maple sweet potato pecan burgers

It’s Super Bowl time, my friends! I’m crazy excited because this is the first season that I’ve cared about NFL football.

I’m not rooting for either team, I’m just hoping for a very close game with lots of passing plays, several chances for me to yell, “SACK!” and a winner that is determined on a last-second play, preferably in double overtime. Is that too much to ask?

I’m also excited for the very best part of the Super Bowl…Puppy Bowl!

Photo via Animal Planet

Awww so cute! Gimme a wittle puppy wuppy face to snuggle wuggle, please!

I’m planning to stuff my face with these burgers throughout the human game, the doggie game and the Kitty Halftime Show.

These burgers are sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. There’s a hint of cayenne and the nuttiness from the pecans and quinoa helps to make these burgers savory and delicious.


They definitely don’t taste like dessert burgers. (Although, note to self: make dessert burgers). Pretty please do me a favor and make the sweet onion topping to go with the burgers. These babies are good on their own, but the caramelized onion topping takes it to a whole new level of yum. Oh and p.s., the burgers have kale in them, which means that if you eat just one of these burgers, the nutrients from the kale will cancel out any calories ingested from beer or desserts. That’s just how science works.

Maple Sweet Potato Pecan Burgers
Makes 4 burgers
Printable recipe


  • 2 cups peeled, cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus a sprinkle for the onion topping)
  • 1 sweet onion
  • sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 buns of your choice

If your pecans aren’t already dry roasted, you can roast them easily by spreading them out on a baking sheet and baking for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

To make the burgers, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since sweet potatoes come in all shapes and sizes, I opted to include a measurement of the potatoes already cooked and mashed rather than a total number of sweet potatoes to use. I ended up using three potatoes for this recipe. I microwaved them until soft, then removed the skin and mashed them with a fork in a large bowl.

While your potatoes are cooking, bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan.

Turn the heat down to a low simmer and cover the saucepan, allowing the quinoa to cook for 8-10 minutes. Check the quinoa every couple of minutes since stove temperatures vary. It may cook faster or slower than expected. You’ll know it’s done when the water is almost gone from the pan and the quinoa appears to be nearly transparent instead of its original whitish color.

Remove the quinoa from the stove and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

In a separate saucepan, or in a microwave, melt 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread and then stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the cayenne pepper.

Stir the maple syrup sauce in with the mashed sweet potatoes, then stir in the the cooked quinoa, pecans, kale and sea salt.

Form the mixture into four patties and place on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil or another cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes, turning once at the halfway point.

When the burgers have around 15 minutes left to cook, make the onion topping by roughly chopping the sweet onion and melting the remaining 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion to the melted Earth Balance, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, and cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to low and pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Allow the onions to cook for 3 more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.

Remove the onion mixture from the heat and spoon over the tops of the burgers once they have finished baking.


25 thoughts on “maple sweet potato pecan burgers

  1. sweet potatoes and quinoa are my 2 favourite things! In burger form is EVEN BETTER.

    This puppy bowl sounds fairly amazing as well, I half imagine it being a field full of puppies running around playing with each other. Biting on each others ears and such…..

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  3. YUM! I made lima bean burgers last weekend and used a savory oatmeal as my binder. Love the idea of sweet potato and quinoa as binders!!! And yes, note to self… make dessert burgers! 😀

  4. What a great recipe, my husband would love love this too! I am always looking for fun ways to enjoy sweet pototoes:-) I am heading to share this on my Facebook page! Hugs, Terra

    • I’m so glad you like it!!! Thanks for letting me know. I get nervous when I create recipes from scratch and put them out there :)

  5. Yay! I made these today for my sister and her husband! I was really nervous about making them because I’m not that great in the kitchen, but they ended up being awesome! I used Red Quinoa and I had to use walnuts also, because I burnt the pecans :/ Whoops! I’ll be making these again.

  6. These look absolutely amazing! Based on the texture, do you think it’s possible they might work on the grill?

    • They’re a little flimsy at the beginning, but I think if you bake them for half the time and then transfer to the grill, that will help them stick together. Good luck!

  7. made these with walnuts…yum….and they work on the grill if you use a basket to keep em intact for the flip :) fantastic!

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  9. Looks delicious – wondering how it would taste without the buttery spread (I don’t eat that or butter)…

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  11. I’m so happy I found this! I’ve been looking to take the plunge from store-bought veggie burgers to something I can make myself and these look absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to try them. And that onion mixture… I’m not sure those’ll make it to the tops of the burgers because I can see those being good to eat right out of the pan. Many thanks for this!

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