If you know me, in real life, it’s no secret that I L-O-V-E a burger. I’m pretty much into them at any time of the day and while beef burgers are queen–I love a veggie/legume burger too. I’m not talking the freezer-section kind (nothing wrong with those), I’m talking about the kind you can whip up at home and load with savory flavors.
In the last year I’ve fallen in love with the humble lentil (I make this Lemon-Lentil soup on the regular). Paired with mushrooms, this burger doesn’t give you the texture of meat (that’s okay though it’s a veggie burg!) but, what it does have is a ton of fiber that really fills you up. Like, I’m-ready-for-bed-now-full. While talk of filling fiber may not be the sexiest thing ever, these burgers won’t leave you feeling like something is missing.
To ensure maximum flavor, I load these burgers with savory aromatics in the form of lots of sauteed onion and plenty of garlic. The mushrooms are sweated, then cooked to deep brown deliciousness. A few sun-dried tomatoes further punch up the flavor. There are lentils, breadcrumbs, and an egg to keep things together. I like to pan cook these burgers with a little grape seed oil, which has a high smoke point allowing you to get a super crispy crust on the outside of the lentil burger–which is key for texture and maximum deliciousness. I topped the burgers with sweet roasted tomatoes, caramelized onion*, a super easy avocado spread, as well as some spinach, grainy mustard, and a little swiss for good measure.
*Let your onions get some more caramel color–I was impatient and hungry for lunch…don’t be me.
adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 4 large burgers
I used dried brown lentils for this recipe. I cooked 1 cup dry, which yielded 2 cups cooked. You only need 1 cup for this recipe–but, you can use the remainders dressed with a little vinaigrette and some vegetables, they would make a really nice salad, or make soup, or another batch of burgers!
5 whole wheat hamburger buns
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 package (6ounces) cremini mushrooms, stems and caps chopped
3-4 sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup cooked brown lentils (method below)
salt and pepper
grape seed oil, or preferred oil
avocado yogurt spread
Process 1 burger bun in a food processor to make crumbs. Set aside.
In a saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high and saute onion with a pinch of salt until soft and a few bits turn brown around the edges. Add the garlic, stir, and cook an additional 30-60 seconds. Scrape the onion mix into a bowl. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, heat it over high and add the mushrooms followed by a pinch of salt–let the mushrooms sweat–they will release a lot of liquid. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms turn deep golden brown. Scrape the mushroom mixture into the bowl with the onions–set aside to cool to room temp.
In the food processor add the sun dried tomatoes–process to mince, add the onion/mushroom mixture and process until mushrooms are finely diced. Add the lentils, process so that some of the lentils are pasty and some are still whole. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl and mix in the breadcrumbs, egg, a pinch of salt and pepper–to combine well. Allow the mixture to rest about 30 minutes in the refrigerator–this makes it easier to form the patties.
Divide the lentil mixture into four portions. Form each portion into a ball and flatten into a patty. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add about 2 Tablespoons grape seed oil to the pan. Add the lentil patties and cook on each side until crisp and deeply golden–about 3-5 minutes per side depending on the heat of your pan. If using cheese, add the cheese to the patties after the first flip.
Serve on toasted buns with desired condiments.
1 cup dried lentils–rinsed and picked over for rocks and shriveled lentils
2 cups water
In a saucepan add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook covered for about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain if there is any remaining water.
1 pint grape tomatoes
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and pierce the tomatoes with a knife and spread across the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes have slumped over and begun to caramelize.
1 large onion, sliced
Heat a saute pan over low heat. Add a few teaspoons olive oil, onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until deep golden brown and sweet.
1 ripe avocado
3 Tablespoons plain greek yogurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
Mash the all of the ingredients together in a bowl to form a smooth spread. Salt to taste.