Are you a fan of spicy and exotic flavors? I know I am! The combination of flavorful ingredients that you’ll find in my sweet potato coconut patties will have you hooked from the first bite.
Flavored with a tangy twist of lime zest, shredded coconut, and hot chili flakes, these savory pan-fried treats make a spicy and delicious vegetarian meal.
Whether you’re 100% vegetarian or you try to eat a meatless meal at least once a week (Meatless Monday, anyone?), you’ll love this unique take on the traditional vegetable patty.
Plus, this dish is super versatile. Not only it is a wonderful replacement for meat-based burger patties, they also make a fantastic meal served with salsa, dips, or chutneys instead.
Or, try forming the mixture into small balls instead of patties, to make a zesty alternative to falafel when you’re out of chickpeas, and serve stuffed into homemade pita pockets.
If you’ve already had your all-veggie day this week, why not serve these alongside some roasted chicken? I can tell you from personal experience that this is a perfect match.
When it comes to preparation, the sweet potatoes are sprinkled with salt, so they’ll shed some of their moisture. This makes the patties stick together much better. If your batter still turns out too thin, you can add an extra tablespoon of flour.
You can also change up the texture. Simply shred the sweet potatoes coarse or fine, according to your preference. Both ways will work, providing you with a new take on this fantastic vegetarian dish.
For a vegan option, replace the egg and yolk with your choice of flax egg (ground flax seed mixed with water), or a powdered egg substitute.
- 1 lb sweet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 scallions or spring onions
- Juice and zest of 1 lime or lemon
- 3 oz unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 egg*
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons flour + more for dusting the patties
- vegetable oil
- Peel and shred the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with the salt, place in a strainer and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Finely chop the spring onions and (if you like) set some of the green portion aside to use as a garnish.
- Place the lime juice and zest in a food processor with the coconut, spring onions and chili flakes. Pulse until finely chopped and fully mixed.
- Squeeze the moisture out of the sweet potatoes, using a kitchen towel or paper towel if you need to.
- Place the shredded sweet potato and the coconut mixture in a large bowl, and stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg together with the extra yolk, then add it to the large bowl. Sift the flour on top of the mixture, and stir to combine everything to form a dough.
- Form 8-12 balls of equal size, and gently press each one to form patties. Dust each with flour.
- Coat a large pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. Fry the patties until golden-brown on both sides, about 8-10 minutes, flipping occasionally.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Assemble ingredients and shred sweet potatoes
First, assemble all of your ingredients and wash all of your fresh produce. Peel the sweet potatoes, and shred them on the coarse side of a cheese grater, or in the food processor.
Step 2 – Drain sweet potatoes
Place in a strainer set over a bowl, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, and set the shredded sweet potato aside to drain for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3 – Prepare scallions and citrus
While you’re waiting for your potato shreds to drain, finely chop the scallions or spring onions, both the white and green parts. Place in the food processor.
Zest your lemon or lime (I used a lemon the last time I made these, as depicted). Next, juice your citrus, and place the zest and citrus in the food processor as well.
Step 4 – Combine and blend ingredients
Add the coconut and chili flakes to the food processor, and pulse a few times, then turn on and continue to process until ingredients are finely ground and well combined.
Step 5 – Mix batter
Using a sturdy spoon or spatula, squeeze any remaining moisture out of the sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl with the coconut onion mixture.
Add the eggs, dust with 3 tablespoons flour, and stir together with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula to combine well.
Step 6 – Form patties
Using your hands, form 8-12 patties of equal size, and dust with flour on both sides to prevent sticking.
Step 7 – Fry patties
Coat a large frying pan with oil and heat it up on the stove. Fry the patties until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes on each side, flipping occasionally. Ensure that the patties have cooked all the way through before serving.
Serve up this delicious dish for dinner tonight with your favorite condiments and sides, and tell me all about your favorite pairings in the comments!
If you love this recipe, make sure to check out our other orange-hued dishes: spiralized sweet potato pasta is a taste of Italian heaven! We also have sweets, like our classic sweet potato pie.
For more alternative vegetarian recipes that are hearty enough for dinner, try these next:
Photos by Nina-Kristin Isensee, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
About Nina-Kristin Isensee
Nina lives in Iserlohn, Germany and holds an MA in Art History (Medieval and Renaissance Studies). She is currently working as a freelance writer in various fields. She enjoys travel, photography, cooking, and baking. Nina tries to cook from scratch every day when she has the time and enjoys trying out new spices and ingredients, as well as surprising her family with new cake creations.
37 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Coconut Patties: A Satisfying Meatless Meal (Vegan Option)”
This is a very imaginative recipe! Never in my wildest imagination did it occur to me that sweet potatoes can make good patties. Its combination with coconut seems like an interesting mix to me. While I’m from a country big on rice as part of its regular meal, I think with this recipe I can do without rice! Whether formed in patties or meatballs, this recipe could prove filling on its own.
Right, considered the ingredients, they are a filling meal. Often, I have them with just some salad or fresh veggies aside. It serves as a nice alternative for carbohydrate sides like pasta, rice, or regular potatoes. Enjoy this exotic mix!
This recipe gives me some clever ideas of my own. I am always on the lookout for new tuber dishes and I suspect this one would work with ordinary potatoes as well as the sweet varieties. I think you could also swap out the coconut for oatmeal flakes if desired. The potential here is endless and it makes my mouth water thinking up different ways to present this dish to my husband. My mind is churning right now with the possibilities.
I didn’t try it yet, but you can use regular ones, too, sure. Also, you’d be a pioneer replacing the coconut, because I haven’t done this (as I love their flavor 😉 ) But I’m happy that you start thinking about some creative options, I think this is important and what makes cooking so interesting.
I got hungry just by reading this recipe! I’ve never thought about mixing all this ingredients specially sweet potatoes and spicy ingredients, as a big Mexican fan of spicy food, I just can’t wait to try this one. Sometimes my mom does a similar recipe but she put meat in it, and I love meat but sometimes I get tired of it.
Thanks for sharing!
I think so, too. Of course, I can imagine that some spicy chicken might go fantastic with these, but staying with the meatless option is not a bit less delicious. I don’t have the feeling that something is missing, and it’s always nice to have some filling and tasty alternatives. Have fun preparing these spicy patties!
Can you suggest anything to replace the coconut with? I am not a huge fan, but I like the idea of these patties so if something else could be swapped in that would be great!
Well, I haven’t used any other ingredient for this. As Novelangel above suggests, you could have a go with oatmeal flakes. It’s worth a try, because I can imagine that they will absorb some of the moisure, too, just as the shredded coconut flakes do. I wish you success!
Hum, just looking at these made my day. Awesome stuff, I really want to see how they taste!
These look delicious! My husband is vegan therefore I am constantly searching for foods that I will also enjoy that don’t have meat. (Although I do still occasionally eat meat!) Anyways, we are going to give these a shot tomorrow night and I have a huge feeling that they will be a big hit!
I’m glad that you consider my patties as a proper alternative. Did you have the time to try them out yet? I hope it worked out for you. If you like, let us know about your success.
I love the way you use sweet potatoes here. I am vegetarian and always on the look out for ideas that I can use in place of a nut roast. I might try something along those lines by adapting this recipe – the tip to use salt to remove some of the moisture is really useful.
Thank you, it’s great to hear that this recipe is useful for you. I think that vegetarian cuisine is so versatile, too – and it’s not just about leaving out the meat. There are wonderful and delicious recipes that make even meat-eaters feel that nothing is missing. So much flavor can be achieved with spices, textures, and the right combination of ingredients 🙂
Looks very appetizing. I also have made potato patties, but without lime zest and shredded coconut. Next time I will try to make it with this recipe. In general, I like to make vegetable patties. I make it with zucchini, eggplant or cabbage, the other ingredients are almost the same as mentioned above (eg. zucchini with eggs, flour, salt, pepper, garlic and dill). Next time will try to make all my vegetable patties adding the lime zest too.
I agree with you, there are lots of varieties to make veggie patties. Zucchini work amazing, that’s right. Have you tried rasped carrots too? I like the crunchiness of those. Here in Germany, kohlrabi is very popular, and they can also be grated and used for patties like this. The options are tremendous, so enjoy the versatility 🙂
Perfect timing, Nina. My daughter was just talking about how she had been gifted a bunch of these and was running out of ideas for what to make with them. This recipe sounds delightful. I know I would like these, and I bet she would too. I’ll have her bring some over so we can give this a try.
I think these would make a nice party food too, for something different than the usual fare.
I could not agree with you more… Serving these babies at a party would definitely be a hit. I am going to try this recipe for my next Book club gathering.
Sounds great, I hope you two have fun and success making some of them. I agree with you that they are great for parties. Served with some sweet/spicy dips or sacues – and they don’t need to be eaten hot. Oh well, lunch time is coming up here in Germany, and I’m already getting hungry here 😉
Holy mother of cheese! These look absolutely divine! Both ingredients are my all time favourites and you’ve combined them with a spicy twist. I feel like making them tonight, but I think that I will try coating them with bread crumbs as well when I fry them.
Is there any way that the coconut water can actually add to this recipe in some way as well?
Wonderful, in that case, I think these ones are really made for you 🙂 Sure, breadcrumbs will work, too. And frying will for sure provide a nice and crispy crust!
Well, I always use dried shredded coconut, so there is no water I could use (fresh coconuts are rare and often expensive here). I assume that the water might make the dough too liquid. But, what you could definitely try is to use only half lemon/lime juice and fill up with coco-water to the required amount. This way, you still have the fresh citrus note, but with a nice twist. I actually really like this idea, maybe I could buy some water and have a try myself 😉 Anyway, if you’re first, let us know how it turned out!
Wow, I cant wait to try this… I love coconuts and sweet potatoes, and the additional ingredients used makes my mouth water.
I just had to scroll back to the picture posted and now I am really hungry. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. You know most people would not share a great recipe, but I really appreciate you sharing yours. I will keep you posted on how mines turned out.
Thank you! Please keep us updated, that’s great 🙂 I’m happy that you like the combination of different flavors here. While some people can’t stand coconut, I think if you do (like us 😉 ) – this one is a wonderful dish to use them for!
This does look interesting. I don’t really like sweet potato because it just does not taste like real potato. However, this recipe does look good and I am sure it tastes good too. It seems quite different to the norm. I’m sure I will enjoy it.
That’s right, they have a distinct flavor, but this goes so well with spicy and exotic ingredients. You might have a try with common potatoes, but they will probably need longer in the pan, because the sweet varieties are a bit quicker done. I hope you’ll enjoy it if you try!
I tried this yesterday and I must say it tastes really good . I find it to be a great substitute for chicken for Meatless Mondays. I never really thought something like sweet potato could be this good . I love the ever-so slight tangy flavour and the mix of coconut in it is mmmmmmm…
Awesome! So happy you liked it and it worked out. The ingredients work great together, right? I think these patties have a little bit of everything – really nice 😉
These sound really delicious! We are trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our diet and these sound as though they will be a hit with the whole family. Definitely adding these to the meal plan for next week.
That’s great to hear! If you like, let us know how you and your family liked it. I hope everyone will love these spicy treats. Did you combine them with salad, salsa or something else? 🙂
I’m not vegetarian but I like to eat a meatless meal at least once or twice at week. This recipe sounds fantastic, my mouth is watering just by looking at the pictures and thinking about this tasty combination. I’m a huge fan of spicy food so I think the hot pepper flakes are a nice touch. I might add a bit more of them though, or use a spicier variety.
I think I have all the ingredients to make them, if I’ll hurry up I could even make them for dinner tonight, served with a side dish of salad and a bit of hot sauce. I could try to bake a few of them too. Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe with us!
Thank you! Yes, it’s always a good thing to include a meatless day or two, I have become used to this as well. You know, actually I also use a bit more of the chili, but as I have made the experience that most of my friends/relatives are starting to sweat when I cook, I have been holding back when it comes to seasoning, so I try to reduce the heat a bit for everyone else 😀
I hope you have success!
This recipe is right up my alley! My girlfriend and I eat sweet potatoes several times a week and are always looking for new ways to use that fantastic vegetable. Coconut is also a favorite flavor for us. Just one question, exactly how spicy is this dish? I have a high spice tolerance, but my girlfriend does not at all. It is tough to find a dish that meets that middle ground between both of our tastes.
Perfect, then I’m sure you will really like these patties! Well, I like eating hot, too, so I might be a bit entangled when it comes to evaluating the actual spiciness. But to make sure, it might be better to use only 1/4 teaspoon at first. You could also prepare a hot salsa dip as a side for you to get some more heat – or a yogurt-based dip for your girlfriend to lower the hot flavor. 🙂 I hope you’ll find a way for you both to enjoy them!
What a great idea! These are like hashbrowns but all grown up. I can’t wait to try this recipe out, although the coconut is an interesting touch I wouldn’t have considered. I’m excited to try something new and I’m fond of coconut, sweet potatoes and since so I imagine this will be a hit with my tastebuds. One thing that a friend of mine recommended when eating spicy tater tots is to dip them in cream cheese. I know this isn’t the most gourmet suggestion, but it’d be an interesting combination to try with these. Also, I wonder if you could use these patties as a replacement for a burger or for the burger buns themselves with some kind of filling? Or if you stuffed the middle with cheese or something else I bet they’d be delicious. Thank you very much for sharing this! It has changed how I look at burger patties and vegetables; the possibilities are endless!
Thank you! But you’re right something like cream cheese is well suitable for hot and spicy dishes. Almost every kind of milky, yogurt-like product can be used here. I also like to serve plain sour cream or some crème fraîche with them.
From my point of view, the patties can replace an actual burger pattie nicely, but not the buns. For this, they are too “loose” and you won’t be able to cut them lengthwise properly.
But I also like the idea of putting a little secret inside 😉 Like you suggest, maybe a cube of feta cheese or mozzarella would taste great. I hope you enjoy creating an individual version. If so, let us know how it turned out if you like!
Innovative indeed. Patties are my all time favorites and we make different types of chicken and paneer patties at home. My mom’s a vegetarian and I would definitely give this recipe to my wife to make it so that we can all enjoy the rainy evening munching on my new find. It should be a good treat for friends too. But, I would be interested to know how can we mix chicken with this as an ingredient keeping the flavor intact and how it is going to taste!!!!
That sounds like a delicious evening I would enjoy, too 😉
Well, by now I only have served some roasted chicken breast as a side from time to time. I think it fits really well to the patties. I just make sure not to season the meat too much, so that the individual flavor of the coconuts and the sweet potatoes still have the leading role!
This may be the most odd list of ingredients I have ever seen used together in a single food. But you can almost taste the blend together and see how great it will be. Another Foodal recipe that is getting added to my next grocery store list. But being a guy… the patties are going to be a ´side´ dish to some meat.