Mediterranean Veggie Burger

Add this healthy, vegetarian-friendly burger from chef Michael Lomonaco of Jets + Chefs to your next tailgate.


Between the sizzling steaks, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and ice-cold beer, there are plenty of opportunities to wreck your diet during peak barbecue and tailgating season.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delicious meal while hanging out with your buddies in the backyard, or watching your favorite sports team. This Mediterranean-inspired veggie burger packs in all of the flavor—thanks to a variety of spices and seasonings—without the extra carbs and calories.

Prep time

7 min.

Cook time

35 min.

  • 2 cups lentils
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Ras el hanout (Moroccan spice mix available in grocery stores)
  • 1 Tbsp harissa (chili paste, readily available or use other hot sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • Hamburger buns
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomato

Add lentils to a sauce pot and cover with water. Boil and cook at a simmer for 20 minutes. Drain excess liquid and cool lentils completely.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan; add mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add onions to pan and cook together for 5-6 minutes, until onions are translucent. Remove from heat and cool.

In a food processor, combine lentils, mushroom-onion mixture, and zucchini, and pulse several times to combine. Add ras el hanout, harissa, corn starch, salt, and pepper, and pulse again once or twice to combine.

Transfer mixture to bowl and form mixture into 6-8 burger-shaped patties about 1/2" thick; cover and chill 1-2 hours or overnight. The veggie burgers may be frozen at this time for later use.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook veggie burgers until browned and crisp, about five minutes per side.

Serve on hamburger buns with lettuce and tomato, and desired toppings.