Lentil Falafel Burger Recipe with Creamy Feta SauceThis post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
This hearty Lentil Falafel Burger recipe is bursting with Mediterranean flavor! Packed with beluga lentils, chickpeas, veggies, seasonings, and a subtle sweetness that makes for a perfect healthy dinner for the whole family. Great for meal prep too!
Homemade falafel burgers are flavorful, easy to make, and are great for all occasions. They are hearty enough to keep you filled up but light enough so that you don’t feel weighed down.
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These patties are made from tiny, quick cooking beluga lentils and chickpeas. Sweet potato is the sneaky ingredient that beefs up these patties and gives them a slightly sweet flavor. Spices like cumin, sumac, and oregano take you straight to the Mediterranean, and breadcrumbs help bind the mixture together.
What you end up with is a delicious and nutritious falafel-style burger that is topped with a creamy feta and mint sauce that I could just eat straight from the bowl! It’s one of my favorite quick and easy meals!
I served these burgers on whole wheat burger buns, but you could use whole wheat pita or even lettuce wraps if you wanted to! The feta sauce acts like a healthy version of “mayo,” and you can top it with any fresh veggies you like. I chose tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers to keep with the falafel theme.
These vegetarian burgers are elegant enough to be served at a dinner party, or down-home enough to have on a busy weeknight. Any way you serve them, they’re guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!
👩🏽🍳 Why This Recipe Works
- Family friendly option for Meatless Monday
- Packed with veggies and fresh herbs
- Healthier than traditional falafel, but with tons of flavor
- Easy recipe
- Easy for meal prep
- Great for kids
- Customize to your liking
- Can be made gluten-free and vegan!
- Dry Beluga Lentils: I like these lentils because they’re tiny and hold up when cooked, but you could use brown or green lentils if you can’t find beluga specifically. Surprisingly beluga lentils resemble caviar because of their dark black coloring. They are super healthy, filled with protein, and are often used in place of meat in vegetarian diets. Because the beluga lentils are able to be cooked quickly, you don’t need to soak them like other varieties of lentils.
- Garbanzo Beans: I used canned chickpeas to save on time here. If using dried, make sure to use soaked chickpeas, that have been thoroughly cooked.
- Sweet Potatoes: Critical to giving these burgers a nice sweetness and texture! You could also use carrots if you don’t have sweet potatoes.
- Red Onion: Diced, to add flavor to these falafel patties. You can also add two cloves of garlic for added flavor, or spring onions if you prefer!
- Eggs: Feel free to substitute 1 flax egg to make these into vegan falafel burgers.
- Breadcrumbs: I used whole wheat panko breadcrumbs, but if you wanted to make these lentil burgers without breadcrumbs, you could also use whole wheat flour, chickpea flour, or oat flour (to make these gluten free).
- Spices & Seeds: Fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, garlic cloves, marjoram, oregano, sumac, kosher salt and black pepper are critical to giving these burgers great flavor! You could also add a bit of chili powder for additional heat.
- Sprouted Wheat Burger Buns: You could also use whole wheat pita bread or regular whole wheat bun if you don’t have burger buns!
- Toppings: Slices of Tomato, Cucumber Slices, Red Onion, Fresh Baby Spinach.
- Yogurt Sauce: Feta cheese, Plain Yogurt, Fresh Mint – this is a variety of a tzatziki sauce. Use dairy free yogurt or tahini sauce to make this easy lentil burger vegan friendly.
Cook the Lentils: In a medium pot, 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.
Make the Falafel Burger Patties: Transfer the lentil falafel mixture to the bowl of a food processor. To the lentil mixture, add the onion, egg, panko breadcrumbs through salt and pepper. Pulse until coarsely chopped, about five 1-second pulses. Transfer to a large bowl.
Form Patties and Cook: Shape the mixture into four 4- to 4½-inch patties, each about ½ inch thick. Heat a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the skillet with olive oil spray and add two of the falafel lentil veggie burgers. Pan fry falafel burgers until they are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a large plate lined with paper towel, and repeat with the remaining patties.
Make the Sauce and Serve: To a small bowl, add the feta cheese, then use a fork to crumble it. Stir in the yogurt and mint, and add a touch of lemon juice if desired. Place one falafel patty on the bottom bun, top with some of the feta sauce and your veggies. Top with the remaining burger bun. Serve immediately.
A falafel is a dish that is well known in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s typically made with chickpeas or fava beans. Then it’s fried and placed either on flatbread or in a pita pocket. My lentil falafel veggie burger has black beluga lentils and sweet potatoes along with chickpeas to give it more of a “burger” consistency.
The ingredients in falafel are very nutritious and healthy – chickpeas are packed with fiber, protein and vitamins. But, traditional falafel is deep fried, increasing the calories and fat, making it more of an indulgence and not healthy to consume on a regular basis. This drool-worthy falafel burger with feta adds lentils and sweet potatoes to increase the fiber and protein, and is lightly pan fried so is low in calories, high in fiber, and is very healthy for you!
This meal is ideal for kids! Most kids like falafel flavors, and these burgers have a subtle sweetness that is super kid-friendly. Some kids aren’t huge fans of feta cheese and mint leaves, so if they don’t like the sauce, you might want to set it on the side so they can try it out dip it. This will give them a chance to try the flavors until they get used to it. For young kids, you can cut up the patty and serve it in bite sized chunks with their burger bun on the side to make it easier to eat.
🧊 How to Store
- To Store: Let the falafel burgers plenty cool completely. Don’t add the sauce or put them on a burger bun until you are ready to serve. Put the burger patties in an airtight container and place them in the fridge for 4-5 days. Store the sauce and the burger buns separately.
- To Freeze: You can freeze the patties and the burger buns, but I wouldn’t freeze the sauce. To freeze, allow the burgers to cool and then wrap the burgers individually in foil and transfer to an airtight freezer bag or container. Put the burger buns in an airtight container and freeze. They will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: Heat the burger patties straight from the refrigerator or freezer in a 350 degree oven until crispy and heated through (about 10-15 minutes). You can warm the burger buns in the toaster oven or toaster. You can also heat the buns and patties in the microwave, but I don’t recommend it because they won’t get that crispy exterior the oven / toaster oven will provide.
- Vegan Falafel Burgers: To make lentil burger vegan, omit the feta sauce and use tahini instead; and use a flax egg instead of a regular egg.
- Make it Gluten Free: To make these gluten free, use gluten free burger buns and oat flour or another type of gluten-free flour in the patties.
- Try a different sauce: For alternative sauce ideas, try these falafel lentil burgers tzatziki sauce, hummus, siracha, or tahini dressing!
- Try a different bun or wrap: Feel free to switch up the whole wheat burger bun for a whole wheat pita bread, sprouted wheat bun (or bread), pretzel bun, sandwich bread (to make these into falafel sandwiches), or even a lettuce wrap!
👪 How To Serve
There are so many ways to serve this falafel veggie burger recipe, but here are some of our favorite easy recipes to pair them with!
💭 Expert Tips
- Don’t overcook the lentils and sweet potatoes for these homemade falafel burgers. You want them to be be fork tender, but not falling apart.
- For Meal Prep: You can batch cook these burgers in advance and freeze the patties. Feel free to double or triple this recipe as needed! When ready to serve, just warm the buns and make the sauce and you’ll have easy burgers ready to go!
- To pan sear these burgers, place them in a well oiled skillet and don’t move them until they form a golden crust which will help the burger patties stay together. They should be crispy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. If you’re having trouble getting the mixture to stay together, add 1-2 tablespoons more flour (or until the mixture is the consistency you want).
🍔 More Sandwich and Veggie Burger Recipes!
- Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
- Southwestern Pinto Bean Burgers
- Pumpkin Burgers
- Veggie Shawarma with Marinated Tofu
- Chickpea Stuffed Pita Sandwiches with Yogurt Sauce
- Kale and Caramelized Onion Panini
Lentil Falafel Burger Recipe with Creamy Feta Sauce
For the Burgers:
- ⅓ cup dry black beluga lentils or green lentils, rinsed
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- ½ medium sweet potato peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 4 cups water
- ½ small red onion finely chopped
- 1 large egg or 1 flax egg
- ⅔ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs or oat flour
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 4 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground sumac optional
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Nonstick pan spray
For the Toppings/Burger Buns:
- 4 whole wheat or sprouted wheat burger buns
- 2-3 vine-ripened tomatoes cored and thinly sliced
- Sliced cucumber
- Diced red onions
- Fresh baby spinach
For the Feta-Mint-Yogurt Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Make the burgers:
- In a medium pot, 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.
- Transfer the lentil mixture to a food processor. To the lentil mixture, add the onion, egg, panko breadcrumbs through 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.
- 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.
Make the sauce:
- To a medium bowl, add the feta cheese, then use a fork to crumble it. Stir in the yogurt and mint.
- Place a lentil burger on 4 burger bottoms, top each with some of the feta sauce and your veggies. Top with the remaining burger buns. Serve immediately.
- Don’t overcook the lentils and sweet potatoes. You want them to be be fork tender, but not falling apart.
- A food processor is exactly what you need to get the best texture for these falafel burgers. It will chop the ingredients perfectly.
- You can double this recipe easily to make 8 burger patties if you’re serving this to friends and family.
- To pan sear these burgers, place them in a well oiled skillet and don’t move them until they form a golden crust, which will help the burger patties stay together. They should be crispy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. If you’re having trouble getting the mixture to stay together, add 1-2 tablespoons more flour (or until the mixture is the consistency you want).
- To make these vegan, omit the feta sauce and use tahini instead; and use a flax egg instead of a regular egg.
- To make these gluten free, use gluten free burger buns and oat flour or gluten free flour in the patties.
- For alternative sauce ideas, try these falafel burgers with hummus, siracha, tahini, or tzatziki sauce!
- Serving suggestions: pair with sweet potato fries, roasted potatoes, or zucchini chips and a Mediterranean inspired salad
- Feel free to switch up the whole wheat burger bun for a whole wheat pita, sprouted wheat bun (or bread), or even lettuce wraps!