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5 from 3 votes

Cauliflower Lentil Cakes

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. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Bigger Bites
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free, plant-based, vegan
Servings: 14 cakes
Author: Ashley


  • 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
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup heaping stemmed and finely chopped lacinato "Dino" kale
  • 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.