Recipes > Mushroom Lentil Burger

Mushroom Lentil Burger


Lentils, portobello mushrooms, red onion, tomato paste, red wine and fresh thyme form the base for these delicious veggie burgers. Served here with roasted sweet potato fries.
  • Serves: 5 to 6
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 29,351
  • Success Rating: 83% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Cooking the Lentils

Cooking the Lentils
  • 1/2 lb (approx. 1 cup) dried lentils*
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 juniper berries (optional)
  • 1 tsp sea salt


*Note: Use any kind of lentils that you like. This recipe uses brownish-red lentils.

To start, place the lentils, bay leaf and juniper berries (if using) into a pot along with the water and bring to a simmer. Then, turn down the heat and let cook for about 30 minutes, or until just cooked through. About 10 minutes before the lentils are done, add the salt.

When the lentils are cooked, the water should mostly be absorbed. If not, drain any excess water once they are done.

Step 2: Preparing the Burgers

Preparing the Burgers
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce*
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (such as walnuts or almonds)
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseeds (also called flaxmeal)
  • 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten*


To prepare the burgers, first dice the onion. Next, heat a large pan over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of the oil, followed by the onions. Cook the onions until translucent.

Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms. Remove the gills and the stems from the mushrooms and dice them. Once the onions have started to soften, add the mushrooms to the pan. If needed, add a touch more oil. Let cook until all of the moisture has come out of the mushrooms and they start to brown.

In the interim, mince the garlic. Once the mushrooms and onions are done, add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or so, and then add the tomato paste. Stir to combine. Next, add the red wine, balsamic vinegar, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. *Note: Regular Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies. If you are vegan, you may want to use a vegan Worcestershire sauce.

Turn off the heat (you do not have to reduce the wine). Add the chopped nuts. If you like, you can toast the nuts first. If your fry pan is big enough, you can finish mixing the burgers right in the pan; otherwise, you will need to transfer everything to a large bowl.

Next, add the lentils to the mushroom mixture and gently stir to combine. Add the ground flaxseeds along with the vital wheat gluten and stir to combine. At this point you want to work the burgers a bit. This will help to strengthen the gluten and give the burgers a chewier texture. It also helps them hold together nicely while they are being cooked.

Next, form the mixture into six 6-ounce burgers and refrigerate for about an hour. This can be done the day before. The burgers also freeze very well.

Step 3: Cooking and Assembling the Burgers

Cooking and Assembling the Burgers
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil


To cook the burgers, heat a large fry pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the oil followed by the burgers. Let cook for 4 or 5 minutes per side, adjusting the heat as necessary. Alternatively, you can cook the burgers in a 350°F oven or start the cooking in a fry pan and finish in the oven. Cook until heated through.

Serve with your favorite condiments, such as tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, relish or pesto.

Chef's Notes

What is vital wheat gluten you ask?


  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    I made a big batch of these the other day and since some of the guests were gluten intolerant, I omitted the Vital Wheat Gluten from half of the recipe — I have to say, they turned out really good. While they didn't have that same chewiness or stay together exactly the same, they still did hold up pretty well.
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Hi Jeff, sorry you didn't like the recipe. This is one that we have made several times and everyone seems to really enjoy these burgers, but perhaps they are just not your thing? Cheers!
  • Brian G
    Brian G
    Can the cup of nuts be substituted and if so what would you recommend?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Brian- The nuts add depth and texture... but if you'd prefer not to add them, I would use more mushrooms and add some cooked lentils. You may need to up vital wheat gluten by a touch (1-2 Tbsp or so), just to account for added moisture from the substituted ingredients. Good luck!
  • Jordan B
    Jordan B
    Made and really enjoyed these, however, a couple will make their way into the freezer. How to cook the frozen burgers? Thaw, then cook as usual? Or cook from frozen (possibly 350 oven?)
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    These can go straight from the freezer to a sheet pan to bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes. I would not suggest thawing first. ~Ken
  • Peggysue S
    Peggysue S
    Can I completely omit the wheat gluten? If so, is there something I can substitute with that is vegan, gluten free? Thanks.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Peggysue- Dawn actually addressed that exact question. Have a look above! If you need to add a bit more binder, just use a GF flour blend -- just enough to help hold it together if you feel it needs it. ~Ken
  • Chris S
    Chris S
    Hi Dawn, when adding the lentils you say stir gently, when adding the wheat gluten you say work work it a bit. What would working it look like? Kneading the mix as in making seiten? Are you trying to keep the mix ingredients intact or mush them? Many thanks, Chris
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Chris - By working the burgers we are suggesting the development of gluten and form - I like to mold this recipe into a ball shape and then actually flatten with my hand - cupping to form a traditional circle. It's nice to keep the integrity of the individual ingredients while also, as you say, mushing them a bit so they combine, in harmony, with the other ingredients - flavor building essentially. I hope this helps Chris. Thanks for learning with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Sharon A
    Sharon A
    I am gluten free. What is the substitute for vital wheat gluten?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Most any non-gluten flour would help to bind this mixture. The gluten in VWG certainly helps, but a mixture of "flour and moisture" will help. You might try some rice flour, a little at a time.
  • Karla E
    Karla E
    @Eric W Hi Eric, I too can't have gluten. Could you please be more specific regarding GF flour and moisture? Do I need to add Chia/Flax, etc. and water as well? The rice flour tends to make it crumble a bit.
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Hi Karla! There are multiple angles from which to approach the structure of a veggie patty. I'll start by saying that as we modify a recipe it is desirable to experiment until we find the balance that best suits our situation. Regarding the water or moisture content, the first thing I would do is slowly increase the moisture to see if that particular flour will get sticky enough or otherwise bind as I want. And, looking at the other ingredients in the patty, lentils can be cooked until they get mushy, which will increase their binding power (to an extent, before the extra water content inhibits binding). The addition of potatoes also serves as a binder. The potatoes can be slightly over-cooked or turned into puree. Chia or flax seeds certainly create binding, but are not necessary. (I'm thinking recipe simplicity and cost efficiency.) Another related factor is if the patty sticks to the pan when cooking/heating or not. The more it sticks, the more likely the patty will break or crumble. So, it is a common practice to coat the outside of the patty with something that will not stick (for the most part) to the pan. I use white poppy seeds (an Indian tradition) or sesame seeds.
  • Carolina M
    Carolina M
    Can red wine be replaced? What can I use instead? Thanks!
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Carolina - Great question and absolutely you can replace the red-wine, or simply omit and adjust your ratio of some of the other ingredients - so long as the moisture meets your expectations and desire. Grape juice or vegetable stock might be a consideration? I hope this helps! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Cheryl S
    Cheryl S
    Has anyone grilled these burgers? Any thoughts? Thank you
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Cheryl, grilling can be very nice, but there are two things to be careful of... 1) the patties can get dry, at least around the edges, and 2) they can be a little crumbly.
  • Adaire O
    Adaire O
    Chef Eric ~ Mahalo for the tip about using white poppy seeds or sesame seeds to help an item not stick to the pan, this will be soooo helpful and the bonus is... I love sesame seeds! Looking forward to making this recipe and trying out the seed trick ~ ~
  • Adaire O
    Adaire O
    Do you think this would come together nicely if i just put the ingredients in a food processor after cooking ~ then add a flax seed egg ~ shape the patties ~ and then cook them? Thought I would get your input before I attempt it ~ ~ Mahalooooo!!
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Adaire, Yes, you can do this. The smaller the pieces of food, the more surface area this is to adhere. With the addition of the flax, there will be more binding power. The thing to be careful of is that if the mixture is processed too much, to a very fine consistency, then the resulting patty will likely be dense.
  • Rhea maria T
    Rhea maria T
    Hello! Would there be any substitutes for liquid smoke or a blend we can prepare at home? Thank you :)
  • Rhea maria T
    Rhea maria T
    This was so SOOO GOOD! Thank you Rouxbe!
  • Sandy S
    Sandy S
    Hi Rhea Maria, I am so happy you enjoyed it! To answer you question regarding liquid smoke, I like to add smoked paprika when I desire a bit of a smoky flavor profile, I'm positive it would do the job here! Just keep in mind, there are different kinds of smoked paprika, some are "sweet" and some are "hot", choose to your desired taste (heat). Cheers, Sandy
  • Justine S
    Justine S
    We love these burgers and I wanted to add that I have had good look with sweet rice flour aka mochiko by Koda Farms (just a few tablespoons) to replace the VWG. I also use parchment paper between the patties that I'm putting in the fridge/freezer for storage which helps to keep them together and makes them much easier to separate and handle when it's go-time. Thanks for the great recipes. It's so reassuring to know that when I try one of your recipes for the first time something good is always going to happen!
  • Lois L
    Lois L
    Great recipe! I made 2 dozen bean balls and 1 dozen burgers. They held together fantastically. My recipe adaptations: The legumes used were lima beans that I started from dried, soaked, and pressure cooked. I chopped up 4 ounces of mixed mushroom varieties, instead of liquid smoke I added smoked paprika, included only 1/2 cup ground flax seeds and instead of the gluten, I ground 1/2 cup of hard winter wheat into flour and it worked perfectly! They were baked for 350F for 20 minutes, flipped, then baked an additional 10 minutes.
  • Gloria  P
    Gloria P
    Hi. and thanks for the recipe. When substituting the gluten for chia or flax seeds "eggs", what would be the right proportion? Also, when adding sesame seeds to the surface in order to avoid the burgers to stick to the pan, should these be entire seeds or ground? Thanks a lot.
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Gloria--throughout the feed, there are several suggestions for substituting the vital wheat gluten. Using the same amount of a gluten-free flour blend will work well. The flax seed meal would stay the same. You can keep the sesame seeds whole--and rather than using a pan on the stove, you would roast/bake them on parchment paper--and that would work. Thanks for the question. Cheers, Char

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