20 mins
total time
1 hour 20 mins



  • 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes (2 medium or 3 small)

  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh colander

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans)

  • ½ cup chopped red onion (about ½ small red onion)

  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce* or 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ¼ cups quick-cooking oats

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing (or avocado oil)

  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns (optional)

  • Your favorite burger fixings:

  • Avocado or guacamole,

  • tomato,

  • onion,

  • lettuce

  • pickles,

  • cheese,

  • sprouts,

  • ketchup,

  • hot sauce,

  • mustard


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleaning.
Bake sweet potatoes: Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Arrange the sweet potatoes cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes or longer, until lightly crusted. Leave it for now. (If you're cooking burgers, reserve a parchment-lined pan and leave the oven on.)
Meanwhile, place the quinoa and water in a small pan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, reducing heat if necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 11-14 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and allow the quinoa to steam for 10 minutes.
When the sweet potatoes are cool enough, remove the skin and discard (it should come off easily) and roughly chop the inside. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine chilled sweet potatoes with quinoa, black beans, onions, coriander, garlic, adobo he sauce, cumin, chili he powder, and salt. Mix well using a potato masher, dough cutter, large spoon, or the paddle attachment of the mixer.
Sprinkle the rolled oats into the mixture and mix well with a large spoon until the mixture comes together when making the patties. If you're not making the burgers right away, cover the mixture and store it in the refrigerator.
When ready to cook, shape the hamburgers. Using a measuring cup, measure out his 1/2 cup of the mixture. Gently shape into patties about 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter. Gently flatten the burger with your hands, smoothing out any jagged edges. Repeat this process for each patty. You should end up with 8. When grilling the
burgers (see recipe notes for another option), liberally coat both sides of each patty with olive oil and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a few inches of space between each. empty. Bake at 400°F until patties are dark golden on the outside, about 35 minutes, turning halfway through. Serve
burgers the way you like them. Leftover burgers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Or freeze in a freezer bag for up to 3 months (thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute or in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until fully heated).


Recipe adapted from the Cafe Flora Cookbook. Cafe Flora is a wonderful vegetarian restaurant in Seattle with an ever-changing seasonal menu—check it out if you’re nearby. *ADOBO SAUCE NOTE: Buy canned or jarred chipotle peppers in adobo and use the sauce. You’ll usually find this ingredient in the international or Hispanic aisle of the grocery store. You can transfer leftover peppers and their sauce to a freezer bag, squeeze out any remaining air, and freeze for later use. **OATS NOTE: You can use old-fashioned oats instead, if you briefly blend them in a food processor or blender until broken into smaller pieces (not as fine as flour). STOVETOP COOKING METHOD: Heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or other high heat oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, place several burgers in the pan, leaving enough room to flip them. Cook each patty until browned and heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet for each pan of burgers you fry, and dial down the heat as necessary to prevent burning. GRILLING METHOD: Ideally, let the mixture chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before shaping the burgers and grilling. No need to coat the burgers in oil, which might burn on the grill. Shape the burgers as instructed in step 6, and cook on a grill over medium heat, turning once the undersides have turned golden and developed some grill marks. Repeat on the other side. MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Use certified gluten-free oats and choose your accompaniments carefully. As an alternative to buns, try butter lettuce leaves! PREPARE IN ADVANCE: Prepare the burger mixture and let it chill in the refrigerator (you can let it chill overnight or up to a couple of days if you’d like). Then assemble the burgers and cook as directed. SERVING SUGGESTIONS: These veggie burgers don’t have to be served as traditional burgers. The patties are good on their own with toppings like guacamole and pico de gallo, or in a salad with Southwestern flavors. Try serving them with corn on the cob in the summer. RECIPE NOTES 8/18/20: The original version of this recipe called for ⅓ cup millet cooked with 1 cup water (yielding 1 cup cooked millet) and 1 cup old-fashioned oats, lightly ground in a food processor or blender until the flakes are broken up, but not as fine as flour.
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