My friend Katherine made a batch of these easy lentil burgers for me and they are so delicious! Hands down the most delicious tasting healthy food I’ve had in months. They have a similar taste and texture to falafel and are served with a zesty yogurt dipping sauce. Best of all, you can make a big batch and freeze whatever you don’t eat that day! I take mine out of the freezer a few hours before I want to eat them.
The recipe below initially came from Everyday Food on Martha Stewart. We have tons more easy and frugal recipes.
- 3/4 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
- 3 garlic cloves (or more to taste) coarsely chopped or pressed
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Course salt and fresh ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the lentils in a small saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the lentils are tender but still holding their shape, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well and cool.
Meanwhile, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and darkened, about 10 minutes. Let cool. (I’ve also done this in a saucepan on the stove and also in a toaster oven when my oven was broken for 2 weeks!)
In a food processor, combine the walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Process until finely ground.
Add the lentils and 1 tablespoon of oil. Pulse until coarsely chopped. (Some lentils should remain whole).
In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add the lentil mixture and mix well. Divide into 4 equal-sized parts. Roll into balls and flatten with your palms into 3/4-inch-thick patties.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the burgers and cook over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, gently flip the burgers, 8 to 10 minutes each side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Serve with creamy cilantro sauce and tomato slices.
3/4 cup plain yogurt
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
N. Davis says
Do you know if you could make this without walnuts for someone who has a nut allergy?
Sarah Burt says
try sunflower seeds, raw or roasted and salted
@N. Davis ~ You might want to consider water chestnuts, unless you’re allergic to those as well. Just put them in at the same time as the lentils so that they don’t get mushy.
@BB (or is it Yazmin?) ~ This recipe sounds so good, and I love cilantro, so will make that sauce, along with a bit of added mint as well. Morningstar veggie products have a spicy black bean burger that sounds similar to this, and it’s really tasty.
Just tried that, and THANK YOU!! It worked brilliantly!
@N. Davis Instead of the walnuts you can try using a grain (couscous or quinoa) or garbanzo beans. I’ve made similar veggie burgers with garbanzo beans and capers — they were delish!
@EllieD Julia wrote this post. She doesn’t include a byline in her posts. I do, unless I forget (and then go back in and add it).
Thanks, Yazmin. I like your ideas better than mine! I should have thought of garbanzos right away, as I do love them.
Do you cook the lentils? Which kind of lentils do you use? If you did not have walnuts could any nut or seed work? I have sunflower seeds.
Bargain Babe says
@Gina Yes, you cook the lentils according to the directions on the package. I haven’t tried substituting seeds for walnuts, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! Try a small batch and adjust as needed.
What should i use as an egg replacer.
My question as well? What do you use to make it Vegan w/o eggs?
Mara Sweet says
I would try either flax seed (grind and mix with water) or aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas). About 3 tablespoons of aquafaba equals one egg.
Bonnie Toll says
This recipe sounds delicious! I’d love to try this out as soon as possible, but I’m not sure what type of lentils to use – red? Green? Brown?
Mara Sweet says
I think brown lentils are best. Red are too mushy and green are a little too firm.
Bonnie Toll says
Thanks, Mara! 🙂
Oh, my goodness!!! Really delicious. I overcooked the lentils. Just put flour on my hands to form the hamburger. Also just added 1 garlic, do not wanted to overpower the taste. Thumbs up.
Can I use almonds instead of nuts? Looking forward to make this <3
Debbie Sawtelle says
Can these be frozen? Freeze them before or after you fry them?
I haven’t tried freezing them, but I think they would do well. I would freeze before cooking.