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Good Burger

Make your next patty with lentils and sweet potato
Falafel-Style Lentil Burgers

Our affection for lentils is twofold: The health-minded side of us adores their high protein and folate levels, while our palate craves the legumes' earthy flavor. Our Test Kitchen's falafel-style lentil burgers are both nutritious and delicious: Black beluga lentil patties are beefed up with sweet potato, red onion, panko breadcrumbs and spices, then stuffed into mini pitas and slathered with tangy feta-yogurt-mint sauce. Put two patties into a large pita for a more substantial sandwich. Either way, prepare to fall in love.

Falafel-Style Lentil Burgers with Feta Sauce

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 4 burgers

Cook Time: 40 minutes



⅔ cup black beluga lentils (or green lentils), rinsed 

½ medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

4 cups water

½ small red onion, finely chopped

1 large egg

⅔ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried marjoram

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon ground sumac (optional)

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Nonstick pan spray

Four 4-inch whole-wheat pitas or two large whole-wheat pitas

1 vine-ripened tomato, cored and thinly sliced


3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

½ cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves


1. Make the burgers: In a medium saucepan, add the lentils, sweet potato and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until the lentils and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and transfer the lentil mixture to a food processor.

2. To the lentil mixture, add the onion, egg, panko breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, cumin, marjoram, oregano, sumac (if using), salt and pepper. Pulse until coarsely chopped, about five 1-second pulses. Shape the mixture into four 4- to 4½-inch patties, each about ½ inch thick.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the skillet with nonstick pan spray and add two of the lentil burgers. Cook until the burgers are browned, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with the remaining patties.

4. Make the sauce: To a medium bowl, add the feta cheese, then use a fork to crumble it. Stir in the yogurt and mint.

5. Slice open each pita to create 2 round slices. Place a lentil burger on 4 bottom rounds and top each with some of the feta sauce and a few tomato slices. Top with the remaining pita rounds. Serve immediately. Calories per Serving: 340; Sodium: 1030mg; Total Carbohydrate: 54g; Fiber: 8g; Fat: 6g

Test Kitchen Approved

We collaborate with a lot of talented chefs and tinker with everything in our test kitchen. Our goal is to make sure every recipe works as well in your home kitchen as it does in ours. So go on, cook with confidence.


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