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Max La Manna’s Sweet Potato Burger

In this exclusive recipe for The Happy Foodie, Max La Manna creates the ultimate autumnal vegan burger, with a sweet potato patty, crispy 'bacon' and all the trimmings.

From the book


I think that I’ve tried almost every vegan burger around, using all the different options for fillings, sauces and toppings. I love using vegan meat alternatives, but sometimes it’s just great to use veggies and beans and make the most out of all that they can offer! I came to this one because I love sweet potatoes so much, and this burger is perfect for using the whole potato creatively- soft spicy potato patty, check. Crispy sweet potato skin ‘bacon’, check. All paired up with quick pickled red onion and fresh crunchy lettuce, this is the autumn burger of dreams. You can give this a go on the BBQ too, the chia seed mix acts as a binder and ensures that it doesn’t all fall apart when you grill or fry it. It’s up to you what you serve this with, you could do it with a big fresh green salad, or with a pile of fries. I like to have it as it is, it’s messy to eat and you get the burger sauce all over your hands- but that’s the real fun of it isn’t it!

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2 sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 limes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 x 400g tin black beans
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tsp agave (or maple syrup)
½ tsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp mayo
4 slices Cheddar cheese (I use a plant-based Cheddar)
pickled jalapeños
3 tomatoes, sliced
½ iceberg lettuce, shredded
4 burger buns


Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan. Rub the sweet potatoes with a little olive oil, season with salt and place on a baking tray. Bake for 1 hour, until the skin is crisp and the middle is soft.

Add the red onion to a small bowl, add the juice of the limes and scrunch with your hands to pickle.

Add the spices to a dry pan over a medium-high heat. Toast for a minute, until fragrant, then tip into a mini chopper. Drain the black beans, then add them to the chopper and blitz. Soak the chia seeds in 3 tbsp water for 10 mins.

Once the potatoes have cooked, remove from the oven, slice in half and carefully scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the black bean mix and stir well, add the chia seed gel, season and mix, then shape into 4 -6 burgers (you can always freeze two!). Set aside in the fridge/freezer to chill.

Take the skins and cut into strips. Mix the soy, agave and liquid smoke together, brush the skins with the mixture, place on a baking sheet and back for 5 – 10 mins, until crispy- set aside. Mix the ketchup and mayo together to make the burger sauce.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat, add the burgers and fry for 3-4 mins on one side, then flip, top with the vegan cheese and fry for 3 mins further.

Pile the burgers up, spreading the burger sauce on the base, then the burgers- topping them with the crispy skin ‘bacon’, sliced tomatoes, pickled onion, pickled jalapenos, shredded lettuce and more burger sauce.

Max La Manna is a low-waste chef, presenter and award-winning author. His latest cookbook, You Can Cook This! will be released in Spring 2023. You can pre-order a copy here. For more inspiring, waste-minimising recipes from Max, follow him on Instagram @maxlamanna and Tik Tok @maxlamanna.


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From the book: You Can Cook This!: Simple, satisfying, sustainable veg recipes

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