Cumin-Spiced Red Lentil Burgers

The Good News The red lentils in these spicy, Indian-inspired vegetarian burgers don't need to be soaked and cook super-quickly. What's more, they are rich in B vitamins, fiber and folate, which help fight heart disease and birth defects.


Slideshow: All-Time Favorite Burgers


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4


  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup plain, dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the lentils with cold water by 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the lentils until they are very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the lentils well.

  2. Preheat the broiler. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots and two-thirds of the garlic and cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cayenne and remove from the heat. Mix in the lentils, bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the parsley, the eggs, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into sixteen 1/4-cup burgers.

  3. Line a baking sheet with foil. Brush the foil and both sides of the burgers with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Broil until golden, about 3 minutes per side.

  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the lemon juice and the remaining garlic and 1 tablespoon of parsley. Serve the burgers hot, with the yogurt sauce on the side.

Make Ahead

The lentil burgers can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight.


Red lentils are available at health-food stores and Middle Eastern markets.

One Serving 621 cal, 27 gm total fat, 4.3 gm saturated fat, 71 gm carb, 11 gm fiber.

Contributed By Photo © Keller & Keller Published November 2005

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