If you're looking for a straightforward, easy to make veggie burger that's completely delicious and hearty too, these cheesy lentil burgers are the recipe for you!
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I don't make veggie burgers too often. I always think of them as being a bit of a faff, to be honest - so when I decided to make these cheesy lentil burgers, I knew my aim would be to make them as straightforward and easy to make as I possibly could, while still being completely delicious - and I succeeded! These lentil burgers were thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable.
The day I made them, we ate them for lunch and again for dinner, and didn't mind one bit.
No pre-cooking required
One of the main reasons why these cheesy lentil burgers are so fuss-free is because I made sure you don't need to do any pre-cooking whatsoever. All the ingredients can go straight into the mixing bowl - it only takes a few minutes to stir up the burger mixture.
My secret weapon is tinned lentils - no boiling required, just open a couple of tins, and throw them into the bowl. Weirdly, I don't use tinned lentils very often, but they're so convenient for this kind of thing.
Start by mixing the tinned lentils with plenty of grated cheese and whatever flavourings you fancy - I went for dried parsley, garlic powder, and a dollop of tomato puree. Any other herbs or spices would be good too (looking back, I'm actually surprised I managed to resist my beloved smoked paprika!).
Well... you're already about 80% of the way there.
Next, you need to add a couple of simple ingredients to make sure your cheesy lentil burgers bind together - just some flour and an egg. Mix everything really thoroughly.
The lentils will get a bit mashed up as you mix everything, but that's a good thing - it will help everything to hold together. Some of the lentils will also stay whole, so your lentil burgers will have a really nice texture once they're cooked.
Form your burger shapes
Now it's time to get messy - with clean hands, form the mixture into burger shapes, and pop them on a baking tray, ready to go in the oven.
I made 5 pretty huge burgers, but you could easily stretch the mixture to make 6 if you prefer. Personally I'd prefer a nice big burger that holds its own in the bun, rather than a titchy one that gets lost inside all that bread!
Bacofoil® The Non-stick Kitchen Foil
I laid out my lentil burgers on a tray lined with Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil.
I'll be honest, I'm never too sure what I should use to stop food sticking to a baking tray - oil, parchment / greaseproof paper, kitchen foil...? I've had one too many bad experiences with soggy, torn baking paper, and with foil that tears in big strips when you try to lift your food off, or leaves little tiny bits of aluminium behind.
I can now happily say that I am 100% converted to this non-stick foil from Bacofoil. I was a little wary the first time I used it - would it really be as non-stick as it claims? - but wow. These lentil burgers didn't even show a hint of sticking to the foil, they just lifted off effortlessly.
The proof is in the photos!
Cook with less oil
Make sure you use the correct side of the foil (the non-shiny side, which is the side with the special BacoLift® surface), and it is truly non-stick - you don't need to grease it with any oil. I did spray the tops of my burgers with a couple of spritzes of oil before baking, just to help them crisp up, but I didn't use any oil whatsoever between the burgers and the foil.
Genuinely, I won't ever buy any other foil again. I've even used it to make a big pan of cheesy nachos (don't judge my eating habits, I'm pregnant, it's allowed), and they lifted right off. Perhaps that's not the best demonstration of being able to cook more healthily by using less oil... but it's impressive nonetheless.
It also makes cooking so much less nerve-wracking when you know things are going to work as they’re supposed to - and there’s the added bonus that you don’t have to wash up your baking tray afterwards, as the foil stops any sticky residue from seeping through!
Perfect veggie burgers
The end result is a hearty, filling veggie burger that's packed with flavour. It's amazing how much you can achieve with just a few simple ingredients - the grated cheese that's mixed right into the burgers adds so much, especially where it gets crispy around the edges!
I'm always hesitant to say that any vegetarian recipe tastes 'meaty', because I don't really mean that it literally tastes like meat, but these lentil burgers are definitely something I would describe as meaty. The texture is pretty substantial, and really satisfying to dig your teeth into.
How should I serve my lentil burgers?
I served my cheesy lentil burgers in the usual way - in a burger bun with some salad and slices of tomato. If you aren't in the mood for bread, I also like serving veggie burgers on lettuce - it tastes much more exciting than it sounds, I promise!
I usually add a slice of cheese to the top of any burger I eat, but since there's already plenty of cheese inside these lentil burgers, you really don't need to add any extra!
Of course, there's no judgement either way, but they're perfectly tasty without.
I think these cheesy lentil burgers may just be the best veggie burgers I've ever made.
Cheesy Lentil Burgers
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- 2 x 400g tins green lentils, thoroughly drained (530g, or ~ 2 ⅔ cups, in total when drained)
- 200 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 2 cups when grated)
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree / paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Black pepper
- 100 g (~ ⅔ cup) plain flour
- 1 egg
- Spray oil
- Bacofoil® Non-Stick Kitchen Foil
- Add the drained tinned lentils to a large mixing bowl, along with the grated cheese, tomato puree, garlic granules, dried parsley, and plenty of black pepper. Mix well to combine.
- Add the plain flour, and mix to combine. Then add the egg, and mix very thoroughly until everything is well mixed. The lentils will probably become a bit mashed up, which is good.
- Using clean hands, form the mixture into burger shapes, and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick foil. I made 5 large burgers, but you could easily make 6 slightly smaller burgers if you prefer. The mixture will be fairly sticky, but able to hold its shape - add a dash more flour if you think the mixture seems too wet.
- Lightly spray the burgers with oil, and bake on Bacofoil® Non-Stick Kitchen Foil at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 35-40 minutes, or until they are quite firm and golden brown.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.