These bite-size vegan lentil patties are seasoned to perfection and full of plant-based protein. In just one little patty, there is nearly 20% of your daily iron needs, and 4g of protein! Dunk one in our garlicky lemon tahini dip, and we promise you'll be licking your fingers clean.
We get asked a lot about what made us go vegan, and one of the main reasons we always say is for our health. There's so many definitions of health out there, so we're not here to say ours is the best. But, maybe hearing what it means to us can make you think about your own health in a new way.
We love our life, and we'd like it to be long (our goal is to still be traveling and climbing mountains when we've got grey hair). But in order to do that, we need to stay fit, lean, and lessen our chances of getting disease.
To this date, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the world. In other words, people are shortening their lives because of poor dietary habits and lack of exercise. A plant-based diet is still the only one actually proven to prevent and reverse heart disease, and we find that extremely powerful.
So, what does this have to do with this recipe?
Lentils are one of the first real superfoods we learned about when going vegan. We still can't believe how jam-packed full of micro and macronutrients they are. We love cooking with red lentils because they're so hearty and filling. Plus, they are one of the healthiest foods known to man.
So, we turned this healthy food into patty form. Then we realized everything really does taste better in the shape of a patty, especially when it's bite size.
It's a perfect dish to serve before dinner, have as a snack on-the-go (these taste just as delicious cold), or make into a meal by serving the patties with rice and veggies. These are also excellent additions to pasta sauce or salads.
🍲 Key ingredients
- Lentils: these were first discovered in 8,000 B.C. in the Middle East, but they've since made their way west (and thank God they did). These nutritional anomalies are packed with nutrients like iron, which can help increase your energy levels. How? Iron is part of the body system that transports oxygen from the lungs to all other cells. It's like magic! And since they are dirt cheap, you really can't go wrong with lentils!
- Garlic: well, it's no surprise garlic is in this recipe. Life just wouldn't be the same without it. In all seriousness though, the pungent flavor of garlic pairs well with lentils because they don't have a ton of flavor on their own. Plus, it's so good for you! Garlic has been found to have antimicrobial compounds that are even more effective than some antibiotics. Can you see why we're obsessed with this stuff?
- Onion: besides adding amazing flavor to this recipe, onions also come with a whole host of health benefits. They contain high amounts of sulphuric compounds, which may help lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Talk about an ingredient with layers of benefits (ehhhhh).
- Seasoning: it's all about the seasoning in these patties. We opted for Italian flavors of oregano, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, savory, and marjoram. Together, these herbs create a fragrant, earthy flavor that pairs super well with the lemon tahini dip. To be honest, we usually just use the store-bought stuff. But, you can easily make your own if you're feeling a little extra fancy.
To start off, you'll need to rinse and soak the red lentils in enough water to cover the top layer. They will expand, so be generous with the amount of water you use. We would also suggest soaking them overnight, but definitely for at least 2-3 hours.
After the lentils have had time to soak, drain and add them to a food processor along with your onion, garlic, tomato paste, chickpea flour, and seasonings. Pulse everything together until you have a fairly smooth batter. It's okay if there are a few chunks, or if it seems a little runny at this point. The patties will firm up when they are cooked.
Next up, you'll need to heat some olive or grape seed oil in a frying pan on medium. You'll know the oil is hot enough when you stick a wooden handle in it and you see bubbles around it.
Form 1-2 tbsp size patties in your hands, flattening them slightly. We usually cook about 5-6 patties at a time, but you can do however many will fit in your pan. Fry them on each side for about 2-3 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
Transfer each patty to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Then, while the patties cool, whip up some lemon tahini dip by combining runny tahini with lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water.
For extra flavor, we sometimes add fresh minced parsley to our dip as well!
That's it! You can serve the patties with a squeeze of lemon juice, chopped parsley, and the dip for a delicious snack or appetizer.
These patties store well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. You can also keep the raw batter in your fridge for up to 5 days, or the freezer. Just thaw it, then fry the patties the same way as described above.
💭 Budget tips
We think everyone should be able to eat better for less, so here are a few tricks to make this recipe even more affordable:
- Make your own Italian spice mix instead of buying it pre-made
- Fry the patties in a cheaper oil like canola instead of olive
- Skip the parsley and lemon garnishes
🍴 Tasting notes
These patties are one of our favorite snacks lately, and we think you're going to love them too. They're:
- Protein packed
- Perfectly spiced
If you try these lentil patties, please rate them and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Vegan Lentil Patties With Lemon Tahini Dip
- Food processor
- Various sized mixing bowls
- Frying pan
- 2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed & soaked overnight ($1.02)
- 1 medium white onion, diced ($0.24)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced ($0.12)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste ($0.08)
- ½ tbsp chickpea flour ($0.04)
- 1 tsp coriander ($0.01)
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning, bought or homemade ($0.35)
- Sea salt & pepper to taste ($0.02)
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil for frying ($0.48)
Lemon Tahini Dip
- ⅓ cup runny tahini
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- Sea salt to taste
- Water to thin
- Fresh parsley, minced
- Squeeze of lemon
- First, rinse and soak the red lentils in enough water to cover the top layer. They will expand, so be generous with the amount of water you use. We recommend soaking them overnight, but definitely for at least 2-3 hours.
- After the lentils have soaked, drain and add them to a food processor along with the onion, garlic, tomato paste, chickpea flour, and seasonings. Pulse everything together until you have a fairly smooth batter (it's okay if there are some chunks, or if it seems a little runny).
- Next, heat the olive or grapeseed oil in a frying pan on medium. You'll know the oil is hot enough when you stick a wooden handle in it and you see bubbles around it.
- Form 1-2 tbsp size patties in your hands, flattening them slightly. We usually cook about 5-6 patties at a time, but you can do however many will fit in your pan. Fry them on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until they look golden brown.
- Transfer each patty to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Set aside while you prepare the dip.
Lemon Tahini Dip
- While the patties cool, prepare the lemon tahini dip by combining runny tahini*, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and water to thin slightly. For extra flavor, we sometimes add fresh minced parsley to our dip as well!
- Serve the patties with lemon tahini dip, chopped parsley, and an extra squeeze of lemon for a delicious snack or appetizer.
- Optional ingredients, including lemon tahini dip, are not reflected in the price of the recipe.
- It's best to soak the lentils overnight, but they should be soaked for at least 2-3 hours.
- Your local Mediterranean market is the best place to find runny, authentic tahini at a good price.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more Mediterranean-inspired dishes, check out our:
- Plant-based lentil bolognese for a pasta sauce that tastes hella fancy.
- Mediterranean couscous salad to serve as a light and refreshing lunch.
- Socca Pizza if you love trying out new foods.
- Vegan fettuccine alfredo for a smooth and creamy white sauce without any dairy at all!
Yes, these can definitely be baked. For a healthier alternative, bake them at 375 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway.
If you don't have time or forget to soak the lentils, you can try cooking them on the stovetop for 20 minutes before adding them to the rest of the ingredients. If you go this route, do not add the lentils to your food processor since they will become too mushy. Your results will vary.
No, you definitely can use other spices besides Italian seasoning. You can use whatever you have on hand, or you can try using more Indian style spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala.