The 7 Best Store-Bought Vegan Burgers That Are Better Than Meat
While meat-imposter patties like the Beyond and Impossible Burgers have sure had a moment, many people don’t want a meat-like patty. It tastes too much like... meat! Especially for someone who has chosen to eliminate meat—or never had it—eating faux meat that “bleeds” can be a taste-bud turnoff. For the plant-based eater who doesn't want to eat near meat or meat-like burgers, there are great alternatives: We tried a few of the many popular bean, grain, and veggie-based vegan burger patties to choose from and found our five faves.
If you prefer a more plant-forward patty, try these below that all pass our taste and health test. They also all come in under 150 calories. A number of these veggie patties also tend to be lower in calories, fat and sodium than their faux meat counterparts. (Plus, if you are participating in The Beet’s 21 Day Plant-Based Challenge, or decided to ditch meat in 2020, these are perfect patties to stock up on.)
1. Trader Joe’s Masala Burger
If you are into a little Indian spice, this is the patty for you. It’s flavored with just the right amount of spice and taste almost more like a masala-flavored potato dish than a veggie patty. This makes it also very versatile and can function for more than a burger patty; stick it in a pita with some vegan mayo and greens, dice up and throw on a salad … or just eat it straight up! It’s a unique tasting patty that is not trying to be meat-like or anything else; it is what it is. With the higher fat content (which has 8 grams in one serving, mostly derived from canola oil) it tends to be a little on the greaser side, but for only 120 total calories, it’s certainly worthwhile.
2. Dr. Praeger's Heirloom Bean
This bean patty amalgamates with veggies to make a delicious plant-based burger. It’s so good, you can eat as a snack on its own, or of course, in a bun. These patties are also gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO.
The Heirloom beans hold up better (more firm) than some of the other Dr. Praeger's patties, so for something with structure, opt for this one. It has only 130 calories, with 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber. It tends to be lower in protein, with 2 grams per patty. You can microwave it, but an oven or air fryer is recommended to achieve ultimate consistency. Sometimes Dr. Praeger's burgers tend to get a little mushy, so careful cooking is recommended.
3. Qrunch Quinoa Burgers
With only 140 calories, 4 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber, this quinoa-forward burger has a perfect amount of crunch on the outside and softness on the interior. You can certainly taste that it’s made from quinoa, but it’s not bitter; it has a nice balance of flavors, almost a buttered quinoa taste to it. As a bonus, it’s super easy to make: you can pop in the toaster or cook in the oven, a stovetop skillet, or on the grill.
4. Amy's Kitchen Black Bean Veggie Burger
This is a nice, sturdy burger you can feel confident throwing on the grill. Made primarily of bulgur wheat, mushrooms, and black beans, it packs about 6 grams of protein and only 130 calories. It has a little bit of a sweet and spicy taste which gives it a nice amount of Mexican-inspired flavor and great on a bun with avocado to balance the spice.
5. Gardein Black Bean Burger
With 140 calories, 7 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein, this is a pretty well-balanced bean burger. It’s also gluten-free. It is a little high in sodium, 420 mg (about 18% of your recommended daily intake).
6. Hilary's Black Bean Veggie Burger
Hillary's has eight plant-based veggie burgers to choose from. All eight burgers are made from healthy and clean ingredients. Besides being plant-based, these veggie burgers are all gluten-free and soy-free too. One of our favorites is the Black Bean Veggie Burger which is made of black rice, adzuki beans, sweet potato, and spinach. This burger has only 160 calories with 4g of protein, and 3g of fiber. These burgers are best cooked in the oven.
7. Wholesome Pantry Sweet and Spicy Pepper Veggie Burger
This veggie burger hits on the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and because it's loaded with good-for-you ingredients like brown rice, veggies, oats, and spices it keeps you full. My favorite way to prepare this burger is in the air frier or pan-frying it to give it a nice, crispy meat-like char. While it won’t fool anyone into thinking its meat, the blend of veggies is so flavorful that even a meat-eater would love it.