Sweet Potato Black Bean Cakes


  • 1-2 large sweet potatoes, to yield 2 cups mashed
  • 1-14 oz. can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced, optional
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 t paprika
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • ¼ t garlic powder
  • 1 T oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced, for garnish
  • A few snipped cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Whole wheat buns and tomato slices, optional garnish


Scrub and wash the sweet potato.  Pierce the skin on all sides several times with the tip of a knife.   Set on a damp paper towel and microwave for 7-8 minutes until soft.  Slice in half the long way and set aside to cool.*

Put half of the black beans into a large mixing bowl and pulse the other half of the beans in a food processor to make a paste.  Alternatively, mash half the beans by hand with a fork or potato masher.  Add the quinoa, onions if using, almond meal, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder to the mixing bowl with the beans and combine gently.  Gently stir in the black bean paste.  Scoop the cooled sweet potato flesh from the skin into the black bean mixture and gently combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Scoop by medium spoonfuls and, using a fork, form into cakes about 2 inches across and 1 inch high, scoring the top and sides.  Press together firmly, but gently.  Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until the oil shimmers.  Cook the cakes for 3-5 minutes until crispy, then flip and cook the other side until crispy.  To serve, garnish with a slice of avocado and a few snipped cilantro leaves.  These can be frozen and reheated.  Make 10 cakes.

Optional garnishes:  whole wheat slider buns and tomato slices.

*Variation:  You may also preheat the oven to 400 degrees and roast the potato, sliced in half long ways and placed cut side down on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet for 30-40 minutes.

Skills:  measuring, combining, forming cakes

Equipment: food processor, large skillet

Adapted from recipe submitted by Emilie Street, Little Rock, AR

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Cakes        Whole Wheat Bun