This is a healthy, filling, flavourful, rich and gourmet veggie burger recipe that will satisfy all your burger cravings and make a perfect plant-based option for your summer grill parties or barbecues.
If you're interested in plant-based cuisine or have been vegan or vegetarian for a while, you've definitely tried some veggie burgers both while dining out and at home. Veggie burgers are tricky for a couple of reasons: firstly, we have all eaten meat burgers at some point in our lives so all veggie burgers, by default, are bound to be compared to the real thing. The second problem is usually the consistency. Veggie burgers are mainly made using beans, grains or legumes and these ingredients tend to get mushy. While vegetarian patties can use egg as a binding agent, vegan patties will be harder to get right.
The lemon herb yogurt sauce is inspired by the famous Greek Tzatziki or Turkish Cacık (don't ask the Turkish or the Greek who did it first, you'll end up regretting it!). It's a multi purpose sauce that you can use for wraps, burgers, dipping veggies, fries and chips. The added lemon zest really makes all the flavours pop and goes perfectly with spicy foods as well.
The patty itself contains two different types of onion and garlic. The consistency is also on the softer side so I decided to balance that out by skipping some classical burger garnishes like onions and tomatoes. The meatballs being traditionally eaten with lemon and lettuce, I wanted to incorporate them both in the burger and stick to the original flavour profile. However, the addition of the avocado slices and the sprouts combined with the lemon-herb sauce really adds a modern twist and takes this burger to the next level.
I served this burger with oven baked fries coated with paprika and powdered rosemary. Oven baked fries aren't always as crispy as fried ones but I find that soaking them in cold water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour really helps the potatoes release some starch. If you're making oven fries like I did here, make sure you dry each and every fry perfectly before you start seasoning them. This will also help you obtain crispier fries!
Tips and Tricks:
While I was making these, I kept thinking about how to stack the burgers perfectly so they wouldn't fall apart and my recommendation is to assemble them in this order:
For the yogurt sauce, I used Alpro's unsweetened Skyr. It has a thicker, creamier consistency compared to regular vegan yogurts. (This isn't sponsored, I just like and use their products). I've also noticed this product is not available in most countries so please feel free to use any kind of unsweetened plant-based yogurt of your choosing.
How will you make the patty not fall apart? When it comes to veggie burgers, this can be the trickiest part. If your patty still seems too delicate and mushy, leave it on the pan! Cooking it longer will help release the moisture from the patty, making it firmer on the outside. Keep in mind that if your patty is shaped thickly, the middle part will stay soft.
This is a very filling and large burger. Cutting in half will make eating this much easier. If you want to attempt eating the whole burger with your hands, you can definitely expect some avocado flying out and the sauce dripping down your fingers!
You can make the patties the night before and store them in the fridge in a tightly sealed container. The onions in the patty can create an undesired smell in your fridge so make sure they're well covered.
PREP TIME: 20 MIN
TOTAL TIME: 2 H 20 MIN
For the Red Lentil Patty:
You will find all the ingredients and directions you'll need to make the patty here.
This recipe will yield 8 to 10 patties.
For the Vegan Yogurt Herb Sauce:
400 grams of plant-based yogurt or Skyr
1 tbsp of oregano
1 ½ tbsp of dried mint
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tbsp of olive oil
Handful of chopped dill
1 tsp of lemon zest or lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
For the garnish:
Avocados (1/2 avocado per burger)
Sprouts or micro greens
For the Patty:
1. After you've followed the directions to make the red lentil meatball mixture here, you can now shape them as burger patties. I recommend looking at the size of your buns and use it as your guide. You don't want your patty to be larger than the bun.
2. Let your patties rest in room temperature, uncovered if possible, for about half an hour. This process actually makes the outside of the patties dry out which will help them stay intact while cooking.
3. Take a regular or a griddle pan, brush it with some oil and let it get really hot. Place your patty on the pan delicately and cook each side for about 5 minutes until fully browned. For a firmer patty, you can dry it out further by cooking it longer.
4. Remove the patty from the pan and let it cool slightly on a cooling rack before assembling your burger.
5. Assemble the burger following the recommended order of ingredients above (check out Tips & Tricks section) and enjoy!
For the Yogurt Sauce:
1. In a medium sized bowl, mix all the ingredients together and store in the fridge.