Dishing Up the Dirt

sweet potato quinoa fritters with avocado-lime sauce

I’m still loving sweet potatoes. It’s January and we still have a few lonely sweet potatoes storing in the barn. It feels like it was just yesterday that we were harvesting crate after crate of these puppies.

I’m not going to lie, I miss having dirt under my fingernails, sore muscles, and fresh tomatoes right about now. It’s amazing how much we look forward to this slow season and how quickly we ache to get back to the dirt.

These fritters are inspired by the quinoa sweet potato cakes I’ve eaten at Whole Foods. I haven’t eaten them in a long time but was craving something similar this past weekend. I don’t know their recipe but this here is my twist. These patties are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside (just the way I like them!) I added black beans for some extra texture and protein. The Avocado dipping sauce is spoon worthy. Taylor ate his fritters so fast he barely left any for me! He paid me back by doing the dishes. I guess you could say everybody wins….

Sweet Potato Quinoa Patties With Avocado-Lime Sauce

Prep Time: 10 min.    Cook Time: 30 mins.    Serves: 4-6 fritters

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked black beans (if canned, rinsed and drained)
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, diced
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil for greasing baking dish
  • Plenty of fresh cilantro for serving
  • Your favorite hot sauce for drizzling (optional)
For the Avocado Cream Sauce
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • small handful of minced cilantro
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
You may have extra cream sauce leftover. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


  1. With an emersion blender or regular blender mix all the ingredients for the Avocado Sauce together until smooth. Add more water if sauce is too thick. Taste test and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Place 1/2 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until quinoa has absorbed all the water and can easily be fluffed with a fork. About 10-12 minutes.
  4. Cut the sweet potato into small chunks. Place in a large pot of boiling water and cook until fork tender. About 10 minutes. Drain and when cool enough to hand mash with a potato masher or the back of a fork.
  5. In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, sweet potato, black beans, onion, and spices. Mix until well combine. Form uniform patties with your hands.
  6. Place on a prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Carefully flip patties over and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until edges are browned and lightly crisp.
  7. Serve with Avocado Cream Sauce, cilantro, and your favorite hot sauce.


Use this recipe as a guide. Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.

Leave a Reply

41 thoughts on “sweet potato quinoa fritters with avocado-lime sauce

  1. Julia says:

    UUUUGH So good! I love the avocado lime sauce! My Whole Foods must be inferior to yours, cause I’ve never had the pleasure of trying a sweet tater fritter. But now I have your recipe at my disposal and I’m set!

    1. Andrea says:

      Girl, the sauce is to die for! We’ve been putting it on everything!

  2. Leigh says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. They look amazing (as everything does). I think this is dinner tomorrow! YUM!!

    1. Andrea says:

      Yay! Let me know what you think 🙂

  3. Joanne says:

    I haven’t had these at whole foods either, but I could definitely see myself LOVING them. Anything with sweet potatoes and black beans sounds good to me!

  4. Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies says:

    I might live in the only part of the country that doesn’t have access to whole foods… but this recipe sounds totally delicious!

  5. I will be your designated dishwasher any time, as long as you are feeding me these! Taylor is one lucky man. Recreating Whole Foods dishes at home is one of my favorite things. These look delish!

    1. Andrea says:

      The Whole Foods hot bar is a great place to get inspiration!

  6. Megan says:

    These look amazing! Love the idea of making a sauce from the avocado. Definitely trying these. Pinned this to my healthy meals board. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Andrea says:

      This sauce is SO good!

  7. I know those whole foods quinoa cakes! I used to eat them all the time when I had an office in Beverly HIlls above a Whole Foods. Yours look better by the way and I love that sauce.

  8. I’ve never seen these fritters at my Whole Foods, or I’d have been all over them! There’s nothing that I don’t like about these little yummies! BTW, I have total garden envy ; )

    1. Andrea says:

      Come to the farm anytime!!!!

  9. Lise Pomeroy says:

    Looks great! How much cooked quinoa does 1/2 cup make? I have some leftover. This would be perfect!

    1. Andrea says:

      1/2 makes about 2 cups of cooked quinoa. Use the measurement loosely though. I don’t measure to a T and just eyeball everything.

  10. These look so super delicious! The avocado sauce looks really pretty and tasty, too.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I made them and they were FANTASTIC but couldn’t get them to stay together as patties. They just fell apart. I couldn’t get them crispy on the outside… help!

    1. Andrea says:

      Jennifer, I’m not sure what happened! I know everyone’s oven works differently. It could be possible that the beans you used were not totally drained? I created this recipe on what worked for us. I didn’t have any problems forming my patties so I’m not sure what went wrong for you. I haven’t tried this before but maybe a little cornmeal or flour would help hold things together. I’m happy to hear that you still loved them. Let me know if you try them again with a different method!

  12. Avocado cream, oh la la. I like the sound of that. Just made some sweet potatoes last night. Never get tired of them in the winter! And I agree…farmer or not, I’m itching to get back into the dirt + warm weather.

    1. Andrea says:

      Warm weather and a big pile of dirt is my heaven! Sounds like you and I could get along really well 🙂

  13. Marlene says:

    Hi Andrea,

    The fritters sound great, but I have a food intolerance to avocado. (Sad because I do love it!)

    Do you have a suggestion for another sauce?


    1. Andrea says:

      Hi Marlene,

      You could make a Cilantro yogurt sauce. I’d juice some lime, mince some garlic and cilantro, and add a little organic yogurt and whirl away in a blender. Let me know if you try that!

  14. Okay, we are definitely on the same wavelength. I just made a very similar recipe but mine did not have that amazing avocado cream sauce!! Man, that looks good.

    1. Andrea says:

      Sarah, the sauce was so stinking good. We’ve been eating it all week long onto of everything!!

  15. Amber says:

    Made these for dinner tonight! I love how easy it is to make all this delicious stuff. Thanks!

  16. jennifer says:

    Made them last night. Awesome! One editing note on the recipe, you forgot to add the black beans in the instructions. 🙂

    1. Andrea says:

      Ahh! Thank’s so much for the catch!!! I’m glad you enjoyed these. 🙂

  17. Katie says:

    Mine fell apart too.

    1. Andrea says:

      I’m sorry they fell apart. I’ve had many readers email with positive results. We did not have a problem with them falling apart. I’m not sure what went wrong. The only thing I can think of is that maybe you didm’t didn’t let your beans drain long enough? I’m sorry the recipe didn’t turn our for you. I hope you give this another try since we love this recipe so much!

  18. Meryl says:

    yum yum yum! so delicious…and filling, too! thanks for sharing all of these recipes! I’m totally on a dishing up the dirt kick!

  19. Jeanie says:

    I am so happy to have found your blog! There are so many recipes I can’t wait to try. This is a great one
    , but my version was a bit wet so I’ll add more quinoa next time and maybe red bell pepper for added crunch. I loved, loved, loved the avocado cream sauce.! It’s so good and would work with many other dishes.

  20. Nicole says:

    I am so excited to try these! I have all the ingredients on hand. I was wondering do the fritters keep/heat up well? I am cooking for one so most likely won’t eat them all in one sitting 🙂 thanks!!

  21. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! My husband and I especially loved the avocado lime sauce. So much that I decided to add it to my collection of illustrated recipes (where I gave you credit of course!) If you’d like to see it, I have it posted under my “illustrated recipes” part of this blog : . I hope you like it! And of course, if you don’t I can always take it down. Consider the image free for you to use as well if you ever choose to 🙂 Thanks again, we love it and your blog!

    1. Andrea says:

      I am so happy you guys loved this recipe!!! We love it too. The sauce has become a staple at our household. Thanks for linking my blog and recipe on your blog!!!

  22. Andrea, I made these patties this weekend for my lunch with my lovebug’s family and everyone loved them!
    My sweet potatoes were quite voluptuous + I drained my beans well + our oven is fan-forced – just a few tips that might help others whose patties are not sticking together. They turned out gorgeously and we’re already planning to take them to BBQs next time. Thanks so much for the recipe. I adore your site! Bex x

  23. Rebecca says:

    I came across this recipe by accident this morning while googling a vegan lime cilantro dressing… I liked the sound of these and figured I’d give it a try. I have 2 kids – 12 and 16 – who NEVER agree on food. If one likes something, the other doesn’t. That rule pretty much never fails. So I figured, so what… if they don’t like it, I will! Well, my picky pair BOTH liked it and ate every scrap…. I did find the patties were a bit soft after the stated cooking time but I just put them back in the oven at 400° for another 10 minutes and that did the trick. They came out crispy and were just right with the sauce. This is definitely a keeper!

  24. EJ says:

    This has become one of my favorite after work dinners! So quick and easy! Also versitile! I can add cheese (not vegan!) or different spices or corn or other veggies. Turns out great every time!

    1. Andrea says:

      I’m so happy your loving this recipe! Thanks for the wonderful comment.

  25. Toni says:

    I have been making a recipe very similar to this for the past couple of years and it is one of our absolute favorites! I just wanted to add that if people are having trouble with them crumbling and not holding together, you can always try mashing about half of the beans (either with a fork or a quick pulse in a food processor) to act as a glue, but leave the rest whole to maintain the chunkier texture!

  26. Susan D. says:

    Wow this meal was awesome! Love this recipe! Loved the avocado sauce too! Thanks for a keeper!

  27. Diane says:

    The sauce was out of this world, delicious! The fritters were a bit dry. I forgot the onions but didn’t really miss them. I don’t think the beans were mashed enough. Could anything be added to keep the patties from being so dry? Aside from being dry, the fritters were great, too.

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