Half Veggie Burgers

half veggie burger with a beautiful fluffy lettuce and tomato on top

This recipe is from Good and Cheap.

Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

When a reader named Quinn suggested a recipe that used both lentils and meat, I started thinking about how veggie burgers and beef burgers each have their own strengths. Why not combine the two ideas to create a burger with meaty flavor but the lean protein and low cost of lentils? And so I offer you the half veggie burger. May it rest a little lighter in your belly.

Since Good and Cheap was published this recipe has become one I often see people make and share on social media and elsewhere. One of my favorite stories is of an 8 year old boy who learned how to make it at school, then came home and taught his sisters how to make them and then made dinner for his family in the process. Kids are so capable!


half veggie burger with a beautiful fluffy lettuce and tomato on top
Half Veggie Burgers
Print Recipe
Half veggie burgers are half lentils or beans and half ground meat with the addition of veggies. They are flavorful and filling, but leaner and cheaper than the usual burger patty.
Servings
8
Servings
8
half veggie burger with a beautiful fluffy lettuce and tomato on top
Half Veggie Burgers
Print Recipe
Half veggie burgers are half lentils or beans and half ground meat with the addition of veggies. They are flavorful and filling, but leaner and cheaper than the usual burger patty.
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
  • 3 cups lentils or beans cooked
  • 1 cup bell pepper (or other vegetable that can stand up to cooking) finely chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef or other ground meat
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 hamburger buns
To Serve
  • cheese
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • onion
  • your favorite condiments
Instructions
  1. You can use almost any vegetable to make these burger patties, except lettuce and other greens that won't stand up to cooking. If you pick a hard vegetable like potato, squash, or eggplant, you’ll need to cook it first.
  2. Roughly mash the lentils. Make sure the vegetables are either small to begin with (like corn or peas) or finely chopped so that they cook evenly. I went for a bell pepper this time.
  3. Mix the lentils, veggies, and meat with your hands in a large bowl. If you’re going to barbecue, add an egg to keep them from crumbling when you flip. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 8 patties.
  4. Grill the patties either on the barbecue or a pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Sear until dark brown on one side, then flip ’em and do the same on the other side. If you want cheeseburgers, lay cheese on the patties after flipping them once.
  5. Serve on toasted buns with your favorite condiments and fresh vegetables. Burgers are a great place to be adventurous!
  6. If you won’t eat all the burgers at once, wrap the raw patties in plastic. Refrigerate for a few days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.

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Leanne Brown

Hi! I'm Leanne Brown, a home cook in Brooklyn by way of Canada. I write cookbooks, like the one below!

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Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

Sign up for my newsletter!