Easy Vegan Lentil Burgers

This easy Lentil Burgers recipe creates a vegan, gluten-free, plant-based burger that’s a high-protein alternative for your vegetarian dinners. These healthy patties are high in fiber, folate, and flavor.

You can use this tasty green hummus or this tahini sauce as a condiment for your lentil burgers.

A lentil burger sits on a plate with potato chips beside it. A bowl of sauce and salad greens are behind it.

Homemade Veggie Burgers

When I first went vegetarian I relied mostly on store-bought products, like veggie burgers. They were very satisfying and tasty, so it worked. Still today we buy store-bought vegan products and they have only improved over time.

However, I also like making my own veggie burgers too. These lentil burgers are a perfect example. When I make it myself, I can decide what herbs and flavors are used. So, I combined my love of convenience with my desire to control ingredients by making these super easy lentil burgers.

Gluten-Free Lentil Burgers

With most veggie burgers the goal is to create a firm patty, therefore you need the perfect “filler.” For a lentil burger, it’s tempting to use breadcrumbs. Instead, this recipe is gluten-free since it uses a combination of ground flax seeds, tofu, and rolled oats.

How to Cook Lentils

Cooking with lentils is a great thing to learn because they’re pretty easy to make. That’s because, unlike other beans, lentils don’t require pre-soaking.

In this recipe, I call for using brown lentils. They’re the ones most commonly available. You can use green lentils or red lentils, but be aware the cooking time is different.

Combine the lentils, water, and onions in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat until the water is at a low simmer. The water should be moving, but not too much. I love these tips on cooking lentils from The Kitchn.

Cook the lentils until the moisture is all cooked out. In fact, the trick to improved texture in your lentil burgers is reduced moisture from the ingredients. To achieve this, when the lentils are done, I will remove the lid and leave the saucepan on the stove for a few minutes to let it “burn off ” some steam (aka moisture).

Cooked lentils in a saucepan.

How to Make Vegan Lentil Burgers

Here are the steps to make these tasty lentil burgers:

Step One: Cook the Lentils

Add onion, water, and lentils to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to create a low simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

Step Two: Create the Batter

The rest of the steps involve a food processor because it makes creating the batter for these patties easy. Combine tofu, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, nuts, and spices in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined.

Looking down at a bowl of a food processor with ingredients in it, including oatmeal, tofu, spices, and more.

Add two cups of the cooked lentils. Pulse again. Then add the remaining lentils and onions, remaining ground flax, and remaining oats. Use a spatula to stir this together to create the finished batter.

Step Three: Form Patties and Cook

For pan-fried lentil patties: Place a skillet over medium heat and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to place a dollop of lentil burger batter on the skillet and use a spatula to flatten it out and smooth out the edges. Repeat with the remaining space in the skillet.

Cook the lentil patties until lightly browned on one side and then flip and cook on the other side. Transfer to a pan and bake at 300°F for about 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.

For baked lentil patties: Create equally-sized patties. Place patties on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven to 375°F degrees. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, removing the pan to flip burgers about half-way through.

Do you Bake or Pan Fry Veggie Burgers?

I prefer to pan-fry lentil burgers, but I’m providing options for making the patties in the skillet and baked.

I like the skillet best because of the fried, crispy edge it produces. That said, I could go for baked lentil patties any day of the week.

Also, as a side note, you can make this recipe into Lentil Meatballs, too.

Uncooked lentil burger "meatballs" on a baking sheet with a cookie dough dispenser used to form them.

Favorite Toppings

First, let’s begin with the bun. Spread a little vegan butter or olive oil on the cut sides of both buns and place the buns face down in the hot skillet. Cook until the bread is lightly toasted.

Or you can do like me, and opt for a gluten-free dinner by placing your lentil burger between two slices of lettuce.

Top your veggie burger with lettuce, grilled onions, sliced avocado, vegan mayo, and your favorite condiments. I think a drizzle of this Date-Sweetened BBQ Sauce would be amazing!

Here are even more amazing lentil burger toppings:

  • Chopped lettuce
  • Vegan Mayo
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Tempeh Bacon slices are great
  • Use this Garlic Confit to add mashed roasted garlic or fry lentil burgers
  • Believe it or not this Walnut Pesto adds amazing flavor

Frequently-Asked Questions

What lentils should I use in lentil veggie burgers?

The type of lentils you use for lentil burgers matters because each variety of lentil cooks differently and yields a different texture once cooked. Brown lentils are preferred because of their sturdy texture. They’re readily available (and affordable), keep a firmer shape, and don’t get overly mushy. If you want to use another variety, like red lentils, you should mix half and half red lentils with brown lentils.

How do you make bean burgers stick together?

Bean burgers need some ingredient to make them stick together or, they’ll be a crumbly mess. Make your bean burgers vegan by using binding ingredients, like bread crumbs (the gluten is the binding agent), ground flax seeds, oats, and more!

A hand holds a veggie burger, showing off greens and mayo on a whole wheat bun.

Do you like vegan veggie burgers? Me too! Be sure and check these out:

A hand holds a lentil burger, showing off greens and mayo on a whole wheat bun.

Easy Vegan Lentil Burgers

This Lentil Burger is the ultimate in tasty veggie burgers that you can make right at home. Inspire yourself and others with this healthy patty that's high in fiber, folate, and flavor! Includes make-ahead and freezer instructions and favorite toppings tips, too.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 185kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup lentils
  • cups water
  • 1 cup extra firm tofu Pressed to drain extra fluid
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds, divided
  • cups rolled oats, divided (old fashioned oatmeal)
  • 1 tablespoon raw cashews (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable Better than Bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Add chopped onions and lentils to a saucepan. Add the water. Bring this to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes.
  • In a food processor, add the tofu, 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds, ½ cup of rolled oats, raw cashews (or nuts/seeds of your choice), bouillon, nutritional yeast flakes, sage, turmeric, and paprika. Pulse until combined.
  • When the lentils are done (they should be tender), drain any excess liquid using a strainer. I dabbed it with a paper towel as well. Less liquid is good. Add 2 cups of the lentil mixture with the tofu mixture. Pulse to combine.
  • Add the remaining lentil mixture into the food processing bowl and use a spatula to stir it. Add the remaining ground flax and oats and stir to combine. Set aside for about 5 minutes, to allow the mixture to thicken. 
  • Skillet Method: Spray cooking spray over a skillet. Place over medium to medium-high heat. Use an ice cream scoop to place dollops of the lentil mixture equally spaced apart on a skillet. Use the back of the scoop to spread the dollops out to form the shape of a patty. Sprinkle the tops of each with freshly ground pepper. Cook for several minutes until the bottom side is golden brown. Flip and cook the other side as well. Place cooked burgers in a heated oven or toaster oven set at 250°F while repeating this process with the rest of the lentil batter.
  • Oven Method: Heat your oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop to place dollops of the lentil mixture equally spaced apart on the baking sheets. use the back of the scoop to spread the dollops out to form the shape of a patty. Sprinkle the tops of each with freshly ground pepper. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping the burgers about half-way through.
  • Serving suggestions: Place lentil burger between two slices of a grilled bun (put a little olive oil in your skillet – yes, that same one again – and place the buns face down in the skillet and cook until the bread is lightly browned). Or you can do like me, and opt for a gluten-free dinner by placing your lentil burger between two slices of lettuce. Top with lettuce, grilled onions, and your favorite condiments.
  • Burgers will last 4 to 5 days in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Recommended Equipment

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Notes

I use cashews to add a little fat/texture. You can use any kinds of nuts or seeds you want.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Lentil Burgers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 185 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 228mg10%
Potassium 411mg12%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 9g36%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 130IU3%
Vitamin C 2.6mg3%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 3.1mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Enjoy!

22 Responses to Easy Vegan Lentil Burgers

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMireya Merritt Reply

    I make a great vegan burger with rice and lentils, but sometimes I don’t have leftover rice on hand and sometimes it feels like a hassle to make the rice so I can make the burger. This is a great alternative!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJennifer Reply

    Yum! These lentil burgers sure look like a delicious way to welcome summer!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTatiana Reply

    Those sounds totally great, and I’ll be trying them soon, with some hummus perhaps, and some of those amazing tomatoes from our farmers market.

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKatarina Reply

    These lentil burgers look so delicious!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I promise you – they are!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlymarla Reply

    Hi Marley! These lentil burgers sound wonderful. I would way prefer these to any packaged “veggie” burger…xo

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      You know, I would have never believed that to be the case when I first became vegetarian. I thought then that the packaged veggie burgers were so great. And they still work in a pinch, but I really love discovering what you can do with more natural ingredients…like lentils and chickpeas and black beans. Oh, don’t get me started!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCooking with Michele Reply

    Not sure what’s prettier – the flowers or the burger!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyryan Reply

    I’m intrigued.

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAmanda @ 36broadway Reply

    This looks so yummy! Can’t wait to try, perfect for summer.

    Are there any substitutes for the tofu?

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyFlora Reply

    I always buy pre-made veggie burgers but I’m definitely going to give these a go 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I like pre-made veggie burgers too, Flora! However, these are so easy to make and you can freeze them too. There’s something to be said for adapting the flavors and knowing what’s inside as well. Hope you love them!

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNyms Reply

    Just made these, they were soooo good ! I didn’t have onions on hand so I cooked the lentils with some frozen veggies (I think it had a tiny bit of onion though) but it was delicious anyway, thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Nyms! I’m so glad you liked this recipe. I agree with you…it’s so good! And affordable is a nice bonus too!

  11. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRhonda Clark Reply

    These sound amazing, and I want to try them. I was wondering where you get the Mushroom Better than Bouillon. I was going to order it from Amazon, but the one they sell has whey in it.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Rhonda. Thanks for your comment. I looked through my orders on Amazon and didn’t see that I ordered the Mushroom BtB there. So, I must have bought it in the store. We used it all, so I don’t have the bottle here anymore. I KNOW I looked at the container before I bought it, but now I’m wondering if I either missed that it has dairy in it, or they changed the formula. Either way, I’m changing this post to the Vegetable BtB, because it is certified Vegan. Thanks for pointing this out!

  12. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAnnelie Reply

    I made these for my guests (2 are vegan but the rest are meat eaters) and they all loved them. I substituted a block of regular vegetable stock for the Better than Bouillon as we don’t get it here. I doubled the recipe and fried half in a skillet and baked the other half in the oven. The ones fried in the skillet definitely taste better but the ones baked in the oven are obviously healthier. They hold their shape very well and I have a few left over which I will try to freeze. I used a large circular cookie cutter as a mould so that they were all the same size and shape. This recipe is so good, however, that I am going to order a burger press so that I can make loads. Thank you so much for sharing. This is definitely going to be our go-to vegan burger recipe.

  13. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyStop Hurting Reply

    That is a very nice list. I already knew many of those amazing blogs but some of them are new to me. It is always great to discover new blogs to follow 🙂 Thanks for introducing them to me 😉

  14. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAPKun Reply

    This looks like a really nice recipe! Have you ever tried oat flour with this recipe? I think the binding should still work, but the texture might be different!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi there. I haven’t tried oat flour per se, but I oftentimes use oats and grind it to a course flour and so I think that’s the same concept. I find it works wonderfully. The texture of using actual bread crumbs is great too, however, I like having some gluten-free options.

  15. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAPKShop Reply

    Great work dear Marly sister, whenever I come to your website I have learned every time some great and unique things. thanks for sharing these articles with us.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks kindly!

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