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Friday, September 12, 2014

Easy Vegan, Gluten Free Red Lentil Burgers (Meatless Monday)

Free of dairy, gluten, nuts, soy, or corn

When we were packing up our apartment to move last month I was trying to  avoid grocery shopping, and to use up any leftover scraps of food kicking around in the cupboards. One of our last days there I pulled out a jar with a handful of red lentils, and another with quinoa. Luckily, I had some spices and a few tablespoons of GF flour and a couple of slices of onion. And so, this simple vegan burger patty was born. 

And it was so good I've already made it again. And they're husband approved. He ate them for dinner the other night, then lunch again the next day.  They also freeze well (info below), for quick meals.

These gluten free and vegan patties are very simple, low ingredient, and fairly cheap. They're also crazy healthy and packed with protein. You can serve them as burgers, or as patties with veggies on the side, or over lettuce with salad dressing. Their golden colour is rather fetching on a bed of greens...

The original inspiration for this recipe came from a similar one on the MindBodyGreen website. That one called for a couple of eggs, and was served with a basil cream sauce. I've cut the eggs out, changed the spices a bit, and simplified the process to cut back on dishes and cooking time.

These also freeze well. You can freeze the patties on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, then package them in a freezer-safe container, or cook first then freeze for super quick lunches, snacks, or dinners.

      Ingredients for Vegan, Gluten Free Red Lentil Patties (makes about 14 patties)

1c uncooked quinoa, rinsed through a fine mesh sieve
1c dry red lentils,also rinsed through a fine sieve
Approx. 1/4 c finely diced onion
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
2 1/4 c water

¼ c white or brown rice flour (I haven't tried this with any other flour, but I imagine that chickpea or sorghum flour would also be good)
Salt and pepper to taste if desired


In a medium-sized sauce pot, add quinoa, lentils, onion, salt, turmeric, ginger, cumin, and water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. 

Stir in flour. (Now is the time to adjust spices if desired) While still warm, begin to form patties. At first these may seem too mushy to form patties. Don't worry. They'll stick. 

To form the patties, I use the ringed lid of a Mason jar and scoop out about 1/3 cup mash into the ring and flatten them out on a sheet of parchment paper.

Just to prove to you  that they do stick together, I'm holding one up here that hasn't been cooked yet.

Then heat a pan and add some olive or coconut oil. Fry patties about 5 minutes on either side. 

I love that golden colour! Next time I make these I intend to fiddle a little more and add some shredded carrot or zucchini and see what happens.

Do you have a favorite patty? How do you serve it?

Have you checked out my gluten free pasta book  Recipes for Unusual Gluten Free Pasta: Pierogis, Dumplings, Desserts and More! ? Get yourself a copy and start making GF won tons, pierogis, dumplings, and orzo today :)


  1. Hi Danielle,
    Lately I have had a craving for veggie burgers so I love your lentil quinoa patties. I cooked a large pot of lentils the other day and I have been toying with ideas to make some burgers or patties with them. Your recipe has inspired me. All the best, Deborah

  2. What a fabulous meatless meal. I've been meaning to do more with lentils lately, I think this would be a great way to start! Thanks so much for sharing it at Gluten Free & DIY Tuesday!

  3. Your vegan Red Lentil Burgers look delicious, Danielle. They are beautifully spiced too. Thank you for sharing them with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop. Pinning and will tweet :-)

  4. Thanks Danielle for giving me the heads up about this recipe. I will try it soon, because it sounds simple to make and great to eat. In fact, will pin it. Nancy A @

  5. I like the simplicity of this recipe and the limited amount of pots.
    I'm sensitive to turmeric and also ginger, do you have any suggestions for substitute spices to use? Also, what quantities of vegetables would you add to this recipe?

    1. Hi Rella, I think you could probably some freshly minced herbs instead, like 1 Tbsp of parsley and 1 Tbsp cilantro. As for veggies, I've made this successfully with 1 medium-sized shredded carrot along with 1/2 small shredded zucchini. I hope that helps!

  6. Thank you for the great recipe as I have always wanted to try and make my own veggie burgers! I will probably add radicchio to the top of the burgers for the added health benefits of the superfood, and because I think it would taste great. Thank you again for the new recipe!

    1. You're welcome, and think radicchio is a great idea! Hope you enjoy the burgers :)


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