Monday, January 30, 2012

Cheap Meal Monday: Lentil Burgers

Lentils are one of my favorite legumes to eat because they are easy to cook and taste great. You can buy lentils in the dry bean or bulk food sections in the grocery store. To cook, boil 1 part lentils, 2 parts water for about half hour or until the water is soaked up into the beans. A cup of cooked lentils has about 230 calories and 18 g of protein and 15 g of fiber. Lentils are also high in important minerals (including iron) and B vitamins.

Since lentils form a pasty substance when mashed up, they make a great base for veggie burgers. This recipe also uses tomato paste as a binding agent and includes vegetables for added taste and nutrition.


1 cup dry lentils
2 cups water
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion (any color)
2 carrots
1 clove garlic
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

After rinsing and sorting the lentils, add to water in a medium pot and bring to boil. Simmer for about half hour or until the lentils have soaked up the water. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium pan. Chop up the onion, carrots, and garlic and add to pan. Cook on low heat for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft (onions should be translucent). Also, carrots are easiest to chop in a food processor or by using a grater. Once everything is cooked, add all ingredients to a food processor and process until mixed. You can also add the ingredients to a bowl and mix/smash with your hands (be careful if it is still hot). It is fine if some of the lentils are left whole.

Now that you have the burger mix, you can form it into patties using your hands. This recipe will make about 5-6 patties. You can re-heat the patties using  a frying pan, microwave, or oven. You can also wrap any patties that you don't use and freeze for later. Lentil burgers can be served with or without whole wheat bread. Good sides are steamed broccoli and sweet potato fries. These veggie burgers are cheaper and way tastier than frozen store-bought ones!


  1. This sounds like a nice alternative to the morning-star patties which are decent. No food processor though, you think the ingredients would mix in a blender(carrots probably wouldn't)?

  2. You can use the blender or a grater to initially chop up the carrots. To mix all of the ingredients you can use a big bowl and your hands, also using a fork or potato smasher to smash up the lentils. Let me know how it turns out!


What do you think?