Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Croquettes with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream (vegan and gluten-free)

Part 2 of my Easter menu post! Today I am sharing some recipe ideas (links at the bottom, including other chefs/bloggers) for savory dishes.  I’m also sharing the recipe for my Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Croquettes. I serve them with a Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream (both recipes from LTEV).  They are SO full of flavor, and I think these are perfectly suited to a dinner or brunch with vegan – or non-vegan – guests.

In fact, one of my readers told me “eating your black bean and quinoa croquettes with the chipotle cream sauce is what made me know that I could eat vegan, not only to be healthy, but eat vegan because it was so delicious and made me feel so fantastic!“.

Black Bean, Sweet Potato, & Quinoa Croquettes with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream #vegan #glutenfree #wholefoods #plantbased


Black Bean, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Croquettes with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free option

click links above for RECIpage link to print/share photo credit: Hannah Kaminsky

These are more delicate than a burger, and meant to be eaten with a fork as a patty or croquette (rather than on a bun). The sweet potatoes balance the smoky and savory elements of cumin, oregano, chile, garlic, and the infusion of lime to heighten all the flavors. Be sure to serve with Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream—the combination is dynamite.

Makes 8-11 croquettes.

1 tbsp water or organic coconut oil or olive oil (for saute)

1 1/4 tsp cumin seed (not powder, use whole seed)

3/4 – 1 cup onion, diced

1/2 tbsp (roughly) Serrano chile (about 1 chile) , finely chopped (can use jalapeno or red chile, or a couple pinches crushed red pepper) (optional)

2 medium-large cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp dry oregano

1/8 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp (lightly rounded) sea salt (for saute)

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato (orange-fleshed), packed, skin removed (see note)

1 can (14 oz, not larger) black beans (rinsed and drained, and patted dry)

1 ½ cups cooled pre-cooked quinoa (see note)

1 tbsp ground white chia seeds (see note)

1/2 tsp sea salt (to stir in)

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (first zest limes, see below)

½ – 1 tsp lime zest (zest first, then squeeze juices)

¼ cup chopped cilantro, optional (can omit and sprinkle finished individual patties with cilantro, see note)

1/2 – 1 tbsp organic extra-virgin coconut oil (or olive oil) (for pan-frying, optional, can use non-stick skillet or oven-bake)

Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream (for serving)

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil/water. Add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute or two, stirring. Lower the heat to medium and add the onion, chopped chile, garlic, oregano, allspice, 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper to taste, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until onion is very soft (be sure to lower the heat if the garlic starts to brown, so it doesn’t burn and develop a bitter taste). Once the onion is soft, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients (except the coconut oil for panfrying and Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream) and mix well. At this point, you can refrigerate the mixture until ready to fry (refrigerating for at least 30 minutes will make it firmer and easier to shape). Take scoops of the mixture and form into small patties with your hands. These are not firm patties; they will be soft and more delicate, so simply shape in relatively neat patties, repeating until you have used all of the mixture. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the 1⁄2 to 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the patties, flatten gently on the pan, and fry for 6 to 9 minutes on each side, until golden and a crust has developed, flipping them over only once or twice (the second side will cook quicker than the first), working in batches, if necessary. Serve with a generous drizzle of Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream.

If This Apron Could Talk:

  • When cooking grains such as quinoa, it is helpful to cook extra so that you have leftovers refrigerated for another day. One cup of dried quinoa yields roughly 3 cups cooked. Using cooled precooked quinoa also helps with forming the croquettes, as freshly cooked quinoa is moist and can make the patties too wet. So, cook your quinoa in advance, and refrigerate until ready to prep this recipe.
  • Some of my readers enjoy this mixture eaten straight up, almost like a hash with the cream drizzled over top, rather than fussing shaping the mix into patties – give it a try!

Ingredients 411:

  • Cook the sweet potatoes in advance by baking whole. Simply place one or two sweet potatoes (depending on size) on a baking sheet lined with a little parchment paper (to catch drippings). Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until very soft when pierced with a knife or skewer.
  • The ground white chia helps the patties hold together. They can be made without the chia, but will be a little fragile and more difficult to flip. If you use the chia, be sure to use ground, not whole, white chia.


  • For kids, omit the chile in the sauté stage, and then before making the patties, remove a portion for your children. You can add the chile (raw, or cook it) or another spice to the remaining mixture to be served to the adults.

Pumpkin Seed Chipotle Cream

This cream has a smoky essence with an acidic hit from fresh lime juice.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

3 tbsp raw cashews
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
smidgen fresh garlic (about 1/4 – 1/2 small clove)
1/4 + 1/8 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup+ 1 tbsp plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond or soy preferred)
1/2 – 1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 – 1 tsp chipotle Tabasco hot sauce (adjust to taste; I like 1/2 tsp)

Using a standing blender or an immersion blender and deep cup or jar, puree all the ingredients. If using a immersion blender, start on low speed and then work up to a high speed to finish blending (it will take several minutes of high blending to achieve a smooth consistency). Puree until very, very smooth, adding more milk or water to smooth out and thin, as desired. Be sure to blend this sauce long enough for it to become creamy smooth. Add additional Dijon and/or chipotle hot sauce to taste. This sauce is fairly thick while pureeing and will thicken with refrigeration. To use as a dip, simply make ahead and refrigerate for an hour or more before serving. If you prefer a thinner consistency, stir in extra milk or a touch of water.

Serving Suggestions:

  • This is an absolute must to spoon over Black Bean, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Spicy Croquettes. It is also scrumptious with fried plantains. Peel and slice ripe (blackened) plantains on the diagonal and panfry in a smidgen of coconut oil over high or medium-high heat, seasoning with coarse sea salt, until browned and crispy, flipping as needed.

Now for some other recipes, from me and other chefs/authors/bloggers:

Moroccan Chickpea and Vegetable Phyllo Rolls with Maple Balsamic Sauce

Boulangerie Potatoes with Sauteed Fennel and White Beans – this dish almost melts in your mouth! The beans and fennel become buttery and soft, it is really a delicious, special entree. On page 116 of Let Them Eat Vegan.

Festive Chickpea Tart

No-fu Love Loaf

Chickpea Ratatouille

Moroccan Bean Stew – try serving this with my Kale-Slaw and some crusty bread. I did for a casual holiday dinner last year, and it was a great hit!

Freeform Tomato Tart with “Goat Cheese” and Basil from Ricki Heller

Lightened Up Spring Stuffing from Angela Liddon

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Cakes with Pumpkin Pesto from Christy Morgan

Bow Tie Pasta Primavera with Avocado Pesto from Kathy Patalsky

Vegan Avgolemono (Greek Easter Soup with Lemon) from Gena Hamshaw

Jackfruit and Sweet Potato Enchiladas from JL Fields

Socca with Kale Pesto from Nicole Axworthy

Have you tried the croquettes from LTEV yet? What are Easter menu plans? Do you have a fabulous recipe to share? If so, add the link!


  1. Rayne Pearson says

    Hi Dreena, I pre-made the quinoa party mixture and pumpkin seed chipotle cream last night, and I have a question. I’m new to using pumpkin seeds, but I bought plain raw seeds in bulk at the co-op, and they are hull-less. But my cream turned out green. Is that normal? Some of the seeds have a black outer covering, like a thin skin. Was I supposed to remove that? Thanks for all your wonderful recipes, I use them constantly :-)

    • Dreena says

      Hi Rayne, the cream will have a slight green hue from the seeds, yes. Can vary slightly with batch of seeds. Sometimes they are darker green. If you want to remove the skin, you can presoak the seeds and then after draining you can rub them with a towel. That will remove some of that darker skin. You’d need less water then for pureeing the mixture. Hope that helps!

  2. Kirsten says

    Made these the first time for company (gulp!). They turned out great and got raves from all adults and “OKs” from the kids (I count that a success…). I like the croquettes hot, but also cold the next day. We also use the sauce to dip cooked artichokes in instead of mayonnaise. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  3. Kelly says

    Hi Dreena,
    These are SO great. How would you suggest oven-baking them? (As in, time and temperature).

    • Dreena says

      Thanks Kelly. :) I’d say at 400 for about 16-20 minutes, flip just once to let each side get some browning (not much, but some). I usually cook other burgers about 20 mins, these may need less time. Good luck!

      • Kelly says

        Thank you, Dreena. I am going to make them again, tonight. My mother and I have been trying to decide if we prefer these to your spicoli burgers, but they are both so delicious, that ranking them is impossible.

  4. heidi says

    I just had to jump on here and give you a big thank you for this recipe! Our kids rated it a 10 last night, and this is high praise! At first they had the barbeque sauce out, but after a little cajoling to at least *try* it, they ended up slathering each patty with the cream sauce. …As long as you’ve premade the quinoa and sweet potatoes, it comes together pretty quickly. (I don’t know what it is with me, though–plant-based cooking like this always results in an extra-messy kitchen! Oh well.) Thanks again for all of the great recipes. We make the oat snackles a few times a week too. My family appreciates your work! :)

    • Dreena says

      Thank you so much Heidi! I’m impressed that your kiddos ate it up, our girls give me a hard time about the spices, esp whole seeds! And YES, the key is to have the quinoa/sweet potatoes batched in the fridge. I tend to cook extra potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, etc when I make them so I have those things for working into other dishes – really saves time! Delighted for the feedback, thank you!!

  5. says

    Just catching up with my blog reading and HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED THESE?! They look amazing. And thanks so much for linking to my tomato tart! :) Hope you and yours have a very Happy Easter, Dreena! xo

    • Dreena says

      cool, hope you do make them Richa… and your latest blog post sounds crazy delicious – going to link through now for a read! :)

  6. Dreena says

    Ha, happy to give you a kick in the pants, Rebecca. 😉 They can be cooked and then even lightly reheated. I think the flavor is best warm, but for sure you could cook and then reheat slightly when read to eat. Also, it makes a good filling for wraps/burritos with the cream over top!

  7. Rebecca Stucki says

    I love that you keep publishing these recipes I haven’t gotten to yet! Gives me a kick in the pants! Do you recommend cooking these right before serving or are they just as good served cold?

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