Sunburger Lentil Patties

A tray of delicious sunburger patties (lentil patties with sunflower seeds)

I feel like this is one of those recipes where I could start with a riveting story about my long search for a non-meat burger patty that had a great texture and wasn’t mushy. I do not like mushy burger patties.  Vege burgers must have a nice bitey texture, something to use your teeth on. Too many lack texture and try to make up for it with overwhelming spiciness. 

After trying many recipes, I figured out that the trick is to add enough dry ingredients to soak up the moisture, and you need seeds and/or nuts in there for mouthfeel. Resting time helps more than you’d expect also, and it gives you a chance to clean up the mess you made so far. In this recipe I used a few drops of liquid smoke, which adds a nice ‘meaty’ flavour if you like that. It is optional though, and the recipe works just as well without.

Sunburger Lentil Patties

The perfect patty for your vegan or vegetarian burger
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Resting time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: legumes, lentils, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 Burgers


  • 2.5 Cups Brown or Green Lentils, Cooked and Drained May be homecooked or canned
  • 2 Cups Grated and finely chopped veges We used 1 cup grated carrot, 1 cup onion chopped in the processor
  • 1 Cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Flour We used chickpea flour but any flour is good
  • 1/2 Cup Rolled or flaked oats
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Psyllium Husks
  • 2 Eggs or vegan egg substitute
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Fresh or dried herbs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3-5 Cloves Garlic Crushed
  • 3 Drops Liquid Smoke Optional


  • Put the grated and finely chopped veges (e.g. carrot and onion) in a large bowl and add the flour, oats, psyllium husks, salt and dried herbs. Mix until the veges are coated with the dry ingredients.
  • Put half the lentils into your food processor and process to a thick paste. Add the sunflower seeds and pulse to combine them with the lentils. You are not aiming to pulverise the seeds, just combine them. Some will break up and that's ok.
  • In a bowl or cup whisk the egg or vegan egg, soy sauce, crushed garlic and liquid smoke if you are using it.
  • Put the processed lentil/seed mixture into the bowl with the coated veges and mix to combine. Add the unprocessed lentils, combine then add the egg/soy sauce/garlic mix and combine it all.
  • Put the mix aside in a cool place for about 30 minutes. This step is not essential but you will get a better textured patty by giving the dry ingredients time to soak up moisture.
  • Once the mix has rested, get your hand in there and start forming patties of a size that will suit your lentil patty needs.
  • Quickly fry each patty to lightly brown them. At this point, if you do not wish to eat them all, they can be frozen.
  • Put the patties on an oiled oven tray and cook at 180°C for 15 minutes. It is also possible to fry them longer until fully cooked, but we prefer the 'brown then bake' method.


Starting with Dry Lentils Instead of Canned
If you are like me and prefer to start with dry lentils, you'll need some extra prep time. Personally, I am a fan of soaking and slightly sprouting the lentils then cooking and draining. 
Lentils sprout in 24-48 hours depending on time of year. Start by soaking them in water for a day, then rinse, drain and let them sit for another 12-24 hours until you can just see the lentil starting to bud. 
Rinse again, then boil in water until soft (about 25 minutes). Drain them and you are ready to make your patties.

The amount of sunflower seeds in this burger makes me happy. One of the issues that vegans and vegetarians have is getting enough zinc, and between the lentils and sunflower seeds, two of these patties (if you make 12 from the mix) gives you 25% of the daily RDI for zinc. We’ve also got lots of fibre, and most importantly, we can make Friday burgers.

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