This hearty burger will fulfill any meat lover. Stuffed with greens and loads of protein, then topped with the perfect homemade pizza sauce, it’s an all-in-one type of meal! Recipe Reprinted with permission from Vegan Burgers and Burritos by Sophia DeSantis, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017.
Put all the ingredients listed under pizza sauce above in a bowl and mix well. (see notes below for some tips)
To Make the Burger:
Saute the mushrooms, kale and garlic with broth or oil over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid has evaporated (about 10 to 15 minutes). Set aside.
Place the the lentils, bread crumbs, oats, walnuts, sauce, thyme, basil, oregano and salt in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. You want a crumble-like texture. Check to make sure the mixture sticks together, and if it doesn’t, pulse some more, but make sure it doesn’t turn into a purée. You can also add a bit more pizza sauce if it doesn’t stick yet, however, you don’t want it to be too wet.
Place the mushrooms, kale and garlic into the processor, making sure not to add any leftover juices, and pulse a few times until everything is well chopped and incorporated. If the ingredients aren’t mixed after a few pulses, put the mixture in a bowl and mix it with your hands.
Place the mixture into a bowl, and put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes; an hour is best. Making this the day before and letting it sit overnight is optimal. This helps all flavors marinate and leads to a sturdier burger.
To cook, shape the mixture into patties. If you’re not using a nonstick pan, then you may want to prepare the pan by brushing it with a tad of oil to avoid sticking. Place the patties in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat for 15 minutes on each side. Pans and stovetops vary, so begin to check the patties at 10 minutes. If you try to slide your spatula under a patty and it won’t give, then it isn’t ready and needs to cook longer.
You can also bake the patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 375F (191C) for about 20 to 25 minutes on each side. Allow the patties to cool and set for 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve on buns with the toppings of your choice.
Quick-and-Easy Pizza Sauce:
The recipe above yields more sauce than you will need for the burger. Store leftovers in the fridge.
This sauce is best if made ahead of time and the flavors are allowed to marinate. This also helps the dried herbs to soften and allows the spices to fully combine with the tomato paste. If your sauce seems a little “gritty,” then allow it to sit longer. You can speed this up by heating it slightly.
You can use water instead of broth, but the broth adds great flavor.
Add more or less crushed red pepper to achieve the level of spice you prefer, or leave it out altogether.
Add more or less broth for the consistency you like.
Kids - Make patties into a smaller slider size or into nuggets. Serve sauce on the side as a dipper.To Serve - I personally toasted the buns, and served with slices of onion, more pizza sauce, and some fresh baby spinach. You can also chop up the patties and serve over a bed of fresh greens and favorite dressing or sauce for a salad option.Nutrition Information - Only includes the patties (i.e. does not include buns for serving)