Vegan (or meatless) burgers have gained massive popularity over the last few years and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down! Athletes are doing it, major fast-food chains are offering meatless options, and many grocery stores now have sections dedicated to vegan alternatives. However, as the demand continues to grow, so do the options for vegan alternatives. So how do you know which one to choose? In this article, we’ll go through the best options for vegan burgers and why we chose them.
Before we get into our favorite burgers, let’s quickly discuss why a vegan alternative might be better for you. Many people think that “going vegan” is a complete lifestyle change and you now have to completely avoid meats. But that’s not the case. A lot of people substitute vegan options for certain meals throughout the day, but then still have their meats when they crave it.
Switching over to vegan foods isn’t easy for many people because we’ve become so accustomed to having meat in our daily lives. However, with the proper alternatives, you can fill those cravings with a number of vegan options. Meatless options not only provide health benefits but reducing the amount of meat we consume helps our environment. How? Mainly through the production of meat. Beef burgers produce a ton of CO2 emissions (one burger takes 50kg of CO2) and waste thousands of liters throughout the product process (one burger uses 2,500 liters of water).
How We Ranked Our Picks
Below are the key features we looked at when choosing our top vegan burger picks:
For the most part, anyone choosing a vegan burger over a beef burger is going to want to know what the nutritional content and macros consists of. Although vegan burgers won’t provide the same type of proteins or fats that meat does, they will still give you a healthy portion of plant-based protein as well as fiber. We made sure to look at all the contents of each vegan burger to ensure you’re going to be happy with the macro breakdown.
So much of the food we eat today comes with processed ingredients that the majority of us can’t even pronounce. When choosing a vegan burger, we wanted to make sure that all the ingredients included were natural and provided health benefits to our consumers.
Appearance & Texture
Anyone who has cooked or grilled vegan burgers before knows that trying to hold the patty together can be difficult because of the ingredients involved. So we also made sure that the texture and appearance of burgers were solid and easy to cook, without containing artificial ingredients.
It can be very tough to replicate a real burger, but with the amount of vegan burgers being created today, we’re getting pretty close! Taste is probably one of the most important factors for people when it comes to their meals, so we made sure that our picks included tasty options based on the ingredients included.
10 Best Vegan Burgers
If you are looking for healthy vegan burger options to stock up on for your everyday meal, or a quick-fix, or for your packed lunch, there are some options available on Amazon. While some veggie burgers come in the form of a burger mix, a good number are available as patties.
Furthermore, the most common ones are frozen, and all you have to do is thaw and cook, but a select few come already cooked. Here are our top 6 picks for vegan burgers:
1. Best Budget Choice: Vegan Burger Veggie Six
Oats, Pinto Beans, Black Beans, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Celery, Potatoes, Organic Brown Rice, Tomatoes, Onions, Leeks, Salt.
The Vegan Six mix is a burger mix that can make 2-3 large burger patties that are about 3/8” thick. It is wholesome and highly nutritious as it is made with a minimal range of natural vegetables and grains. It makes low-carbohydrate burger patties that are rich in fiber.
Vegan six burger mix is allergen-free as it does not contain soy, dairy products, nuts, or gluten. Also, it does not contain GMOs, additives, preservatives, or chemicals. Therefore, it is suitable for both kids and adults, whether at home or on the go.
To cook it, mix a cup of the burger mix with 2/3 cups of hot water and stir. Leave it for 5-8 minutes. Preheat the pan and sauté each side for 6-8 minutes.
- Highly nutritious
- Makes tasty burgers
- Quick fix, whether at home or on the go.
- Has a conspicuous oniony taste
2. Best Premium Choice: Cargill Plant-Based Burger patties
Purified water, pea protein, sunflower oil, coconut oil, natural flavors, methylcellulose, carrageen, yeast extract, dried vinegar, sugar, salt, potassium chloride, and cultured dextrose.
The patties are delivered frozen, in a container that is insulated with dry ice. Each container of the Cargill plant-based burgers contains two 4-ounce patties, and ideal for vegans and vegetarians. They are non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and do not contain synthetic colors or artificial flavors. The patties are high protein (each patty contains 20g protein).
These burger patties are easy to cook on a skillet. All you have to do is heat the skillet on medium heat and cook each side for 4-5 minutes until the patties are fully browned. If cooking in the oven, cook until the patty’s internal temperature is at 165F.
The manufacturer recommends against cooking these veggie burgers in the microwave. Leftovers should either be discarded or stored in the fridge. Once thawed, the burgers should be used within 12 days.
- 100% vegan
- Gluten-free, non-GMO, preservatives free
- High protein
- Easy to cook
- Great taste and flavor
3. Best Overall Choice: Beyond Burger Plant-Based Burger Patties
Pea Protein Isolate, Natural Flavors, Gum Arabic, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Water, Sunflower Oil, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Salt, Succinic Acid, Non-GMO Modified Food Starch, Cellulose derived from Bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato starch, beetroot juice extract, Ascorbic Acid, Annatto Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Citrus Fruit Extract.
These burger patties are made with a wide range of ingredients. While they are plant-based, a number of the ingredients are non-organic. However, the patties have a juicy taste with a meaty texture. Each of them oozes red juice due to the beetroot juice extract incorporated in the recipe. The Beyond Burger plant-based burger patties are soy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Their fat content is about 35% less than that of a regular ground beef burger patty.
- Has a meaty taste
- Non-GMO, soy-free, and gluten-free
- Has a lower fat content than regular beef burger patties
- Easy to prepare
- Has an unpleasant odor
Water, cooked black beans, cooked brown rice, onions, vegetable oil, corn, soy flour, tomatoes, onion powder, wheat gluten, egg whites, bulgur wheat, green chilies, calcium caseinate, corn starch. It also contains 2% spices, including tomato powder, tomato juice, salt, garlic powder, soy sauce powder, jalapenos peppers, gum Arabic, onion, carrot juice concentrate, citric acid, xanthan gum, paprika, turmeric, and cilantro.
Allergens: Gluten, dairy, soy, eggs
The Morning Star Farms Veggie Burgers are black beans based. They contain a wide range of vegetables and highly nutritious. However, they contain soy, wheat, eggs, and milk; therefore, may not be ideal for people with any of these allergies. In addition, they contain eggs and milk, which makes them less than ideal for strictly vegan people. These burgers have no flavors or artificial colors.
Each patty has a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates for a balanced diet. The range of spices incorporated in these burgers gives it a delicious savory taste. The burger can be enjoyed on its own or layered up with a vegan bun or vegetables.
They are easy to prepare by either heating on a skillet, microwave, oven, or grill. The patties come packaged in a resealable bag, with each package containing four burger patties. It is best to store them in the freezer.
- Highly nutritious
- Ideal for a balanced diet
- Delicious meaty and savory taste
- Easy to prepare
- Not strictly vegan as it contains milk and eggs
Water, soy protein concentrate, wheat gluten, onions, canola oil, soy protein isolate, yeast extract, methylcellulose, malt extract, grain flour (amaranth, millet, quinoa), dried garlic, distilled vinegar, natural flavors, cane sugar, spice extracts, pea protein, and spices.
Allergens: soy and wheat
The Gardein beefless burger is tasty, nutritious, and easy to cook. It is made with a wide range of plant-based ingredients, including various grain flours, herbs, oils, and spices. Each serving (85g) contains 14g of protein. Therefore, these beefless burger patties are ideal for people keen to incorporate high protein meals in their diet.
The patties are easy to prepare and get done within 3 minutes. You can either toss them on a barbeque grill, oven, microwave, or over a skillet. They have a rich beef taste and flavor.
- Dairy-free and strictly vegan
- Easy to cook within 3 minutes
- Taste like real meet
- Have soy and wheat
Mycoprotein, wheat flour, sunflower oil, niacin, thiamine, iron, sunflower oil, water, potato protein, pea fiber, wheat starch, wheat gluten, calcium chloride, calcium acetate, chili flakes, yeast extract, parsley, salt, onion powder, tomato powder, cayenne pepper, white pepper carrageenan, rice flour, natural flavors, paprika, sage, leavening bicarbonate, sodium alginate
The Quorn meatless burger patties come in a pack of 4 frozen patties. They offer balanced nutrition as each patty contains 8g of protein, 5g fat, 3g dietary fiber, and 14g carbohydrates. They are relatively low in saturated fats and a great choice for people keen on a low-fat diet. The Quorn vegan beef patties are soy-free and non-GMO. However, they contain wheat, so they are not suitable for gluten-intolerant people.
They are easy to cook. You can either bake them in the oven for 19 minutes at 425F or in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. Some people prefer to cook them until golden brown on a skillet. The manufacturer recommends that you keep them frozen and only thaw when you are ready to cook.
- 100% vegan
- A balanced diet on their own
- Can be consumed on their own or with a salad
- Rich in protein and low in saturated fat
- Soy-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO
- Contains gluten
Premium shiitake mushrooms, cashew nuts, organic, kosher vegetables, cashew nuts, Brazilian nuts.
The Burris Country vegan burger mix is a meatless burger mix alternative suitable for a vegan, paleo, or vegetarian diet. It is soy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Also, it does contain preservatives or chemical additives. This mix incorporates natural ingredients for a healthy, nutritious burger.
Premium shiitake mushrooms are the base ingredient, and they give it a smoky, earthy flavor. The mushrooms also provide probiotics benefits. The patty up burger mix incorporates a wide range of nuts for a crunchy texture. The nuts also provide good fats that help lower bad cholesterol in the body, improve brain function, and offer a wide range of minerals.
- Have a crunchy nutty texture
- Rich smoky, earthy taste from the mushrooms
- Rich in minerals
- 100% vegan
- Non-GMO, no preservatives or chemical additives
- Contains nuts, so not suitable for people with nut allergy.
Wheat gluten, filtered water, palm fruit oil, barley, garlic, carrots, safflower oil, celery, tomato paste, onion, yeast extract, onion powder, mushrooms, barley malt, sea salt, spices, vegetable-derived carrageen, celery seed, balsamic vinegar, shiitake mushrooms, porcini mushroom powder, yellow pea flour, and black pepper.
The Field Roast Vegan burger patties are juicy with the classic beef burger’s flavor but without the meat. Each patty is hand-formed, cooked, and then packaged. They are 100% plant-based and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
However, they contain wheat, so they are not a good idea for gluten intolerant people. They combine a wide range of vegetables to offer a variety of nutrients. Each burger patty contains 25g of protein.
- 100% vegan
- Already cooked
- High protein
- Contain wheat and not ideal for a gluten-free diet
Soy protein concentrate, water, wheat gluten, modified cellulose, salt, dried onions, yeast extract, wheat protein, natural flavor, disodium inosinate, artificial flavor
Allergens: Wheat, soy, sesame
The Boca Original Vegan Turk’y burgers are rich in protein, with each patty containing 13g protein. However, they are rich in dietary fiber and low in carbohydrates. They are also rich in calcium, iron, and potassium. They are 100% vegan and also
ideal for vegetarians too. They are easy to cook in a microwave, skillet, or oven. Furthermore, they taste great and have a rich burger flavor.
- High in protein
- Rich in potassium, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber.
- Great taste and flavor
- Easy to cook
- Contains allergens
- Has artificial flavors
Carrots, white button mushrooms, organic black beans, organic brown rice, peas, Garbanzo bean flour, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, dried thyme, fresh rosemary, kosher salt, and black pepper.
The Grandpa’s veggie burgers are 100% plant-based. They are gluten-free, Non-GMO, and do not contain sugar, cholesterol, additives, or preservatives. They are dairy-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
These burgers have a considerably bigger servicing size than other burgers in the market. Each patty is about 170g and contains 18g of protein and 20g of carbohydrates. They are rich in calcium, dietary fiber, and potassium. They leave you feeling full for hours.
The patties can be used as a burger, in salads, or as falafel in a pita. They can be stored in the refrigerator for three weeks and in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Great taste and flavor
- Rich in protein, calcium, and potassium
- Can be used in a wide range of recipes
- Can be stored up to 6 months in the freezer
- Do not contain any allergens
- Larger serving size that other burgers in the market
- None so far
Top 30 Vegan Burger Brands
Below is a list of some of the top vegan burger brands to check out either at your local grocery store or Amazon:
- Big Mountain Organic
- Boca Burger
- Beyond Burger
- Bubba Burger
- Don Lee Farms
- Deep Indian Kitchen
- Engine 2
- Field Roast
- GoGO Quinoa
- Hillary’s Eat Well
- Light Life
- Morningstar Farms
- Qrunch Organics
- Sol Cuisine
- Sunshine Burgers
- Sweet Earth
- Upton’s Natural
- Wild Harvest
- Simple Truth
- Trader Joe’s
- 365 Whole Foods
Components of the Ultimate Vegan Burger
Let’s break it down:
- You want the base to be rich in flavor and texture. You can go for a meaty taste with lentils, chickpeas, or mushrooms. A grainy taste with quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, or millet, or a light taste with root vegetables, eggplants, or zucchini.
- Vegetables. Vegetable adds juiciness to your burger. You can incorporate them as either well-cooked, partially cooked, or raw. Good veggie options for your burger include peppers, carrots, zucchini, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc.
- Herbs. These add a layer of flavor to the burger. With herbs, there is no right or wrong way to go. Experiment until you find those that you like and those that blend well. You can sprinkle them as part of your burger toppings or incorporate them in the patties. Common herbs to consider include rosemary, cilantro, coriander, parsley, garlic, and the good old onion. For onions, choose between white, red, and spring or incorporate them all.
- Spices. Spices, like herbs, add an extra layer of flavor to the burger. Once again, experiment to find out which ones go well with other ingredients and the ones you like most. Some common spices added in burgers include ground pepper, cinnamon, salt, thyme, ginger, paprika, etc.
- Vegan egg substitute. This is a crucial component that helps to keep the burger Pattie together. Examples of vegan egg substitutes include boiled and mashed potatoes, ground chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and psyllium husks.
- Dry ingredients such as flour and breadcrumbs. The dry ingredients remove excess water from the patty. They also bind with the egg substitute to firmly bind the Pattie. You can use wheat flour and wheat-based breadcrumbs. However, if you are keen to keep your burger gluten-free, consider options such as rice flour and chickpeas flour.
- Veggie burger add-ons. There is no clear-cut rule with these ones. Examples include avocado, ketchup, mustard, hanini, salsa, buns, etc.
You can leave out some components except for the base, vegan egg substitute, and dry ingredients that must be incorporated. When your burger party is ready, you can serve it as you like. For instance, you can layer it up with vegetables and add-ons between two vegan buns. Or you could serve with a salad or eat them naked.
What to Avoid When Choosing a Vegan Burger
Although its macro-nutrients will offer protein, the source of protein is not what you want in your body. Soy protein isolate is a source of MSG and the majority of products are not even certified as non-GMO, which means they usually contain modified soy. Most brands offer soy-free options but make sure to check for this when choosing your vegan burger.
These are usually used as fillers and flavoring, or a way to spike the protein content of the burger. However, the health benefits aren’t great and can also lead to an upset stomach depending on your dietary restrictions.
Hexane is a carcinogenic gas used to produce soy and some hemp products, so make sure to avoid this if purchasing a vegan product with soy in it. Check where the source of soy is coming from – if it’s coming from edamame or soybeans then it’s much healthier compared to the isolate options.
Textured vegetable protein is a popular vegan form of soy protein used to replicate the meaty texture in burgers and other vegan alternatives. However, it’s also a genetically modified form of soy and hexane, which is highly processed. Most companies don’t use TVP anymore, but keep an eye out for it in case it’s hiding in the ingredient list.
Soy and corn oils are some of the most genetically modified ingredients you can find in vegan foods and are mainly used because they’re cheap alternatives. They are also used to boost the omega 6 and 3 fats in the nutritional content, however are highly inflammatory. When looking at the ingredients, make sure the omega sources are coming from natural sources like hemp, almonds, pumpkin seeds, or flax.
Benzoates, titanium dioxide and nitrates are just a few of the preservatives that you’ll find in vegan alternatives, especially burgers. These have been linked to heart conditions, allergies and asthmas. Avoid companies that use these cheap preservatives by checking the label for sea salt or citric acid, as these are good natural alternatives.
Premade vegan burgers are a must-have in your refrigerator for that quick-go to meal option. They may not contain meat, but they have an equally rich taste and texture. You can use them in a wide range of recipes or eat them alone on a lazy or fast-paced day.
Whether you prefer beans, nuts, or veggies, there are some options available to choose from. You may order from Amazon or the local grocery store. Pay attention to the ingredients list if you have an allergy history to ensure the ones you settle for do not have allergens.
You can also check out our review on the best vegan cheese if you want to make it a vegan cheeseburger instead!