Curried Cashew Burgers

Curried Cashew Burgers

21 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Summer 2002

If you're looking for a veggie burger with a great “meaty” feel, these are the ones to try. The secret is toasted cashews, which give them amazing flavor as well as texture. The red lentils cook surprisingly fast, keeping the active time brief.

Ingredients 6 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 1 cup diced peeled carrots, (2-4 medium)
  • ½ cup red lentils, rinsed (see Ingredient note)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¾ cup raw cashews
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion, (1 medium)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ cup Cucumber-Mint Raita, optional (recipe follows)
  • ¾ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 6-inch whole-wheat pita breads
  • Lettuce & sliced cucumber, for garnish


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Combine 2 cups water, carrots, lentils and ¼ teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer until the lentils are tender and falling apart, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain in a colander, gently pressing out excess liquid. Transfer to a plate; let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, toast cashews in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder and the remaining 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Prepare Cucumber-Mint Raita, if using.
  5. Pulse the cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the lentils and the onion mixture; pulse until the mixture is cohesive but still somewhat textured. Transfer to a bowl and stir in breadcrumbs, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper; mix well.
  6. With dampened hands, form the mixture into six ½-inch-thick patties, using about ½ cup for each.
  7. Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 2 to 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until evenly browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Cut small ends off pitas and open the pockets. Serve burgers in pitas, with lettuce, cucumber and the raita, if desired.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 6. Wrap patties individually and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.
  • Red lentils can be found in many supermarkets and virtually all natural-foods stores.
  • Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 443 calories; 15 g fat(3 g sat); 10 g fiber; 65 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein; 66 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 3,565 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C; 69 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 697 mg sodium; 493 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (71% daily value), Iron (28% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 3½ starch, 1 vegetable, ½ lean meat, 2½ fat

Reviews 21

January 19, 2017
profile image
By: Pam Flores-Lowry
Everyone loves them! I never really used cashews in the recipe and they taste great! I usually make 12 and freeze them so I can save them for later. Great recipe!
June 24, 2016
profile image
By: EatingWell User
great flavor My husband and I love these burgers so I make them often. We normally eat a lot of Indian food and appreciate flavorful foods so these do the trick. I tweaked the recipe a bit- I add 1/4 teaspoon tumeric to the lentils when cooking and a tomato (sort of like making dal). I also add curry leaves to the onions/garlic/curry powder when frying. When I make the raita I only use yogurt, lime juice and crushed garlic. These patties also go very nice with fresh hummus instead of raita. Pros: easy to make, nutritious, vegan Cons: lots of steps
May 05, 2016
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Part of a diet meal plan, but 6 servings!!!!! Got to love that a recipe designed for a diet meal plan is completely impractical unless you have a spouse and several children. How are you supposed to eat healthy and eat less, this is the case in multiple websites and recipes but this is when I needed to rant. You can't even scale it down, unless you suggest prepping a meal with 1/6th of a clove of garlic or having a burger everyday for 6 days meaning the rest of the meal plan is pointless.
July 29, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Fantastic This is a delicious recipe - fantastic flavor. I did feel it had a bit more of a consistency of a falafel than a burger, but stuffed in a pita with mixed greens and the raita that is suggested in the recipe, it doesn't matter. It tastes delicious. And even my meat-only eating husband conceded that these were delicious. Pros: Relatively easy to make, delicious tasting, healthy Cons: Mine formed burgers well, but did seem to fall apart easily
January 13, 2015
profile image
By: Miss X
Flavorful Burger These were surprisingly quite tasty. I prefer them without the pita. Next time I will make them into balls and put in the pita. They pack a lot of flavor. Pros: Flavorful, easy to make can make ahead and cook later Cons: Pita is too much, I prefer them plain
September 17, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
I really like them. I normally double the amount of beans- I use black beans- and add more cashews.
May 25, 2014
profile image
By: Jilary
Great flavor but mushy texture I've had my eye on this recipe for a while now and finally decided to make it. I couldn't find red lentils, so I used the green lentils that I had, which take longer to cook. I didn't want the carrots to be over-cooked, so I simmered the lentils for 25min before adding the carrots and simmering for an additional 15min. I also used 1/2 garam masala and 1/2 curry powder. Otherwise I followed the recipe. I enjoyed the flavor and found the cucumber mint riata to be light and refreshing. The texture was a bit mushy, so I would call this a patty as opposed to a burger, but it's still quite good. I liked the curry flavor paired with the toasted cashews and lentils. I also liked that these patties contained relatively few ingredients and were easy to put together. This was a wonderful dinner after working in the garden for a few hours. I thought a mojito seemed like a nature pairing given the flavors in the riata. Pros: Simple/few ingredients Cons: Mushy texture
January 21, 2014
profile image
By: susiekew
great taste, but mushy These burgers fulfilled some of the criteria for what I have been searching for. They are tasty, and can be frozen, both big pluses. However, they use a lot of dishes to make, but I could deal with that if the texture was firmer. I will try adding an egg to see if that helps, or perhaps some oatmeal instead of the breadcrumbs. Definitely worth tweaking, though. Pros: flavourful, freezable, nutritious Cons: uses a lot of dishes, mushy texture
May 16, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
great flavor Love the flavors of these burgers. I did these in the pan as the recipe called for, but even after a.good while, found them to be quite soft and mushy inside. I grilled a couple of them and had much better results. Might add some mushroom stems to this next time. Didn't use raita either...but it was awesome with some plain hummus spread on the bun. Pros: yummy, flavorful, fun Cons: mushy
More Reviews