Traditions revisited: lentil burgers

So I am back. Or at least I will try to be back. Last semester at work was crazy with teaching and research and I decided to take a break from the blog. I want this blog to be a relaxing oasis, not a source of stress, so I have been posting a bit on Intsagram and Facebook and Twitter, but I did not really do much for the blog. Now it is the new year, teaching is behind me for the time being and I will try to get back to some version of a regular schedule.

Since it is the start of the year, I will start by posting a recipe for recycling lentils. As you might know, lentils are always eaten on the first day of the year in Italy because they are believed to “bring money”. Here you can find more about it. So what do you do when you have leftovers? Delicious veggie burgers is the answer!

You can start from the leftover lentils and simply add breadcrumbs to get a stiff and dry mixture. Form into patties and pan fry them. And you are done.

I decided to serve them with leftover cotechino (a traditional Italian sausage/cooked salami that is always present on the table at New Years) that I sliced and crisped in a hot pan with no added fats, and steamed spinach, because you always need something green on the table.

Otherwise, you can go the burger route and serve them in a bun with a slice of tomato, lettuce and your other favorite burger toppings. Either way it’s going to be an hit with vegetarians and meat lovers alike!

Traditions revisited: lentil burgers


  • 2 cups leftover lentils
  • 1-2 cup breadcrumbs
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. With a fork smash the lentils and mix them with the breadcrumbs. You should get a dry and rather stiff mixture. This will require more or less breadcrumbs depending on how wet your lentils are, so adjust the amount of breadcrumbs accordingly.
  2. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Form in small patties dusting with more breadcrumbs if needed.
  4. Pan fry in hot oil until they are warm, about 3-4 minutes per side.