Vegan Lentil Burgers

These burgers are packed with flavor, fiber and protein while still being low in fat. We love them grilled, but you can also pan-fry them: Heat 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and fry patties until well browned, about 2 minutes per side. (Remember: The extra oil will alter the calorie and fat totals.)
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed, strained and picked through

1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon low-sodium vegetable broth or water

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, half finely chopped and half thinly sliced

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Kosher salt

8 ounces fresh baby spinach

2 large cloves garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

Cooking spray

6 whole-grain vegan hamburger buns

Baby arugula, basil, roasted red bell peppers and spicy mustard, for serving, optional

Directions

  1. Bring the lentils and 1 3/4 cup of the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer until the lentils are fully softened and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon broth and mash well with a potato masher. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the spinach, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper and cumin and stir until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach mixture, breadcrumbs, walnuts and 3/4 teaspoon salt to the lentils and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Form the mixture into six 4-inch patties and spray with cooking spray on each side. Grill until nice grill marks form, about 3 minutes per side. Place the patties in the buns with the sliced onion and other toppings, as desired, and serve.