Lentil Umami Burgers

This is a delicious and versatile recipe that can be turned into veggie burgers or vegan meatballs.

Lentils, mushrooms, and a bunch of yummy sauces and spices make for a hearty and nourishing mix that you can sandwich between a bun and your favorite burger fixings, or enjoy as a topping for your favorite pasta.


  • 2 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups water
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, finely chopped (you can use a food processor)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 4 Tbsp tamari
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the lentils and water in a large pot over high heat until it starts to boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and let it bubble gently for 15 minutes. Gather your spices and other ingredients in the meantime.

Next, add the chopped mushrooms, garlic powder, oregano, tamari, tomato paste, olive oil, and nutritional yeast. Cook for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until all the water is absorbed. Then keep cooking and stir in the flour for a few more minutes until the mixture is fairly dry. Make sure it doesn’t burn.

Cool the lentil mixture to near room temperature, then form them into burger-sized patties (or meatball-sized balls) with your hands. Put on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 300F for 30 minutes. They will be nice and crisp on the outside and a little bit golden-brown.

Since everyone in our house has different tastes, I usually serve dinner in all its separate parts, and people can assemble their own plates however they like: pasta, sauce, burger buns, condiments, and finally the lentil mushroom burgers/meatballs. Serve hot, with optional fresh basil on top if you like. Buon appetito!

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

2 responses to “Lentil Umami Burgers”

  1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    I love umami! Very tasty!

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