Vegan Easy 6-Ingredient Lentil Burgers are the ultimate high-protein, plant-based burgers. Kid-friendly using affordable ingredients. Foolproof recipe. Oil-free option and gluten-free.
I was inspired to make a simple vegan burger that actually holds together. So many fall apart and use multiple ingredients. These turn out perfectly every time.
For more easy burger recipes on my site, try these Easy Vegan Chipotle Burgers, and Thai Tofu Burgers with Thai Red Curry Dressing. These burgers pair well with my tasty Crispy Roasted Potato Bites.
- Dried Red Lentils
- Tomato Paste
- Salt & Pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
Soak the red lentils in enough water to cover by about 2 inches for 2 hours. Drain well.
Squeeze the grated carrots between paper towels to remove excess liquid.
Add the ingredients to a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are combined and hold together when squeezed with your hands. Do not overdo. The mixture will feel a bit sticky but don't panic. The texture changes when they are cooked.
Using ¼ cup measurement for each, form 12 equal-sized patties.
Option 1 (oil-free): Bake Easy 6-Ingredient Lentil Burgers on a large nonstick baking sheet in a single layer at 400ºF for 10 minutes.
Option 2: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. (Test that the oil is hot by dropping a small amount of the batter into the skillet and see that it sizzles.)
Cook the patties in a single layer, with enough space to flip, for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. (You may need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet.)
Transfer the cooked burgers to a paper towel-lined plate to remove any excess oil.
Easy 6-Ingredient Lentil Burgers are versatile:
- Carrots - instead of carrots, you can use grated sweet potato or zucchini, or chopped spinach using the same measurements
- Cilantro - instead of cilantro, use a variety of fresh herbs as desired
- Falafel - instead of burgers, use 2 tablespoons of the lentil mixture for each, and make 24 falafels
- Spicy - add minced jalapeño to the food processor with the other ingredients
- For more of a kick - use red onions in place of the shallots
Make sure to use a food processor with a pulse button to combine the ingredients. Do not use a blender.
Refrigerate any remaining patties in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
These cooked patties stand up well to freezing. Wrap each individually in parchment paper to avoid sticking and place in a freezer bag.
💡 Top Tip
To ensure that the red lentils cook fully, soak them for at least 2 hours before using. Pan-fry the patties in enough oil to reach halfway up the sides.
Lentils typically do not require soaking before cooking. However, they do require soaking in this recipe as they are not being cooked in water.
Make sure to wash your lentils thoroughly before using.
Not all lentils are created equal. Red lentils are especially rich in protein. Plus, they have the added benefit of the shortest cooking time. One half cup of uncooked lentils boasts 22g of plant-based protein.
Easy 6-Ingredient Lentil Burgers
- 1 ½ cups dried red lentils
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 large shallot or 1 small onion, small dice (about ⅓ cup)
- ⅓ cup grated carrots about 3 small
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Neutral flavored cooking oil for pan frying (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Soak the lentils in enough water to cover by about 2 inches for two hours. Rinse and drain thoroughly.
- Place the ingredients into a canister: Add the drained lentils, garlic, shallot, carrot, tomato paste, cilantro, salt, and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture holds together, scraping the sides of the canister as needed.
- Shape the patties: Scoop out ¼ cup of the mixture at a time. Shape into patties, about ½ inch thick.
- Option 1 Bake: Bake the patties for 10 minutes. Flip them over and bake for about 10 minutes more, or until crispy on both sides.
- Option 2 Pan-Fry: Heat enough oil in a large nonstick skillet to reach about halfway up the sides of the patties. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy. (You may need to do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the skillet.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
- For serving: Serve with a bun and desired toppings; a side salad; or oven roasted potatoes.
- To ensure that the red lentils cook fully, soak them for at least 2 hours before using. Pan-fry the patties in enough oil to reach halfway up the sides.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.
Hello! These look lovely & easy. Quick question: Do you think they would freeze well for batch cooking? I love the idea of making a ton, individually wrapping in parchment paper, freezing them, and then using them as needed. Thoughts? I'm wondering if their texture would lend itself to the freezer/thaw or reheating process. PS LOVE your YT shorts. 😀 I found you there. Keep up the good work.
Hi! I'm so glad you are here! Yes, these can be frozen and reheated just as you describes. Cook them before freezing.
Can you use other lentils?
I have. not tested it myself but I know others have successfully made it with green and brown but you have to cook them until al dente as they are firmer than red.
I split the batch into fried and baked like another person mentioned. There is no comparison -- fried wins. I used mostly canola oil with a little refined coconut oil. When I scooped the patties off my prep sheet and into the frying pan, they lost their circle shape and morphed into what looked like a McDonald's hash brown. For now, I am calling them lentil hash browns. For what it's worth, I fried the baked batch, but they dried out a little too much. Still, they got eaten instantly and without question. My 5 year old nephew devoured one. I could only find green lentils, for what it's worth. I added half a jalapeno and a teaspoon and a half of sweet paprika. I also substituted zucchini for the carrots, and used a red onion instead of a shallot, per your suggestions. I measured my lentils after they were soaked, assuming they doubled in volume, i.e., 3 cups soaked vs 1.5 cups dry.
For the next batch, my thought is to bake for 10 minutes total, 5 a side, and transfer to an oily pan to finish, or vice versa.
I agree with another commenter that you can afford to season these a bit more than is called for in the recipe.
Thanks for all the additional tips! I'm glad they were devoured both ways! Love the jalapeño addition.
Just made these and paired them with a vegan mayo siracha dip and absolutely loved them! I followed your recipe exactly and they were so so so delicious and had a great texture as well. Thanks for an amazing recipe❤️
So happy to hear that they were a hit. Thank you for leaving a comment. Have a great evening.
Should the lentils be cooked first
HI. No. The red lentils should be soaked for 2 hours.
These were great. I did a light dusting with cornmeal before baking and that added a nice crispy touch. I also added some seasonings such as cumin seeds, paprika, & mexican oregano. Served with a homemade Tahini Sauce. Thanks for this great recipe.
Great additions! Thanks for sharing.
I was skeptical but decided to give this recipe a try. So delicious! I love the crispy texture outside. I did add a few dashes of Franks hot sauce. Had some mix left over and made nugget-sized patties. They will be a huge hit with some dipping sauces at my next get-together. Thank you!
I'm so glad you decided to try them. Thanks for leaving a comment. So good with hot sauce.
What’s the sauce in the picture??
It's just a sriracha mayo but try this chipotle sauce with them. It will be delicious.
Great recipe! The instructions was easy to follow and texture of the patties were great. I fried them with less oil than called for and they turned out well. I gave this recipe four stars because I think it was a bit under-seasoned, and could do with more flavor. We were adding a fair amount of tahini and hot sauce. More herbs and spices would elevate this recipe for sure! Thanks!
Can these be frozen for later use? How long would they keep in fridge? Thank you
Yes! Separate them with parchment paper and freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
I've just been looking at the recipes & ideas on your webiste, Nisha, and I'm excited to try many of your dishes; they look really good! This one looks like it will be terrific. I've subscribed.
I'm so happy to have you here! Thank you. Let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy!
Just found a Peach BBQ sauce that I think would be good on these…either in a wrap/pita or just spread on top. Taco. Yeah.
Thanks for the recipe. 🙂
That sauce sounds yummy!
Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!
I cooked as per your instructions but they came out super dry. Should I cook for less time or at lower temp?
Did you brush with oil or go oil-free? Lower temp should help. They are very moist when pan fried.
I loved these!!! My 2 and 4 year old enjoyed them too! Very good in a sandwich with vegan mayo, ketchup, and shredded lettuce with some pickles on the side. Also good just dipped in ketchup. Will make again! <3
So glad they were a hit. Thank you.
Do you use split red lentils or regular lentils?
split red lentils also called just red lentils on some packages
Thank you. Would you recommend adding breadcrumbs? Also, are there other spices that would work well for this?
I haven't tested this recipe with breadcrumbs. Paprika, chili powder, cumin, and chipotle powder would be my recommendations for spices.
Hello Nisha. How are you? I stumbled upon your website and the many wonderful recipes you have here. This will be the first, of several of your recipes, that I will try. Your lentil burgers look like they have some sort of breading coated on them. Do they or is that just how they look once cooked?
Thank you for leaving a comment. So excited to have you here. They do not have any breading. They are pan-fried in the photo.
Hi! So you don’t actually cook the red lentils? You only soak them?
Yes! They cook when you pan fry or bake them.
Love the flavor and so did my huge meat eating husband and 2 sons so, big win! Fried half, baked half, boys preferred and ate the fried version. Baked version just as flavorful. I added cumin and cayenne, used a lemon tahini sauce, made the burgers bigger and put them on a bun for them. My only issue is that the baked ones stuck to the alum foil even though I greased it. In fact, working w/ the mixture was difficult as it was SUPER sticky. It's possible that I overprocessed it. Advice?
Hi, I used a nonstick baking sheet and it worked well. I didn't flip until one side had formed a crisp layer. I hope this helps.
Made these today and I can definitely tell these is the best lentil burger I ever made 😋 definitely will repeat these. Thank you 😊
Makes my day to hear that. Thank you!!!
Can you use green lentils?
Yes, but make sure to cook them beforehand until just tender.
One of the best burgers recipes Ive ever tried! I added some fresh green chillies to make it a bit spicy
Makes my day. So happy you liked them. Thank you.
I made these for dinner today. My husband loved it❤️
You're so right when you say it's easy to make it.
Thanks so much for the recipe... it's a keeper!
I'm so happy to hear that. Thank you for leaving a comment.