Spicy Lentil Burgers! Beautiful green lentils mashed with lots of spice, shaped into burgers, and cooked until crispy on the edges. Served with fresh mango, avocado, and roasted red peppers!
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Spicy Lentil Burgers

This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. They make a huge range of quality products including the Heritage Green Lentils I used for this post. Check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter  for lots of fun recipe ideas. 

I think it goes without saying that most Americans rarely, if ever, eat lentils. I made the mistake of including an entire chapter in my book on lentils and got a few emails that basically went: “Lentils? Dude… who eats lentils?!”

Oh… you know… just the entire continent of Europe for starters.

I have a theory that the reason they aren’t popular in America is because you can’t find a canned or frozen/pre-ready version of them. In other words, you have to actually cook them if you want them.

But, you should cook them. They are easier than many other legumes to make. Even the sturdier lentils (like the green ones I used for this post) can be ready in 30 minutes. Also, they are so good for you. By weight lentils have more protein than ground beef (by a lot actually). They are also jam-packed with fiber.

I could go on, but let’s just say that they are delicious. One of my favorite ways to use them is in a really thick burger. They have a really meaty texture and flavor actually.

Spicy Lentil Burgers! Beautiful green lentils mashed with lots of spice, shaped into burgers, and cooked until crispy on the edges. Served with fresh mango, avocado, and roasted red peppers!

Spicy Lentil Burgers

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4 large burgers
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Beautiful green lentils mashed together with spicy peppers and made into burgers. Served with mango, roasted red peppers, & avocado!


2 cups cooked green lentils
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 ear sweet corn (or 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Serrano pepper, minced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 lemon, juice only
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Hamburger buns
Roasted red peppers
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1) Cook lentils according to package. Drain lentils and set aside.

2) In a large skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for a minute until they start to soften. Then add garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin, and a pinch of salt. cook for another minute.

3) Add corn, Serrano pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and lemon juice. Cook for another few minutes.

4) Add cooked lentils and toss to combine ingredients.

5) Transfer mixture to a large bowl and mash well with salt, egg, flour, and breadcrumbs. Form four large burgers with the mixture.

6) Sear burgers in a large skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of oil until the burgers are browned well on the sides, 5-6 minutes.

7) Serve seared burgers on a toasted bun with mayo, sriracha, fresh mango, roasted red peppers, and avocado.

TIP: You can also grill these burgers. Wipe your grill grates clean and oil them lightly. Be careful when flipping them. They should hold together okay though as long as you don’t mess with them too much.

The Lentil Prep

The nice thing about lentils is you don’t have to soak them or anything. You just gently simmer them until they are tender and then drain them and they are done. It’s basically like pasta!

One thing I would recommend though is sorting through your lentils quickly. Occasionally, you might find a little pebble or something in them. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever found one in a bag of Bob’s Red Mill lentils. They do a really good job of sorting, but if you buy bulk lentils, definitely go through them.

Spicy lentil burger lentils

I just simmer these in water until they are tender (taste one every five minutes or so).

Then drain them and they are ready to go.

I like to make a big batch of lentils and use the leftovers for these spicy lentil burgers.

Cooked green lentils.

Good texture.

Making the Spicy Lentil Burgers

Besides the lentils, which act as a great base for the burger, there are some big flavors here.

Spicy lentil burger ingredients

Burger basics.

Don’t forget the sun-dried tomatoes! These really up the savory flavors in the burgers.

Spicy lentil burger tomatoes.

SD Tomatoes!

Start the burger mixture by adding some olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the onions and herbs for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic after a few minutes so it doesn’t burn.

Spicy lentil burgers cooking

Good base flavors.

Then add the corn, sun-dried tomato, Serrano pepper, lemon, and lentils. Cook that all together for a few minutes and season it with salt and pepper.

Spicy lentil burgers.

Getting everything together.

Scoop the mixture into a large bowl and let it cool a bit. Then mash it with a large fork or a potato masher. You want to combine everything but you still want some real texture to the burgers. I wouldn’t put this stuff in a food processor. It’ll over-process the mixture.

Once the mixture is room temperature, add the egg, flour, and breadcrumbs. Then make four large burgers out of the mixture!

Spicy Lentil burgers

Big burgers!

You could grill these, but be careful with them. You wouldn’t want to flip them too much.

Personally, I like to pan-sear them for 5-6 minutes per side in a skillet over medium heat. This gets a good crust on the burgers and makes sure the egg is cooked.

Spicy lentil burgers cooking

Nice crust.

Burger Toppings!

There is a lot of flavor in these burgers. You could do traditional burger toppings with them, but I went a little out of the box here. I sliced up some avocado, roasted red pepper, and mango. For the mango, it’s actually okay if it’s a little under-ripe. Slice it thin and the mango is really crispy which is a nice texture.

Spicy lentil burgers toppings.

Good toppings.

Stack all this stuff on a toasted bun with some mayo and sriracha on the bottom.

Even as a meat-eater, I gotta say this is one delicious burger.

Spicy lentil burgers bite


If you wanted to skip the bun, serve these on lettuce. That would be great also!

Okay, raise your hand if you’re a lentil fan! If you are, cook these for non-lentil fans and bring them into the lentil world!

Spicy Lentil Burgers! Beautiful green lentils mashed with lots of spice, shaped into burgers, and cooked until crispy on the edges. Served with fresh mango, avocado, and roasted red peppers!

Spicy Lentil Burgers! Beautiful green lentils mashed with lots of spice, shaped into burgers, and cooked until crispy on the edges. Served with fresh mango, avocado, and roasted red peppers!

12 comments on “Spicy Lentil Burgers

  1. I see the pictures, but in all honesty, how do they hold together? Did they crumble at all when you actually started eating the burger? Are they messy to eat?
    These sound great, but just curious as to how close to a hamburger they actually are. I have a vegetarian in the family and this would be great, thanks!

    1. Hey Matt, they hold together pretty well. The egg, flour, and breadcrumb is a good binder. I tried a version without those and it just crumbled so you definitely need some sort of binder in it. I definitely ate them like a hamburger, but I cooked them in a skillet. You could grill them, but just don’t futz with them too much. Good luck!

  2. Yea for lentils! Lentils are a regular favorite here, whether burger/pattie, soup, casserole, etc. They are so versatile & a powerful source of nutrition. We make a vegetarian version “sloppy joe” with lentils that my daughter added to the menu when cooking for her scholarship hall while in college that spread through out the schol hall community & is still being used several years later…we call them Sloppy Sams. :-)
    These sound great! I think they would be good in a collard wrap…add the “toppings” that appeal.

  3. I need this in my kitchen this week! Look delicious. (And I do not understand people who “don’t like” lentils, it’s just not possible in my mind!)

  4. Lentils are a staple in the slow-carb diet/lifestyle. I’m always looking for new recipes, and I can adapt this one. Thanks!

  5. Absolutely LOVE lentils!!! These burgers look delicious! Our pantry is never without several cans of lentils & we buy dried ones in huge bags from our local Indian grocery store.

  6. Sounds terrific……do you think this could be baked in a loaf pan as a lentil loaf?? Could be our Thanksgiving protein for our vegetarians in the family.

    1. Hey Mary!
      I think you’re onto something there… as is though the recipe might be a bit too dense for a whole loaf… it’s meant to be served as burgers with fruit/veg toppings to lighten it up. I think though that if you mixed in a bit more breadcrumbs and actually folded in some roasted red pepper into the recipe, it would bake up nicely! Many years ago I made a veggie mushroom loaf that was a HUGE hit (https://www.macheesmo.com/mushroom-meatloaf/) you might be able to take some inspiration from that also. Good luck!

  7. Cannot wait to try this recipe! I had never eaten a lentil in my life until I ran across a recipe for meatless tacos that combines lentils and brown rice. It has remained one of my favorite go to recipes. Even the grand children like it.

  8. I made this for dinner tonight and my husband and I really liked it. We’re trying to cut down on calories so I served it without a bun. We spread Stonewall Kitchen Red Pepper Jelly on top and it worked really well. I made a side salad of sliced cucumber/ radish with rice vinegar which was cool to the spicy burger. We’re surprised how filling the burger is! Thanks for a great recipe.

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