There is nothing that makes me salivate more than barbecue sauce. I'm so not even kidding, I literally start salivating at the first smell and sign of it. Maybe it's because I grew up on barbecue, I'm not sure, but it remains my favorite flavor component of a meal to this day. When you add it to sweet potato chickpea burgers, it becomes insane.
One thing that does not make me salivate is chickpeas. Chickpea burgers, in particular. The smell of chickpeas and the taste leaves a lot to be desired. Now, I LOVE hummus, but that is because the chickpeas are totally creamed and masked with lots of lemon juice and spices. I have never found a chickpea burger recipe that I have liked, as they are always SO DRY. And, well, they taste too strong of chickpeas.
Well, I finally conquered that chickpea burger problem. I masked the flavor with my great love of barbecue sauce....and oh boy, this barbecue sauce. Fat-free barbecue sauce that is so delicious! I created a new barbecue sauce recipe to use in these burgers. Now, you don't HAVE TO make this one below, you can use storebought to keep the recipe under 8 ingredients, but I'd highly recommend making my version as that is what I tested these burgers with and it's soooooooooooo dang good. I have another barbecue sauce on my blog that is the component in my Oat-Free Spicy Barbecue Lentil Loaf and it has been super popular, however, there were a few people who didn't like how spicy it was and who don't like molasses.
Well, this barbecue sauce is without spicy heat and molasses and I'll be damned if I don't like it better. It is the epitome of the barbecue sauce I grew up on and I borderline, wanted to drink it. Now, if you choose to go with a storebought barbecue sauce or your own homemade version, then this recipe is only 4 ingredients (+ salt)! Wow. I really recommend my barbecue sauce below though since that is what I tested it with.
Another ingredient I used to mask the chickpea flavor and further enhance the smoky barbecue sauce flavor is sweet potatoes! My word, these vegan smoky barbecue sweet potato chickpea burgers are so flipping fantastic and smells insane as they are baking.
After the huge success of my Fat-Free Baked Mexican Black Bean Burgers using potatoes and cornmeal, I was dying to create another burger.Those have been SO popular, in fact, many saying it is the best vegan burger they've had and is now their GO-TO burger. Well, add this one to the list. These are moist, not dry like most chickpea burgers, crispy exterior and full of barbecue flavor.
You have to make these...they take just minimal prep, no food appliance needed to blend, no oil and they are super healthy and baked, not fried.
Looking for more healthy oil-free baked veggie and/or bean burgers? Check out this amazing Black Bean Burger!
I can't wait to hear what you think! It's super important to me to hear your successes in the kitchen, so please leave me feedback after you make these below! In addition, you can tag me with your photo on Instagram@thevegan8 with my hashtag #thevegan8!
Smoky Barbecue Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers
Yields 5 burgers
40 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
1 hr, 20 Total Time
1 15oz can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well (425 g, mine has added salt)
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (230 g, either roasted whole or microwaved, don't steam)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons smoky barbecue sauce (either your favorite storebought or my recipe below is recommended!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder (optional for kick of heat)
Optional veggie add-ins: corn, green onions, chopped parsley (I didn't add any)
1/4 cup coarse medium-grind cornmeal, not corn flour (43 g)
5 Minute Smoky Barbecue Sauce (makes about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup tomato puree/sauce (mine has added salt only)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons liquid smoke (don't omit!)
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce (I use a vegan & gluten-free one from Whole Foods)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
If making my barbecue sauce (recommended!!) then simply combine the "5 minute smoky barbecue sauce" ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Now, try not to eat it all with a spoon. It tastes even better after sitting in the fridge overnight, so make it the day before the burgers if possible. You will only need 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of the sauce for the burgers, reserve the rest for topping the burgers with.
Next, cook your sweet potato whole (with skin on) either by roasting it at 400 degrees (fahrenheit, 205 degrees celsius) until super soft or cook it in the microwave. Steaming or boiling is not recommended, as too much water will get in the potatoes. Let it cool some before peeling off the skin and mash it completely with a fork. Measure out 1 cup fully filled (no gaps) mashed sweet potato.
Drain and rinse your chickpeas and pat dry. Add them to a large bowl and mash completely with a fork to where no visible whole chickpeas remain. Add the cooled potato to the chickpeas.
Add the barbecue sauce (only 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons), cornmeal, salt and chili powder (if using) to the mix and stir until combined and thick. Taste and add any more salt if needed or spice. Note: the batter will be moist and soft, not stiff like you might expect, but they will be completely firm by the end of baking. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to firm up some.
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Form the mixture into patties using a 1/2 cup measuring cup. You will get 5 burgers this way. If you want them more slider size, use a 1/4 cup. The mixture should be fairly easy to form into patties with your hands. Flatten them to about 3/4 inch.
Bake for 30 minutes on the first side. It will take this long to cook before you will be able to flip them. Remove and you must flip them carefully using a metal spatula. Using a spatula should make it fairly easy to slide it underneath the burgers. They should have started to form a cooked bottom. It they are sticking too much, cook them a few minutes longer until they come up better. After flipped, cook 10-15 more minutes until they have a nice golden brown top. The longer you cook them, the crispier the exterior will be. Let them cool 10 minutes to firm up some before eating.
Layer your burgers with avocado,tomatoes, extra barbecue sauce, lettuce or any toppings you desire!
Hi! I'm Brandi, a wife and mom behind this blog who healed her husband's gout and my digestion issues through a plant-based diet. I'm not complicated, I keep things simple. All my recipes are 8 ingredients or less, not including salt, pepper and water. They are allergy-friendly, as they are all vegan, oil-free and nearly all are gluten-free. You'll find lots of baked goods here, as I've been a baker all my life, it's my passion!