Recipes > Lunch/Dinner > Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

These easy lentil burgers are a much healthier choice than their greasy counterparts. The featured ingredients in this recipe are lentils, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh herbs.
vegetarian lentil burger

This is a variation of our bean burgers base recipe. Plant-forward diets should not be restrictive or boring, which is why we created this delicious bean burger recipe! These vegetarian lentil burgers provide plenty of flavor, moisture, and quality protein to satisfy your plant-based burger cravings!

Three Must-Know Cooking Skills

For recipe success, learn how to:

Culinary Tips for the Best Lentil Burgers

If using canned lentils, drain to remove excess sodium. Mash to the texture you like. You can leave them slightly chunky or keep mashing to resemble refried beans.

To make lentil burgers from dried green or brown lentils, rinse 1 ½ cups of lentils under running water and remove any rocks or debris (it does happen!). Place lentils in a 2-3 quart pot and cover with water, ~1” above the top of the lentils. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until lentils are tender but not mushy. You should be able to smush them between your fingers.

If using lentils cooked from dried, be sure to drain the leftover cooking water thoroughly. Let cool slightly before adding to the burger mixture. If the burger mixture looks too wet, don’t panic! Cook them in the oven versus the stovetop, and add ~5 more minutes to the cook time, or until they are nicely browned on the outside. 

Got picky eaters? Dice the onion or shallot finely so that they don’t notice them. You can also substitute ½ teaspoon onion powder.

Match the patty size to your bun, noting that they will slightly shrink as they cook. 

Do not overcook the patties or they will dry out! Once the edges are brown, remove them from the oven.

You can cook these burgers on the stovetop instead of the oven, but note they don’t stay together quite as well. Heat a skillet over medium. Add oil to the pan. Once the oil is shimmering, add the patties. Cook 3-4 minutes per side. 

If cooking bean burgers on the stovetop, remember the 3 F’s of flavor: fire, fat, and food! Heat your pan, heat your oil, then add the burgers. Once the burgers are on the skillet, don’t move them around. Keeping them in place helps ensure maximum flavor development and browning.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Lentils: use brown, green, crimson, black, or red lentils. Red lentils have a slightly mushier texture, but they are still delicious! You can also substitute other beans such as black, pinto, chickpeas, cannellini, kidney, etc. Use our stovetop or Instant Pot dried beans base recipes if cooking beans from dried.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: substitute plain, whole wheat, or seasoned bread crumbs, but cut back on the added salt if you do. Panko is typically very low in sodium. 
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes: use sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil or rehydrated from dried. You can also substitute fresh, diced tomatoes.
  • Fresh Basil: substitute any herb or combination of herbs. Chives, dill, oregano, Italian parsley, rosemary, and thyme all pair well with lentil burgers. Don’t have fresh herbs on hand? Substitute 1 Tablespoon dried herbs. Note that some herbs, like rosemary and dill, have stronger flavors, so start with ½ Tablespoon. You can also substitute pesto, but if you do, omit the extra virgin olive oil.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: substitute canola or avocado oil.
  • Shallot or Onion: use white, yellow, red, or green onions. You can also substitute ½ teaspoon onion powder.
  • Garlic: substitute 1 teaspoon pre-minced garlic, 1 teaspoon garlic flakes, ½ teaspoon granulated garlic, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Eggs: substitute two flax eggs to make vegan lentil burgers. To make two flax eggs, mix 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseeds with 6 Tablespoons water. Let sit for 10 minutes or until thickened.
  • Oil for the Pan: substitute cooking spray.

Recipe Variations

Turn these vegetarian lentil burgers into sliders by reducing the patty size to ~2 inches in diameter.

For even more Mediterranean burger flavor, mix in ¼ cup feta cheese, or sprinkle it on top during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Not ready to fully give up the meat in a burger? Try out our bean and beef burgers base recipe!

Want some burger flavor inspiration?

Use our bean burgers base recipe as a guide, then have fun exploring other flavors, ingredients, and textures!

Equipment Recommendations

Use these kitchen tools for recipe success:

Find all of our favorite pieces of kitchen equipment here!

Is this lentil burger recipe healthy?

These easy lentil burgers are a much healthier choice than their greasy counterparts. Unlike beef, beans provide fiber and no saturated fat. The featured ingredients in this plant-forward recipe are lentils, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh herbs.

Lentils

Lentils are packed with plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients promote gut health, decrease risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and promote a healthy weight. Beans and legumes are a key component of longevity diets around the world.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation. In this recipe, it replaces the saturated fat typically found in 100% beef burgers.

Fresh Basil

Not only do fresh herbs add a pop of freshness and flavor to a dish, but they add nutrition too! Herbs are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that promote health and help fight diseases.

Learn more about health benefits of different foods and ingredients or in our book, To Your Taste!

Serving Suggestions

Serve these veggie burgers with traditional ketchup and mustard, lettuce and tomato, a tasty pesto spread, or pickled veggies and avocado. These burgers are delicious topped with our vegan tahini dressing. Pair with roasted vegetables and a side salad to make a beautiful Whole Life Plate

Serve leftover patties crumbled on baked tostadas or quesadillas, or on top of a salad drizzled with vinaigrette or tahini dressing.

How to Store and Reheat Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

Cool leftover burgers completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. 

Leftover burgers can also be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place on a baking sheet and freeze for 1-4 hours. Once the burgers are partially frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before heating.

To reheat, place bean burgers on a pan and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven to heat to 350ºF. Once the oven hits 350°F, your burgers should be warmed and ready!

Want more bean-based dinner recipes?

Try out these delicious recipes!

Hummus Pizza Base Recipe

Baked Tostadas Base Recipe

Healthy Burrito Bowl Base Recipe

Vegetarian Meatballs Base Recipe

vegetarian lentil burger

Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

This is a variation of our bean burgers base recipe. Plant-forward diets should not be restrictive or boring, which is why we created this delicious bean burger recipe! These vegetarian lentil burgers provide plenty of flavor, moisture, and quality protein to satisfy your plant-based burger cravings!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 burgers

Ingredients
  

  • ½ Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (for the baking sheet)
  • 3 cups cooked lentils, drained (2 cans)
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs (whole grain suggested)
  • ¼ cup diced sun-dried tomatoes (rehydrated if dried)
  • 2 Tablespoons – ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons finely diced onion or shallot
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced (~1 teaspoon)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 6 whole grain hamburger buns, lightly toasted

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF. Brush a baking sheet with oil or use pan spray.
  • Place lentils in a large mixing bowl and mash until almost smooth or leave slightly chunky.
  • Add bread crumbs, tomatoes, basil, onion, eggs, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix until combined.
  • Create 6 patties with your hands or the help of a portion scoop and place on the pan, spaced ~1” apart.
  • Cook 8-10 minutes or until cooked through and slightly brown on the edges. Serve on toasted buns with toppings to YOUR taste. Enjoy!

Notes

To make lentil burgers from dried green or brown lentils, rinse 1 ½ cups of lentils under running water and remove any rocks or debris (it does happen!). Place lentils in a 2-3 quart pot and cover with water, ~1” above the top of the lentils. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for ~20-30 minutes, or until lentils are tender but not mushy. You should be able to smush them between your fingers.
 
Toppings to YOUR taste
Keyword Vegetarian Lentil Burgers

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating




Did you make this recipe?

Let us know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment above and share a picture on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #totasterecipes! And don’t forget to share it with all of your friends and family!

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and Share-a-Sale affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on those links and make a purchase, we will earn a small percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you. 

Hey there! We are To Taste – a team of registered dietitians, chefs, and culinary medicine specialists.

We’re here to teach you how to cook confidently, simplify nutrition, and feel better (no BS)!

Our Recipe Promise

Healthy eating shouldn't be complicated. Period.

Meet the only meal plan you'll ever need.

Improve your kitchen efficiency! Learn how to slice, dice, and chop 20 common ingredients

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Never miss a beet! Sign up for updates, recipes, and course offerings!

Is your kitchen set up for success?

Find all of our go-to kitchen tools, books, and accessories here!

Need some recipe guidance?

Learn how to cook confidently to your taste using our base recipe concept.

Want to know which ingredients to buy?

Download our free ingredient guide for helpful tips on which ingredients are best.

Latest Recipes

Subscribe to our weekly e-newsletter so that you never miss a beet!

Healthy eating shouldn't be complicated.

Learn how to cook and eat well for your whole life in our new book, To Your Taste.