It’s been a while since I’ve made some veggie burgers, but when faced with a major cupboard clean-up, coming up with recipes from meager beginnings is a fun challenge. I had a small amount of red lentils in my cupboard and instead of packing them and moving and then unpacking them into our new apartment, I decided to use them up, stat.
The great benefit of red lentils is that they cook up quick. Once they boiled up soft, I drained them and then got to work coming up with some good flavours. Curry always goes well with lentils, so I sauteed some curry paste with onions, garlic and mushrooms until fragrant. I tossed in a few shakes of worcestershire sauce because that to me always smells like burgers for some reason (childhood memory, most likely!) Wheat germ lent some bulk and I used an egg to bind the mixture together. I decided to bake them instead of frying them, figuring the less jostling about, the better. I’m always worried when shaping and cooking veggie burgers that they’ll crack and fall apart, but luckily, these held together well. Look ma, no cracks!
Can you tell that those burgers up there came out of the fridge? Yeah, they’re chilly, but they reheated well. I added on some extra cheese for extra melty happiness. Extra cheese? Always a good call.
Oh, and see that mayo on the side? That was one of my biggest discoveries. One, it’s homemade, and two, it was really, really easy to make! Not only that, but it kicked store-bought mayo to the curb. Delicious! My easy mayonnaise recipe follows below.
elsewhere: I’m getting behind this week, because there are 2 awesome recipes over at Poppytalk for you to catch up on. First, let me introduce you to shrimp and grits because those two are quite a delicious pair. And then finally, there is some spicy orange peel tofu to keep your dinner plate hopping.
curried red lentil & mushroom burgers
If you want to make these gluten-free, look for a g/f worcestershire sauce – Lea & Perrins is g/f in the US, but not in Canada. And use g/f bread crumbs instead of wheat germ. If you want these vegetarian, Annie’s makes a good vegan worcestershire sauce. Or leave it out.)
1 c red lentils
1 t olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t red pepper flakes
1 1/2 c mushrooms, diced
1/4 t salt
1 t worcestershire sauce
1 T curry paste
3/4 c – 1 c wheat germ or g/f bread crumbs
sliced strong cheddar as a topping (optional, but delicious)
In a medium-sized pot, boil water and add in lentils. Cover and turn down heat to medium-low. When soft, about 15 minutes or so, drain really, really well & set aside.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add in onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir around until they get soft and fragrant. Add in mushrooms, salt and worcestershire sauce and let that all melt together. Stir in curry paste until well combined.
In a medium-sized bowl, add in lentils and mushroom mixture and stir until blended. Add in egg, letting that get mixed into everything before pouring in the wheat germ or g/f bread crumbs. Blend and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F. Brush a cookie sheet with a thin layer of oil. Form patties out of lentil mixture – I just made a large golf ball sized ball in my hand and then flattened it with my other palm before placing it on the cookie sheet. I then smoothed out any cracks along the sides of the patties before churning out my next one. Bake for 10-15 minutes and then flip carefully with a spatula – these were actually much less delicate than I had feared (phew!). Add a slice of cheese to the flipped side, if desired and bake for another 5 minutes until golden and cheese is melted.
Serve on a bun (or rye toast like I did) with a good schmear of dijon, homemade mayonnaise, sliced pickles, arugula and a dollop of ketchup. Makes 6 patties.
homemade basic mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
1 t lemon juice
1/2 c mild tasting oil
In a tall plastic glass (it came with my immersion blender), add in the yolk, salt and lemon juice. Mix well using your immersion blender and then ever so slowly, pour in the oil – you want a slow, steady and thin stream. I used just under 1/2 cup of oil. When it looks like mayo, stop blending. Makes about a 1/3 cup of mayo.
Mmm red lentils and curry are one of my favorite combinations! This looks delicious!
I am forever in awe of your pantry creations! So clever. I’ve been meaning to try mayonnaise with my immersion blender and now you’ve definitely sold me on it. Will try soon!
This combination sounds just fantastic. I’ve only made my own veggie burgers once, and they were pretty basic. This would be a great way to add some excitement to them!
I love me a good veggie burger! Love the use of red lentils in this one! And that homemade mayo – what a treat!
I made these and we liked them. They’re healthy, moist, and have a little kick, in sharp contrast to the the dry, freezer-burned and comparatively tasteless Gardenburgers lurking deep underneath many freezer layers. I used my new Silpat (guess who inspired me to buy that?) portobello mushrooms (probably didn’t matter) and Romano cheese (for bite). I otherwise followed the recipe, but was wondering how they would have turned out if I’d skipped the 30 minute refrigerator rest. Fallen apart in the oven perhaps?
Only a creative mind and a great cook could take “what’s left over in the cupboard” and turn it into a minor vegetarian masterpiece. Kudos to kickpleat.
I haven’t made veggie burgers in a while and now that the weather’s getting warmer, I’ve really been craving them! These are an awesome clean-out-the-pantry meal.
Everything about this post looks delicious! I love the idea of making mayonnaise, and your recipe makes it sound so simple to do.
Thank you for this recipe. I know my daughter would love the lentil and mushroom burger (she hates meat). I really want to try the mayonnaise. I don’t like to buy mayo, so I’m going to try this one. Sounds easy.
Thanks Christine, it’s a great combo and really works well in this burger.
NicoleD, the mayo was a seriously amazing turning point. I may have actually squealed with glee!
I hope you give them a try, Katie, they’re really good. You can never have too many veggie burger recipes on hand.
So glad you liked them, Robert! You could try not refrigerating them and they could turn out well, but I erred on the side of caution.
Thanks Joanne, they were a good change from stews and soups!
Gretchen, the mayo was so easy! It totally shocked me since I’ve heard such horror stories.
Anne, thanks for stopping by. Give it a go, they’re great together!
Oh my goodness, I love your site! I just found it from a link on the Bob’s Red Mill blog and am eager to try some of your recipes! These burgers sound great, we have veggie burgers at least once a week, I will try these out for sure. 1 Tbsp. ground flax, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1 Tbsp. veg. oil and 2 Tbsp. water whisked together makes a perfect egg sub to make veggie burgers vegan, works every time!
Ah, this sounds so good I cannot wait to try it! thank YOU!
Your lentil burgers sounds incredible. I’m amazed that you have time to think up creative recipes ideas in the midst of packing and moving. Homemade mayo is something I grew up with as my mom always made it when we had boiled fish – she made her own fish stock too. I’ve never tried to make mayo myself but I think I’ll give it a whirl soon. Hope you’re all settled into your new place now.
I am terrible with pulling things together from the pantry. I see a jar of near empty lentils and it just gets tossed in the rear of the cupboard. I’m going to follow your lead here, and the next time I have a 1/2 cup of lentils, wild rice and what not that needs using, I’m gonna make me a delicious veggie burger. (Another thing I’ve never done!)
Love a good bean burger! Great idea to use wheat germ in them, I’d never thought of that.
This is awesome. I’m always looking for cool ways to do veggie burgers, and this one seems like a great concept. Nice work on the mayo, too– learning to make mayo was somehow one of the most frustrating moments of my life.
Niki, thanks for the vegan egg tip!! I’ll give that a try one of these days. I hope you love these burgers, they are so good.
Jo, please give them a go and let me know what you think 🙂
Joanne, necessity is the mother of invention, after all! I think that’s where many of my ideas come from. Homemade mayo is amazing and easy, lucky that you grew up on it!
Yes, do it, Kimberley! Veggie burgers are easy and so so good and totally flexible with any ingredient.
Thanks Kevin, it worked out really well.
Todd, I had heard the same thing about mayo, so I’m happy my first time was a roaring success.
That actually looks rather good. I just wish there was an alternative to mushrooms in Vegetarian and Vegan cooking…I just don’t like ’em ( I think it is a textural thing). Any suggestions?
LOVE the red tray!
I have never had good luck keeping veggie patties intact. What is your secret? 🙂 I love red lentils and I’m sure they were terrific here with all the amazing flavors!
Hag, I think you really could use any other kind of vegetable or even throw in some cooked rice or other grain. And you can’t really tell there are mushrooms in here – my husband isn’t a fan and he had no clue!
Dana, I have no secret. Truth is, I was worried about these since I just winged the recipe, but it held together really well. Maybe it was the power of the red lentils – who knows! They were tasty and held up super well. Hooray!