BBQ Lentil and Sweet Potato Burgers
Sweet potato and lentil veggie burgers loaded with smoky maple barbecue flavor. Perfect to prep for a day of grilling out or to enjoy at home!
Summer is so close I can almost taste it! Barbecue, cold watermelon, fresh strawberry pie… Mmm, mmm.
We even had farm fresh zucchini at our dinner on Saturday. Apparently the warm winter made for an early harvest this year. It’s pure craziness, I tell ya.
I have plans to share more on that whole experience soon but I wanted to make sure to get the recipe for these lip smackin’ burgers up in time for any barbecues this weekend.
Y’all know I’m totally that girl who brings veggie burgers and sprouted whole grain buns to a barbecue. There’s no shame in my game! Especially when they taste as good as these do.
Sweet potato and lentils with smoky maple barbecue sauce is what cookout dreams are made of, my friends.
I even had a few of my very non-vegetarian coworkers ask me what I was eating as the scent wafted through the break room earlier this week. I think it went something like, “that smells hecka good!”. It’s funny, I had never heard anyone say hella or hecka until I moved to California but it seems to be a thing here.
Anyways, these tasty burgs are based off my favorite classic lentil burger with just a few modifications. Because the sweet potato sort of acts as a binder, I reduced the egg count to just one (or one flax egg for a vegan version) and added smoky maple barbecue sauce in place of the tomato paste and Worcestershire. I did keep the sunflower seeds and walnuts for an extra boost of protein and texture but if you prefer to make them nut-free you can always leave out the walnuts and substitute extra sunflower seeds.
Basically they can be made vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free, if necessary. So that settles that. Veggie burgers for everyone! :)
Seriously though, if you like barbecue flavor, you absolutely have to try these! They rocked my veggie burger world.
2 and 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils (approx. 1 cup dry)
1 cup finely chopped onion (approx. 1 small onion)
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (approx. 2 large carrots)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup walnuts (can also substitute extra sunflower seeds)
1 and 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (whole wheat or gluten-free)
1/4 cup flour (I used brown rice flour)
1/4 cup golden flax meal
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup mashed sweet potato (approx. 1 medium-size sweet potato)
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce (preferably smoky maple flavor)
1 egg (or 1 flax egg*)
olive oil for cooking
suggested toppings: lettuce, barbeque sauce, avocado, red onion
- Start by cooking the sweet potato by either microwaving on high for 7-8 minutes or baking in the oven at 400°F for about an hour. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Using a food processor, finely chop the onion, carrots, garlic, walnuts and sunflower seeds then transfer to a large bowl. I prefer to process each ingredient individually to achieve the best texture.
- Next add the cooked lentils to the food processor and pulse until they appear slightly pureed, then transfer them to the bowl as well. *Be careful not to over process the lentils. You don’t want them to turn to mush--there should still be some shape to at least half of them. See picture in the post as an example.
- Once you have all of the vegetables, lentils, nuts and seeds in the bowl, add the sweet potato, breadcrumbs, herbs/paprika/salt&pepper, and the flax meal then stir everything together.
- Next pour in the barbeque sauce and the egg or flax egg and stir until well-combined. Sprinkle in the flour a little at a time as you continue to stir. If the mixture seems too wet, add more flour as needed.
- Form eight individual patties with your hands, making sure to keep them somewhat flat with rounded edges and somewhat smaller than the bun. They will hold together better if they aren’t too thick or too big. At this point you can refrigerate them until you are ready to cook (for up to 2-3 days) or cook them right away.
- When you’re ready to cook them, start by warming the olive oil over medium-heat in a skillet for at least five minutes. Once the skillet is thoroughly heated, cook the burgers on each side for about 5-6 minutes. I like the push the edges of the burger to the side of the pan as I cook them to make sure they are cooked on the sides as well. Serve on a warm bun with desired toppings and dig in!
*to make a flax egg combine 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water and allow to thicken for five to ten minutes.
**Prep time doesn't include cooking lentils.