My pantry overfloweth with heavy, space-hogging foods, not something I want when preparing to pack for a move. Gradually, I have been chipping away at the provisions, making loads of hearty favorites like Split Pea Soup and Mushroom Barley Soup. But what to do with those lentils? Truth be told, I needed a soup break. So I turned to one of my favorite vegan authors, Robin Robertson for some suggestions. As expected, Robin had a whole arsenal of lentil recipes that went far beyond your traditional lentil soup or lentil curry. My first of the lentil bunch was Better Than Bean Burgers aka Vegan Lentil Burgers from Vegan on the Cheap.
I had to make a few adjustments based on what I had on hand and because my wheat gluten seems to have super-binding power (see below for gluten-free option also), but overall, I stayed true to the recipe. And I must say, I absolutely loved the texture.
They also had a very good baseline flavor. They were rather mellow in taste, which can be good, depending on how you’re planning on serving them. This lentil burger recipe is perfect as a base patty that you can add to to mix up a bit. Added veggies and some more seasonings would be great additions!
I like to eat my veggie burgers as the protein on salad, but these would also be tasty encased in a bun or pita. Also, I made slider-size patties and had four. That was a wee bit much for me, but I think 3 little slider patties would have been perfect if I had a few more veggies for my salad.
Special Diet Notes: Lentil Vegan Burgers
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.
For gluten-free: Double the recipe and substitute 1 egg for the wheat gluten (keeping in mind that they will no longer be vegan), and use certified gluten-free oats. If you want a smaller batch, follow this recipe but double the oats and use 1 egg in place of the wheat gluten. The lentil mixture will be wet and a bit loose (it is more cohesive and firm with the wheat gluten), but you should still be able to shape it into patties and they will firm up as they cook.
- ½ cup oats
- 1-1/2 cups cooked lentils
- 1 tablespoon dried parsely
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Place the oats in a spice grinder and either pulse them for a coarse flour or blend for a fine flour, your choice. I left them a bit coarse.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mash the lentils with the parsley, onion powder, salt, pepper, and garlic. Mash them very well – almost to a puree. Finally, mash in the wheat gluten. I found this amount to be perfect, but you can add more wheat gluten for a stronger bind if desired. I would only go up ½ to 1 teaspoon at a time though.
- Shape the lentils into three to four burgers or eight mini patties. I like the patties because they cook quicker, are easier to handle, and work great atop salads.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat (I used just 1 Tablespoon because I had a good non-stick skillet). Add the patties, cover, and cook 3 minutes per side for the mini patties or 5 minutes per side for the burger sized patties.