Gluten Free Vegan Yam Black Bean Burgers (Adapted From

by on January 28, 2013

Here we go with another yam recipe! Ahem… “sweet potato” if you are in the states and kumara if you are in Australia. This recipe is an adaptation of fellow blogger Megan Lust whom I met at the International Food Blogger conference in Portland, Oregon last August.

Funny story, so we sort of found each other with a few other vegan bloggers (there weren’t many!) and bonded over the lack of vegan food at the conference and being pretty hungry. We hung out and then after we saw each others’s business cards we were like hey you sound familiar…. I found out we’ were both Canadian and she was from Saskatoon. Then I thought odd… I swear I know a gluten free vegan in Saskatoon.

And we find out we had actually been vegan food swap buddies a few months before. We tried it out this Canada blogger vegan food swap for 2 months when it first started before giving up (because too many people were sending prepackaged vegan junk you could easily get at the store.) But the cool thing was she had lovingly made me some HOMEMADE ginger pear jam because I begged to not be sent anything junkie with oil and said anything else would be awesome. Here is my previous blog post about the lovely things she sent me.

Faster forward to a few months later and the other day I was cruising her website The Gluten Free Vegan and saw these yummy homemade “sweet potato” burgers. (We Canadians use that word online generally so Americans know what we’re talking about! and most of our blog traffic comes from the USA and not Canada) and I decided to make them myself.

I wanted to try these. I JUST HAD TO.

So in my version of course I stripped the oil out of it and tried to make it lower fat, and also changed up the seasonings to it as well. If you like smokey black bean yam burgers that have a South Western taste you’re going to love these!

These vegan patties also stay together really well because Megan (the genius that she is) uses spiralized or shredded yam pieces in the patty to help it stay together without needing breadcrumbs which makes for a tasty gluten free vegan yam burger! (Much tastier than my previous attempt of yams with black beans and breadcrumbs, that recipe has never seen the light of day because it just wasn’t delicious enough lol.)

You end up with a delicious and crispy on the outside moist in the middle veggie patty that is perfect to serve between burger buns, or even set it atop of some rice or pilaff. So check it out!

Gluten Free Yam Potato Black Bean Burgers

Adapted from Megan Lust’s recipe at The Gluten Free Vegan

Makes 6-8 patties


2 1/2 cups grated or spiralized yams/sweet potato (about 2 small ones)
1 19 oz.(large) can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed well
6 green onions/scallions/spring onions, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic
3/4 cup walnut pieces
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Add walnuts to the bowl of your food processor and pulse until finely ground.
4. Add in the carrot, celery, green onions and garlic and pulse to finely chop. Be careful not to let it become a paste. Remove contents and set aside in a bowl.
5. Add in the black beans to the food processor and gently pulse until chopped. Add 1 1/2 cups of the grated yams and pulse into a chunky puree. Scrape out into same bowl.
6. Add the remaining 1 cup  of grated yams and seasonings. Stir and combine well.
7. Form into 8 patties with your hands and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
8. Bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned and set.
9. Garnish with condiments and serve as desired. (I use hummus instead of Veganaise, ketchup and relish or pickles and lettuce.)

Additional Tips:

If you don’t have smoked paprika or chipotle pepper, I recommend it, but you can use regular. It just won’t have that full bodied smokey flavor to it.

For a gluten free option, serve patties in a large lettuce leaf or use gluten free buns.

Additionally you can serve these like sweet potato cakes over top of rice.

Store remaining patties in between sheets of parchment paper, either in the fridge or seal and place in freezer. To reheat, place into a non stick pan and heat over medium heat until warmed through.

Have you ever made your own vegan burger patties? What do you put in them?

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie December 17, 2016 at 4:53 AM

Would it be possible to give measures in grams too. I don’t really understand cups or ounces coming from the uk
Thank you


2 Veronica Grace March 14, 2017 at 5:40 PM

Please do a search on converting ounces to grams.


3 Bonnie Hamilton April 20, 2016 at 6:24 AM

This sounds delicious! I always cook my beans fresh so could you please give the measurement of beans in cups? A 15 ounce can is about 1 1/2 cups. How many cups is 19 ounces?


4 Rita March 23, 2016 at 6:02 PM

Could you use chia seeds instead of nuts for those who can’t have nuts? It seems to me that it would be a good binder.


5 Veronica Grace May 2, 2016 at 9:59 AM

I think you would need far too many to use as a binder and it might make it too gritty.


6 Marley December 5, 2015 at 12:03 PM

Just made these, following eat to live and this was a wonderful treat. Made without carrot and blended everything else together in fp. So good and definitely delicious with the chipotle paprika smokey flavor. Thank you!


7 Mark from San Diego November 18, 2015 at 10:17 AM

This recipe sounds great. However, due to heart disease, I follow a diet that omits nuts whenever possible. Do you have a substitute for the raw walnuts? Thanks, Mark


8 Becky February 13, 2017 at 7:48 AM

Mark, just a guess, how about rolled oats 🙂


9 RJ October 6, 2015 at 4:53 PM

GREAT!! these were VERY flavorful and moist. held together very well.
i did cook them longer – about 20 minutes per side – with the last 5 minutes on broil. they were still moist inside – with a little crisp on the outside.
i had some flax seed and nutritional yeast lying around so ground a couple of tablespoons of each with the nuts.
my husband has been doing ‘eat to live’ for 9 months now – great results – this will definitely be in the rotation!


10 Rachelle April 20, 2015 at 2:15 AM

I can’t wait to try this! I am always looking for great veggie burgers for the summer months especially, and this sounds right up my ally.


11 James Murray April 5, 2015 at 8:59 PM

When I buy bean burgers at the store, like garden burgers for example, they are solid, not mushy, and firm that holds together. How do I duplicate that texture with my home made bean burgers.


12 Jennifer February 28, 2015 at 6:04 PM

Just tried these – not the simplest I’ve made – but some of the best – these were delicious!! I did flip them after 25 minutes because they were extremely mushy and put back in for 5 minutes then broiled for a crispy top – they were really moist and delicious.


13 Rayca December 2, 2014 at 1:58 PM

I have a very similar (killer) recipe for a mock sausage. This would also be a great substitute. Roll in cigar shapes and serve with scrambled tofu for breakfast.


14 Lorie July 17, 2014 at 9:53 AM

This sounds really good but I am allergic to tree nuts. Is there a substitute for the walnuts?


15 Emily July 3, 2014 at 2:34 PM

This looks great! Just to confirm: you are using sweet potatoes, though, not yams, right? I’m confused by your usage. Thanks.


16 Becky March 23, 2014 at 8:49 AM

This recipe was amazing. So yummy! Thanks for sharing.


17 Julie October 20, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Sounds delicious and I am looking forward to making. I did want to comment that Yams and Sweet Potatoes are actually different vegetables, with different nutritional values, and different texture and flavor….


18 Veronica Grace October 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

In the USA everyone calls yams sweet potatoes. I am in Canada and we call them yams. In general most people in north america use the orange flesh variety and call them either yam or sweet potato. Check out wikipedia:

This is to make it simple for everyone because if I said yam most of my American readers would have no idea what I’m talking about.


19 William Clark October 23, 2013 at 9:45 PM

I’d have to agree with you about people in our country not knowing what a yam is. For instance, what we know to be sweet potato pie is actually yam pie. Both are delicious either way 🙂


20 Marcia August 2, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Oh boy! Another excuse to use chipotle powder (darn!). I think I’m becoming addicted! These sound luscious and I can hardly wait to try them! I bet grilled onions would be good on them too. Don’t enjoy the flavor of Smoked Paprika, but there’s enough smoke int he chipotle powder so I’m okay. If I need more, I can put a small amount of liquid smoke. I wonder what wasabe (sp?) would be good if you don’t have chipotle powder? I’ve used it place of dry mustard and it was great! I think I have found tomorrow nights dinner, thanks Veronica!


21 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 5, 2013 at 9:51 PM

Is it the sweet smoked paprika? I really don’t like regular paprika, it just has a little bitter flavor, but the sweet smoked spanish paprika adds a little sweet smokey heat to recipes I just love.


22 ellen brockett July 29, 2013 at 1:21 PM

just tried these, really , really good, very tender, would fall apart easily but thats ok too. thanks so much


23 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica July 29, 2013 at 1:37 PM

When you don’t use eggs or wheat (which binds using it’s gluten) veggie burgers will be a little softer and easier to fall apart. That is normal.


24 Annette Grover July 17, 2013 at 8:41 AM

I tried the Gluten Free Vegan Yam Black Bean Burger recipe yesterday and loved it! I froze some and saved two for today. Thank you for your great recipes! We have enjoyed the ones we have tried and are going to try more.


25 Jeyam Benjamin July 8, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Hi Veronica
I love your recipes. The problem I have is that every time I open them, my computer tells me to close it as it slows down my computer. Do you know why my computer says that?


26 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica July 8, 2013 at 4:00 PM

You’re computer is telling you to close the browser once you’re on my site? Perhaps you do not have enough RAM (Random Access Memory) and are running too many other computer applications at once. Perhaps the graphics on my site take a little more RAM to load. Are you using an older computer?


27 Paola June 26, 2013 at 10:55 PM

The sweet potato needs to be raw or cooked?


28 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica June 26, 2013 at 11:00 PM

RAW. You do not cook it before hand, as it needs to be raw to grate, it cooks in the oven.


29 Lisa April 28, 2013 at 5:01 PM

I made mine about an 3/4 of an inch thick. 30 minutes later they are still falling apart when I try to flip. Are they suppose to fall apart?


30 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 28, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Did you use shredded yams/sweetpotatoes and pack the burgers into a burger shape? They shouldn’t be completely falling apart. Also was the mixture really wet? You want to make sure the beans are drained and not too moist.


31 Lisa May 2, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Thank you for your reply. I did rinse the beans very thoroughly, and shredded the yams. The end result was after 45:00 minutes, the outsides were a little crispy and the insides were moist. However, they still made a wonderful meal (you could still mould a patty). And best of all, my family asked for more!!!! They really were delicious! Thanks again.


32 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica May 3, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Maybe you could make them smaller and thinner if you wanted them a little drier inside. They are very moist and flavourful. Enjoy!


33 Jennifer April 6, 2013 at 7:19 PM

Holy smack! Was this ever yummy! I don’t usually like sweet potatoes, but thought I’d give it a try…and I am so glad I did! Thanks bunches! I put the link on MFP to share the love with others!


34 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 6, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Thank you! What is MFP?


35 VeganAud June 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM

I’m guessing my face page. Lol!, I had the same reaction.


36 Kim April 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I made these last night and loved them. My first veggie burger, ever. I am working my way towards vegan. My health wasn’t that great and was starting to scare me, my aunt suggested I watch the documentary Forks over Knives and I was shocked. Since then I have lost 12 lbs and feel so much better. Thank you for the healthy and yummy recipe. I will add, these are sooo filling.


37 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 6, 2013 at 9:49 PM

I’m so glad you liked them. 🙂


38 Susan Vickers March 17, 2013 at 10:10 PM

made these today…..they are EXCELLENT!!!
Thanx for yet another great recipe!!



39 Warren Wisner March 13, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Hey, I just made these burgers and found two items wrong with the the states black beans come in 15.5 oz cans..not 19 oz..and after grating 2.5 cups of yams, i found the instructions mushed up 1 cup, and added one cup to the bean mixture…where does the other half cup go? I used aduzka beans that I had cook myself and these required a little water to grind them up into a paste, and after sampling the mixture before putting them in the oven, the garlic seems quite strong, but the overall flavor was great…


40 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica March 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Hi Warren

You can get beans in several different sizes, some are 15 oz, 16 oz or 19 oz. I use a larger 19 oz can. Not all brands come in this size but some do, you can always look. That’s not an error.

I changed it so you add 1 1/2 cups of the yams to the food processor to pulse.

If you use home cooked beans you should make sure they are fairly cooked so they will break up easily and not be too firm or crunchy.

Beans and potatoes can be quite bland so this is why I add garlic, salt and smoked paprika to them.


41 Warren Wisner March 13, 2013 at 2:35 PM

it was too much garlic for my taste, probably 3 cloves would have been better. The taste was excellent except for that..I had the smoky paprika and the chipotle seasoning and that worked great… my sister-in-law is trying to be strickly gluten free, and I know she will love these.


42 Ashley March 11, 2013 at 2:20 PM

As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. My expectations were completely blown away. So quick and easy to make, this is now my go to burger recipe. I topped mine with hummus and wrapped it in lettuce instead of using a bun. So good! As soon as I tasted them, I immediatley passed the recipe along to my mother and sister.

I have recenlty switched to a vegan diet for health reasons (after being a vegetarian for 13 years) and I can not wait to try more of your recipes!


43 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica March 18, 2013 at 10:03 PM

I’m so glad you liked them! It’s nice to have a satisfying vegan burger recipe. Most that come frozen are so dry and bland!


44 Margaret March 11, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Hi Veronica
Will definitely make this for my
not so RAW family.
Regards from sunny NZ


45 Sheri February 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Hi! Made these last night along with baby roasted potatoes (no oil) and they were a bit hit with my husband! Thanks for the first veggie burgers I’ve ever made that didn’t fall apart. Veronica, you’re great!! : )


46 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 11, 2013 at 11:01 AM

That sounds awesome! I know I hate having dry veggie burgers that fall apart. The grated sweet potato sure helps.


47 Michele February 7, 2013 at 4:08 AM

Hi Veronica,

This recipe sounds great, but my son can’t have fat or gluten. Can you suggest a gluten and fat free substitute for the nuts?


48 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 8, 2013 at 12:17 AM

Sorry. I dont have any concrete answers. Try more beans or gluten free breadcrumbs


49 Katie February 1, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Made these gems last night, followed recipe to a T. DELISH! Two thumbs up from all three kids, even 4 yr old! I cooked them on top of a silicone baking sheet so I’m not sure if that impeded baking time but after 25 min I had to flip and crisp them up on the other side. I crumbled it on top of a bed of romaine and added guac and Dreena Burton’s almond curry dressing sans oil. This will def be my go to recipe from here on out! I bet it would taste so good on a toasted bun with salsa and guac…yummm. Looking forward to leftovers tonight! Thank you for recipe!


50 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 1, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Oh I’m so glad!


51 Glenn January 30, 2013 at 6:41 PM

This looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it!


52 Kristina L January 30, 2013 at 9:22 AM

I just started ‘Eat to Live’, this will fit PERFECT in the nutritairian guide lines! Thanks!!!


53 BW January 30, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Thanks for posting! I tried this last night but didn’t have any walnuts so I left them out. Unfortunately, my patties were too runny and didn’t “set” after baking for 40 minutes. Could this be because I left out the walnuts?

Tasted great, just didn’t have the “burger” texture.


54 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica January 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM

Yes! You need the walnuts because there are no breadcrumbs. It needs something dry to be able form it into patties. Sweet potatoes or yams and beans get too mushy on their own.

It will squish when you eat it but thats normal for a yam burger patty. Most veggie burgers are too dry and crumbly. This one is a bit softer and moister. Please use walnuts or pecans to hold it together and dont over mix.


55 Kristy January 31, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Veronica how did you start to add cooked food back in after a strict lfrv diet? I’m wanting but am having a hard time, I’m getting sick of fruit and that’s not good.


56 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica February 1, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Hi Kristy

I did not eat strict LFRV for many years, so I had no problem eating spices or cooked vegetables. What are you having a hard time with? I still eat a lot of fruit, but I have to watch my teeth and avoid getting cavities so that’s why I prefer to eat some vegetables and starches instead of eating fruit 3 times a day.


57 Teresa de Souza January 29, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Hey , V eronica , how Great , Today !
I love Burgers , buy I hate these ‘ Normal ‘ Burgers made out of Meat . UGH ! Never .
I eat Veggie Burgers all over if I am Hungry on the Road , even at McDonnalds .
But never made them at Home . I thought it would be terribly Difficult .
But this One here You made might be Great !
And having as Basis Sweet Potatoes .
I do hope to prepare to my Husband too !

My Respect , dear V eronica !



58 Sylvia January 29, 2013 at 1:31 PM

I make Oat burgers with this recipe but tweak it with other things this is just my basic
4 c water 1 1/2 T Basil
4 c oats 4 cloves of Garlic minced
1/2 c. Braggs or soy sauce 2 tsp Sage
1 c pecan meal 1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 med. onion, chopped fine
1/4 c nutritional yeast
2 tsp Bakon seas or any seasoning of your choice
Put water & braggs in pot bring to boil. In a large bowl place remaining ingredients. Add liquid to dry and mix well; allow to sit for 20 min. With hands mix well and form into burgers, place on prepared cookie sheet and bake at 350 20 min on each side. This makes quite a few and they freeze well. ( you can spread mixture out on the cookie sheet, score in strips to use for stroganoff, fajitas or? ) These freeze very well.


59 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica January 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Thanks for sharing your recipe!


60 lucie January 31, 2015 at 9:27 PM

what kind of oats – the fine steel or rolled oats? big or small?


61 Veronica Grace February 1, 2015 at 8:48 PM

I would guess rolled oats or instant oats.


62 Carolyn January 29, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Yay! I’ve been looking for a soy-free, grain-free vegan burger. Can’t wait to give this a try.

Thank you.


63 Marge January 29, 2013 at 9:18 AM

I have been making Jeff Novick’s Burger recipe from his DVD. I do the basic one, very easy. You just need a bowl and a potato masher. It is basically, kidney beans, oats, cooked brown rice, a tomato product (ketsup, salsa, tomato paste or sauce) and spices.


64 Patti-Anne January 29, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Do I need to cook the sweet potato before grating it or is it raw? I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you!


65 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica January 29, 2013 at 9:20 AM

No you leave it raw.


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