Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce / by Chelsea Zwieg

Typically, when you have a hamburger, you're pretty certain what you're in for. Right? Some sort of beef patty situation on a bun. Now it could be good, it could be bad. I am definitely not arguing that all burgers are equal. But, in the most general sense, you know you've got some ground beef coming your way.

On the other hand, the term "veggie burger" can mean so many different things that I'm pretty sure it just shouldn't be allowed to be printed on menus in such grossly vague terms anymore. Sometimes it's made with all vegetables, sometimes there's tofu, sometimes it's actually a portobello mushroom on a bun and, more often than not, there are all sorts of beans going on in there. I've had some really great veggie burgers and some really REALLY bad ones. In my opinion, the main offender is black beans. You can mix whatever you want with black beans, throw in every vegetable in the world, and it will still taste like nothing but black beans. So it is always a bit of gamble, venturing into veggie burger land. And since I'm never really apt to play that high risk game when I'm eating out, I like to try to make them at home, where I can know exactly what "veggie burger" means.

And so when I saw a veggie burger recipe in Bon Appetit last month, I knew I had to try it right away. It had no black beans! No tofu! No mysterious vegan egg-substitute binders! Instead, it had a simple list of ingredients that I would actually want in a burger. Mushrooms, zucchini and shallot. Plus quinoa for protein. Held together with sweet potato. Sign me up. 

The best part about this burger is how easy it is to make. The veggies get pulsed in a food processor before a quick sautee on the stove. Then everything gets mixed together in a giant bowl, shaped into patties on back to the stove for another 5 minutes of cooking time. Plus if you're like me you may have some quinoa left over from last week's recipe which makes everything even quicker. Now of course, me being me, I just had to change a few things here and there with the recipe. Lime juice instead of lemon, plus garlic and chili powder, because you can never have too much flavor. 

Add some pretzel buns, sliced avocado and some (absolutely addicting) chipotle yogurt sauce and your non-mysterious veggie burger dinner is ready to go!

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Makes 4 burgers

| Ingredients

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5-6 button mushrooms or 1 portobello mushroom
  • 1/2 small zucchini
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo + 2-3 tsp. additional sauce
  • For serving: pretzel buns, sliced avocado

| Instructions | 

  • Prick sweet potato all over with a fork. Microwave on high until tender, 4-5 minutes per side. Let cool, then scoop out flesh and mash with a fork. 
  • Remove stems from mushrooms and discard. In a food processor, pulse mushroom caps until very finely chopped. Using a food processor attachment or a box grater, grate zucchini and combine with the chopped mushrooms. Using a paper towel or kitchen towel, ring zucchini and mushrooms to squeeze out any excess liquid. 
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Saute shallot and crushed red pepper flakes until shallot is soft and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to release their liquid, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in quinoa, garlic powder, chili powder and salt, to taste. Let cool.
  • To make the chipotle yogurt sauce, combine greek yogurt, 1 tbsp. lime juice, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce in a blender. Pulse until combined, and only very small bits of the pepper remain. 
  • After the veggie/quinoa mixture has cooled, add breadcrumbs, 1 1/2 tsp. lime juice and 1/4 cup mashed sweet potato. Mix well. Take a clump and squeeze it it in your hand. If it does not hold together, add more sweet potato to bind. 
  • Once the mixture comes together, divide into 4 portions and form into patties. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 2 patties and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining 2 patties, adding more oil if needed.
  • To serve, build burgers with buns, patties, slice avocado, red pepper flakes and chipotle yogurt sauce.