Ultimate Vegan Meatball Burger

Ultimate Meatball Burger

  • Author: Sophia DeSantis
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 burgers 1x


A deliciously hearty burger to fulfill any meat-lover, topped with the perfect homemade pizza sauce, for an all-in-one type of meal! 



Meatball Burger Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cups chopped kale, stems removed
  • 1 tbsp  chopped garlic
  • Low-sodium veggie broth (about ½ cup or drizzle of oil ,for sautéing
  • 1 ½ cups cooked brown or green lentils
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (gluten-free if needed)
  • ½ cup oats (gluten-free if needed)
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (or sunflower seeds for nut-free option)
  • ¼ cup  Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp (2 g) dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Quick-and-Easy Pizza Sauce 

  • 1 cup (230 g) tomato paste
  • ½ cup (118 ml) low-sodium veggie broth
  • 1 tbsp (2 g) dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp (2 g) dried basil
  • 2 tsp (1 g) dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ to 1 tsp crushed red pepper, optional (see notes)
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper


  1. Sauté the mushrooms, kale and garlic with broth or oil over medium heat until the mushrooms are soft and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Place the the lentils, bread crumbs, oats, walnuts/seeds, sauce, thyme, basil, oregano and salt in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. You want a crumble like texture. Check to make sure the mixture sticks together, and if it doesn’t, pulse some more, but make sure it doesn’t turn into a purée. You can also add a bit more pizza sauce if it doesn’t stick yet, however, you don’t want it to be too wet.
  3. Place the mushrooms, kale and garlic into the processor, making sure not to add any leftover juices, and pulse a few times until everything is well chopped and incorporated. If the ingredients aren’t mixed after a few pulses, put the mixture in a bowl and mix it with your hands. Place the mixture into a bowl, and put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes; an hour is best. Making this the day before and letting it sit overnight is optimal. This helps all flavors marinate and leads to a sturdier burger.
  4. To cook, shape the mixture into patties. If you’re not using a nonstick pan, then you may want to prepare the pan by brushing it with a tad of oil to avoid sticking. Place the patties in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat for 15 minutes on each side. Pans and stovetops vary, so begin to check the patties at 10 minutes. If you try to slide your spatula under a patty and it won’t give, then it isn’t ready and needs to cook longer. You can also bake the patties on a parchment  

     -lined cookie sheet at 375F for about 20 to 25 minutes on each side.

  5. Allow the patties to cool and set for 5 to 7 minutes. Serve on buns with the toppings of your choice.

Quick and Easy Pizza Sauce Instructions

  • Put the tomato paste, broth, thyme, basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, maple syrup, crushed red pepper and black pepper in a bowl and mix well.



Kids: Make patties into a smaller slider size or into nuggets. Serve sauce on the side as a dipper.

Sauce Notes: This sauce is best if made ahead of time and the flavors are allowed to marinate. This also helps the dried herbs to soften and allows the spices to fully combine with the tomato paste. If your sauce seems a little “gritty,”then allow it to sit longer. You can speed this up by heating it slightly. You can use water instead of broth, but the broth adds great flavor. Add more or less broth for the consistency you like. Add more or less crushed red pepper to achieve the level of spice you prefer, or leave it out altogether.

  • Category: Entree, vegan
  • Cuisine: Italian
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