These easy lentil patties with butternut squash are crisp on the outside and flavorful on the inside. Serve these lentil cakes as veggie burgers, appetizers, as a side, or on top of salads for protein!
I’m constantly on the hunt for good gluten-free lentil patties. If you’re also GF + plant-based, then you know the struggle is real.
Restaurants almost never have veggie patties without breadcrumbs, the frozen ones from the supermarket are just okay and usually filled with ingredients you don’t want to eat or need, and homemade ones often fall apart.
So today we’re fixing that problem and whipping up these delicious little lentil patties made with butternut squash and quinoa flakes. Because we all deserve the perfect veggie burger!
What Are Lentil Patties Made Of?
With all the cooking I do, you might expect that I make my beans from scratch, but funny enough lentils are the only beans that I cook. Other times I reach for the canned variety because they’re quick, convenient and always save me in a protein pinch.
BUT cooking lentils from scratch is definitely the way to go. Not only is it super easy, but it also doesn’t take too long. You just add them into a pot with some water and let them simmer — just like you would rice or quinoa.
I cook mine for about 30 minutes and like to throw in a bay leaf for some added flavor!
I absolutely LOVE roasted butternut squash. The sweetness brought out from caramelizing is so delicious! I love the flavor that roasted butternut squash brings to butternut squash soup, this butternut squash and apple soup, and black bean enchiladas. And it’s the perfect addition to these burgers.
The squash — which we’re roasting with smoked paprika and garlic — add a touch of moisture for the burger, helps to bind them together and balances out the flavor with that subtle sweetness.
Plus, we’re also adding in more fiber (i.e. making the burgers more filling), while still keeping them light and semi low-calorie.
How to Make Lentil Patties
In my many years of testing veggie patty recipes, the best method I have found for cooking them is baking them. I like to bake mine for about 30 minutes, sometimes longer, and always flipping them halfway through.
I think baking works best because you’re able to dry the patties out a little bit. Most of the time if you cook a burger on a grill or you just pan sear them, they don’t get fully cooked. The patties either stick to your grill or squish out the sides of your bun when you bite into them.
That’s not what we want. We want a veggie burger that will hold its shape, is crispy on the outside and still tender on the inside. Just like these butternut squash lentil patties!
Tips for the Best Lentil Cakes
There’s no inherent “secret” to making perfect lentil patties at home, but I do think you need to keep a few things in mind:
- your spices
- your salt levels
- your dry ingredients
- your veggies
You want to make sure that you’re spicing these lentil cakes thoroughly (usually more than you might expect), you’re salting them enough (again, enhancing flavor), you’re adding a good amount of dry ingredients to help them stick together and you’re using vegetables that will add moisture as well as flavor.
Ways to Serve Lentil Patties
As you can probably tell from the pictures, the patties I made were on the smaller side. I did that purposely because I was looking for vegetarian lentil cakes that could be enjoyed in multiple ways.
I love dipping these lentil patties as a quick snack. Putting them on top of a salad to add protein to my lunch. Use them like I would falafel in a wrap. And even crumbling them up and putting them on a piece of toast.
The smaller size is also faster to cook, which is always nice!
You could absolutely make these lentil patties a bit bigger if you’re going for that traditional “burger” feel. They might need a bit more time in the oven, but otherwise, you’ll follow the exact same method as I outline below, just shape them into larger patties.
So now that you have the perfect gluten-free lentil cakes to try, what are you waiting for? 😉 I recommend skipping into your kitchen today and whipping these up!
These lentil patties work well for meal prep — can easily be reheated in the toaster oven — and can also be frozen. And like I said, they’re great for lunch, dinner or a quick snack!
More Veggie Burger Recipes to try:
Butternut Squash Lentil Patties
- 1/2 cup dry green lentils
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash about 1 small
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder divided
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika divided
- 1 teaspoon sea salt divided
- 2/3 cup quinoa flakes divided
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 cup chopped spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Add lentils, water and bay leaf into a small saucepan. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils are soft and have absorbed all the water.
- While the lentils are cooking, heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the butternut squash in the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, paprika and sea salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the squash is tender.
- Remove the squash from the oven, place in a separate bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside and turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.
- Once everything is done cooking, allow it to cool for 5 minutes then transfer to the bowl of a food processor and add the rest of the spices and 1/3 cup of quinoa flakes. Pulse to combine, scraping down the sides as needed (about 12 pulses). Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and fold to combine with a spatula.*
- Form the mixture into small patties and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Broil at the end if you want a little more browning, but they definitely don't need it.