Spiced Lentil Burgers with Tahini Slaw (Vegan)

5 from 20 votes
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Spiced Lentil Burgers with Tahini Slaw are made with pantry-staples and come together in 30 minutes. Vegan, gluten free, freezer-friendly, and nutrient-packed.

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Lentil burger topped with tahini slaw on a wooden platter.

Why You’ll Love these Lentil Burgers

The frozen food aisle abounds with frozen veggie burger options these days. However I have yet to find one that really mimics the meaty texture and savory depth of a meat patty.

Therefore, I set out to create a patty using wholesome ingredients that’s also free of eggs (for my vegan pals), gluten (for my wheat-sensitive pals), and any binding agents.

Just like my Black Bean Burgers, this recipe relies heavily on pantry staples like lentils, tomato paste, and common spices.

Additionally, they don’t require chilling before searing, meaning they come together in right around 30 minutes.

If you love a veggie burger as much as I do, be sure to check out my Wild Rice Burgers and Portobello Burgers, too!

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls on a wooden platter with labels.
  • Lentils: These patties get most of their heft and staying power from protein- and fiber-rich lentils. Most of the lentils get mashed, therefore acting as a filler and binder, while the rest are left whole for added texture. Cook your own at home, or look for steamed, vacuum-packed lentils in the grain aisle for convenience.
  • Carrots: For a touch of sweetness and color, add grated (or matchstick) carrots.
  • Tomato Paste: For brightness and a dose of umami.
  • Garlic: Fresh or dried (granulated) works great!
  • Spices: This is where the real magic lies in these meatless burgers. I love using a mix of paprika, cumin, and onion powder. Additionally, you can add coriander and/or a pinch of cayenne.
  • Tahini: This sesame seed paste adds creaminess to the slaw without the need for dairy. The flavors complement the lentil burger patties beautifully.
  • Slaw: You can use a bag coleslaw mix or shred your own cabbage for the slaw mixture.
  • Parsley: This lemon-y fresh herb gets mixed into the lentil patties and the slaw mix.
  • Buns: You can serve these lentil burgers on your bun of choice, or enjoy them over a bed of greens (I love using arugula), quinoa, or cauliflower rice.

In terms of toppers, the tahini cabbage slaw adds colorful and crunchy contrast to the earthy burgers. I also love adding a slick of tahini under the burger patty to help adhere it to the bun.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare Lentil Burger Patties. Place 1 cup of the lentils in a large bowl and thoroughly mash. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup whole lentils, along with remaining burger ingredients. Mix well until cohesive, divide and shape into 4 patties.

Lentils, carrots, parsley, tomato paste, and herbs being mashed together in a bowl.

Step 2: Cook Lentil Burgers in a large skillet over medium-high heat until golden.

Lentil mixture being formed into burger patties and cooked in a skillet.

    Step 3: Prepare Tahini Slaw by combining all slaw ingredients in a bowl; mix well.

    Tahini slaw mixture being tossed together in a clear bowl.

    Step 4: Assemble Lentil Burgers by adding one lentil patty to each toasted bun, and topping with tahini slaw.

    Serving Suggestions:

    These lentil burgers pair well with just about salad or side dish. Here are a few of my favorites:

    Recipe FAQs

    Can I Use Canned Lentils?

    Canned lentils work fantastic in this recipe! It also eliminates the additional step of boiling and cooling the lentils.

    How Do You Keep Lentil Burgers from Falling Apart?

    The trick is to partially mash the lentils so that they better stick together. Using a binder such as eggs, flaxseeds, or oats can also help.

    How Do You Thicken Lentil Burgers?

    Add an assortment of grated or chopped veggies to the lentil mixture to help thicken up the patties. You can also mix in oats, almond flour, or cooked rice.

    Assembled lentil burger on a small white plate.

    More Veggie Burger Recipes to Try:

    Be sure to tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram if you make these plant-based burgs, and I’d love if you could come back and leave a review!

    5 from 20 votes

    Spiced Lentil Burgers with Tahini Slaw (Vegan)

    Spiced lentil burgers with tahini slaw are made with wholesome, pantry-staple ingredients and come together in 30 minutes. Vegan, gluten free, and freezer-friendly.
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 4

    Equipment

    • Mixing bowls
    • Large skillet
    • Grater

    Ingredients  

    Spiced Lentil Burgers

    • 1 3/4 cups cooked green lentils from dried or 1 (15-oz.) can of drained and rinsed lentils
    • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
    • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
    • 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
    • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
    • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/2 cup finely grated carrots
    • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 to 3 Tbsp. oat flour
    • 2 to 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil for cooking
    • 4 buns or wraps
    • 1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced

    Tahini Slaw

    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 Tbsp. tahini
    • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
    • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
    • 1/2 cup shredded (or matchstick) carrots
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
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    Instructions 

    • Place 1 1/4 cups of the lentils, tomato paste, and spices (smoked paprika through black pepper) in a large bowl. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or a potato masher to very thoroughly mash. (You can also blend in the food processor.)
      Stir in remaining 1/2 cup whole lentils, along with carrots, parsley, and 2 Tbsp. oat flour. Mix until the mixture holds together when squeezed; if it doesn’t, continue to mash until it does and add an additional 1 Tbsp. oat flour, if needed. Form into 4 patties about ¾" thick.
    • Prepare slaw by combining lemon juice, tahini, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl; whisk until smooth. Add cabbage, carrots, and parsley; mix well to coat. Set aside.
    • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook lentil patties until deeply browned and crisp on bottom side, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn and repeat on the other side.
    • Serve burgers on toasted buns with Tahini Slaw, sliced avocado, and your condiments of choice (I love adding a little hummus or yogurt dip.)

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1burger with slaw | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 745mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 10g

    I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

    If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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    Recipe Rating




    30 Comments

    1. Claudia Braun says:

      Can these be frozen after cooked?

      1. Jamie Vespa says:

        Hi Claudia,

        Yes, the lentil burgers can be frozen! I would wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store in an freezer-safe ziptop bag or storage container.

    2. Lori says:

      5 stars
      Delightful flavorgasm! Savory and so satisfying. I was able to brown the beautifully with no oil. Definitely making again.

    3. Sara says:

      5 stars
      These were amazing. Loved the flavors but my patties did fall apart

    4. Shaina says:

      5 stars
      Easy to make and turned out delicious. Will definitely keep this recipe on hand. Thank you!

      1. Jamie Vespa says:

        I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Shaina! Thank you for taking time to leave a review!

    5. Belle says:

      These turned out delicious! My new go to veggie burger recipe!!

    6. Rana says:

      5 stars
      These are amazing!!

      1. Jamie Vespa says:

        I’m so glad to hear, Rana!! Thank you for taking time to leave a review!

    7. Bella says:

      Do I cook the lentils first?

      1. Kaitlyn says:

        5 stars
        These are so flavorful! Enjoyed them on top of a salad with quinoa tonight.

        1. dishingouthealth says:

          Sounds great!! So glad you enjoy the recipe.

      2. Mireya says:

        Yes!

      3. Libby Dodd says:

        1 1/2 cups cooked green lentils

      4. Libby Dodd says:

        1 ½ cups cooked green lentils

    8. Cindy says:

      5 stars
      Made these tonight. Delicious!

      1. dishingouthealth says:

        Hi Cindy, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Thank you for taking time to leave a review!

    9. Stephen Olson says:

      5 stars
      These lentil burgers look great. I cannot wait to try these. I’ve been trying to eat more healthfully for the past two plus years, but I still got a ways to go. Thanks for sharing.

    10. Amy says:

      5 stars
      These look so incredible! I love your photos too! I cannot wait to make these.