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Easy to make and delicious to eat, these healthy lentil cakes are great served with a fresh yogurt sauce for an appetizer or as part of a fuller meal. Packed with plant-based protein they are one tasty way to get the goodness in.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Green cooked lentils: You can use any lentils you’d like. Make sure to cook them according to package instructions. While the recipe does work with red lentils, they can be more soft, so you may need to add more oats to give them better structure if you use the red variety.
- Onions and garlic: Sautéed for a rich layer of flavor in each bite.
- Mushrooms: Crimini, or Baby Bella, mushrooms are widely available and perfect to use in this recipe for a great earthy flavor.
- Oats: Use rolled oats to give the lentil cakes texture. This makes them bulky while keeping the recipe gluten-free. You can however substitute with breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs.
- Eggs: To bind the ingredients together. To make these lentil cakes vegan, you can substitute with a flax egg.
- Spices: Paprika and salt.
How to make lentil cakes
- Cook the onion until soft.
- Add mushrooms and cook until brown before stirring in the garlic.
- Add the mushroom mix and the rest of the lentil cake ingredients to a food processor.
- Mix until combined and the mixture holds well.
- Shape the mixture into patties to make the lentil cakes.
- Cook on both sides in a skillet until golden brown.
- Place the fried patties onto kitchen paper to absorb any oil and serve with yogurt sauce or tzatziki.
Tips for making lentil cakes
- Fry the onions, mushrooms and garlic. You might be tempted to skip that part since everything gets cooked later on with the lentils. But this first step adds so much more flavor by releasing the aromatics of the raw ingredients first before blending.
- Feel the texture. You’re looking for pasty texture to start to form a ball in the food processor when combined. It should hold well together before cooking, so feel free to adjust as needed if it doesn’t stay compact.
- Make it in less time. You can buy pre cooked lentils to make these patties super quick to make, or batch cook your lentils as they will be good to use for about a week.
- Oven bake or fry. It’s best to pan fry these lentil cakes as they get nice and crispy, but you can oven bake them at 350F for around 30 minutes if you prefer.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! You can form the patties and keep them covered in the fridge for up to 4 days until you are ready to cook them. Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 4 days and can be reheated gently in a skillet or in the oven.
If you want to freeze these lentil cakes, it’s best to cook them first. Let them cool before freezing them in an airtight container with the patties separated with parchment paper. Thaw them in the fridge before reheating.
These are great when served the creamy lemony dill yogurt dip as a simple appetizer, and they are also great served in pita or even as burgers with toppings. Serve them as a main with your favorite sides like:
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Cauliflower with Tahini
Garlic Roasted Potatoes
So simple and easy to make, these protein loaded lentil cakes are great for a healthy appetizer, lunch or main meal. Perfect for dipping, this is a recipe the whole family will love.
More similar appetizers:
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For the cakes:
For the yogurt sauce:
- ½ cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- ½ lemon zested and juiced
- 1 garlic clove finely grated
- Kosher salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and 1 tablespoon olive and cook until mushrooms are golden brown, 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Remove from heat and wipe out skillet.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add mushroom mixture, lentils, oats, eggs, smoked paprika and salt. Process until the mixture is fully incorporated and starts to ball. Roll into golf ball sized spheres and press down slightly to make a cake-like patty.
- Make the yogurt sauce by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl, and season to taste.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in wiped skillet over medium high heat. Add patties, working in batches, and cook until golden brown, 3 minutes per side. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Serve with yogurt sauce immediately.