Thai Basil Burger

Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Erin Primer

Food & Nutrition Services Director

San Luis Coastal Unified School District

San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Erin Primer, food and nutrition services director at San Luis Coastal Unified School District, received a grant from the state of California to educate students about plant-forward eating. She made this burger for a virtual cooking class, combining red lentils, sweet potatoes, oats, eggs and spices, then tested it with high schoolers. Even the beef eaters loved it and it’s now on the menu.



1 cup dried red lentils

2 cups shredded, peeled sweet potatoes

2/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup chopped Thai basil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

1½ tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. soy sauce                                                                                                     

½ lime, juiced

1 cup oats

1 egg

6 whole grain burger buns

1 apple, sliced

Cabbage slaw

2 cups cole slaw mix

½ cup chopped sweet peppers

3 tbsp. mayonnaise

¼ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar


  1. For burgers, in saucepan, combine lentils with 3 cups water. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes until lentils are cooked but still firm. Strain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine sweet potato, cilantro, basil, garlic, curry powder, ginger, garlic powder, soy sauce and lime juice. Add 2 cups cooked lentils. Add egg and oats; mix to combine well.
  3. Form ½ cup of mixture into ball and tightly flatten to form a burger patty. (Mixture will be slightly wet.) Repeat to make six patties; place each patty onto parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile for slaw, in small bowl, mix well cole slaw mix, sweet peppers, mayonnaise, salt and vinegar; set aside.
  5. Heat a cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan and heat. Add one to two patties; cook 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Repeat with remaining patties.
  6. To serve, top each bun with a cooked burger patty and an apple slice; add ¼ cup slaw mixture on top.

Photo courtesy of Erin Primer

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