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)
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.
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!!
Katherine D Emerson
I use ground oat flakes instead of the bread crumbs. I grind them in my blender attachment. Also, I like green olives better than black olives in this recipe.
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.
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??
Wow, I was looking for new ways to eat my veggies. This is a great veggie burger I want to try out. Thanks!
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.
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.
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.
Isa, can you freeze them so you have some for later?
Did you try to freeze them? Did it go well?
I have frozen these between 2 sheets of greaseproof baking paper inside a glass food storage container.
Do you know how long these can be kept in the freezer?
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!
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).
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.
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!!
I’ve made this from your book “Isa Does It” with little buns and guacamole for the side dishes. It’s delicious and really easy! Thank you, Isa!!!
I made these last night.They were way too salty with the olives and soy sauce.