Just in time for summer barbecue season, here comes a classic veggie burger. There are lots of great choices for frozen burgers. There are certainly good reasons to take that route sometimes—time, energy, ease. But sometimes it’s fun to make your own. These White Bean and Lentil Burgers are worth the effort.
Making burgers can be tricky. When there are lots of dry ingredients in the mix, it’s really common for burgers to fall apart. Many of the store-bought burgers use binding ingredients such as vital wheat gluten to avoid this. But of course, gluten isn’t a healthy food for everyone.
There’s a plethora of burger recipes among my 80-plus veggie cookbooks. But I decided to choose one that was made up of mostly legumes, white bean and lentil burgers. While there’s a small amount of wheat bread crumbs, you could certainly substitute gluten-free crumbs. In addition, I added some flax seeds, ground and soaked, to add a little more cohesive power.
I found this recipe in Thug Kitchen, the popular potty-mouth cookbook with nonetheless tasty fare. These burgers are flavorful and have a nice kick. I made a few small adjustments to the recipe. My changes are reflected below.
I found that I needed to bake the burgers for longer than is recommended in the recipe. The recipe recommended that you bake the burgers for 30 minutes—15 minutes on each side. I ended up baking them for about 45-50 minutes on the convection setting. If you decide you’d like to cook them on a grill, I’d suggest that you still bake them and then grill them once they’re done. Putting the raw burgers on the grill could cause a gooey disaster.
These bean burgers turned out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I’ve been able to lightly sauté the leftovers in sesame oil to bring them back to life after a night in the fridge. They perked right back up and were quite tasty.
Meatless Monday: White Bean and Lentil Burgers
- 1/3 cup uncooked red lentils
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 cups of cooked white beans, drained and rinsed (I used Eden cannellini beans)
- 1/2 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4-1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Zest of one lime
- Optional: 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 1-1/2 tablespoons water
- Oil to coat the baking sheet
- Avocado or guacamole
- Sliced red onion
- Dill Pickle
- Dijon mustard
Put It Together:
- If you’re using the flax seeds, stir them into a cup with the water. Set aside for 15 minutes while you prepare everything else to allow the mixture to gel.
- Combine the lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes (or until lentils are soft and mushy and the water is almost gone). Drain any extra water and let the lentils cool.
- In a large bowl, mash the lentils with the rest of the ingredients (minus the cooking oil and burger fixings, of course). You may have to add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet to clump and hold its shape. Shape the clumped mixture into patties. This should come out to about eight patties. Grease the baking sheet with oil, and place the patties onto it. Chill it in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
- About 10 minutes before your’e ready to cook them, turn the oven on to 400˚F, and lightly coat the patties with oil (if you don’t have a cooking spray, you can use a brush to lightly coat them).
- Bake for about 30 minutes (but flip them about 15 minutes in). If they’re still feeling pretty wet and the outside isn’t a bit crispy, turn them over again and let back for 5-10 more minutes. Keep checking and turn over again if you feel it’s necessary. When they’re golden brown on both sides, you’re ready to place them on the buns and dress them up with all the fixings you want.