Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto |

Moderation? Psh, not really my thing.

Making 2 rounds of fritters, and watching 10 episodes of Orange is the New Black in one day? More my thing.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto |

I recently made some curried carrot fritters, and in the process realized that I didn’t just “like” fritters…nope, I might just be a fritter freak.

FRITTER FREAK. What a label.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto |

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto |

Making the curried carrot fritters reminded me of a sandwich I order at Brasa, a restaurant in the Twin Cities, that makes a black bean fritter sandwich that haunts my dreams. I crave it ALL THE TIME, so I decided to make a slightly healthier version for at home.

(Quick note – if you live in the Twin Cities GO TO BRASA. GET THE FRITTER AND YUCCA FRIES. k? k.)

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto |

Since I love black beans, sweet potatoes and chili powder together, I combined them in these little crispy patties. As you may know, I have fresh basil at my fingertips (thanks, Ry/Beast!!!), so the pistachio pesto was a no-brainer.

To make things a tad less indulgent, I like eating these fritters with some tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and pesto in a blanket of butter lettuce. Yes, the ciabatta bun that the restaurant version comes on is better than lettuce, because OMG CARBS, but if you want a tasty and healthier option, go for the butter, baby.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto |

This recipe, friends, uses chia eggs. I know, it might sound a bit strange to some of you, but they are an ah-mazing binder.

If you’re not into vegan binder options, feel free to substitute a chicken egg wherever you see me use an alternative.

Those who know me know I get food aversions sometimes, and currently eggs are one of them. It’s okay though, cause what I lack in egg enjoyment I make up for in fried fritter love.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto |

In related news, Ryan has started singing “Fat kid in a skinny body…” to me on the daily. #friedstuff

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto

Crispy, flavor-packed little patties made with black beans and sweet potatoes, and served with a rich and fresh pistachio pesto.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground into powder
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained, and thoroughly patted dry
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 cup non-GMO canola or grapeseed oil, for pan frying

Pistachio Pesto

  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Grind the chia seeds into a powder in a coffee grinder. Combine with water and set aside.
  2. Place the grated sweet potato in a potato ricer to squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to a towel and squeeze out any remaining water.
  3. Thoroughly dry off the beans with a towel, then lightly mash with a fork or pastry blender (my weapon of choice) until most of the beans are smashed.
  4. Combine the beans, sweet potatoes, and all spices in a large bowl. Taste and adjust salt to your liking. Mix in the chia egg, making sure it distributes fully. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, and use a fork to incorporate.
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Form balls out of scant 1/4 cup of the mixture, and then pat into a 1/4" patty. Fry the fritters in waves, depending on how large your non-stick skillet is. Use 1 tablespoon of oil for each patty you're frying. Fry each patty for 3-4 minutes over medium-low heat. Place on a paper towel once fried to blot off the excess oil.
  7. Serve each fritter with a dab of pistachio pesto, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella (if not vegan), and wrapped in a large lettuce leaf. 1 serving equals 2 fritters with 1/4 of the pesto.

You can fry each fritter in 1/2 tablespoon instead of 1 tablespoon of oil if you'd like to cut down the fat. They'll still be crisp, but they won't have the same crust that the extra oil gives them.

If you don't want to eat these wrapped in lettuce, they'd work great as sliders!


9 Responses to “Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto”

  1. Eileen — July 23, 2014 @ 12:50 pm (#)

    These look fantastic! I’d have a hard time not shoveling one onto a bun with that beautiful pesto and adding all the pickles and lettuce and mustards in the fridge besides. :)

    • Katie — July 23, 2014 @ 3:28 pm (#)

      Right?! Me too. You can definitely go for the carbs instead of the lettuce :)


  3. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — July 23, 2014 @ 4:03 pm (#)

    These sound like the perfect combination for a burger!! Such a nice summer meal!

  4. Emma's Little Kitchen — July 28, 2014 @ 7:25 am (#)

    Reading this has made me hungry! You are so GOOD at burgers Katie! I will be giving these a try for sure, and pistachio pesto? Genius.

    • Katie — July 28, 2014 @ 10:00 am (#)

      Oh you are too kind! Let me know what you think if you try them! :)

  5. Tonya Albers — September 13, 2014 @ 7:18 pm (#)

    I am in love with this pesto – seriously – I just had to stop myself from eating it right out of the food processor! :)

    • Katie — September 13, 2014 @ 7:57 pm (#)

      Yay!! I love that pesto too. I make a big batch of it and freeze it in ice cube trays so I always have it on hand :)

  6. Foodie Gourmet (@foodiegourmet) — September 26, 2014 @ 7:30 am (#)

    Hi Katie,

    Your delicious recipe has been nominated as one of the “Top 100 Best Potato Fritters Recipes on the Internet”. You can view it and vote for it here: (position #14).