If you’re looking for a great way to include vegetarian protein and high-quality fiber into your little ones diet, these mini lentil burgers are your answer. Full of flavor, beyond healthy and filling, and so easy to make, they are my new Audrey go-to. Not to mention they freeze and defrost beautifully; pop one in the microwave or oven to warm and boom, lunch or dinner is ready.
Lentils come in a variety of colors, including brown, green, and red. Here I’ve used red as they are the sweetest, earthiest and nuttiest of the bunch, but more importantly, they don’t need to be soaked and cook in just 10 minutes. And red lentils tend to get mushy when cooked, so they’re absolutely perfect for these burgers.
Mini Lentil Burgers with Tahini Dipping Sauce
12 months + up
Makes 16 mini burgers
- 1 ½ cup dried red lentils
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 cup tightly packed baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, preferably whole grain
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
In a large saucepan, cover the lentils with cold water by a few inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the lentils well and let cool.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until softened, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the spinach and remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine the cooled lentils with the spinach mixture, eggs, breadcrumbs, cumin, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into sixteen mini burgers. Wipe out the skillet, turn heat to medium and coat with cooking spray. Once hot, cook the burgers, in batches, for 3 minutes per side. Re-coat with cooking spray in between batches if need be. Serve the burgers warm, with the tahini sauce on the side.
Tahini Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup full fat greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, water, tahini and lemon juice together until smooth.
* For younger babies: pulse burgers in food processor for a smooth puree.
* For you: stuff 2 burgers into a whole-wheat pita with tahini sauce, lettuce, tomato and red onion.