These gluten-free vegan spicy lentil quinoa burgers offer a flavorful blend of protein-rich plant-based ingredients with a little kick. Since these burgers are composed of lentils and quinoa, they may crumble when eaten in a bun. If that annoys you, we suggest enjoying these with a fork over a bed of baby romaine with chunks of baked sweet potato, sliced tomato, and a tart avocado dressing.
Spicy Protein-Rich Lentil Burgers With Avocado Dressing [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Lentil Taco Meat:
- 1 cup brown or green lentils
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilis
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, or more to taste
- 2 2/3 cups water
For the Patties:
- 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 15.5-ounce can low sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups lentil taco meat
- 1/3 cup mashed baked sweet potato
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons salsa
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large stalk of celery, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked
- 1/4 cup olive oil
For the Avocado Dressing:
- 1/2 of a large avocado, peeled
- 1/2 cup water
- Juice from 1/2 of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
To Make the Lentil Taco Meat:
- Rinse and sort lentils and then place in rice cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Close lid and cook on white rice setting.
- Midway through cooking, after about 20 minutes, carefully open lid and stir ingredients a few times with a long handled wooden spoon. Close lid and continue cooking.
- When the cooking cycle ends, open the lid and stir ingredients a few times and then close and let sit for 10 minutes on the keep-warm setting.
- Carefully transfer ingredients from rice cooker to a large bowl.
- Partially blend the mixture with 3-4 bursts of an immersion blender or place 1-2 cups in a blender or food processor, mix then return to the bowl and stir.
To Make the Burgers:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Add ground chia seeds to 1/4 cup of water and stir with a wire whisk. Set aside to thicken.
- Add pinto beans to a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher.
- Add chia seed mixture, lentil taco meat, mashed sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, salsa, onion, celery, garlic, nutritional yeast, and taco seasoning to the mashed pinto beans and stir with a large spoon until well mixed.
- Add cooked quinoa to the mixture and stir until well mixed.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Form burger mixture into patties by rolling and flattening large spoonfuls between your hands.
- Place patties on parchment paper and lightly brush tops with olive oil.
- Bake at 400ºF for approximately 15 minutes then carefully turn patties, brush tops with olive oil and bake for another 15 minutes.
To Make the Avocado Dressing:
- Combine avocado, 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic granules, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.