Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki Sauce

4.67 from 3 votes
1 hour 15 minutes
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Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki Sauce are hearty enough for a carnivore!  You may even need a knife!

Photo of Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki on black plate with knife through burger.

Move over meat!  There’s a new burger in town!

These spicy, Mediterranean-inspired Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers make a healthful and satisfying meatless option for flame-kissed meals all summer long.

Brown lentils are packed with fiber, protein and iron along with lots of other great stuff.  Walnuts add additional texture and contain healthful omega fatty acids.  Can you say that about a beef burger?

Tips for cooking with lentils:

Before preparing any lentil dish, it’s a really good idea to look them over carefully for any debris.  Here’s what I do:

  • A white paper plate works perfectly for this process.  Place a small amount–approximately 1/4 cup– on the plate
  • Spread them out to better examine them and remove any funky things you see such as stones, shriveled lentils or stem pieces.
  • The paper plate makes it easy to then “funnel” the lentils into a sieve for a good rinse before cooking.
  • If the lentils you’re using are older, they’re going to take longer to cook because they have lost moisture.  Yes, even something like a dried lentil is going to still have some moisture in it.

Tips for making Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers:

  • After everything is cooked and combined, I use an immersion blender to puree the lentil and vegetable mixture rather than place it in a food processor.  I have better control over how much to puree the mixture AND I don’t have to wash out my food processor before making the Avocado Tzatziki Sauce.

Process photo of lentil and walnut mixture being cooked in stainless steel pan.

  • Form into burgers.  Most homemade vegetarian burgers are rather fragile in an uncooked state.

Photo of lentil and walnut burgers before being cooked.

  • I’ve made these Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers several times over the years and they can be done on a conventional outdoor grill.  However, you’ll need a vegetable grill rack and you’ll need to be very careful handling them.
  • Be sure to use indirect heat because of the nuts.  Burned nuts are awful!
  • I cheat a little bit to get the gorgeous grill marks you see here.  I bake them first, then pop them onto a grill pan.

Photo of burger on bun after being grilled.

  • And then this Avocado Tzatziki Sauce!  It’s so cool and refreshing with these spicy Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers!

Photo of tzatziki sauce in glass bowl.

Close-up photo of Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki with tzatziki dripping down side of burger.

Serve with fresh, crunchy lettuce, tomato, red onion, broccoli sprouts, more avocado and oh my!  You’ll need a knife to eat this one!

Photo of Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki Sauce on black plate.

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Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki with red onion, tomato, alfalfa sprouts and avocado on black plate.

Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki Sauce

4.67 from 3 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki Sauce are hearty enough for a carnivore! You may even need a knife!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Sandwiches
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6
Calories 394 kcal



  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots - grated
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper - or to taste
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup panko - regular or gluten-free
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • Whole grain hamburger buns
  • Red lettuce
  • Red onion slices
  • Tomato slices
  • Broccoli or alfalfa sprouts
  • Avocado slices

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 large avocado - peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 small English cucumber - seeded and chopped
  • salt - to taste



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook 15-20 minutes or until very tender. (It's okay if they're falling apart slightly.) Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 5-7 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the carrots and red bell pepper and continue cooking another 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and cayenne and cook 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant. Add the drained lentils, walnuts, panko and parsley.
  • Using an immersion blender, coarsely puree the mixture, leaving some of the lentils and vegetables whole.
  • Form mixture into 6 patties and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Spray a non-stick grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Place the patties on the grill pan and grill 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Serve on whole-grain hamburger buns with lettuce, tomato, red onion and tzatziki sauce.


  • Combine yogurt, avocado, cilantro, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Add the cucumber and pulse several times, but do not fully puree.
  • Serve with burgers.


MAKE AHEAD:  Burgers can be formed 1 day ahead of time.


Serving: 1burger | Calories: 394kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 899mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4561IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 5mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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  1. After they are cooked and drained, how many cups of lentils are needed for this recipe? I want to cook lentils for more than one recipe. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Cindy, Thanks so much for your question. One recipe as written will yield six burgers. Generally, one cup of dried lentils which is called for in the recipe yields two to two-and-a-half cups of cooked lentils. If you look on the recipe card, you’ll see a 1X, 2X and 3X so it will provide the amounts for doubling and tripling the recipe. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  2. Do you think the avocado is what is pushing the fat to the level it is? That is the only thing I see that might elevate it. I think these sound perfect but I do wonder about the fat content and its source. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Cheer, Thanks so much for your question. The values are computer generated using a nutritional program. I just re-ran the nutritional numbers and they came out lower. You could reduce it more by using nonfat Greek yogurt. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  3. 1. Beautiful photo!
    2. The burger patty sounds amazing.
    3. I am on team “put sauce on everything!” and your avocado tzatziki looks divine.