Sweet Potato Burger with Roasted Poblano + A Lesson


Besides the fact that I ate this burger in 1.2 seconds after shooting it, the big story with this guy is the making of it. My friend Cat De Orio did a burger roundup for Z-Life Mag and asked me to contribute the solo planty-burger (it’s in the latest issue!). I was so excited she asked me and couldn’t wait to get started.

But after lots of attempts to get this burger right, it just wasn’t working. One round, the patties tasted like a gummy mess. Another round, they wouldn’t cook through the center. I tried them on the stovetop. And then in the oven. I even tried different ingredient combinations – but nothing seemed to work. And I got M-A-D. I screamed from the kitchen, ” I hate this!!!” I really wanted to give up. I crossed my arms, two-year-old style and all. I was a real pouty brat.


And then my husband came in and gave me a good ol’ fashioned reality check. He told me to remember that not too long ago (when I had a job making wedding invitations that I really didn’t like), this opportunity wasn’t even something I could have thought was possible. This was my dream – to create recipes – and I had made that happen. So why wasn’t I happy? Why wasn’t I enjoying it? He was right (he’s good at this stuff).

So I snapped out of it. I went to the store and bought another sweet potato and got to work. I took my time. And this time, I told myself that it would be ok if this was just another attempt and not THE burger. When I was designing, I would print something out twenty times before I got it right. It was the same thing here.

So you probably know what happened. The burger turned out just the way I wanted it to. I loved it so much that I took them to party and got the stamp of approval from my biggest taste testers, Lauren and Liz. The process of making it really taught me an important lesson: stop fearing time. Maybe you’ll get it right on the first try and maybe the fifth. Whether it’s kicking sugar, changing careers, or in this case making a burger – there are times when things take a little longer than you’d like. And that’s ok. Goals are great, but fake timelines can cause a lot of anxiety. They can be paralyzing and can keep us from succeeding at what we want to do.


Who would have thought this innocent burger could teach me so much? This month, I’m letting some of my timelines go. I’m keeping my goals, but I’m not going to put pressure on myself to get them all right now. Wanna join me? We can eat lots of burgers while we do it.

{ Sweet Potato Burger with Roasted Poblano }

1 large sweet potato, baked
15 oz cooked black beans (this one uses canned, but fresh is awesome here too)
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, and chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take a fork and poke the sweet potato a few times, like you would a regular baked potato. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for about 40-45 minutes or until tender.

While the sweet potato is baking, turn on your gas burner and place the poblano directly on top of the flame. Turn the poblano every few minutes to make sure each side gets charred evenly (this gives it the smoky flavor). If you don’t have a gas top, you can use a broiler. After charring each side, place the pepper in a brown paper bag and close the top of the bag while you chop your onions and garlic, around 15-20 minutes.

Remove sweet potato, let cool, and peel the skin off. Turn heat up to 425 degrees. Remove poblano from the paper bag and peel the skin off, remove ribs and seeds, and chop. In a large bowl, mix the sweet potato, black beans, chopped pepper, red onion, garlic, tamari, salt, and oats. Mashing with your hands is a messy but effective way to mix together.

Roll mixture into balls a little bigger than a golf ball and place on the same parchment-lined cookie sheet you used to bake the sweet potato. Press down each ball into patties. Cook for 35 minutes or until burger is cooked through. Top with guacamole and a splash of hot sauce on a sprouted bun or whole grain bun, or go bun-free and enjoy on top of a salad!

And a few more sweet potato recipes right here!
Rosemary and Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes + 5 more ways (including my favorite tacos).

Posted In: Recipes


  1. Paige
    January 30, 2014

    Looks delicious! Are you using rolled oats? Or oat groats you’ve cooked?

  2. Jessica
    January 31, 2014

    Paige, I used good ol’ fashioned rolled oats here. I am sure oat groats could work too!

  3. Rachel Sizemore
    January 31, 2014

    Jessica, thank you so much for sharing this story. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Fake timelines are really just another way for me to be hard on myself and its just not productive or fun. To letting them go a bit & being grateful for where we are now!

  4. elizabeth graham
    February 1, 2014


    what kind of sprouted roll did you serve this gorgeous “Sweet Potato Burger ” on?

    Name of the roll and where did you purchase it?

    That is the best looking roll I have seen.

    Thank you for your reply and your valuable time.

    Blessings, favor & Grace,

    Elizabeth lizgraham@juno.com

  5. Jessica
    February 1, 2014

    Rachel, I am so glad you enjoyed it. I love what you said “Being grateful for where we are now”. Thanks!

  6. Dearna
    February 2, 2014

    Good on you for sticking it through – sometimes its easy to get caught up in the moment when things aren’t going very well, and hard to re-gain perspective. Looks like all that hard work paid off in the end – these look great!

  7. Laura | Peaches and Greens
    February 2, 2014

    Umm, yup, been there. It’s the worst. I think this contributed to my blogging hiatus too. It’s totally frustrating but let’s be clear here, everything you have on OPP and your affiliated projects are 100% inspired and brilliant, and on top of that you are totally lovely. It’s hard being so awesome, so you’re allowed to lose your crap once in a while. Just so long as you pull your socks back up and get on with it again. Keep your chin up petal, and keep doing what you do! xx

  8. Jessica
    February 2, 2014

    Thanks, Dearna! They taste awesome too.

  9. Caitlin | The Siren's Tale
    February 3, 2014

    This recipe sounds delicious! I pinned it to try it later. I like how few ingredients are in the burger too. Some of the vegan sweet potato burger recipes I’ve seen have a laundry list attached to them for ingredients. Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Jessica
    February 3, 2014

    Caitlin, thanks for pinning it! I try to keep it simple here with recipes. I don’t know about you – but probably not going to make it if it has a million ingredients. Happy Sweet Potatoes!

  11. Nicola Brown
    February 4, 2014

    Yum! Well done – you showed that burger who’s boss.

    Sometimes kitchen events make me scream and shout like a two-year-old too!

  12. Reenfish
    February 4, 2014

    I’ve loved following you on your journey to wellness. And I’ve loved your honesty . . . especially your latest burger meltdown. Give your handsome, cheerleading husband a big hug for reminding you to enjoy the journey.

  13. Jessica
    February 4, 2014

    Thanks Reenfish! He’s the most awesome ever.

  14. Emily
    February 10, 2014

    Can’t wait to make this! If using canned black beans, do you drain or use liquid? Thanks!

  15. Jessica
    February 11, 2014

    Emily, yes! Good question. If you are using canned – drain the water first. These are so good, excited for you to try.

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