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.
I made this tonight with eggplant instead of mushrooms. It. Was. So. Good.
I topped it with roasted red pepper. Yum.
Just made these last night and were a big hit in my house! Thanks for the great recipe.
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?
Yep that sounds right!
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
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!
any idea about the baking time/temperature if doing this as a ‘meat loaf’? Many thanks!!
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!! 🙂
really really good! making them for the second time tonight. thanks!
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!
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.
I made them and my both my 3 and 5 yr old loved them. THANK YOU! 🙂
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 😉
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.
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?!
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.
can i subsituite wheat germ for the bread crumbs?
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.
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.
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.
Somebody has a foot fetish
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.
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!!!
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
Sounds like a wonderful recipe- can’t wait to try! Does anyone by chance know the nutritional information for these??
I agree. I looooove veg food stuff that does not mimic meat! Veggies are great as is.
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
Any chance these will survive the BBQ?
No, they’re pretty fragile before baking.
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.
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!
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?
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!
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!
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. 🙂
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?
I don’t think so. Can you get GF anything? Crackers?
Nada (One Arab Vegan)
I think crackers might be do-able. Will try this weekend and let you know 🙂
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…)