Vegan Marie Catrib’s Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers (Gluten-free)

If I had ten thumbs, I would give this recipe ten thumbs up. It’s UBER DELICIOUS. AMAZING. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. The BEST vegan veggie burger I’ve tried to date.

The infamous Marie Catrib’s restaurant is less than a one hour drive from my house. They have a serious reputation when it comes to delicious food, and as you would expect, a massive following of fans.

From what I understand, the place is ALWAYS busy. To date, I haven’t actually been inside the restaurant. On my birthday, I wanted to eat there so badly. For me, it’s a huge treat to go out to eat at a place that serves great vegan food (places like this are still hard to find here in west Michigan).

Hubs, another couple, and I all piled in the car and made the trek on a beautiful Saturday evening in June. We arrived only to discover that Marie Catrib’s closes at 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

What?! Seriously?! C’mon!!! I guess I should have checked their hours online. But really – what kind of restaurant isn’t open on Saturday night?! I was sooooo disappointed :(  I guess they are a breakfast/lunch place, not lunch/dinner. Boo.

Vegan Marie Catrib's Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers Gluten-free
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Fortunately, Hubs’ office isn’t too far from Marie Catrib’s, so he picked up take-out for me a few weeks ago. I ordered “the darling of the restaurant”….

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Vegan Burger

Our darling of the restaurant! This is made with sweet potatoes, quinoa, cilantro, almonds and spices. Served with fresh greens, ginger-tomato chutney and curried vegannaise on your choice of bread.  8.69

I dare say it was the best vegan food I’ve had yet. Soooooo good. Hubs also surprised me with an MC dessert. I don’t know what it was called, but it was the most amazing (not kidding) vegan chocolate cake.

You would have no idea it was vegan. I’m not even a big cake fan, but I could eat this stuff every day. Needless to say, I was a very, very happy camper.

I searched online for a recipe that might come close to the Sweet Potato & Quinoa Burger. I found a fellow Marie Catrib’s fan who wrote a blog post about her knock-off recipe for this very burger. Oh thank you Jesus. Please let it be amazing.

I tried it – and it’s amazing! It’s a dead ringer for the real thing. Way to go, Jill. You ROCK. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

This is NOT a quick recipe (unless you prepare your lentils and quinoa ahead of time). But, the payoff is well worth it. I promise.

Vegan Marie Catrib's Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers Gluten-free

Yields 10 patties


2 cups cooked brown lentils (about ¾ cup uncooked)
2 cups cooked quinoa (about ½ cup uncooked)
1½ cups mashed sweet potato*


You may salt the cooking water for the lentils and quinoa (it will help to layer the seasoning throughout the burger). The sweet potatoes can be microwaved – peel them, cut into large chunks, and put them in a microwave-safe bowl with little bit of water. Mine took about 13 minutes in the microwave (I checked them at 10 minute intervals).

  • 2 cups onion, diced (I only used 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup carrot, grated
  • 1 cup kale, very finely chopped (if it isn’t very fine, your burger will break apart)
  • 1½ cups oats (either old-fashioned or quick)
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. chili sauce, such as Sriracha
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste 


In a skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic until the onions are translucent. Season them with salt about half way through the cooking process.

Combine ALL of the ingredients in a large bowl. Get in there with your hands and really mash it up so it is combined well. This mixture does especially well after a 1-2 hour rest in the fridge, if time allows.

Vegan Marie Catrib's Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers Gluten-free

Form patties. Unlike meat, these patties don’t shrink up much when cooked, so you can make them true to size. (Jill’s recipe says it yields ten patties, but I must have made mine on the small size – I wound up with eleven.)

(Jill’s directions differ slightly here.)
This is how I cooked them:
Use about ½ Tbsp. of oil (grapeseed, canola or vegetable) per patty. Heat oil over high in a large skillet (do not let the oil smoke). CAREFULLY place the patties in the pan (oil will spatter a bit, so wear an apron). Cook them 3-4 minutes on each side.

Vegan Marie Catrib's Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers Gluten-free

Dress your bun, add your burger and dig in!


I used a Sprouted Seven-Grain Hamburger Bun from The Sprouted Bakehouse (these are really good) dressed with vegannaise, sliced tomato and sprouts. Perfection. I served it with Multigrain Tortilla Chips from Food Should Taste Good and salsa.

I LOVE these all-natural, preservative-free, gluten-free chips – they are so healthy and yet sooooooo good (I buy mine at Costco).

I froze most of my patties after forming them (skip the frying step). To reheat, I put one or two in the toaster oven on 350° for a few minutes (to defrost), then I fry them according to the recipe directions above.

Again, thank you Jill at for this awesome recipe!!! Nicely done!


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22 thoughts on “Vegan Marie Catrib’s Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers (Gluten-free)”

  1. I ran across your blog through either foodgawker or finding vegan and this recipe sounds delicious! I can not wait to try it and check out the restaurant inspiration. I live in the Detroit area, but always good to know where I can find good eats across the state.

    Scott Jurek makes a mean lentil mushroom burger, a recipe I found through Runner’s World magazine and I wanted to share with you. We have made this recipe several times and find them delicious. I can’t wait to make yours and have a “burger-off” for dinner sometime soon.

    Happy eating!

  2. I just made this yesterday SO UNBELIEVABLY just like the one at Marie Catribs! I am extremely happy. Do you happen to have any leads as to how to make her famous lentil burger, the Larry David? My life would be complete :)

  3. I am always a bit confused by these recipes. Are you using yams (which are the large orange potato type object) , or actual sweet potatoes, which look much like regular potatoes?

    • Tami, there are two types of sweet potatoes – one has a golden skin with creamy white flesh and a crumbly texture, the other has a copper skin with an orange flesh that is sweet and soft (often referred to as yams in the US). For this recipe, you’ll want to use the latter. For more info on the sweet potato vs yam debate, this is a helpful article:

  4. I am always looking for a burger recipe for those nights when my family just has to have cheeseburgers! This looks like a great stand in, I love the sprouts on the burger, great idea.

    When freezing, did you wrap them individually or put parcment between them?

  5. Love this recipe, can’t wait to try it! Do you think I can make the mix and leave it in the fridge overnight for the next day’s dinner? I work odd hours (usually don’t get off work until 7pm) and my husband is incapable of cooking anything outside of hot dogs and oatmeal so I’m wondering if I can make it ahead of time and use it the next night!! Thanks :)

    • Hi Andrea. Yes, definitely. I think it will give the flavors time to meld together even more. And the burgers may even stick together a little better.

  6. Hi, These look great and I’d like to make these tonight. I would like to freeze some since it’s just my husband and I. Did the earlier question of freezing them with wax paper get answered? Just would like to know how your normally freeze these. Thanks!

  7. These were delicious! I made a batch last night and was so impressed by this recipe! Finding a good veggie patty has been quite the challenge. So, thank you! :D


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