The best burger I've ever made

This patty delivers just the right complexity of sweet and smoky you're looking for. Made of beets, sweet potatoes, black beans and rice, it holds together well and fulfills your big appetite for a burger.



  • 2 large beets and 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" (ish) pieces
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed
  • 3/4 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14 ounce can of black beans
  • 3/4 cup frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper




  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF
  2. Place the chopped vegetables onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, add the rosemary and balsamic vinegar to taste
  3. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked

Heat up the broth in a sauce pan to a boil, add the rice, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat, cover and allow to simmer for 50 minutes.

Thaw your spinach and set aside.

Dice the onion and mince the garlic and set aside.

Heat up a skillet over high heat. After you have tested it, add the onions and bring the heat down to medium-high. You are doing a dry (oil-free) saute here - for more information on how to do that, please check out this short blog post with videos included.  

Keep the onions moving around in the pan and add a little water if they do begin to stick. Once they are a little brown, add the garlic and only allow to cook for another minute. You do not want to burn the garlic as it will be bitter. Transfer the onion/garlic to a dish and set aside.

Add all the ingredients to a food processor set up with a steel 'S' blade and pulse until well incorporated, but not pureed. (You may end up doing a few batches and if this is the case, mix all of the ingredients into a bowl and then scoop out what you need for the processor.) Or, use your hands and mix everything up with your hands. Really get in there smashing the beans and incorporating the ingredients together. Taste for flavor and adjust to your liking.

Patty up the burgers and place on a large parchment paper lined baking sheet. I make mine somewhere between a large slider and burger size. Press the middle of the burger slightly with your thumb, just so it cooks quickly to the middle. Transfer the uncooked burgers to the fridge and allow to chill one hour and up to over night.

In a 375-degree-F oven, allow the burgers to cook for 20 minutes, flip and cook for another 18 minutes.

As they cool they will continue to firm up.


Makes approx. 12 burgers

Like this? Share it!

How did this recipe work out?

Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.