Half-Veggie Burgers


  • 3 cups lentils or beans, cooked

  • 1 cup bell pepper or other vegetable, finely chopped

  • 1 lb ground beef or other ground meat

  • 1 egg (optional)

  • salt and pepper

  • 8 buns


You can use almost any vegetable to make these burger patties, except lettuce and other greens. If you pick a hard vegetable like potato, squash, or eggplant, you’ll need to cook it first.

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.

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. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 8 patties.

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.

Serve on toasted buns with your favorite condiments and fresh vegetables. Burgers are a great place to be adventurous!

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.

This recipe delivers a burger with meaty flavor but the lean protein and low cost of lentils.

Recipe reprinted from Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, courtesy Leanne Brown.

Sarah Highlenbeans, beef