These burgers have an addictively crispy outside and are soft and chewy inside, with plenty of protein from cooked black beans. You can use commercial gluten-free panko or bread crumbs or make your own by grinding a few pieces of bread in a food processor. You can also replace panko with bought or homemade almond meal. To make it yourself, simply grind whole peeled almonds or almond slivers to a coarse powder.
This makes a big batch of burgers, so freeze any ungrilled patties on plates or baking sheets so they don’t stick together and then transfer them to freezer-safe containers. To cook from frozen, bake for 30 minutes at 375 F (190 C) then broil for a few minutes on each side to crisp exterior.
2 sweet potatoes (to make 2 cups/500 mL mashed potatoes)
3 cups (750 mL) cooked black beans, or 2 – 14 oz (398 mL) cans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely diced green onions
3 Tbsp (45 mL) gluten-free panko, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime or lemon zest
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground cumin
1 Tbsp (15 mL) smoked paprika
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt, divided
1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper, divided
8 whole grain or gluten-free buns (optional)
Place whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes on baking sheet and roast in 415 F (210 C) oven for 30 minutes, or until soft, slightly deflated, and oozing caramelized sugars.
Cut sweet potatoes open in several places to help them cool, then peel and place in large bowl with beans, green onion, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) panko, lime zest, cumin, smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper. Mash to combine. Sweet potatoes should be fairly smooth with some of the beans remaining whole to create a chewy texture. Use food processor if you prefer a smoother texture.
On small plate or in shallow bowl, combine remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) panko with remaining 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper.
Shape batter into 8 patties and coat in panko mixture. Add a little more panko crumbs if necessary. Preheat broiler and lightly grease baking sheet. Place rack in centre of oven. Place patties on prepared baking sheet and broil in centre of oven for about 8 minutes, then flip and broil for 5 minutes more, or until toasted and crispy.
Serve on buns, if using, with your choice of toppings such as lettuce, onion, ketchup, mustard, or salsa.