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Vegan sweet potato lentil burgers make a satisfying, good-for-ya change of pace. They have a flexible flavor profile and are make-ahead and freezer-friendly.

a vegan sweet potato lentil burger on a bun
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Why we love this recipe

One of the great things about burgers is that you can slap them on the grill and have a delicious dinner in under 30 minutes. It’s an unfortunate reality that homemade veggie burgers don’t fit that bill. There’s almost always quite a bit of prep, and many of them don’t hold up unless cooked gently on the stovetop. Vegan burgers can pose additional challenges in that department.

None of that explains why I really, really love a good veggie burger. And I know I’m not alone here. That’s why it’s great to have a delicious recipe for vegan burgers that minimizes these issues.

  • There’s some prep, but not an insane amount
  • They hold up to both cooking and slapping into a bun with lots of toppings
  • I like them even better after resting in the fridge, and they freeze well, so you can make a big batch ahead of time
  • The flavors are pretty neutral, so you can dress them up in a variety of ways

I first published this recipe here in 2016, adapted from Plant Based on a Budget. Ever since then, I’ve been using it as one of my workhorse vegan burger recipes because it’s as reliable as it is tasty. 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
  • This recipe starts with cooked brown lentils. Here’s how to make them. For both the lentils and the rice, if you plan to start from scratch, you can refer to the FAQ section or the recipe card below to learn more.
  • You’ll also need cooked brown rice. My favorite kind is brown basmati. It’s just as easy to make as any other type, but it has an almost magical taste and aroma. Here’s how to cook it in the Instant Pot — or boil it according to package instructions.
  • 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 vegan sweet potato lentil burger on a bun

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a great batch of vegan sweet potato lentil burgers. 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. In a food processor fitted with the blade, pulse the onion, garlic, sweet potato, and walnuts until finely chopped.
  2. Add cooked lentils and rice and process until well combined.
  3. Mix in the seasonings and flax and then the cornmeal.
  4. Shape into patties and bake. That’s it!
vegan sweet potato lentil burgers on a sheet pan with a spatula

Expert tips and FAQs

How much dry brown lentils equals 1 3/4 cups cooked?

You’ll need about 3/4 cup dry lentils to make 1 3/4 cups cooked. I usually make a larger batch and use the remainder for another meal.

How much dry brown rice equals one cup cooked?

You’ll need to use about 1/3 cup dry to get the cup of cooked rice called for in this recipe. I usually make a larger batch and use the remainder for another meal.

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

Definitely. We actually like them even better after they’ve had a chance to rest in the fridge. They freeze well, too — so you can make a big batch ahead of time if you like.

More favorite vegan & vegetarian patties

a vegan sweet potato lentil burger on a bun

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a vegan sweet potato lentil burger on a bun
4.50 from 30 votes

Vegan Burgers with Sweet Potato and Lentils

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Vegan sweet potato lentil burgers make a satisfying, good-for-ya change of pace. They have a flexible flavor profile and are make-ahead and freezer-friendly.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 burger patties
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Ingredients 

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 heaping cup, (200 grams) diced raw sweet potato (no need to peel)
  • ½ cup (60 grams) chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (170 grams) cooked brown rice
  • 1 ¾ cups (275 grams) cooked brown lentils
  • cup (90 grams) ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons (21 grams) ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ (90 grams) cup yellow cornmeal

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 450°F with a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Into food processor fitted with the blade, place the onion, garlic, sweet potato and walnuts. Process until finely chopped.
  • Add the cooked rice and lentils and pulse until well combined.
  • Transfer into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the ketchup, flax, mustard, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Mix together thoroughly.
  • Stir in the cornmeal.
  • Shape into eight patties and place on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then flip each patty and bake 15 minutes more.

Notes

  1. You'll need about 3/4 cup dry lentils to make 1 3/4 cups cooked. I usually make a larger batch and use the remainder for another meal.
  2. You'll need to use about 1/3 cup dry to get the cup of cooked rice called for in this recipe. Here, too, I usually make a larger batch and use the remainder for another meal.
  3. Burgers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a year.
  4. Reheat in the microwave or wrapped in foil in the oven or toaster oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal, Carbohydrates: 34.5g, Protein: 7.7g, Fat: 6.6g, Fiber: 6.8g

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

Additional Info

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

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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.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    These were really good. A bit soft for anything but the softest bread/bun, but so are nearly every bean-based homemade burger patty I have tried. I substituted sprouted mung beans for the lentils, added one chopped habanero, but other than that, pretty much right by the recipe, and they were great! Looking forward to trying more recipes from your site.

  2. 5 stars
    This one is a keeper, the whole family loves it. Very nutritious and healthy! My boys didn’t believe it was meatless the first time they had it.