These vegan lentil burgers contain no soy, nuts, gluten or oil and are made with natural ingredients you probably have in your kitchen. Mushrooms add umami!
I had a craving for a burger burger. Not a beet burger, or a falafel burger, or a black bean burger, or a curried eggplant burger–just a plain old veggie burger that I could put on a bun with ketchup and pickles and not have the flavors clash or my daughter give me that look that says, “Okay, what does this one taste like.” The kind that tastes like a burger. A lentil burger, that is.
So if you’ve also been craving a regular–but delicious– veggie burger that contains no soy or nuts or gluten and that you can make with ingredients that you can pronounce (and that you probably have in your kitchen right this minute), you’ve come to the right place.
I love these burgers’ lightly herbal flavor all on its own, but I couldn’t resist serving them with a little chipotle mayo just for a bit of kick. Chipotle mayo is the easiest thing in the world to make if you have my tofu-cashew mayo on hand and a can of chipotles or some frozen chipotle cubes.
Whenever I open a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, I puree whatever I don’t use in the blender and then freeze it in an ice cube tray; then I pop the cubes out into a freezer bag to keep frozen until I need them. To make chipotle mayo, I defrost one cube (two tablespoons pureed chipotles) and add mayo to taste–in my case, I used about 1/2 cup of mayo for a pretty spicy sauce.
I served the lentil burgers on buns with all the usual accompaniments along with steamed broccoli and some oven fries. (I followed this hash brown recipe but cut Yukon gold potatoes into fry shapes and baked them for about 30 minutes). Leftovers were great for lunch the next day served bun-less atop lettuce and tomato with a little of the chipotle mayo, and if you can’t eat 6 of them within a week, they should freeze well.
If you’re wondering how kid-friendly they are, I can tell you that my daughter liked them more than frozen burgers from the grocery store, which, for a teenager, is high praise indeed.
Find all of my vegan burger recipes here!
Savory Lentil-Mushroom Burgers
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds or ground flax seed
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1 medium onion
- 6 ounces mushrooms , washed
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups cooked lentils (green or brown), well drained
- 1/3 cup old fashioned oats (certified gluten-free, if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch (see note below)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (omit for soy-free)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Generous grating black pepper
- Mix the chia seeds or ground flax and warm water in a small bowl and set aside. Chop the onion finely. Place the mushrooms into the food processor and pulse until they are finely minced. Mince the garlic.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to brown, adding a splash of water if they begin to stick. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and another splash of water. Cover and cook until the mushrooms soften (about 2-3 minutes), stirring often.
- When the mushrooms have softened, transfer them to the food processor and add the lentils. Pulse until the lentils are just combined with the mushrooms. Add the chia seed mixture and all remaining ingredients and pulse to combine well. It’s okay if a few lentils remain whole, but the mixture should be more sticky than crumbly. If it seems too wet, add a little more oats.
- Scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or with parchment paper.
- Shape the burger mixture into 6 patties, each about 3 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. Place them on the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Since ovens can vary, check them after 25 minutes to make sure they are firm in the middle but not burning and give extra time if necessary.
- Use a spatula to remove the burgers from the baking sheet. Serve at once or refrigerate for later use.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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MarySeptember 11, 2013 at 10:13 am
Do you have a substitute for the mushrooms?
Susan VoisinSeptember 11, 2013 at 10:15 am
I can’t think of one. You could try using another chopped vegetable, but I haven’t tried making them without the mushrooms.
KrystaOctober 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm
These are amazing. I use ground flaxseed instead of chia (because I have a BUNCH of ground flax seed). I noticed maybe they don’t hold together that well…? (But I don’t know how it would hold with the chia seed because I’ve never used it. I’ll have to try that.) Don’t get me wrong, the flavor is there! And awesome! My boyfriend and I are not vegan, but we love these. MAKE THEM NOW.
AcaciaJune 28, 2019 at 7:57 pm
I had to use a lot more oats than the recipe called for to make them moldable, but the flavor was pretty good! I’ll probably make these again and maybe change up the spices each time. Thanks for the recipe!
AlyssaOctober 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm
The first time I made these, I followed the recipe exactly. Today, however, I didn’t have lentils on hand, so I used a can of black beans (drained) and a squirt of ketchup in place of the tomato paste. Delish, as always!
LindsayJanuary 15, 2014 at 9:02 am
These burgers are amazing. First time I’ve made a veggie burger that really satisfied my craving for an actual burger. My husband loved it as well.
Thanks so much for your recipes, I’ve never made a recipe of yours that I didnt like!
SaraJanuary 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm
Looks awesome. How do you think it would work if you adapted this to make meatballs? I’m thinking you’d do everything the same except make balls and not patties and then pour tomato sauce on top instead of cooking the balls in the sauce as they’d probably fall apart, no?
Susan VoisinJanuary 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm
That sounds right to me, but I haven’t tried it. Please report back if you do.
SaraJanuary 18, 2014 at 11:38 am
The “meatballs” tasted great but with a couple of issues. They don’t stay in a ball shape but spread out so they end up being very small patties. If you pour the tomato sauce on them and let them sit for a while (I made this for dinner that we didn’t eat until 2 hours later) they absorb ALL the sauce and get a little soggy. So, I’d suggest pouring the sauce on them right before you eat them. Another variation I’d like to try is cooking this in a loaf pan as “meatloaf” and making a mushroom sauce using almond milk to pour on top.
GinaFebruary 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm
This is one of the first recipes I followed that turned out right. Looooved everything about it… along with the homemade mayo. Thank you so much for sharing. It was a big hit with guests, too!
JoyceMarch 4, 2014 at 11:15 am
I’m making these today, and can’t wait to try them. I cooked the lentils in some veggie stock I made last week….and they cooked VERY quickly….like, 20 minutes. Make sure you check them while you’re cooking. A similar lentil-mushroom burger recipe suggested letting the lentils dry on a cookie sheet, so I’m doing that. I’ll be using breadcrumbs instead of oats…why don’t I have oats in my cupboard?
This recipe appears to be the tastiest of all I’ve seen….more spices, the tomato paste…and the instructions were clearer, particularly around processing the mushrooms and sauteeing in the pulverized state. I might also process the onions before sauteeing, but knowing how much moisture will be released, I’ll make sure some of it cooks away. Might add a splash of dry sherry instead of water, if necessary. Wish I had chia seeds, as I’m sure that would add something.
Thanks for this recipe! I will be returning to your blog for new ideas.
PattiApril 25, 2014 at 4:51 pm
I just made these the other day and my husband even loved them and he usually doesn’t eat my veggie burgers. I like the idea that you bake them and that makes them a little dried out and I actually like that instead of a gooey burger. Thanks so much will be making this again real soon for “taco meat”.
livinrsdAugust 22, 2014 at 9:04 pm
Made these last week. Wonderful hot or cold. First night I had them wrapped in lettuce leaves with mustard and ketchup. Second knight I warmed them, broke them into small pieces and added the, to a pasta sauce to serve over brown rice rotini wi tomatoes and zucchini. Fabulous. It was like a lightly-spiced meat ragu. Knowing that using them like meatballs might end in their being too soft, breaking them apart and adding them already warmed to the pasta prior to topping with sauce softened them just enough to give a pleasant texture combined with everything in the bowl. My beloved with overjoyed as he has been with everything I have made from your creations.
So very grateful to have you to turn to for inspiration. Than-q for your hard work.
sSeptember 9, 2014 at 12:01 pm
At what point do I add the herbs? (paprika etc) Thanks!
Susan VoisinSeptember 9, 2014 at 12:02 pm
The herbs are in step three with “all remaining ingredients.”
sSeptember 10, 2014 at 7:38 am
Thanks! Sorry, didn’t read carefully 🙂
Sherry (BTLover2)January 27, 2015 at 10:35 am
Plan on making these tonight and wondered… Do slice up the mushrooms before cooking them or use them whole? What has everyone done? Thank you!
Susan VoisinJanuary 27, 2015 at 10:39 am
I always chop them finely in the food processor, as in the instructions. If you don’t have a food processor, you could chop them by hand. They should be about finely minced rather than sliced to simulate a meaty texture.
Sherry (BTLover2)January 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm
Thanks for the reply, Susan. I am so sorry I missed that instruction. I looked and looked and still didn’t see it. And I’m one of those people who gets annoyed with someone like me. I’m sure you had a few choice words when you read my comment 😉 Thanks again. Looking forward to having them this evening!
Susan VoisinJanuary 27, 2015 at 3:57 pm
Not at all, Sherry! That detail is buried in the first paragraph of the instructions, and your comment has me considering how to make it more clear. Thank you! I hope you enjoy them.
Gillian MyattFebruary 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm
These freeze really well. I froze them cooked then thawed and reheated them in a hot oven for 10 mins. Lovely.
Kelly GApril 7, 2015 at 6:05 pm
These were my first attempt at veggie burgers and I’ve made them numerous times since. So good!
Daniella WeitzmanApril 22, 2015 at 11:51 am
I have a question. I love this recipe and would love to make little sliders for a bridal shower. Do you know if it will keep up and be ok if ppl eat it not hot?\\Whats your thoughts?!
Susan VoisinApril 22, 2015 at 12:47 pm
I think it will be fine at room temperature. Little sliders is a great idea!
tinak1965July 27, 2015 at 8:03 pm
I just love all of your Recipes I have made the dogs they were fabulous thank you for this great website I love fatfree vegan food it’s just fabulous to me thank you Tina
SandiApril 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Susan, should we flip them over halfway through?
Susan VoisinApril 22, 2017 at 8:33 pm
No, I found it better to just cook them on one side.
Tracie Van WagonerSeptember 13, 2017 at 10:53 am
I’ve made these twice. I Love the texture& flavor. The moisture part; I’m still working on. I didn’t have potato starch or corn starch, so I used guar gum once &!I used arrow root for binders. Really the best veggie burger I’ve had! & no oil!:)
SueSeptember 26, 2017 at 4:29 pm
I tried your Savory Lentil Mushroom burgers. I have to say they were the closest to a “real” hamburger flavor of any veggie burger I’ve tried. I also liked the fact that you used pantry staples to make it. I saw the recipe and went to the kitchen and started cooking. Thank you. My husband wants me to make a huge batch and freeze some so they will be on hand whenever he’s in the mood for a burger.
ValerieOctober 1, 2017 at 5:12 pm
Finally! I’ve been searching for years for a veggie burger I like. Thank you. These are great. AND they held together beautifully. Woohoo 🙌🏻
RivaJanuary 30, 2018 at 4:25 pm
I’m going to try this tonight! What seems to make it so salty, though, the soy sauce maybe? I’ll use coconut aminos, instead, as I usually do in place of soy. These look amazing, thank you!
NickMarch 5, 2018 at 5:44 pm
Have made these many times and they are terrific!
NishaMarch 7, 2018 at 11:38 am
Hi- can you use an egg instead of the chia seeds and water? If vegan isn’t an issue…
BigmoneyvOctober 27, 2018 at 7:05 pm
Yes chia seeds are just replacement for eggs but make sure you tell your vegan family and friends that they have eggs in them.
AmandaMay 15, 2018 at 10:32 am
Have made these many, many times. One of my toddler’s favorite foods. Thank you for such wonderful recipes!
Rebecca SmithDecember 20, 2018 at 11:38 am
Would these freeze well?
Susan VoisinDecember 20, 2018 at 2:16 pm
Yes, they’re great to freeze.
charles radmoreMarch 25, 2019 at 4:56 am
Once youve frozen or refrigerated them, what is the best way to reheat? Can you stick them on barbaque for intance? Thanks
Susan VoisinMarch 25, 2019 at 6:41 am
Yes, if they’re already cooked, you can warm them up just about any way you want, including over a barbecue. Just do it gently so they don’t dry out.
JessJanuary 25, 2020 at 2:46 pm
If I only have rolled oats will that work?
Susan VoisinJanuary 25, 2020 at 4:11 pm
Yes, rolled oats are the same as old fashioned.
MaryMay 6, 2020 at 7:52 am
Hi Susan, can u tell me how much of lentil do i have to cook to get 2 cups of cooked lentils? I mean, i think if i cook two cups of lentils i´ll have after, about…. 3 cups and a half?
Susan VoisinMay 6, 2020 at 9:38 am
I’m not sure, but I think 1 1/2 cups of dry lentils would give you enough. It’s better to have a little too much than too little. You could always throw the extra into a soup or salad.
KateJune 28, 2020 at 4:26 pm
Excellent burger! I have just started to get seriously into whole food plant based eating. Recently, I batch cooked a bunch of red lentils and then needed to find something to use them in. I was also looking for a burger recipe that didn’t use black beans. Although this recipe calls for green or brown lentils, I decided to try it with the cooked red lentils I had on hand. It worked just fine, but I would clarify that my red lentils were gently simmered until just done and were not mushy as they can often get.
The burgers were excellent! Now I have a choice between black bean or lentil burgers. It’s always good to have options in one’s recipe file : )
Thanks for this recipe and I will be checking your site on a regular basis from here on in.
DianeJune 19, 2021 at 7:28 am
I can see that I am late to the game here. But better late than never.
The burger is delicious! I have made four batches so far and each time I find something new to love about them. I made just one change though as I didn’t have tomato paste so I used red curry paste. Adds an extra kick
I have served these to friends and they loved them.
Thank you so much
TerryDecember 2, 2021 at 5:30 am
I see the ingredient, “cooked lentils” or beans, etc a lot.
Is cooked the same as canned? Or must I start with dry beans and reconstitute?
Susan VoisinDecember 2, 2021 at 9:04 am
Cooked beans could be either canned or cooked from dry.
TerryDecember 3, 2021 at 9:41 am
I wish recipes would say cooked or canned (already cooked)!
I wasn’t sure.
Karen FinkelsteinJune 6, 2022 at 11:42 am
These burgers are so delicious! I needed a new burger recipe and my hubby even said these were the best veggie burger I’ve ever made! They were a bit moist and as you mentioned I added a little more oatmeal, and then I decided to add a handful of cooked brown rice I needed to use up. I did everything else as written and it was perfect! Thanks for my new go to burger!!
SusanJanuary 23, 2023 at 2:08 pm
Hi made your burger today,it tasted good but was mushy,I followed all ingredients exactly but when I put it in the oven I had forgotten to let it rest 15 mins first,do you think that is why it was mushy?
Susan VoisinJanuary 23, 2023 at 2:46 pm
Sorry about that! The resting is pretty important to allow the starch to develop, so that may have caused them to fall apart.