The Canned Lentil Soup Hack You Need For Flavorful Veggie Burgers

Are you missing out on the goodness of veggie burgers? You might think they're too expensive to buy frozen for everyday use or too much trouble to make from scratch. But here's a simple and flavorful way to enjoy a lentil-based patty in no time: use your favorite canned lentil soup as a base.

While many classic vegetarian burger recipes call for cooked or canned lentils, using lentil soup adds an extra burst of flavor from the vegetables and aromatics, taking your burger to the next level. The best part is that this hack works with almost any vegetarian burger recipe and any lentil soup; just replace the usual beans with the soup and make a few adjustments to bind the burgers together. If you blend a few tips from seasoned chefs, you'll have a quick and affordable veggie burger recipe that you can whip up any day with some extras from your cabinet.

Chefs' tips for the best lentil soup burgers

Traditionally, lentil soup burgers require parboiling the lentils or using canned lentils, both of which lack flavor. To compensate, you'd need to add sautéed onions and other aromatics before shaping the patties, and also let the mixture cool before working with it. According to Stephen Janke, a professionally trained chef, using cold lentils is crucial for achieving the right texture in a lentil burger. By starting with cold lentil soup, you can skip adding hot aromatics since most canned lentil soups already contain them. Plus, by using a lentil soup that you love, you'll have the flavors ready-mixed.

The most important step when making lentil soup burgers is to drain the liquid from the can. Then, add starchy binders to achieve the desired consistency, adding more as needed. Renowned chefs like Guy Fieri and Robert Irvine prefer cooked rice, while Brooks Headley, the chef of New York City's famed Superiority Burger, opts for quinoa and breadcrumbs. For a beefier texture, you could also add ground walnuts. Once the mixture is ready, shape the burgers into rounds as you would with conventional burgers, and if desired, chill them again before cooking.

The benefits of eating lentil burgers

Including lentil burgers in your diet is a fantastic way to boost nutrients, increase fiber intake, and save money. According to the Cleveland Clinic, lentils are rich in vitamins and minerals, and unlike red meat, they contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. Additionally, lentils are anti-inflammatory and can help lower blood pressure.

Aside from health benefits, lentils are more affordable than ground beef. Even if you opt for purchased lentil soup, which will cost more than using dried lentils, the cans will last much longer than beef. Fresh ground beef has a short shelf life of just two days before spoilage, while ground beef can be stored for three to four months in the freezer. On the other hand, canned lentil soup will last in your pantry for three to five years.  Plus, you won't have to add a ton of other ingredients to make it taste great. So stock up when it's on sale and enjoy delicious veggie burgers whenever the mood strikes.