Budget Burgers

standard June 17, 2012 Leave a response

As much as I experiment and try new recipes for things, sometimes an old favorite is the best. I’ve been making these veggie burgers for a while, and they’re easy, fast, freeze well, and best of all, cheap! All you need are lentils, oats, and salsa.

Southwest Lentil Burgers

Makes 8-10.

Print-Friendly Recipe


  • 1 c cooked lentils
  • 1 c oats (either quick or old-fashioned are fine)
  • 1/2 – 1 c salsa
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 1 T Arizona seasoning (or chili powder)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • whole wheat burger buns
  • sliced avocado
  • lettuce


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with foil and a  light amount of cooking spray.
  2. Combine  lentils, oats, salsa, onion, seasoning, and salt in a large bowl until well mixed.
  3. Add 2/3 mixture to a food processor and process until just combined. Pour back into bowl with remaining 1/3 mixture.
  4. Scoop about a palm full of the mixture into your hands, and roll into a ball. Flatten to form patties and place on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the outside is slightly crispy and hard. The inside of the burger should still be soft and moist.
  6. Serve with avocado and lettuce. Or crumble on to a salad with corn, bell pepper, and diced avocado.

Dry lentils and oats are super cheap, either in the bulk bin or prepackaged. It takes more time to cook dried lentils, but I like to cook a cup and freeze the leftovers for future meals. One cup of dried lentils will yield 2-3 cups cooked. Considering they are high in iron, protein, fiber, and a ton of vitamins and minerals, their cost is an even better value.

These burgers are great as is, on top of a salad, or crumbled as taco filling. It may seem counter-intuitive to form and cook patties just to crumble them back up, but they make a great single serving that freezes and thaws easily for quick meals and portion control. They definitely never last long in my freezer!

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