Spicy Ethiopian Burgers (GF & oil-free)

I am seriously addicted to Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew and have been looking at different ways I could use the Berbere spice blend which is the base of this stew in new ways.  That’s how these burgers were born.  They are spicy, rich and bitey, and provide a massive flavour punch.  

Although they take a little time from start to finish because we are cooking the lentils, they are simple to make and the flavour is terrific. 

Do share this recipe with your friends and don’t forget to tag me on IG or FB if you do make these burgers – I love seeing people’s creations!

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Prep time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hr 30 minutes
(Makes 9 burgers)


200g (7oz) Brown lentils
400ml (13.5floz) veggie broth
150g (5.2oz) jumbo oats (milled to a fine consistency)
½ finely chopped onion
6 cloves finely chopped garlic
20g (0.7oz) tomato paste
2tsp Berbere spice blend
1tsp sweet paprika
2 medium grated carrots
2 tbsp tahini or other nut/seed button
2 handfuls spinach



  1. In a medium sized pot water fry onion and garlic until caramelised
  2. Add broth, lentils, berbere, tomato paste, paprika and bring to the boil
  3. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender
  4. Remove the lid and cook 20 – 30 mins on a medium heat until liquid reduced to a thick gravy.  It is important that there is not much moisture left or the mixture will be too wet to form the burgers.
  5. Mash the mixture to break up some of the lentils.  You don’t want it pureed because the texture is important.
  6. Add carrots and spinach and cook for 5 minutes until the mixture is thick
  7. In a large bowl add the lentil mixture, nut butter and then the milled oats
  8. Form into 9 1.5cm (3/4 inch) patties and place onto parchment paper. Transfer to the fridge for at least 1hr to allow the burgers to set and solidify – this makes them easier to grill and bake.
  9. I baked the burgers on parchment in a preheated 200°c /180°c fan / 356°f oven for 30 – 40 minutes, but you could definitely try grilling or frying these if you fancy.
  10. Tastes great with simple toppings and sauces as these are some spicy burgers!

Watch me make them:


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