These hearty, healthy red lentil patties contain simple pantry ingredients and are naturally gluten-free, vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), and ready in about 35 minutes!
Hearty, Protein-Packed Lentil Patties
Whether you want a hearty lentil fritters appetizer or side, or a new plant-based burger patty, these versatile lentil patties are an excellent option. They’re made up of 11 ingredients (herbs and spices included) and packed with healthy plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
I’m no stranger to enjoy veggie-packed fritters; in fact, I’ve already shared cauliflower patties, veggie fritters, and millet fritters. These lentil patties have officially joined my rotation – and I love that they can be sized up and down (or even made into ‘balls’) based on whether you want a side or main.
In fact, I love using lentils of any kind in my diet; they’re a wonderful source of plant-based protein as well as copper, folate, manganese, phosphorous, iron, and zinc. I’ve shared a couple of red lentil recipes already, including this red lentil dahl and lentil bolognese – with a dozen more recipes for brown and green lentils too (links at the bottom of the post)!
These red lentil cakes are tender on the inside, with a lightly crispy outside. When combined with peppers, onion, and garlic, you get a delicious nutty, earthy flavor- ramped up with a blend of several herbs and spices. Best of all, this red lentil recipe is also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan!
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
- Red Lentils: If you want to use green or brown lentils, they’ll need an extra 10 minutes while cooking (with a little extra broth/water.)
- Vegetable Broth: Or salted water.
- Vegetables: I used a combination of red pepper, onion, and garlic.
- Chickpea flour: Used to help bind the patties. I haven’t tried this with any other flour, but it should work with many; regular AP flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, etc.
- Ground chia seeds: This will help to bind the patties and also adds protein.
- Herbs & Spices: I used fresh parsley, ground cumin, onion powder, salt & pepper, and red pepper flakes. This is fairly versatile to what herbs you have available.
- Oil: For frying- use neutral cooking oil.
How To Make Lentil Patties
Step 1: Cook the lentils
- First, rinse the red lentils in a sieve under running water to remove any debris. Then transfer the lentils to a large pot/pan along with vegetable broth (or salted water).
- Bring the broth to a boil and allow the lentils to simmer for about 15 minutes until they are tender and partially falling apart.
Step 2: Cook the veggies
- Meanwhile, add the onion, pepper, and garlic to a large heated skillet with oil. Fry over medium heat for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent (not browned).
Step 3: Shape and cook the patties
- Add the lentils, cooked veggies, spices, parsley, ground chia seeds, and flour to a food processor. Pulse several times until the mixture is combined but still has texture. Be careful not to over-process it, as you want it to be ‘chunky.’
- Form 10 lentil patties (around 40-50 g/ or 2 1/2-3 tbsp per cake) by hand.
- Fry them in a little oil (I used 2 tsp for four patties) in a large skillet. Cook for around 3 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.
Once cooked, serve the lentil fritters with your choice of sauce. I made a dip by combining 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter, 30 ml dill pickle juice, 10 ml olive brine, a little garlic, and smoked paprika (to taste). They also taste amazing with this yum yum sauce or this French onion dip.
How To Serve
These lentil cakes can be served as an appetizer, side, or main. Here are just a few of the ways I suggest enjoying these patties.
- In a pita with salad and your sauce of choice
- Served over a bed of salad – like this brown rice salad or leafy green salads
- Added to a tortilla wrap with salad
- As a lentil burger with your favorite salad veg and pickles or sauerkraut.
How To Store
Fridge: Store the leftover lentil patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Freeze: Pile the patties with layers of parchment paper between each and freeze in a freezer-safe bag/container for up to one month- thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat: To reheat the patties, you can do so in a skillet or within the oven until warmed through. Be careful not to burn them, though.
Can Lentil Fritters Be Prepared In Advance?
Yes, this should work. The patties can be shaped in advance and then covered with clingfilm in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook them. Alternatively, you can also freeze the shaped uncooked fritters for up to one month.
I haven’t tried to cook the patties from frozen, though it may work – with added cooking time (a few minutes).
Can I Cook These In An Air Fryer or Oven?
I haven’t yet tried cooking these in my Air-fryer or oven, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t work- although each method will affect how crispy the outside of the red lentil fritters are.
I suggest spraying/brushing them with a little oil and cooking at 360 °F/180 °C for around 12 minutes in an Air Fryer, flipping after 8 minutes.
If you want to try making them in the oven, bake for around 30 minutes, flipping half-way.
Recipe Notes & Variations
- You can experiment with different herbs and spices too; cilantro, cayenne, curry powder, etc.
- For crispier outsides feel free to press some breadcrumbs like panko (gluten-free, if needed) to the outside of the lentil fritters before cooking.
- You could also shape these lentil cakes into red lentil ‘meatballs’.
- Easily add more protein with a handful of walnuts or sunflower seeds added to the patties when processing the patty mixture.
Other Lentil Recipes
If you enjoyed these simple lentil fritters, you might enjoy these other green, brown, and red lentil recipes:
- The Best Vegan Enchiladas With Lentils
- Vegan Stuffed Eggplant With Lentils
- Vegan Gumbo With Okra & Lentils
- Easy Lentil Stew
- Vegan Moussaka with Lentils
- Vegan Lentil Bolognese Sauce
- Easy Taco Cups
If you give this lentil patties recipe a try, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing them.
- 3/4 cup (150 g) red lentils dry
- 1 cup (240-300 ml) vegetable broth or water
- 1 small (90 g) red pepper diced
- 1 small/medium (90 g) onion diced
- 2 large cloves of garlic chopped
- 4 tbsp (30 g) chickpea flour more if needed
- 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
- Oil for frying
- Watch the video in the post for easy visual instructions.
Cook the lentils
- Rinse the red lentils in a sieve under running water to remove any debris. Transfer them to a pot or pan along with 1 cup of vegetable broth. If using water, add a little salt. Bring to a boil and let the lentils simmer for about 15 minutes, or until they are soft and partially falling apart. There shouldn't be any broth or water left after cooking!
Cook the veggies
- Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a skillet and add the onion, pepper, and garlic. Fry over medium heat for a few minutes, until the onion is translucent (not browned).
Shape and cook the patties
- Once the lentils are cooked, add them to a food processor together with the cooked veggies, spices, parsley, ground chia seeds, and flour. Pulse a couple of times until the mixture is combined. You want to leave some texture, so do not over-process it.The mixture should be shapeable, if it's not, add a little more flour.
- Form 10 patties (each weighing between 40-50 grams - about 2 1/2 - 3 tablespoons), and fry them with a little oil (I used 2 teaspoons for 4 patties) in a skillet from both sides (about 3 minutes each side) until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with a dip of choice, and enjoy! I made a dip from 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter mixed with 30 ml dill pickle juice, 10 ml olive brine, a little garlic, and smoked paprika to taste.
Video Of The Recipe
- Flour: I haven't tried the recipe with any other flour, however, it should work with most flours (e.g. regular flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, etc.).
- Lentils: If using green or brown lentils, they need to cook at least 10 minutes longer, so you will need to add more water/broth.
- Veggies: You can use other veggies instead of red pepper, for example, zucchini, carrot, etc.
- Cooking method: I haven't tried cooking the patties in the air-fryer yet, but I would brush them with a little oil, and cook them at 360 ºF (180 ºC) for about 12 minutes, flipping after 8 minutes. If you want to try making them in the oven, then I would suggest the same temperature, but a baking time of about 30 minutes.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically