It’s fine, don’t worry about me, I’ll just have salad and bread… It’s a phrase known well by many non-meat eaters when faced with a weekend BBQ in Australia. Barbequing here generally consists of steaks, sausages, a bit more steak, another sausage, and maybe some chops.
No, we don’t generally ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’ [and even if we did we’d call them prawns and they’d probably still have the heads on] and while there is always a pile of white bread or rolls and perhaps some iceberg or a few tomato slices to dress up the meat fest, options tend to be limited for the non-carnivorously inclined.
So what to do? I am – truthfully – just fine with a plate of salad and bread on most occasions, and in-attendance for the company more than the food, but sometimes… sigh…
Sometimes I want to flip a savory, rich burger off the BBQ and stack it sky high with crisp lettuce, juicy tomato, creamy avocado and tangy sauce. I want to take a very un-ladylike bite that requires at least a demure pat with a napkin, and at best a wet towel, to remove the carnage from my face. I don’t want to make a fuss, but sometimes I want more than just salad and bread at a barbeque.
But there’s plenty of pre-made veggie burgers out there, I hear you saying. Blerg. For starters most of them have soy and I try to avoid soy. The ones that don’t are full of other fillers and oil and while they are ok in a pinch, they’re not particularly healthy and don’t taste nearly enough like ice cream to justify all the fat and calories.
So when I was approached by Australian Mushroom Growers to take part in their Summer Mushrooms campaign this year there was no question as to what I would create – a proper burger, worthy of a barbeque with all the fixings, and tasty enough to tempt even the meatiest meat eaters.
Conveniently, I do love mushrooms. Garlicky and spiked with a splash of white wine, they’re a required side on our weekend brunch plates. Mushrooms make an easy pizza topping for dinner, a hearty risotto for lunch, a moreish vegan BLT, and my fave – a big bowl of Japanese soba with no less than 5 kinds of wild mushrooms. They vary in texture and flavour and suit so many cooking styles – and as an added bonus are the only non-animal food source of Vitamin D. Phew!
Now I have been know to get my burger craving sorted with a hearty whole portobello that’s been marinated in red wine and herbs then grilled, but I find that they can be a bit more suited to having a fork and knife nearby for when the juices take over and the bun disintegrates in your hands.
However this fabulous creation with mushrooms, lentils and plenty of umami is a little bit different – and it certainly hit the spot. The only thing that would have made it better are some sauteed mushrooms and shiitake bacon on top – a triple mushroom threat if you will…
Needless to say the next time we go to a barbeque I’ll BYO-Mushrooms and will have something to eat with all that bread and salad – don’t worry, I’ll bring a few extras to share!
Have you made plans for Australia Day yet and will there be a BBQ involved?
Mushroom & Lentil Burgers – Vegan, Gluten Free
Grilled mushroom ‘burgers’ are good, lentil burgers are fine, but when the two are combined the whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts! Don’t skimp on the seasonings here, that umami richness that many veggie burgers lack… this one puts them all to shame. Don’t be afraid to pre-cook the burgers and simply re-heat on the bbq when it’s time to feast.
- 2 c cooked lentils – green and/or french green*, drained
- 170g swiss brown or baby portobello mushrooms, chopped finely
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp each dried thyme and oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- pinch chilli flakes, optional
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp hot water
- 1 tsp vegemite* + 2 tsp hot water
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/4 c chopped parsley
Cook 1 cup of dried lentils with 4 c water for 30 mins. Drain, measure out 2 c and mash roughly with a fork. Saute onion and garlic 7 mins, add herbs and mushrooms, saute 5 mins, stir into mashed lentils.
Mix chia seeds & water, vegemite & water and add to mushroom mixture with remaining ingredients. Remove half the mixture and puree until smooth. Mix back in and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Form 6 patties and either brown in a pan for 5-7 mins on each side, or bake at 200C [400F] for 10 mins, flip and bake a further 10 mins.
Serve any way you choose. Can be pre-cooked and re-heated on a bbq.
Combine 1 c dried lentils with 4 c water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes until soft. Drain well and cool slightly.
Measure out 2 c of the cooked lentils into a large bowl and mash roughly with a fork. Use remaining 1 1/2 c or so for another purpose.
In a large saucepan over medium low heat, saute onion, garlic and salt in a splash of olive oil for 5-7 minutes until onions are soft and just golden. Add diced mushrooms, dried herbs and chili flakes and saute a further 5 minutes until soft. Tip into bowl with mashed lentils and stir to combine well.
Combine chia seeds and hot water in a small bowl and allow to thicken for 30 seconds. Add vegemite and additional hot water and stir to dissolve any lumps. Add to mushroom/lentil mixture along with mustard, flax seed & parsley. Stir well.
Remove half the mixture and puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth, mix back into un-pureed portion. Refrigerate for 60 minutes to firm up and meld flavours.
Divide chilled mixture into 6* balls and form into patties, approx 1 1/2 cm thick. Patties can be cooked on the stovetop or baked in the oven, the choice is up to you.
To bake: Preheat oven to 200C [400F], lightly spray a non-stick sheet pan with oil. Form patties and move on to sheet with a large spatula. Bake for 10 mins, flip carefully and bake a further 10 mins. Allow to cool 5 mins on tray.
To cook on a stovetop: Preheat a non-stick pan on medium-low heat, lightly spray pan with oil. Form patties and move on to pan with a large spatula. Cook for 7 mins, flip carefully and cook a further 5-7 mins. Move carefully onto a rack if not eating immediately. Patties will firm up as they cool.
Layer on your bun of choice with lettuce, tomato, garlic mushrooms, avocado, cheese, guacamole and pico de gallo, bacon, shiitake bacon, sriracha, mayo, cashew aioli , bbq sauce and/or plain old ketchup. Not a bun person, use the burgers to top a salad or eat it cold out of the fridge while standing in the middle of the kitchen… not that I do that or anything, ahem.
Makes 6 medium size patties. Burgers can be made ahead of time and re-heated on a bbq or in a pan.
- Lentils: a combination of half Green Lentils and half French Green Lentils give a nice texture mix and they cook in the same amount of time. You could use canned lentils if you wish but the burgers may not be quite the same colour.
- Vegemite: the ultimate umami addition. If you are gluten free or can’t get Vegemite or a similar product [Marmite etc] substitute the 1 tsp vegemite + 2 tsp hot water with 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste + 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari.
- Patties: if you want large burgers divide mixture into 4 or 5 portions, for small burgers divide mixture into 7 or 8 portions, easy.
While the creation of this recipe is sponsored by the Australian Mushroom Growers Association as part of their Summer Mushrooms campaign, the opinions expressed – including my slight obsession with mushrooms – are all mine. For more mushroom recipes pop over to the My Mushrooms blog.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
This is a veggie burger that looks mouthwateringly delicious!
Thanks Laura! I had another one for lunch today 😉
Tina @ bitemeshowme says
A veggie burger can look just as good, if not better, than any other burger out there. This really does look like a photo that’s just came out of a gourmet burger place. Fantastic!
cheers Tina, I appreciate that!
Natasha @ Playing House says
Mmmm. Looks yum! I’ll have to give it a try sometime, I love a good veggie burger.
In Adelaide we have a guy Veggie Velo (http://www.weekendnotes.com/veggie-velo-food-truck/) who does veggie burgers and sells them on the streets. There have been multiple times when he’s pulled up at I’ve stared down sadly at my meat filled lunch wishing I was eating one of his burgers instead.
Anyone who thinks a good veggie burger can’t hold its own sadly hasn’t had a good one. 🙂
Ohh I’ll have to keep it in mind next time we’re in Adelaide!
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I’m not vegetarian by any means but I think I’d prefer this to a regular burger JJ. Looks delicious.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you to Claire 🙂
Sneh | Cook Republic says
This looks beautiful JJ!! Wish you a Happy New Year 🙂
Thanks Sneh, you as well!
Oooh, although I’m quite a contented meat eater, I do loooooove mushies! This looks absolutely delicious! 🙂 Sweet potato fries look divine as well!
Heehee they were delicious, I’ll make sure to post them soon too!
You’re right about it being tough at a bbq. This looks fab, great to have an alternative and not feel so left out!
veggie sista ;D
Kirsty @ The Natural Foodie says
Yes, yes YES! This is definitely my idea of a perfect burger JJ – brilliant, love your work. And it goes without saying that mushies are the perfect BBQ companion. We always have them on hand, whether on veggies skewers or just thrown on with a dash of EVOO to accompany the bread & salad.
Thanks Kirsty, Now I want a bbq’ed mushrooms on their own!
Oh my! That’s all I can say – and that I have already copied the recipe down and put what I need on Wednesday’s shopping list [as long as the promised 44 C here tomorrow has decided to drop to something resembling reasonable!] and this with salad will be the day’s dinner and probably the next days’ lunch!! What a fab recipe!!
That is so exciting to hear, I hope you love them – and that it doesn’t get nearly as hot as they are predicting!
Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy says
These look amazing JJ! I would have this over a meat burger any day – and I’m not vegetarian!
Christie @ Fig & Cherry says
Wow! Absolutely luscious JJ – and just a little bit different for those hungry vegetarians 😉
and non vegetarians too 😉 It always surprises me how many meat eaters go for the veg option when it is on offer!
Mushrooms Canada says
Wow! What a burger! I’d bet a lot of the meat-eaters would be asking for this burger too… thanks for sharing!
No problem, thanks for stopping by!
Sara @bellyrumbles says
I adore mushrooms and think they make the perfect substitute for meat in burgers, or else where. Love the look of this one JJ.
Jane @ Shady Baker says
I am not vegetarian but these look really good…healthy and nutritious, just what I need at this time of the year. Thanks for sharing.
It is a great way to indulge a bit with something lighter!
Christine @ Cooking Crusade says
Mmm these look fantastic JJ! I love mushrooms in burgers and was thinking about making a similar recipe hehe. Lookin good, especially with those tasty looking fries!!
Glad you like them, let me know if you do make one! The fries were fab 😉
These look so great! Being a total meat eater myself, even I would forgo a meat pattie to try these beauties.
heehee thanks Amanda!
brenda hayes says
Very nice recipe. I will definitely try it the next time I have a bunch of my veggie family members visiting. Thanks.
Hey, don’t you put the remaining lentils back into the mixture ? The one that you part from right after they are cooked ?
Hi Soley, no, the recipe only needs 2 c cooked lentils, use remaining 1 1/2 c or so for another purpose. You could cook less to begin with if you wish but getting exactly 2 c cooked is a bit tough unless you prepare extra! Thanks for asking!
Priscilla @ foodpornnation.com says
looks so TASTY. Definitely need to give this a go
Katrien Thiery says
this looks great! Do you think you can freeze the burgers? Should I bake them first or rather not?
Thanks a lot for the great recipes!
Hi Katrien, these could definitely be frozen. I’d probably bake them first and simply thaw in the fridge or on the counter before re-heating in a pan. Thanks for visiting!
Vegemite in a Gluten Free Recipe???????
Hi christineellen – wow, you’re right! I only thought about the yeast bit and didn’t realise it has barley in it. There was already a note at the end of the recipe about what you could substitute if you couldn’t get Vegemite, I’ve added a mention of GF to that. Thanks for the heads up
Just found your blog and thought “this is an awesome recipe”. Had all the ingredients, so made them right away. Absolutely divine! Will have to juggle a bit with the measurements and ingredients (eg. never heard of Vegemite), but this one is a keeper. Thanks for sharing!
Love from Prague
So hungary for burgers but with all the recalls….. can’t bring myself to eat beef burger. Recall vegetarian cookery classes attended years ago and making lentil burgers. So much more healthy. Thanks for your recipe I will have good burgers. Another option is to dip in egg white and roll in chopped nuts.
I have made these burgers a couple of times and think that it is a really great recipe. Thanks! Only thing is I find that I have to add about half a cup of oatmeal to firm up the patties and prevent them from squishing out the sides of my burger when I squeeze the buns together to take a bight. I would like to make the patties gluten free and have tried adding chickpea flour which did not work. I also tried some “Orgran” brand brown rice and quinoa crumbs which were OK, but this product is sometimes hard to find. Anyone got any input on this? Richard.
Hi Richard, glad you enjoy the recipe!
I find baking them instead of pan frying results in a firmer burger as it makes them dryer. You can try oat bran (make sure to find a GF version), or a higher quantity of chia seeds (they absorb tons of moisture), or a bit more ground flax, or a few tablespoons brown rice flour. Quinoa flour or buckwheat would work as well. Good luck!
Marjorie Gray says
These look amazing! One question for you…the bun is really calling to me 😉 Did you make that as well?? And if so, is it gluten free, and would you be willing to share the recipe? Thanks so much!!!
Thanks Marjorie! Unfortunately I didn’t make the bun and it’s not gluten free – sorry about that!
Thanks this recipe is absolutely what I wanted! It was hard to find a vegetarian burger recipe that would give the texture I wanted without sacrificing flavor and one that used every day ingredients. 🙂 I modified it a little since we don’t normally have Vegemite in our cabinet in the US haha.