No, these aren’t some weird veggie burger. These are full-beef, full-deliciousness sliders…with a little twist.
My husband and I are currently doing a Whole30 challenge, which is a nutritional reset that eliminates certain foods that are known to cause illness, lethargy, and discomfort. It’s set for 30 days and the list includes but is not limited to grains/wheat/oats/rice, alcohol, added sugars of all kinds, soy, dairy, and more (www.whole30.com if you are interested in more info). In sum, I am definitely not eating hamburger buns right now.
So how on earth do you eat a burger without a bun? Why would you even want to? Boring.
Not so boring. Introducing… the sweet potato bun!
Yes, we devoured delicious beef sliders and used sweet potatoes as the buns. It sounds weirder than it is, and I am not exaggerating when I say they were fantastic. They were also very simple to make and can be done to your own preferences with different toppings and such. I first saw a variation of this in the Whole30 book but for this meal, I didn’t follow any specific recipe, I just kind of winged it based on what we had. We topped ours with mashed avocado and caramelized onions.
- 1lb ground beef
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 avocado (or more, to your preference)
- First, turn a medium-sized saucepan on low heat. Pour about 1T of olive oil into the pan. Slice the onion into roughly ¼ inch slices, then place in the pan. Making caramelized onions is a long, slow, and extremely rewarding process. But you must be patient! It will look like your pan is overfull at first. Once they start to cook down you will be surprised at how little you are actually left with. Sprinkle with a little salt near the beginning of the cooking process. Stir occasionally and keep the heat low. It will take about 45 minutes for the onions to cook completely and they will slowly start to brown throughout the process.
- While the onions are cooking, turn your oven to 450 degrees. Peel the sweet potato and cut it width-wise in about ¼ to ½ inch slices/rounds.Depending on the size of your potato, you should get 8 to 12 decent sized slices. Lay the slices evenly on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip the slices half way through cooking. When they are fork-tender but still sturdy, they are finished. Sprinkle lightly with salt when they come out of the oven. Don’t forget to stir the onions!
- While the potatoes are in the oven, form small burger patties with the ground beef. I didn’t measure/weigh but they were roughly half the size of a normal burger, maybe about 2 in. diameter. You can make them as large or small as you want. Salt and pepper both sides. Heat another pan/skillet on the stove to medium/medium-high heat. Use any oil/cooking fat you like – you don’t need much in the pan but enough to prevent sticking. Cook on each side for about 6 to 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of your patties. Let them rest about 5 minutes before serving.
- Finally, cut open the avocado, remove the pit, scoop it out into a bowl, and start smashing with a fork like you’re making guacamole. Sprinkle with salt and squeeze some lemon or lime juice on top (optional). You could also just use sliced avocado.
- When the onions are finished cooking (they’re brown and beautiful), the sweet potatoes have cooled, and the burgers have rested for at least 5 minutes, you’re ready to plate!
- Lay one slice of sweet potato on your plate, then a slider, then some avocado, and top with onions. Place another slice of sweet potato on top, and dig in!
Again, you could use any toppings you prefer, or whatever you have on hand. Here are some other suggestions:
- Classic lettuce, onion, tomato
- Fried egg (yes, please)
Make them your own and have fun with it. Enjoy!