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I turn to this vegan lentil burger recipe again and again when I’m in the mood for a patty that works just like a classic burger — only without the beef.

a vegan lentil burger on a bun with cheese, tomato, and lettuce, and baked yukon gold french fries on a plate with ketchup
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Why we love this recipe

Made from a mix of lentils, savory shiitakes, brown rice, and walnuts, with plenty of umami-boosting condiments baked right into the patty, this vegan lentil burger recipe is as good for you it is is satisfying. But you won’t be thinking about the nutritional profile when you’re deciding how many pickle slices to put on top, or whether it’s a sriracha mayo kind of day.

I really believe that there’s room in the world for lots of kinds of veggie burgers. I’m cool with a falafel burger with grilled halloumi and harissa mayo (thank you Giraffe for making that a thing). I’m great with a marinated portobello cap between buns, even — especially! — if it’s decorated with all kinds of crazy nonsense. And give me a cumin-scented, slightly sweet vegansweet potato burger sometimes too.

But even though I don’t always feel like eating ground beef, sometimes I just want a BURGER.

Something I would slap inside a standard-issue bun and take to the fixins bar. A patty that cooperates with the rest of the burger experience instead of getting in the way. And that’s exactly what we’ve got here. A really good veggie burger that’s just a really good veggie burger.

I first published this recipe here back in 2016. I’ve since updated the post for clarity, but the recipe remains the same.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • Brown lentils are what you probably think of as “regular” lentils and are easily available at most U.S. supermarkets.
  • You can use any short- or long-grained variety of brown rice. Basmati is my favorite since it tastes absolutely magical.
  • I tend to buy shiitake mushrooms pre-sliced for this recipe. It cuts down on prep time, and they’re often, surprisingly, a better value, since the tough, heavy stems of whole shiitakes get discarded. If you use whole mushrooms to slice yourself, buy extra to account for the weight of the stems.
  • A teaspoon of herbes de Provence adds the perfect subtle flavor to this recipe. Blends vary but usually contain some combination of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and lavender.
  • Ground flax (also called linseed) contributes a great nutritional profile and also acts as a binder to help keep the burgers intact.
  • You can use any kind of ground cornmeal. I often use a popular stone-ground brand from the supermarket. If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, be sure that your brand is certified.
  • A touch of the English condiment Marmite adds an extra layer of savoriness to this recipe. You won’t taste it per se, but it helps deepen the flavor. You can use the same amount of the Australian Vegemite instead if you have that on hand. The two are different, but they serve a similar purpose in this recipe. If you prefer, or if you need these recipe to be gluten-free, it’s okay to leave it out.
  • Flax seed (also called linseed) has a mild, nutty flavor and packs tons of protein, fiber, and good fats. I like to buy it ground and store it in the freezer. It helps to bind the burgers together.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a great batch of this vegan lentil burger recipe. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First you’ll simmer the lentils and rice with the herbs and salt until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté the onion celery, garlic, and shiitakes.
  3. Pulse it all together in the food processor.
  4. Stir in the seasonings and binders. Form into patties and bake. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Is this recipe gluten-free?

It can be if you need it to be. Omit the marmite and be sure to use certified GF brands of all ingredients, especially the soy sauce (some kinds are made with wheat) and the cornmeal (some brands are processed in facilities that also process wheat).

How should I serve them?

These veggie burgers are designed to pair well with all your favorite burger toppings. Since we are not vegan or GF, I like to serve them in brioche buns with cheese, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and maybe even some sriracha mayo.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Yes! These patties keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and can be reheated in the microwave. Or you can freeze the cooked patties for up to a year, then thaw at room temperature and reheat in the microwave.

More favorite veggie burger recipes

a vegan lentil burger on a bun with cheese, tomato, and lettuce, and baked yukon gold french fries on a plate with ketchup

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a vegan lentil burger on a bun with cheese, tomato, and lettuce, and baked yukon gold french fries on a plate with ketchup
4.88 from 33 votes

Vegan Lentil Burger Recipe

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
These veggie burgers have a great, savory flavor profile that works really well with all the usual burger toppings. It's nice and sturdy, too, so treat it just as you would a regular burger. Refer to note nine below if you need to ensure they're gluten-free.
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 10 patties
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup (200 grams) uncooked brown or green lentils
  • ½ cup (90 grams) uncooked brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large ribs celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 20 ounces (567 grams) sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 cup (120 grams) chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup (68 grams) ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (21 grams) ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) marmite
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup (117 grams) ground yellow cornmeal

Instructions 

  • In a medium pot, combine the lentils, rice, salt, herbes de Provence, and three cups of water.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until water is absorbed and rice and lentils are cooked, about 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, warm the oil in a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about five minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and cook one minute more.
  • Add the shiitakes as they fit into the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until browned in spots and about halved in volume, 10 minutes or so.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F with two racks as near the center as possible. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Into a full-size food processor fitted with the blade, place the walnuts and the mushroom mixture. Pulse until finely chopped.
  • Stir in the cooked rice and lentils and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the ketchup, soy sauce, flaxseed, mustard, marmite, and black pepper and mix together thoroughly.
  • Stir in the cornmeal.
  • Form into 10 patties and place on baking sheets.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then flip each patty, rotate locations of pans and bake 15 minutes more.

Notes

  1. Brown lentils are what you probably think of as "regular" lentils and are easily available at most U.S. supermarkets.
  2. You can use any short- or long-grained variety of brown rice. Basmati is my favorite since it tastes absolutely magical.
  3. I tend to buy shiitake mushrooms pre-sliced for this recipe. It cuts down on prep time, and they're often, surprisingly, a better value, since the tough, heavy stems of whole shiitakes get discarded. If you use whole mushrooms to slice yourself, buy extra to account for the weight of the stems.
  4. A teaspoon of herbes de Provence adds the perfect subtle flavor to this recipe. Blends vary but usually contain some combination of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and lavender.
  5. Ground flax (also called linseed) contributes a great nutritional profile and also acts as a binder to help keep the burgers intact.
  6. You can use any kind of ground cornmeal. I often use a popular stone-ground brand from the supermarket. If you need this recipe to be gluten-free, be sure that your brand is certified.
  7. A touch of the English condiment Marmite adds an extra layer of savoriness to this recipe. You won't taste it per se, but it helps deepen the flavor. You can use the same amount of the Australian Vegemite instead if you have that on hand. The two are different, but they serve a similar purpose in this recipe. If you prefer, or if you need these recipe to be gluten-free, it's okay to leave it out.
  8. Flax seed (also called linseed) has a mild, nutty flavor and packs tons of protein, fiber, and good fats. I like to buy it ground and store it in the freezer. It helps to bind the burgers together.
  9. If you need this recipe to be gluten-free: Omit the marmite and be sure to use certified GF brands of all ingredients, especially the soy sauce (some kinds are made with wheat) and the cornmeal (some brands are processed in facilities that also process wheat).
  10. These veggie burgers are designed to pair well with all your favorite burger toppings. Since we are not vegan or GF, I like to serve them in brioche buns with cheese, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and maybe even some sriracha mayo. 
  11. Patties keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and can be reheated in the microwave. Or you can freeze the cooked patties for up to a year, then thaw at room temperature and reheat in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal, Carbohydrates: 43.8g, Protein: 11.3g, Fat: 13.7g, Fiber: 6.9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Burgers
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.88 from 33 votes (33 ratings without comment)

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18 Comments

  1. I just made a batch of these delicious burgers for the second time. It truly an amazing recipe. They are a great consistency, wonderfully flavorful and do not fall apart like so many other meatless burgers. One thing though….5 minute prep is definitely not accurate. Start to finish these took me two hours!

    1. I’m so glad, Erin! Oh wow, those prep and cook times must have gotten messed up at some point during one of the many tech updates over the years. Thank you for the heads up — I will fix them.