Lentil Burgers with Tangy Dressing

GardenBurgers INational Nutrition Month is zipping by, so perhaps this is a good time to try a different kind of “healthy” burger.  Lentils, together with onion, mushrooms and a splash of soy sauce—all held together with bulgur wheat—make a flavorful combination for these out-of-the-ordinary veggie burgers.  A lentil falafel of sorts.

Lentils and split peas are among my favorite foods.  They are tasty and fast to prepare.  And they are super versatile — think summer salads, winter soups and stews. And lentils are nutritious with a healthy dose of protein, fiber, vitamin B1 and iron.

A bit of lentil background info from the Happy Herbivore blog:  “Technically, lentils are considered a grain legume known as a pulse, which means they are harvested for their seeds. Lentils are small little lens shaped seeds, and come in many different colors. From red to brown to green to black.”

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Lentil Burgers with Tangy Dressing
Makes 6 burgers (approx 3-1/4 oz. each) or 12 smaller patties
Prep time about 45 minutes

1-1/4  cups water
1/2     cup brown lentils
1/3     cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2     cup bulgur
3        Tbsp. soy sauce
2/3     cup finely chopped crimini or baby bella mushrooms
1/4     cup frozen corn, thawed
4–6   Tbsp. plain dry breadcrumbs

Tangy Dressing  (may be made several days in advance; keep refrigerated)
2/3    cup regular or light mayonnaise
3       Tbsp. Nakano seasoned rice vinegar—roasted garlic or red pepper
1        Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Bring water, lentils and onion to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until lentils are soft. Remove pan from heat; stir in bulgur and soy sauce. Let stand uncovered 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Stir in mushrooms and corn. Add breadcrumbs a tablespoon at a time to desired consistency. Mixture should be thick, yet moist.

Form into burgers by pressing mixture firmly together. Lightly coat the palms of your hands with salad oil to make this easier.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat; coat lightly with salad oil or olive oil. Cook burgers 4-5 minutes per side or until heated through. Meanwhile, whisk together mayonnaise, seasoned rice vinegar and mustard. Serve burgers in pita bread with lettuce and dressing.

Per serving (burgers): 120 calories, 7g protein, 24g carb, 5g fiber, 1g fat, (0g sat. fa), 0mg chol, 350mg sodium
Per serving (2 Tbsp. dressing):
160 calories, 0g protein, 1g carb, 0g fiber, 17g fat (2.5g sat. fat), 10mg chol, 270mg sodium

Recipe and photos by Rita Held

Garden Burgers II

7 thoughts on “Lentil Burgers with Tangy Dressing”

  • Looks like a Must Try super fuel / super food recipe. I do have a question.

    I always worry about non-meat burgers falling apart. Many recipes call for a chill in the refrigerator…or freezer. Is that unnecessary with this recipe? Or might it improve the cohesion?

    Finally, I love the flavor match up. Something that a Barefoot Contessa / @inagarten might suggest. Do you have anything else, perhaps even more “up a notch” American a la @guyfieri might put together? Pickles…onions?

    Please let me know.

    • John, the bulgur adds the stickiness that keeps these patties from falling apart. So much so, that I suggest oiling your hands a bit when you form the patties. About flavor, the tangy dressing adds a lot (I use light mayo). But you can also try simple “sautéed” onions like those in another recipe I developed for Nakano. Just saute thinly sliced onions with natural rice vinegar in a fry pan until limp and vinegar has cooked off. Add to the lentil burgers in pita pockets.

  • This sounds so wonderful to me, great vegan recipe and I cannot wait to make it. Wish someone was making it for me tonight. I love the website and get great ideas even though I am a vegan. Always a fun read with interesting recipes, thanks

  • This recipe really caught my eye. These burgers look delicious, and I can’t wait to try them! I’m always looking for meat alternatives, and this definitely fits the bill! Can I substitute the bulgar for something else? Thanks!

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