In our house we try to keep meatless Monday in the rotation, but before we get into the recipe itself, let’s get one thing straight. You aren’t ever going to convince an omnivore that a lentil burger is just like a real hamburger. Just get that out of your head right now, it’s never going to happen. Don’t try to describe a lentil patty in how it’s like a cheeseburger, instead let it stand on its own merits. It’s tender, flavorful, and filling. Lentil patties or burgers make good hot sandwiches, but no, they will never be the same as a hamburger.
That said, I really dig these lentil patties topped with cheese, and with all of the usual cheeseburger toppings.
I highly recommend having a food processor for this recipe.
- 1 cup dry lentils -rinsed well
- 2½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ sweet onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- cooking spray
Place the water, lentils, and salt in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. The lentils will need to cook until soft, usually about 45 minutes. The goal isn’t to cook the lentils until complete mush, so if you see the lentils starting to split, remove the pot from the heat. Most, but not all of the water will have been absorbed.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a food processor, process the oats until they are finely ground. Then pulse together the oats, bread crumbs, grated carrot, diced onion, and soy sauce. Transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl. Use a slotted spoon to add the cooked lentils. You’ll only use the remaining water, if the mixture is too dry to work with. Stir the lentils into your rolled oat mixture. The result should be moist and a bit squishy, like playdough. If it’s too dry, it will be crumbly, just add a bit of the water until it’s pliable. Some of the lentils will remain whole, this is normal and adds to the texture.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Use your -clean!- hands to shape the lentil mixture into patties and place on the baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes, turn the patties halfway though with a spatula.
If you want cheesy lentil burgers, top with cheese and melt under the broiler, after baking.
Top as you’d like and enjoy!