These cauliflower lentil cakes are packed with protein and incredibly versatile. They can be served on buns for a fun twist on a veggie burger, plated over generous smears of bitchin' sauce for a fancier look, or tucked into warm pita bread for a falafel-like sandwich.
I've learned a lot of things throughout my nearly nine years of blogging.
One of them being that you all LOVE a protein-packed recipe that can be made in big batches, frozen, and enjoyed for easy, reheat-and-eat nourishment during busy weeks.
For this reason, recipes for veggie patties/cakes consistently get loved on in terms of post views, comments, ratings, etc. Some of your favorites over the years have been this recipe and this recipe.
I've made it a goal to focus on bringing you more of the recipes you love this year. You all show your support through website visits, kind words, and helpful feedback, and it's important to me to pay it back (and forward) by creating recipes that you enjoy making.
With that in mind, I've been working on a few new recipes for veggie-based patties and cakes.
Honestly, I never know what to call these things, so I go back-and-forth.
Patties. Cakes. Patties. Cakes.
Which quickly morphs into pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake. True confession: Until I had Sloane, I thought the song was "patty cake, patty cake". Anyone else?
For this recipe in particular, I've settled on "cakes", so we'll stick with that description from here on out.
To make these herby, veggie-forward cakes, you'll start by cooking a cup of lentils. You can use green or brown lentils here. Your choice.
While the lentils cook, you'll also boil up several cups of cauliflower florets. You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower. I use frozen when I'm in a hurry, because it shaves off about 10 minutes (the time it takes to core and cut a head of cauliflower).
Once the lentils and cauliflower are ready, add them to a food processor along with rolled oats, ground flaxseed, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a few spices.
Pulse 15 to 20 times, stopping to scrape/fold the mixture inwards toward the blade, until the mixture is chunky and all ingredients are well incorporated.
The texture should look something like this...
To the lentil mixture, add finely chopped Dino kale, more rolled oats, chopped chives, chopped cilantro, and shelled hemp seeds.
Use a wooden spoon to thoroughly mix and fold to incorporate the latest additions.
Then, use a one-third cup measuring cup to scoop out and compact the lentil mixture. You'll want to really firmly pack the mixture into the measuring cup. This helps bind it together. Shake the cake loose and then gently form.
Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining mixture. You should have about 14 cakes.
Bake the lentil cakes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden-brown. There's no need to flip these while baking.
Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool slightly before serving.
There are so many ways to enjoy these veggie cakes, so feel free to get creative.
You can serve them over generous smears of bitchin' sauce, hummus, or your sauce of choice. I find this presentation to be the fanciest, so it can be a fun and easy way to dress these cakes up for a special event (e.g., date night).
You can also serve them tucked into slider buns (I love soft pretzel buns) and topped with mini cucumber slices, pickled red onion, and your sauce of choice (again, I recommend bitchin' sauce).
Cauliflower Lentil Cakes
- 1 cup green or brown lentils, picked through and thoroughly rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups small cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup heaping stemmed and finely chopped lacinato "Dino" kale
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh chives
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, tough stems removed
- ¼ cup shelled hemp seeds
- Add the rinsed lentils and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. If needed, add more water to keep the lentils submerged. Strain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and boil for 7 minutes, or until fork tender. Strain.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
- Add the cauliflower, cooked lentils,½ cup of the rolled oats, ground flaxseed, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, cumin, sea salt, cayenne pepper (if using), and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse 15 to 20 times, or until the mixture is chunky and all ingredients are well incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides halfway through pulsing.
- Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, and add the reserved ½ cup rolled oats, chopped kale, chives, cilantro, and hemp seeds. Use a spoon to mix well, ensuring all ingredients are evenly dispersed. The mixture should be damp but able to hold its shape.
- Use a ⅓-cup measuring cup to scoop out and compact ⅓ cup of the mixture. Firmly pack the mixture into the measuring cup. Then, shake out and form into a patty that is 1-inch thick and just shy of 3 inches in diameter. Transfer to the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture. You should have about 14 patties. (Note: the uncooked mixture is damp and can be a bit challenging to form and compact into patties, but I promise they're worth the effort.)
- Bake the patties for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden-brown and they feel gently set but not firm.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on the pan before moving. They'll continue to firm up as they cool.
- Serve these cakes over a smear of your favorite sauce (we love these with bitchin' sauce), tucked into soft pretzel slider buns, or however you prefer.