The Ultimate Lentil Burger

Mj 618_348_the best lentil burger
Photograph by Nick Ferrari - Food Styling by Karen Evans

Lentils are packed with fiber, protein, and minerals, and versatile enough to eat in everything from the best veggie chili to veggie burgers so hearty and nutritious they easily replace a beef patty. This recipe makes use of red lentils, which are a bit sweet, malleable, and packed with protein, as well as quinoa, a flavorful Andean staple the Incas called “mother of all grains.”

Lentil Burger
(Makes 8 servings)


  • 1/3 cup red quinoa
  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for searing
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko or regular bread crumbs
  • 8 slices Gruyère
  • 8 whole-grain buns
  • 16 pickle slices
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 8 leaves romaine lettuce


Step One
In a medium saucepan, cook the quinoa in 2/3 cup boiling water until just tender, about 13 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Step Two
In same saucepan, cook lentils in 1 1/3 cups boiling water until just tender, about 15 minutes. Add to quinoa and let cool.

Step Three
Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms with garlic and onion powders in 2 tbsp oil until soft, about 7 minutes. Let cool.

Step Four
In a bowl, whisk the egg. Add the mushrooms, then stir in the parmesan, chives, sriracha, quinoa, lentils, and black pepper.

Step Five
Fold in the panko and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step Six
Form 1/2-inch-thick patties, each 4 inches in diameter.

Step Seven
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add patties and cook until golden on the bottom, 2 minutes.

Step Eight
Add 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet, flip patties, add one slice Gruyère to each, and cook for 2 minutes, until golden. Repeat with remaining patties.

Step Nine
Place each patty on a whole-grain bun. Add pickles, avocado, and romaine. Serve immediately.

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