Lentil Cakes

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free, Corn-Free, Sugar-Free

Cost of Ingredients: $           Time: 45 minutes

Can we talk about lentils for a moment? These unassuming little legumes are incredibly versatile, easy to prepare, affordable, and pack a nice little protein punch. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is a dish with a bit of a middle-eastern background. I first came across lentil cakes at a restaurant in NH, and this simple version is my own take on that dish. I serve them as a side with a protein and vegetable, usually, but they’re also great on a salad at lunchtime!


I use whatever lentils I have on hand, usually a mix of red and green, though beluga or black ones work just as well. They should be rinsed and sorted, and then cooked in boiling water for about 20-25 minutes. Sadly the red lentils lose a bit of their bright color in this process, but they will be delicious, I promise!


In a large bowl I mix the lentils with black beans (I buy canned beans for simplicity, but if you plan ahead you can certainly soak dried beans overnight and add them to this recipe!), and some shredded cabbage. In this version I used a cole slaw mix I had on hand, but shredded red cabbage would work also.


Stir it all up and add the spices. Feel free to experiment with this step, this recipe can take on many different flavor profiles!


I use an ice cream scoop to portion out the cakes, it seems to be a good size, but two tablespoons and your hands work well also!


I usually make way more lentil cakes than I need, they freeze so well! Just portion them out onto a parchment-covered sheet tray, and freeze. Once completely frozen (after a few hours), move them into a zip lock back, since they will have frozen individually on the tray they won’t stick together!


Sear the cakes with a bit of olive oil on both sides until nice and crispy on the outside. Enjoy with a bit of spicy mayo (or spicy vegenaise).


2 cups lentils (dry, rinsed and sorted)*

1 can black beans

1 cup shredded cabbage

2 tsp salt

pepper to taste

2 tsp chili powder

pinch of freshly ground dry chilis (optional)

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp curry

1/4 tsp coriander

pinch ginger

1/2 tsp sriracha

2 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)

  1. Cook lentils (about 8 cups of water for 2 cups lentils) 20-25 minutes until tender, drain.
  2. In large bowl add lentils, beans, and cabbage. Mix.
  3. Add spices, combine until mixed well.
  4. With ice cream scoop measure cakes onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Pan-fry the amount of cakes you would like to enjoy now in olive oil until crispy on either side (depending on heat and type of pan, about 5 minutes per side). Flatten them a bit with a spatula after you flip them.
  6. Serve with spicy mayo (or vegenaise) for dipping.
  7. Freeze any cakes you would like to save for later. Transfer to a ziplock bag after they are fully frozen, 2-4hours. These can be pan-fried straight from the freezer later, just adjust the time a little.

*This recipe is easily cut in half or doubled

**Depending on how well cooked the lentils are, these cakes can fall apart a little (softer lentils = sticker). If you would like to avoid this, add about 1/4 cup of GF Flour at step 2. This won’t change the flavor, but they will hold together more.


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