Vegan Lentil Burgers

This easy vegan 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

I like making my own veggie burgers because it’s so easy! These vegan 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.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Using rolled oats combined with flax and tofu creates a firm patty without using breadcrumbs, making this a tasty but gluten-free lentil burger recipe
  • The right mix of seasonings, including paprika, adds color and flavor to every bite
  • Cooking lentils to perfection creates lentil burgers with the best texture!

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Onion — I used a yellow onion, but you can substitute white or red.
  • Lentils — I prefer using dried bagged brown lentils.
  • Tofu — We’ll be using extra-firm tofu. Here’s more on how to buy tofu.
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Rolled oats — You can use rolled oats, also known as old-fashioned oats, or substitute instant oats.
  • Cashews
  • Vegetable Better than Bouillon — This is a favorite seasoning and is available in most grocery stores.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes — You can buy nutritional yeast flakes at health food stores or online.
  • Seasoning — You’ll need rubbed sage, turmeric, paprika, and freshly ground black pepper.
A close-up shot of brown lentils in a glass bowl.

What are the Best Lentils for Lentil Soup?

There are many different varieties of lentils, from red lentils, green lentils, brown lentils, and black lentils. Everyone has opinions about what lentils are best based on their cooking time and texture. I recommend brown lentils because they’re easily available and cook up perfectly without soaking. You can substitute green lentils (also known as French lentils) without adjusting the recipe. If you use red lentils, they cook up much more quickly and can get mushy, so be sure to keep an eye on them as they cook.

How to Make Vegan Lentil Burgers

Here are the steps to make these tasty vegan lentil burgers:

  1. Cook lentils in a saucepan for 25 minutes until done.
  2. Pulse remaining ingredients in a food processor until combined.
  3. Pulse 2 cups of the lentil mixture with the tofu mixture.
  4. Stir in the remaining lentil mixture into the food processing bowl.
  5. Set aside for about 5 minutes, to allow the mixture to thicken. 
  6. Make patties and cook them in the skillet or oven until browned.
  7. Serve burgers on buns with your favorite toppings.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step One: 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.

  1. Combine the lentils, water, and onions in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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

This vegan lentil burger recipe makes a big batch of veggie burgers. You can make them all using one process below or mix them up, doing half and half!

For pan-fried lentil patties:

  1. Place a skillet over medium heat and spray with vegetable cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. Repeat with the remaining space in the skillet.
  4. Cook the lentil patties until lightly browned on one side and then flip and cook on the other side.
  5. Transfer to a pan and bake at 300°F for about 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.

For baked lentil patties:

  1. Make uniform-sized patties.
  2. Place patties on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven to 375°F degrees.
  3. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, removing the pan to flip burgers about half-way through.

Also, 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.

Storage Tips

Store burgers in airtight container in the fridge where they will keep up to 4 to 5 days. They can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Favorite Toppings

Here are some favorite veggie burger toppings:

Frequently-Asked Questions

What lentils should I use in lentil veggie burgers?

The type of lentils you use for vegan 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!

Do you bake or pan-fry veggie burgers?

You can bake or pan-fry veggie burgers based on your preference. I prefer to pan-fry lentil burgers, because of the fried, crispy edge it produces. That said, baked lentil patties can develop crispy edges and baked-in flavors that are amazing, too.

Reader Reviews

★★★★★
I made these for my guests (2 are vegan but the rest are meat eaters) and they all loved them… This is definitely going to be our go-to vegan burger recipe.

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

More Vegan Burgers

These vegan lentil burgers are the best! But if you love vegan veggie burgers and want options, be sure and check these out:

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

Vegan Lentil Burgers

These vegan lentil burgers are 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.
4.55 from 11 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 185kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup extra firm tofu Pressed to drain extra fluid
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax seeds, divided
  • 1 ¼ 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/120°C while repeating this process with the rest of the lentil batter.
  • Oven Method: Heat your oven to 375°F/190°C. 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.
Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 3.1mg

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.

This post was originally published in 2018 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

22 Responses to Vegan Lentil Burgers

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyNyms Reply

    5 stars
    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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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?

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyryan Reply

    I’m intrigued.

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCooking with Michele Reply

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

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlymarla Reply

    5 stars
    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!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKatarina Reply

    5 stars
    These lentil burgers look so delicious!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I promise you – they are!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTatiana Reply

    5 stars
    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.

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJennifer Reply

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

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMireya Merritt Reply

    5 stars
    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!

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