Curried lentil burgers

Ok, so this post is healthy looking enough to be fairly controversial and potentially make you not want to try them, but I beg you to at least consider it if you are looking for a vegetarian burger type option.  I actually don’t like lentils that much at all but absolutely loved them in this form.  The combination of the curry spices, garlic and ginger, and pretzels (say whattt?) makes this dish an intriguing experiment that is a great change from boring tofu or something.  Yes, you actually add crushed pretzels to the mix to make it come together instead of flour, and this is a genius idea in my opinion.  I loved the extra little crunch they lent to the dish.  I baked mine but you can also cook them in a skillet.  The baking made them crispy around the edges and still a bit soft in the middle.  They freeze well, microwave perfectly, and are great as a side or a snack or as a meal with some additions of other vegetables or a salad.

Seriously though – best way to enjoy lentils if you’re thinking about trying to consume this delightfully healthy food group would be in this form!

Curried lentil burgers (from Simple Awesome Cooking)


  • 1.5 cups green Lentils
  • 1 Medium White Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger (freshly grated)  – I actually use ginger from a jar because it’s just easier although I’m sure freshly grated would be better
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Pretzels – I know this seems weird but wow it’s the best
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Cup frozen spinach or a bag of spinach cooked in a pan until it’s wilted
Cook the spinach (if frozen) and press out any excess water – or dump the bag of fresh spinach into a pan and cook over medium heat until it wilts (will just take a couple minutes).  Meanwhile, cook the lentils over medium heat in a covered saucepan – use 3 cups of water.  it takes a fair amount of time to cook and soften so let it simmer there for at least 25 minutes and up to 40.

While the lentils are cooking, cook the onions in a skillet sprayed with non-stick spray.   If they stick add in a splash of water and cook for about 5 minutes.  Once they’ve softened a bit, add in the garlic, ginger, and spices and cook for 5 minutes more or until soft.

When the lentils are done, cool them slightly and add to a large bowl.  Pour in the onion mix and cooked spinach and mix it all up.  Then add the eggs and mix thoroughly.  Pulse the pretzels in a food processor and mix them gradually into the bowl – this basically acts as flour in making the patties come together.  Scoop out balls of the mix (slightly smaller than golf ball size) and press down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.   This recipe makes about 15-20 patties, depending on how small they are.  You can make 12 large patties if you want of course.  Then refrigerate the patties for about half an hour till they are a firm.  You can cook these over the stove (medium heat in a pan sprayed with non-stick spray for 4-5 minutes per side)  but I prefer baking them.   If you choose to be like me then just pop the tray straight into an oven at 200 C / 400 F and bake for about 20-30 minutes, turning them over about half way through.

You can serve these patties over a salad, or pop them into buns for a great veggie burger option with some lettuce, tomato, avocado, etc.  Like my quinoa balls, I also find them to be a great late night snack when you are actually hungry but want a healthy option.

IMG_5419Cooked lentils with spinach added in

IMG_5420Mixing the lentils, cooked spinach, and onions and spices

IMG_5421Adding in the eggs

IMG_5422 Adding in the pretzel crumbs to make the patties

IMG_5423Patties laid out on the tray ready to go into the oven

IMG_5427Finished patties – ok so they aren’t the prettiest things ever but I swear they are delicious

I kid you not that I legitimately would want to eat these as late night snacks (maybe followed by a piece of chocolate but still).  That whole batch only lasted for a few days in my home.  I think if you had a vegetarian over for a barbecue and you had these around, they would absolutely love them dressed up with some burger fixings in a nice little bun.  So even if you think lentils are gross perhaps keep this recipe on hand for that random hippie vegetarian you have in your life to give them something special sometime.  Just saying.

One year ago (some substantially less healthy recipes): Carrot cake with candied carrot curls and vanilla cupcakes with cookie dough frosting

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