Swap Hamburger Buns With Sweet Potato For Added Nutrition

First things first — no, a slice of sweet potato is never going to take the place of a hamburger bun. You won't be fooling anyone at your next backyard barbecue and will probably be met with a lot of disappointed faces (ahem, horrified, if we're being honest) if you make sweet potato rounds the only vehicle option for those charred burgers. There will be no shocked exclamations of "I can't even tell the difference!"

However, if you're looking to reduce your consumption of white bread or overall refined carbs while adding a nutritious starchy vegetable to your diet, sweet potato is definitely a flavorful and sweet way to go. It's a much heartier and sturdier substitute than the lower-carb, gluten-free go-to of a lettuce wrap.

So how exactly do you turn a sweet potato into a hamburger bun, and what are the nutritional benefits of this swap? It turns out it's pretty easy to do, but put down your hands — a knife and fork are most definitely not optional.

Nutritional benefits of sweet potato

From a nutrition standpoint, side-by-side as a bed to lay your burger on, sweet potato offers a bigger bang for the buck in terms of nutrients. Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta carotene, which our bodies turn into vitamin A. Just 100 grams brings you to your recommended daily intake. They have 3 grams of fiber per that same amount, and just slightly over 4 grams of natural sugars. Sweet potato is also a solid source of potassium and vitamin C, and B6 (via Healthline).

While an average hamburger bun is about 57 grams, it contains quite a few more ingredients than a sweet potato, including potentially added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup and sodium. Fiber-wise, it comes in with less than a gram per bun.

If cutting carbs is your goal, the average white bun will tack on about 29 grams per burger, per Fresh Direct. The amount of carbs in a comparable amount of sliced rounds to bun is difficult to pinpoint, but 100 grams (roughly 3.5 ounces) of sweet potato is about 20 grams of carbohydrates.

How to swap in sweet potato for a hamburger bun

Ok, so how do you make this nutritious, sweet swap? The work really starts at the grocery store. If you think about the circumference of your burger is going to be, you want to find a tapered tuber that will match or exceed that at its thickest point. Slice the sweet potato into about half-inch rounds, skin intact, and then drizzle with oil and a sprinkle of salt (and any other seasonings you desire).

You can lay the rounds on a sheet tray and roast them in your oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Or you can also pan-fry them on the stovetop or pop them in your air fryer or countertop toaster oven.

Slide the burger patty and whatever your choice of toppings between two of the rounds and dig in ... with that knife and fork. In addition to the added vitamins and zero added sugar, that little crispiness on the outside, coupled with the tender, cooked-through sweet center of the potato adds a new level of texture and taste to your regular old burger.