Black Rice Vegan Burger (Gluten-free)

My original vegan burger has been such a hit that everyone has been asking me if I could create a whole line of them in a variety of flavors. Well, here you go! This is the first in that line: This vegan burger is gluten-freeto boot! I make it with forbidden black rice (seriously that’s what it’s called, you can find out more about it here!) and sautéed eggplant–everything else is the same (so I still have my beloved lentils and oats in there!)— and it is outrageously delicious! The black rice is rich and nutty in flavor (it’s also beautiful, it’s a deep dark purplish black) and keeps the perfect chewy texture that I love in my original vegan burger. The sautéed eggplant is almost “smoky” and keeps that umami “meaty-ness” that is essential for a great burger. I like to serve it with my homemade BBQ sauce for an extra kick! I have to admit David and I can’t decide which of these 2 vegan burgers we like the best…I guess that means we’ll just have to alternate…until I create more, that is!

Watch me make it in my kitchen Here! It comes out perfectly every time!

Cuisinicity Tip 1: I like using black beluga lentils for this recipe, but French lentils or brown lentils will do too. Just follow package instructions as each is a little different. You will need about ⅓ cup dry lentils to make the 1 cup cooked lentils you need. I personally use canned organic black beluga lentils (see links for a couple brands below recipe).
Author: Catherine Katz
Serves: 4 patties
  • Chewy Base:
  • ½ cup dry forbidden black rice
  • “Meatiness”:
  • 1 cup canned black lentils, rinsed and well drained (packed!)*
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 small eggplant, rinsed and diced (makes 2 cups raw diced)
  • Binding:
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt


  2. Preheat a shallow medium pan and when very hot, add the 2 cups diced eggplant and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and cook until tender for 12-15 minutes and transfer to a cup and set aside. You will end up with 2/3 cup cooked diced eggplant.
  3. Meanwhile, place ½ cup dry black rice in 1¾ cups boiling water and cook uncovered, until water has evaporated (about 20 minutes). Transfer to a cup and set aside to cool. You will end up with 1 cup cooked black rice.
  4. Place the rolled oats in the bowl of a small food processor and grind until medium fine (it shouldn’t be a powder) and set aside.
  5. Place the canned (or cooked) lentils (make sure they are well rinsed and drained and they are well packed in that cup!) in food processor and grind, scraping the sides to form a paste.
  6. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil and grind again until smooth. Transfer to a cup and set aside.You will end up with about ¾ cup pureed lentils.
  8. Place the cooked eggplant, ground oats and pureed lentils in a medium bowl and stir gently with a spoon.
  9. Add tomato paste, dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder and salt and stir again.
  10. Add the cooked black rice last and, using your hands, “dig in” and work the mixture so that it forms a ball.
  11. Form into 4 equal patties (I like to use a big ice-cream scooper to make them more regular & compact and finish forming the patty with my hands). you can refrigerate or freeze at this point until ready to grill.
  12. When ready to grill, drizzle a little olive oil in a large non-stick skillet and heat over high heat. When the pan is very hot, place the patties on the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  13. Optional: Use a pastry brush to coat each patty with BBQ sauce (if using) on both sides (about 1 Tbsp per patty) and serve on soft wheat buns with garnishings.

You can find ready-cooked organic black beluga lentils HERE and HERE!


Also, here is the Black Rice I used.  There are others, and you can find this one on Amazon or at your health food store.