December 29, 2010

Olive Lentil Burgers

by IsaChandra

Serves 6
Active time: 20 minutes || Total time: 45 minutes

I like veggie burgers. Well, duh, don’t all vegans like veggie burgers? What I mean is, I like veggie burgers that are veggie burgers. I’m not looking for a burger to mimic meat. I love the idea that we can take almost any flavor profile and fashion it into a delectable burger. In this case, lentils, olive and mushroom, with a few pinches of herbs.

This burger is baked not fried (but hey, go ahead and fry it if you like, about 10 to 12 minutes.) I’m kind of particular about my veggie burger shape – I really like for it to be neat, with perfectly round, smooth sides. A veggie burger that looks like it’s on America’s Next Top Veggie Burger. To get that shape, just pat your veggie burger into a 3 inch cookie cutter like so:

Don’t worry about finger prints in the burgers, they will flatten out when you flip them.

These would be great served as you would any burger – ketchup, pickles, onions and what not. But it would also be pretty good done up with Italian inspired fixins, like roasted red pepper and pesto. Maybe a little pesto mixed into some vegan mayo? Let your imagination run wild.

If you want to make a double batch and freeze them, cook first, then stack with squares of parchment paper to keep them separated. Freeze in ziplock bags.

One last thing, I use canned lentils here. You can use french or green lentils that you cook yourself, but you’ll need to play with consistency a bit, most likely adding a little bit more breadcrumbs to get them firm enough. Don’t use red lentils, they are too mushy.

Olive oil (from 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons, your choice)
1 small yellow onion, diced medium
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (really, use any pitted olive you like)
1 15 oz can cooked lentils, rinsed and drained (1 1/4 cups)
1 cup breadcrumbs, divided
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan non-stick (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat. Saute onion for about 3 minutes with a pinch of salt. Add mushroom, garlic, black pepper, thyme and tarragon and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, until mushroom is cooked.

While mushroom is cooking, place olives in food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped (not pureed.) Remove from food processor and set aside. (No need to clean it out for the next step.)

When mushrooms have cooked, add mushroom mixture to the food processor. Add all other ingredients except for 1/2 a cup of the breadcrumbs. (Did you hear me? Reserve 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs, this will give them better texture.) Pulse until mostly smooth, but there should still be a little texture. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs to the burger mixture, along with the chopped olives, and thoroughly combine.

Divide burger mix into 6 equal pieces. An easy way to do this is divide it in half, then cut each half into 3 basically equal portions. You can do that right in the bowl if it’s large enough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Form mixture into patties, spray with a little more cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes. Flip burgers and bake for 12 to 15 more minutes, until nicely browned.

They taste great served immediately but they’re also excellent at room temperature so don’t be afraid to stuff into a sandwich and take as a lunch.

  • December 29, 2010 at 11:05 pm: Angela FRS

    OMG. I must try these.

  • December 29, 2010 at 11:10 pm: Mary

    That is my New Year’s Eve dinner sorted yum!!

  • December 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm: Momo

    What could an olive hater sub? I really cannot get over the fact that olives taste & smell like dirty feet… Any ideas?

    • December 29, 2010 at 11:37 pm: IsaChandra

      Not really a sub, but a roasted red pepper would taste great, I think. Add some salt, though. 1/4 teaspoon? And you must have tasted some delicious dirty feet in your time if you think they taste like olives!

  • December 29, 2010 at 11:36 pm: Rachel

    Momo, i don’t like olives about walnuts and red bell pepper?

  • December 30, 2010 at 12:08 am: Laura in Taos

    Now I *must* get a burger cutter/shaper/thingy

  • December 30, 2010 at 12:16 am: D'Ar

    These look amazing! Breadcrumbs: homemade or storebought or does it matter?

  • December 30, 2010 at 12:33 am: Jean Barnicoat

    can’t wait to try them!

  • December 30, 2010 at 12:46 am: Jessy

    The olive/ lentil combo sounds so yummy, but I seriously don’t like mushrooms. (I know that I am probably the only vegan in the world who hates mushrooms.) I’m going to be a pain and ask if there is anything that I can use instead of the mushrooms.

    • December 30, 2010 at 1:25 am: IsaChandra

      How about zucchini? Eggplant doesn’t sound bad either.

  • December 30, 2010 at 12:56 am: Sandy

    Jessy – you are the second vegan in the world who hates mushrooms. I have always considered it something of a birth defect in myself… Maybe some diced up eggplant instead?

  • December 30, 2010 at 2:50 am: FoodFeud

    Where do you find canned lentils?

  • December 30, 2010 at 5:56 am: Monica

    If not olives – how about sundried tomato? Then again, I bet sundried tomato AND olives would be amazing!

    • December 30, 2010 at 7:43 am: IsaChandra

      That’s a great idea!

  • December 30, 2010 at 6:14 am: Kayla

    This recipe looks wonderful but of more importance… Is amazon deceiving me? Are you and Terry really releasing another cookbook next year?

    • December 30, 2010 at 7:43 am: IsaChandra

      A dessert cookbook of some kind, to complete our trilogy! Then I’m gonna take a break.

  • December 30, 2010 at 8:35 am: Kyaira

    Wow, those look tasty. I’ve been trying to coax my family into trying some veggie stuff. This sounds like something they would love! Thanks PPK!

  • December 30, 2010 at 8:49 am: Vera

    They look tasty! :)

  • December 30, 2010 at 9:19 am: Rebecka cooking stuff all the time

    Yum yum yum! Great to know that there are fellow veggie-veggie burger vegan friends out there. Fake meat is wierd, lentils are the bestest :)

  • December 30, 2010 at 11:22 am: Lynn

    Mmmmm! I so love French lentils with mushrooms! I’m making these today! Thanks Isa! Laura, you can cut out the bottom of a kitty food can and use that if you have an obligate carnivore in residence.

  • December 30, 2010 at 1:55 pm: Gina

    Thanks for responding to your readers, first of all. Next, made these already and whoosh…gone (served at a small party last night); need I say more? Finally, you are such a good writer of creative non-fiction (eg your cookbooks, blog writing , etc), how about short stories involving the lives and carryings-on of a vegan person/s? There could be a niche market for this thus far non-existent genre. Just an idea for the new year.

    • December 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm: IsaChandra

      Thank, Gina! I’m actually considering something that isn’t exactly a cookbook and your idea is not that far off.

  • December 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm: Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day

    Oh yeah! Those look great. Pesto and roasted red peppers.. I think I would die of happiness.

  • December 30, 2010 at 8:40 pm: Deborah

    Hi, just wondering what I could substitute for breadcrumbs…. I’m avoiding wheat etc… it makes life difficult when you need to bind ingredients.. is there any type of flour (don’t use gluten free mixes, is seems so processed) that wouldn’t overwhelm the taste and texture… great book by the way!! Thanks

    • December 30, 2010 at 11:06 pm: IsaChandra

      I like to use gluten free pretzels as bread crumbs. Just whiz em into crumbs in the food processor.

  • January 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm: Christopher Webber

    I do believe I’ll be making these. According to my calculations, pre-oil spray for baking, these are about 180 calories each. Not bad!

  • January 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm: stephanie

    yum. I am going to make these today!

  • January 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm: stephanie

    thank you for continuing to post recipes…i’ve made so many of your things lately (including stuff from ‘vegan w/a vengeance’) that i feel like i should be sending you a thank you card or something : )

  • January 1, 2011 at 8:17 pm: Jenn

    Holy cremini, I didn’t even see this and just made something similar using the vcon chickpea cutlet as inspiration. I’ll totally try these veggie burgers. Great tip with the molds. They look fantastic!

  • January 4, 2011 at 4:08 am: ImOK

    I made these last night. Love ’em! Thanks for the recipe Isa. …and you’re right about the red lentils. Mushy is an understatement. Oops. As for canned lentils… no such thing in my neck of the woods, unless you are ok with canned lentil soup. So, my husband cooked up a small batch of regular brown lentils, nothing fancy with a bay leaf, pinch of salt and a clove of garlic (I think). I use a wide-mouth mason jar as my cookie cutter. The patties came out smaller than your average, but it’s funner to snack on them…

  • January 5, 2011 at 12:30 am: Rachel

    Thanks for the recipe. I didn’t have mushrooms (!!!), so I used about a cup of leftover rice. They turned out great and I will try them again with mushrooms.

  • January 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm: jeffrey - the therapist

    Thank you for all the work you do. I have used my Veganomican book to the point that some pages are on the verge of needing replacements. Keep up the work!

  • January 6, 2011 at 2:39 am: Cindy

    @Laura in Taos, I used a canning ring from a wide mouth jar. Worked great! These were a little bland to me when I put them on a bun. I’ll spice them up and bit next time and give them another try.

  • January 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm: Brandi

    Oh wow! These sounds yummy! I’m not huge on mushrooms, but I’d still love to try these just the way they are. I like the recipe because it seems like it would be very versatile.

    I also am going to add that I totally agree with you I like to have a veggie burger that isn’t made to be like meat!

  • January 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm: Thomas O'Neill

    use a hot banana,chili sauce instead of tomato sauce

  • January 7, 2011 at 7:01 pm: Ashley

    YUM! I made these last weekend (with portobellos and boil-your-own-beans: got to work with what I got). Just ate another of the batch for my lunch at work and it was so good I had to thank you. If anything the texture improved from hanging out in the fridge for a few days. I wish I had more . . I only made a batch of 5 instead of 6 because I am a little piggy!

  • January 9, 2011 at 8:34 pm: Devi

    Y’know, putting aside the amazing things you’ve managed to do with food, there are some really nicely shot pictures on this site. I love taking a picture or two before we sit down to eat at home. It’s always satisfying to make the non-vegans in our lives jealous. We have the Veganomicon at home and it’s been super-useful, especially when my boyfriend and I first got started vegan cooking. But I gotta say, love this site for the pictures. I want to make everything! Starting with these burgers….

    • January 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm: IsaChandra

      Thank you so much! I love taking the pictures but really don’t like the technical part of photography.

  • January 10, 2011 at 4:24 am: Lisa

    When you say a half-pound of mushrooms, is that half-pound with the stems on, at the store, or half-pound with the stems off, in the kitchen?

    • January 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm: IsaChandra

      It’s a half pound at the store…however, I use the stems in this recipe. I only slice of a tiny nub if it seems particularly woodsy.

  • January 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm: franny

    THANK YOU i really feel like this is a recipe i will use for the rest of my life!!! please please please come to england and make dumb british people more accepting to vegans, which they might be if they got to know you and your awesome food!

  • January 11, 2011 at 2:43 am: Jane

    I’m also a vegan who doesn’t like mushrooms! Mushrooms taste like dirt to me. I hate the texture of portobello mushrooms. Thanks for this veggie burger recipe that doesn’t mimic meat…. thank you and thank you!

  • January 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm: Sarah

    I just made this an loved it! Perfect veggie burger recipe: no falling apart and very versatile!

  • January 13, 2011 at 2:47 pm: darjeeling

    I made these yesterday and they are the best ever! I just wish I’d doubled the recipe since they will be gone in no time. Thank you!

  • January 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm: bluenote84149

    I went with frying them and eating them with selfmade naan bread like a kebap/ burger hybrid. Extremely tasty. I cooked the lentils and used canned mushrooms. The olives add plenty of taste to the burgers. Great!

  • January 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm: foto

    ok i just made these burgers but i also added parsley and i substituted the lemon with some vinegar and the olives with carrots! yummy! (tip: when boiling the lentils i added some orange zest, vitmain c helps absorb the iron and also gives a great taste!)

  • January 15, 2011 at 10:49 pm: Rachel

    yay! i love it when people have vegan recipes for things that dont involve fake meat. I dont like meat, why would i want fake meat?

  • January 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm: Emily

    I’m cooking them up right now, and they look and smell so delicious. The best thing about these vegan burgers is that you can munch on the patty mixture before it goes in the oven! yummy!

  • January 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm: Gerda

    I made the burgers three times already and I love them! Last time, I cooked half lentils, half quinoa (I added the quinoa after 20 minutes of cooking the lentils and cooked them together for another 20 minutes) and really enjoyed it.
    It never came to my mind to bake burgers. Great suggestion!
    I just got two of your books, they are wonderful. A big thank you from Germany.

  • January 24, 2011 at 9:03 am: Joanna Swan

    Pesto is seconded.
    Although adding pepper is nice too, I might even go daring and add something even sweeter…chopped dried apricot. Don’t knock it ’til ya try it.

    I’m living in Beijing sans oven, so baking’s not an option. Perchance I’ll try these stove-top though!

  • January 24, 2011 at 11:24 pm: Ryann

    Oh wow! All my favourite things rolled up at pattied. I’m so making these tomorrow. Think my mushroom hating husband will be able to detect my treachery?

  • January 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm: Sarah

    This has become one of my new favorite recipes! Thank you for sharing it with the masses.

  • January 28, 2011 at 2:50 am: Erica

    I made this tonight with eggplant instead of mushrooms. It. Was. So. Good.

    I topped it with roasted red pepper. Yum.

  • January 31, 2011 at 2:25 am: Marie

    Just made these last night and were a big hit in my house! Thanks for the great recipe.

  • January 31, 2011 at 7:27 am: Maggie

    I hate mushrooms too! And it sucks because they are used soo much in my favorite cookbooks and theres usually nothing to do. So if subbing zucchini or eggplant for the mushrooms, would I use the same amount, like 1/2 pound of cubed eggplant?

    • January 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm: IsaChandra

      Yep that sounds right!

  • January 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm: michelle

    I made these last night and we loved them. I also hate mushrooms, so I used Zucchini and YUM!!! I love your recipes and love the pictures to go with it so I can see if mine look like what its suppose to . Just got appetite for reduction, cant wait to try some recipes there too

  • February 2, 2011 at 5:42 pm: Emmy

    I made these too! I made them for lunch burgers to take to work and they tasted wonderful!!! Mine were nowhere near as pretty as Isa’s (no America’s Next Top Veggie Burger for me) but they tasted like they were winners!

  • February 9, 2011 at 4:12 am: linda

    any idea about the baking time/temperature if doing this as a ‘meat loaf’? Many thanks!!

  • February 9, 2011 at 1:51 pm: *veganopolis852*

    Ahhhh is that why my chipotle lentil burgers fell apart? I froze them before grilling them… crumbled and jus turned into a mushy mess….but still tasty!! :)

  • February 14, 2011 at 1:18 am: otto h.

    really really good! making them for the second time tonight. thanks!

  • February 14, 2011 at 6:10 pm: healthyrunner

    Made these this morning and just had one for lunch. Delicious!! It was fun to use the circular cookie cutter so they came out looking “neat” (or neater than they would have otherwise) :) Thanks for the recipe and good directions!

  • March 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm: Mary

    I made these last night with roasted red pepper (I love olives, but I was out of them) and gluten-free breadcrumbs (made by toasting chunks of GF bread and running them through the blender). They are scrumptious and hold together better than other homemade burgers I’ve tried. These will be in my regular rotation! lentils + mushrooms + breadcrumbs is such a great basic formula, and could go in so many directions. I think next time I’m going to sneak some spinach into these bad boys.

  • March 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm: Lori

    I made them and my both my 3 and 5 yr old loved them. THANK YOU! :)

  • April 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm: Jane

    Yum – these are delicious! Didn’t have tinned lentils so cooked 200g of dried Puy lentils, which seemed to work fine texture-wise. Will definitely be making again ;-)

  • April 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm: ks

    I love the creative thinking in this recipe but for having so many ingredients a) there isn’t much flavor and b) the burgers are pretty crumbly, even after baking. I’ve also encountered the taste issue with the Mac n’Shews…which is pretty surprising considering they both ask for quite a bit of garlic and the burgers, onions. My point is that asking for spices that don’t deliver to overall taste seems wasteful. Just a cautionary tip if you prefer your ingredients to add value to a recipe.

    • April 18, 2011 at 8:58 pm: IsaChandra

      You are right, I should really learn how to write a recipe! It’s weird how things like onions and garlic and spices almost evaporate in my recipes. It’s as if I am able to zap the flavor out of an olive. How do I do it?!

  • April 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm: Victoria

    Made these last night and my two kids (6 and 3) absolutely loved them. They even had them again for lunch today. Thanks for the recipe.

  • April 26, 2011 at 5:43 pm: nikki

    can i subsituite wheat germ for the bread crumbs?

  • May 3, 2011 at 3:06 am: Blissful1

    THIS has become a favorite of mine! except i add green onions and sundried tomatoes for color, because i don’t find the color of these guys pleasing enough. For extra zip i add smoked paprika, because i didnt have liquid smoke. also, if you can keep your hands off em..they keep together better if you form them(with the top of a canning jar) put them between two sheets of wax paper and stick em in the fridge. Then, we lightly fried them on our cast iron man with olive oil.

  • May 7, 2011 at 5:03 am: Allison Dubya

    @ ks

    I love the fact that you blasted my absolute favorite cookbook author, but for having absolutely no credibility here at all a) Isa is an amazing vegan goddess and b) keep your mean opinions to yourself. If you are encountering taste issues in multiple recipes from a highly regarded cookbook author, perhaps the issue is with you. My point is that you were very rude to Isa. Just a cautionary tip if you prefer not to be a giant d-bag.

    Love ya, Isa! You could make me an old, dirty gym sock, and I’m sure it would taste delicious.

    • May 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm: IsaChandra

      Hey, thanks for the love. But believe me I get so many off the wall comments they pretty much just make me laugh now. Of course not everyone will like every recipe but some comments can be really out of left field.

  • May 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm: Jaded

    Somebody has a foot fetish

  • May 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm: Kala

    I made these and they taste GREAT! However, mine all fell apart after I flipped them and took them out of the oven. I’ll definitely make this recipe again but possibly bind it with an egg.

  • May 12, 2011 at 4:14 am: N.R

    I made this tonight, with zucchini and a bit of dried mild new Mexico peppers, cooked the green lentils myself, and it was really really yummy! I think it was the best veggie burger yet! (and the easiest recipe so far too!) My dh loved them and was pretty worried at first that I might not remember how to make it again ( I usually just tend to toss things together randomly) but I assured him that it’s a written recipe that I’ll be able to make again. Thank you for posting this!!!

  • May 17, 2011 at 2:18 am: Blissful1

    a great way to keep these burgers together i found was the good ol’ vegan trick of apple cider vinegar and cornstarch! if your not vegan and you consider yourself a vegetarian that eats eggs (lacto-ovo-vegetarian), then use an egg. Also, i feel using fresh cooked lentils helped alot, and i used panko breadcrumbs too, which binded it super well! stickin’ em in the fridge after making the mix helps too..and THEN form them! i don’t want to try to altar the recipe TOO much, but as much as Isa inspires me i don’t think varying things a bit would insult her. much love Isa <3

  • May 24, 2011 at 12:34 am: Magdalenne11

    Sounds like a wonderful recipe- can’t wait to try! Does anyone by chance know the nutritional information for these??

  • June 16, 2011 at 1:35 am: Emma

    I agree. I looooove veg food stuff that does not mimic meat! Veggies are great as is.

  • July 3, 2011 at 3:16 am: Jenn

    You never fail to impress. I made these for my boyfriend and I and even though I only had a (very old) blender to work with in place of the food processor they came out very good! Much more pieces and chunks, but the flavor was great. Im very happy with them and if i ever get a food prcessor I am def making them again

  • July 15, 2011 at 11:46 am: Jaime

    Any chance these will survive the BBQ?

    • July 19, 2011 at 9:48 pm: IsaChandra

      No, they’re pretty fragile before baking.

  • July 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm: Heather

    These are delicious! I had to add twice as much bread crumbs as called for, which may reflect that I: a) cooked my lentils from scratch; and/or b) used gluten-free bread. Still very tasty, and I will definitely make them again.

  • August 22, 2011 at 12:30 am: Rebecca

    I just made these, pretty much exactly as described in the recipe. They’re good! Mooshier than I was expecting, but very delicious. I ended up with 10 patties instead of six (I guess I made them small). I’m excited to freeze them, and not have to buy store-bought “veggie” burgers!

  • September 2, 2011 at 2:59 am: Charlie

    Made these tonight and I LOVE how they taste. Mine turned out a little bit more mushy than I expected though. Could I add more breadcrumbs next time to make up for that? longer in the over? maybe its the brand of canned lentils i used?

  • September 3, 2011 at 10:50 pm: Sarah

    I’m a veggie who mainly cooks vegan and I loved these so much! Used chestnut mushrooms for a lovely nutty flavour, black olives and a splash of balsamic vinegar instead of liquid smoke (no idea where you get that stuff from in the UK). They went down so well that my husband has requested a second batch… Thanks for another awesome recipe!

  • September 7, 2011 at 1:19 am: Carol

    I made these yesterday but used baby bella mushrooms and I used potato chips instead of bread crumbs. I looked in the store for vegan bread crumbs but they all had eggs as an ingredient. I shaped and fried 3 burgers and they were amazing! After tasting the mixture I decided it was a great sandwich spread as is with no extra baking or frying. I”m so happy to have found you!

  • October 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm: heather m.

    I made these burgers with fresh spices and they were amazing (I’ll admit to adding some chile pepper because I like life on the spicy side)! Still having the ingredients, I made a version of this yesterday sans lentils (no peppers, either) to use as a stuffing for artichoke (I added fresh rosemary because I had it and used balsamic vinegar and veganaise as a dip, though it didn’t need it). It was so yummy!! The flavors were extra incredible, as the lentils do tend to absorb some flavor in the burgers (which are still totally delicious). I have shared this recipe link with at least six people; non-vegans are also in l-o-v-e. :)

  • October 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm: Nada (One Arab Vegan)

    Wow those are probably the most perfect looking burgers I have ever seen! They look amazing, I can’t wait to try! Quick question, if I can’t get my hands on GF pretzels do you think ground buckwheat groats would be okay to sub for breadcrumbs?

    • October 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm: IsaChandra

      I don’t think so. Can you get GF anything? Crackers?

  • October 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm: Nada (One Arab Vegan)

    I think crackers might be do-able. Will try this weekend and let you know :)

  • October 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm: Deb Abele

    Woke up, found this recipe following a link from a bento site, immediately printed several recipes and forwarded the link to friends, at the risk of seeming like a dork because they’ll probably have seen it already! Somebody above me in the multitude of comments is right, the photos are fantastic, but really the thing I love about your recipes is that they have just enough surprise, and yet are approachable and flexible. Now to ACTUALLY try some (it’s early morning and I’ve just found your site…) Thank you so much, and I’ll be back! (making my grocery list now…)

    • October 15, 2011 at 4:35 pm: IsaChandra


  • October 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm: V

    I made these and everyone loved them. I did put more herbs than it called for, I believe. Also, based on some of the comments, I decided to add some vegan binding agent I have used for years: flaxseed gel. For those of you who don’t know about it, you simply boil some flaxseed in water for a few minutes. I always eyeball it, but I believe the ratio from water to flaxseed is about 4:1. Maybe a 1/4 cup flaxseed and about 1 cup water. Just bring it to a boil in a small saucepan, then lower the heat slightly to about medium-high and keep at a gentle boil for 3 or so minutes. I don’t know the exact time–just watch what is happening. Wait until it all gets foamy and beginning to get gelatinous. Then pour through a strainer–you have to do this as soon as you are done boiling because the mixture gets more and more gelatinous as it sets and you won’t be able to separate the seeds from the gel. Discard the seeds. You might have to do this a couple of times If you’ve done this properly, you’ll see that flaxseed gel looks and feels just like eggwhite. I used it in place of eggs in conventional baking recipes and it is marvelous. It is totally tasteless so it will never add a funny flavour. You might have to do it a few times before you get it exactly right.

    • October 16, 2011 at 7:27 pm: IsaChandra

      Love it! I call it “flax goop.” The only thing is, I don’t use it in recipe writing so much because I think it frightens people.

  • October 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm: V

    I took these to a Thanksgiving (Canadian) dinner, and they actually went well with cranberry sauce, in my opinion. I had also made my vegan gravy to go with the patties. Definitely a recipe I will make again and again.

    • October 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm: IsaChandra

      Ooh I can totally see cranberry sauce working with these. I love sweet and savory. Thanks for the feedback!

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  • November 19, 2011 at 10:03 am: Kathleen

    Just made up a batch of these. Very flavorful! I think I might omit the soy sauce next time though. The soy sauce plus the olives made them a tad too salty for me.

  • December 6, 2011 at 3:31 am: Jessie

    These were great! My mini-Cuisinart just can’t keep up these days….it might be time to invest in a larger one. I think I either overstuffed the food processor or had the mixture in too long or both–I might keep half of my lentils unprocessed next time to see if that helps them be more bun-able (ours were soft). The flavor is perfect!

  • January 11, 2012 at 3:02 am: Erika

    I hate mushrooms and I hate olives, but these were AMAZING!

  • January 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm: Connie Fletcher

    To KS
    Thank you for the chuckle!!! You are clearly a world class gourmet chef, with lots of best selling cookbooks to your name. What fun….sorry….couldn’t help but laugh when I read that post!!!
    What is the old vegan trick of apple cider and cornstarch? Does anyone know?

  • January 16, 2012 at 1:54 am: yael

    yum! just made these–they were delicious! held together very well while baking, came out with lots and lots of flavor. thank you so much for the creative, inspiring, and delicious recipes!

  • January 16, 2012 at 4:14 am: Jebrone

    I did these tonight (delish!) and served them with mashed avocado, arugula, hummus and tomato in a pita. It was tasty but had a lot of flavours goin on. Next time I will go ahead and eat them on a bun with ketchup and mustard.

  • January 23, 2012 at 12:56 am: Dixie

    I just made these and they and AMAZING!! I already ate dinner and was making these for lunch/dinner this week, but I want to eat them all NOW!! Thank you for all of the unbelievable recipes over the years! My friends and family think I’m a talented chef…but I’m really just following the recipes of a REAL talented chef! You are my kitchen idol.

  • February 4, 2012 at 11:06 pm: Marsha

    I almost didn’t make these because I don’t care for olives. But I decided you have never steered me wrong and all your recipes are delicious. So I made a double batch with the intention of freezing half of them. Yeah…these were so good that they didn’t make it to the freezer. Thank you for another great recipe.

  • February 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm: Nailbunny

    Just made these tonight and I really liked them! Now they’re sleeping in my freezer, all delishuuuuussss like!

  • February 28, 2012 at 2:13 am: Clotilde M/Craftybegonia

    I love olives and lentils but have not had them together in a recipe. Very interesting possibilities!

  • March 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm: Mary Herrington

    I’m pretty tired of my lentil rotation: coconut curried lentils, lentil/walnut burgers, lentil loaf…so this is exciting! Going to the kitchen to start my lentils right now. Serving with vegan potato salad (yikes..already made and had 3 servings!) Time to balance out my carbs!

  • March 15, 2012 at 6:53 pm: Mary C.

    I have been jonesing to try one of your lentil burgers but was confounded by the lack of canned lentils readily available. Last weekend I quite randomly ended up at a Brazilian market and what do you know–canned lentils! My sister spotted them with her eagle eyes. I bought 6 cans! Will be trying these tonight and the chipotle ones soon after.

  • March 25, 2012 at 2:22 am: dulin

    Omigosh. I *love* lentils, Kalamata olives, and mushrooms. I can’t wait to try this. I’m an omnivore, but… why would I want a meat burger when I could have something made with lentils, olives, and mushrooms instead? (And this is why everyone thinks I’m vegetarian…)

  • April 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm: Kyla

    Gonna BBQ these beauts tonight! Love the site and the assortment . . . Love to cook and EVERY recipe I have used from here as well as cookbook has been stellar! Much gratitude . . . from me and my belly! Mmmmmmmm ;)

  • April 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm: Kyla

    ps shall try flax goop and see if they become a lil more hardy for flipping purposes :)

  • April 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm: Ke-Ke

    Yahhh Yahh its mhy bday ! Keke

  • August 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm: Jo

    I don’t know if its just me, but I’ve just tried to make these and they have been in the oven for about an hour and they still haven’t cooked. Has this happened to anyone else? What am I doing wrong? lol

  • January 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm: Emma

    Made these yesterday for NYE. The biggest hit so far with burgers. Thanks!!

  • January 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm: Grandma Shelley

    Looks and sounds great–will try it tonight after shopping. Thanks again–and God bless for sharing!!

  • January 13, 2013 at 3:54 pm: Marcella

    I’ve also made these with canned fava beans with the same awesome results!

    • January 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm: IsaChandra

      Good to know!

  • January 22, 2013 at 9:08 pm: AmySue

    A little bit soft, I think I’d need to add more crumbs next time. Really great flavour though, will definitely make these again, and maybe try a few variations. I served it with my own bloody-mary sauce (half a can of tomatoes, a couple of roasted red peppers, salt, pepper, hot sauce, blended and heated through) and it was amazing. I think a side of a pile of griddled eggplant would be great with these.

  • January 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm: AmySue

    Ooh by the way, making burgers with a cookie cutter is a genius idea!! Why did I never think of that?

  • January 28, 2013 at 6:44 am: Paula

    Any suggestions what you could use to replace the bread crumbs that wouldn’t involve wheat?

  • February 7, 2013 at 9:40 am: Nicky

    These are great, I made them last night and fell in love with them, as did my 4 and 1 year old. Because I was lazy I made a double batch and only made 3 burgers, then put the rest into a loaf pan so now I have olive/lentil roast for tonight :)

  • February 12, 2013 at 5:18 pm: new vegan

    what about freezing; can you freeze the patties and how long would it take to bake them later?

  • March 30, 2013 at 5:46 pm: Adey

    freakily, I made something very similiar this morning for breakfast; mix beans, olives, mushrooms, bread, herbs, spices, yeast flakes and tapioca flour. I added 1/4 tsp baking powder and a tbs peanut butter x

  • April 1, 2013 at 10:58 pm: Jason

    Looks yummy, can you bbq these burgers?

  • May 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm: Kristina

    Can’t wait to try these! Can you prepare the burger mixture in advance and refrigerate until the following day?

    • May 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm: IsaChandra

      You sure can!

  • May 15, 2013 at 3:09 am: lola

    Excellent veggie burger. This was my first attempt at making veggie burgers, I am very impressed.

  • May 26, 2013 at 6:40 pm: Sarah Nunn

    Just made these! A wee bit on the sloppy side (I cooked my own lentils so, as you say, will need to play around with breadcrumbs, etc) but they tasted AMAZING. Judging by the eagerness with which my husband was shovelling them down his face, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be making these again … and soon!!

  • June 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm: roxmarie

    These are very good – i ended up doubling the recipe but i accidentally only had a pound or so of lentils. I used incredibly olive-y kalmatas, the dry olive bar kinds. Because of the lentil issue I added about a cup of farro and about 3/4 cup very finely chopped walnuts. I added alder smoked salt, and made these into 3/4 inch thick slider-sized pucks (biscuit sized). I’m serving them on small pretzel buns with mustard on the side. I’m also featuring blue cheese spread on the side for wimps. And baby spinach!

  • June 23, 2013 at 3:09 am: c8ic8

    These were delicious! However, I think mine were too soft, because I had a heck of a time flipping them without them falling apart. When I make these again, I’m going to be more mindful of the texture and ensuring I don’t overmix the ingredients, and also making sure I add plenty of bread crumbs at the end.

  • June 24, 2013 at 11:10 pm: Maddie

    Just made these yesterday. I used beluga lentils because that’s what I had, and they came out perfect. The texture of the mixture seemed crumbly at first, so I was scared, but as soon as I pressed it together it stuck and made a beautiful patty. I made them into little sliders so I reduced the cooking time a bit and they were perfect. They also made good leftovers and now I’m sad that I don’t have anymore. Good thing they were easy!

  • June 29, 2013 at 9:47 pm: Marie

    Trying tomorrow

  • August 10, 2013 at 1:43 am: Marley

    I was wondering, what could I use as a gluten free substitute for bread crumbs? Rice flour or flakes?

    • August 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm: IsaChandra

      I usually whizz some gluten free pretzels in the blender to fine bread crumbs. Or you can use a crunchy gluten-free cereal, like Chex style. Rice cakes are probably too soft to use here.

  • August 20, 2013 at 8:08 am: shakti

    Oh granny, if you think the English do no do vegan, pack food or make sure you have somewhere to cook in Ireland or………you will

  • August 28, 2013 at 5:35 pm: Leticia


    Your site is AWESOME!! What do you suggest I use instead of break crumbs?? Nevermind, I began reading the comments and saw your response about gluten free pretzels. And, again…your site is AWESOME!!

  • August 31, 2013 at 12:33 am: Diane

    I didn’t use a cookie cutter, just divided the burger mix in six pieces and then shaped them by hand, they turned out great. Tasted a lot like olive and mushroom tapenade, the olive flavor was very strong, in fact I couldn’t taste anything else except olives. However, I like the taste of olives, so that was a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

  • September 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm: Leticia

    It’s only me who is eating vegan in the house. Can I freeze these? Should I cook them first, then freeze, or freeze and cook when I defrost??

  • November 13, 2013 at 1:01 am: Paul

    Wow, I was looking for new ways to eat my veggies. This is a great veggie burger I want to try out. Thanks!

  • January 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm: Esther J

    These are some of the best tasting veggie burgers I’ve ever made. The flavors are simply divine. I went the low-budget route and used black olives, baby bella mushrooms, and homemade green lentils. I had trouble keeping them together, but this could’ve been due to a) I don’t think I drained my lentils as well as I should’ve (therefore adding some water to the mix) and, b) I don’t own a food processor, so all the squishing was done by hand, leaving the texture rather chunky.

    Still, they pleased my palate to the fullest. Love, love, love.

    Thank you!

  • February 4, 2014 at 4:28 pm: Rachel

    These were pretty good but I thought 2 tablespoons of soy sauce was too much and made the burgers too salty. I used a little smoked paprika instead of the liquid smoke.

  • March 17, 2014 at 3:14 am: Jill

    Just sharing my epic making these, one drama after the other–husband forgot to buy the olives so he had to hand pit some we had, only had half the bread crumbs so we had to grate some stale bread (the food processor had the burgers in it), the lentils in the fridge turned out to be leftovers from the lentil meat recipe in Isa Does It so I substituted kidney beans. I totally forgot to put in the liquid smoke. The whole thing took hours, but they turned out good, husband and son ate them up. I, on the other hand, still don’t like olives in my food (I like to eat them by themselves though), and this recipe didn’t change my mind about that as I had hoped.

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm: Julie Richards

    Isa, can you freeze them so you have some for later?

  • May 7, 2014 at 4:21 pm: Ronna

    Do you know how long these can be kept in the freezer?

  • July 13, 2015 at 7:19 pm: Jessica Corwin

    You do the best job with your recipes! Have you tried a vegan black bean burger? The recipe I have relies on an egg as the binder and I’m curious what you would use to replace it? Even with the egg, they can be a bit on the crumbly side. Delicious, but crumbly.

    The flax egg may be to strong of a flavor and the tofu replacement may actually show as making the burgers a creamy color…? Ideas? Thank you!

  • September 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm: Robert McKenzie

    Just found this recipe. Ingredients actually cooked through instead of grated, moulded and quickly fried, so raw in the middle. Tasty and delicious. If missing an ingredient, just have a think. There is always something similar. I don’t like tarragon so used fresh parsley. Panicked a bit as all olives eaten but had fresh plums from the garden. Worked very well.

    Popular with everyone. Plus a dash of Hellmans (indulgence).

  • October 8, 2015 at 8:50 pm: Vegemitey

    Insanely delicious. I have tried a lot of veggie burger recipes, and for all-around flavor and texture, these are the BEST. Of course, I love olives and mushrooms …

    I cooked my lentils from scratch, threw in a little Bragg’s aminos instead of liquid smoke, and baked on a lightly oiled baking sheet without parchment paper because i didn’t have any handy. They didn’t stick and held together nicely.

  • August 27, 2016 at 9:58 pm: Dave

    Just made these and they are at the top of my veg-burger list! The olive gives a bite that reminds me of the blue cheese burgers I used to love
    Thanks for a Great Recipe!!