Lentil-Walnut Burgers (Middle Eastern Burgers)

Jun 22, 2010 by Susana Fare

Middle Eastern food is part of the Mediterranean diet which is considered to be healthier than any other lifestyle food, because of its use of olive oil, vegetables, fruits and only a small amount of meat. Being a vegetarian, this diet suits me perfectly.

I eat just about everything in the Mediterranean diet, except for the meat.

In addition to my studies about the recipes I recommend from those regions, I also watch various cooking programs on TV. Coincidentally, I happened to watch a particular episode of Everyday Food in which the show was dedicated to veggie dishes.

One particular recipe caught my attention. Sara Carey, a co-host of the program, prepared and cooked Lentil-Walnut burgers. The burgers look very similar to traditional burgers made with falafel. In this case, lentils were used instead of garbanzo beans. Indeed, they looked so healthy that I made them the following day.

It’s believed that lentils have been eaten since Neolithic times. Its cultivation originated in the Near East, and passed like most trade in those days to Egypt, North Africa and the Mediterranean region after that. It’s also mentioned in the Bible and was eaten by the Greeks. Because it has a high protein content, it’s essential for a proper vegetarian’s diet.

As for its health benefits, lentils can reduce the risk of hear disease, stabilize blood sugar levels and help prevent or combat anemia –because of its high iron content.

Lentils are also a good source of potassium and folic acid.

This dish also contains walnuts, “the brain food”, as I mentioned in my previous recipe.

For an even healthier version of this dish, I incorporated rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs. I also baked the Middle Eastern Burgers instead of frying them. Adding cumin and coriander will give the burgers more of a Middle Eastern flavor.

Although, the original recipe ingredients listed breadcrumbs. I used rolled oats which ground in the food processor instead.

By doing so, I’m adding even more fiber, which is a requirement for everyday nutrition.. Oats are well known for its high amount of insoluble fiber content are good to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), so my version of the Middle Eastern Burger might be a tad more healthy than the one I saw on the Television show.



  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, cooled
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup lentils, cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 1 large egg

Yogurt-Cilantro Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor grind rolled oats first. Combine walnuts, oats, garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, pepper; process until finely ground. Add lentils and 1 tablespoon oil; pulse until coarsely chopped (some lentils should remain whole).

In a large bowl, whisk egg. Add lentil mixture; mix well. Divide into 4 equal-size parts; roll into balls, and flatten with the palm of your hand into 3/4-inch-thick patties.

Cook for about 30 minutes until firm. Serve with the Yogurt Cilantro Sauce.

To make the sauce:

     In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, cilantro, and lemon; season with pepper.

Serves: 3-4

Note: You can also have the burger with a hamburger bun using the sauce instead of mayonnaise.

If you want or need more vegetarian recipes or instructions on different dishes, you can find them here, or at my blog Spanish Steps.

Subscribe via RSSIf you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or bringing Travelin’ Local home with you via the RSS feed.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Food, Recipes, Vegetarian
No Responses to “Lentil-Walnut Burgers (Middle Eastern Burgers)”

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv Enabled