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The Ultimate Herbal Burger Flavor! We ate meatless burgers for a week to review the Beyond Burger and 12 other popular veggie burgers. Vegan meat is the hottest trend this summer ~ and the only thing that sets you apart from a great plant-based burger is a great taste test. How do they all stack up? Read on to see the results!
The Beyond Burger in Carls Jr, a Impossible whopper at Burger King … meatless burgers are finally catching on, in a big way. I've been singing the praises of veggie burgers for years here on the blog, in fact one of my first posts was about Soy burgers I learned how to do it while working in a restaurant at university. I've been waiting for this for years … but you have to be careful what you wish for.
I love veggie burgers, but what about "fake meat"? There is an important difference!
Vegan meat, or imitation meat made to look, feel, and act like raw meat, is having a moment right now. Investors are lining up, restaurants are vying to put it on their menus, and everyone is talking about it. But there are plenty of other meatless burger options to explore besides Impossible burger and Beyond meat. We tried different brands and types of veggie burgers that we buy locally here in Los Angles. We're going to dig into the details and hope to find one or two foolproof winners for your entire summer grill.
There are 3 ways to enjoy veggie burgers ~
- You can order one at a restaurant or fast food establishment, they are popping up everywhere these days.
- You can make yours, which is my preference. I have several great veggie burger options on the blog. My current favorite homemade veggie burger is my Chickpea Veggie Burger, mmm !!
- You can buy them in your favorite supermarket and cook them at home, either on the stove or on the grill. Today we are focusing on these meatless burgers that you can buy and grill at home.
The plant-based burgers we tried ~
Note: Beyond Meat is sold fresh, the rest is sold frozen. The following photos are from Uncooked burgers
- Beyond meat the hamburger beyond
- Engine 2 habanero pinto plant burger
- Gardein meatless burger
- From Hilary the best vegetarian burger in the world
- Amy all american veggie burger
- Amy black bean veggie burger
- Amy California Veggie Burger
- Mouth all american veggie burger
- Dr praeger super greens veggie burger
- Morning Star Farms veggie burger with spicy black beans
- Trader Joe high protein veggie burger
- Trader Joe Thai vegetarian burger with sweet chili
- Trader Joe vegetable masala burgers
Featured tastings ~
Beyond Meat is not grown in the laboratory, it is made entirely from plants, and it sure looks like red meat. But I'm going to be honest and admit from the start that I have a bias against the idea of imitating raw ground beef, so Beyond Meat's fresh patty didn't appeal to me at all. In fact, full disclosure, I couldn't prove it, that's how visceral my reaction was. Grant tried this on both of them.
Beyond Meat is made primarily from pea protein isolate and coconut oil. The hamburger mimics the bleeding of raw meat with beet juice, and is sometimes called a "bleeding hamburger." The package states that even when fully cooked, the interior will remain rosy red.
Takeaway: I think it depends on how in love you are with red meat. I found it disgusting that Grant said it had the perfect flavor, texture, and "chew" of a great burger. We couldn't be more divided in this case, but if you're a tough carnivore, definitely try this one.
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This burger collected points in the looks department. It was the most visually appealing to me, even in its frozen state. I liked being able to clearly see different ingredients, even some fresh herbs! I like that he tells me what's right in the name, and it was more like something he would do from scratch.
Takeaway: It was disappointing. After grilling this, I added a slice of good Swiss cheese, thinly sliced red onion, ripe tomato, and lettuce on a brioche bun, the burger was mushy and crumbled with every bite.
It's not very attractive, that's for sure, but then again, that's not the point. After cooking it in the cast iron skillet for about 4 minutes per side, it looked almost identical to a fast food burger. It even had a juicy sheen. We both agreed that the taste and texture were very "burger-y" ~ and we mimicked a fast food burger very well. The flavor was surprisingly meaty without any identifiable artificial flavor or added spice. Actually, it tasted like roast on a barbecue.
Takeaway: This is definitely worth a try if you love a classic fast food burger.
This was the palest of the burgers, with a somewhat fluffy texture. The flavor was not there. This was a pass for both of us.
Takeaway: skip this one!
Amy is my favorite brand, I trust the quality of its ingredients, so I was interested in trying her veggie burgers. The All American burger had a good firm texture and a touch of chili spice.
Takeaway: A good, firm-textured veggie burger that held together well, with a definite Southwestern spice.
This was nice, but kind of a running mill. It had too many competitive flavors for me. If you like a spicy burger, with light pieces of mushrooms, black beans, and corn, you may prefer it. The flavors are nice, but definitely more assertive than a regular burger.
Takeaway: Amy is known for recipes with this flavor profile, and they do it right. This burger had a looser, thicker texture than the other two Amy I tried. I would consider it more like a vegetable fritter.
Amy's California Veggie Burger (organic, vegan, dairy and soy free, contains wheat and nuts)
Grant and I agreed that this burger is the closest to tasting and feels like a regular burger among Amy's selection. It had no overpowering spice or flavor to compete with the “burger” vibe, and it had the shortest ingredient list of Amy's other 3 products, which I like. The texture was relatively firm and the exterior was well wrinkled.
Takeaway: A good meatless burger made with simple natural ingredients. The texture was firm and "meaty" and held tightly together as it cooked. There are no strong flavors that detract from the burger's value. This was the closest thing to a meat burger of all the Amy.
Boca is the original name and probably the most recognizable in veggie burgers before this new wave. After it was cooked it looked like a beef burger. It tasted good, but for me the texture was a little more grainy than the similar Gardein burger. However, it is still good, for sure. We both really liked it.
Takeaway: This is a good option to try if you like fast food style beef burgers. It had a meaty vibe rather than a vegetarian vibe.
I have to admit, the mossy green exterior put me off a little … I'm not sure that's what I'm looking for in a burger. We were both amazed at how soft and mushy this empanada was after cooking… it had a consistency of creamy spinach. However, it tasted nice and had an attractive bright green color inside. The ingredient list was clean and completely natural. I could see its use as a base for eggs.
Takeaway: Nice green flavor and super healthy, just not a burger.
This was interesting… it had a nice spicy southwestern flavor, and lots of texture with beans and corn. It doesn't mimic beef, but it's an interesting patty. It wasn't mushy, which is good.
Takeaway: If you're not looking for a faux beef, this is a good spicy veggie burger with a south-border vibe. Not soft
Hi Trader Joe’s Protein Veggie Burger
This burger tasted good and looked very burger-like. The only downside? The dreaded soft interior. However, it was not terrible, and it bothered my husband more than me. I liked that a crispy crust developed while cooking.
Takeaway: On the run like a good meatless burger, but a little mushy. It helps to cook it well so that it is crispy on the outside.
Vendor Joe's Veggie Masala Burger (vegan, contains wheat)
This gave us the go-ahead, but oddly, not like a burger. We think they would be great for breakfast, with an egg on top. The flavor had a nice touch of curry and a lot of nice texture, but we thought it was too heavy to be good on bread.
Takeaway: The flavor and texture were excellent, but better for breakfast or to accompany eggs.
Trader Joe's Thai Vegetarian Chili Burger (vegan, rice-based, contains soy and wheat)
This one had the same problem as TJ's past pie: delicious, just not like a burger on bread. It would be a delicious breakfast or a plate with eggs, which is how I'm going to finish the box. Think of it as super crisp, seasoned hash browns.
Takeaway: Potato is not an ideal ingredient for a hamburger meant to be eaten on bread, it was too starchy to be a hamburger.
If you crave a McDonald’s burger but don't want the meat and all the baggage that comes with it, this is a great substitute. Definitely stock up for your next barbecue to share with friends. The more we can embrace meatless meals, at least part of the time, the better 🙂
The first words that come out of your mouth after a bite "I don't need to eat another beef burger again, I love this!" He loved the texture, the flavor, and everything to do with this burger. He asked me to buy it from now on.
Where to find Beyond Meat and Gardein burgers ~
- Beyond Meat is sold at supermarket chains, Target, and you can order it at Amazon fresh. It will launch in the UK this summer. They also make Beyond Sausage. Look for it alongside regular ground beef. Sometimes it's in the freezer section. Here's a store locator for your area.
- Gardein is sold in supermarkets, Walmart, Target, and you can always get it from Instacart or Amazon fresh. In fact, there are pages and pages of veggie burgers on Amazon Fresh, so stock up for the summer and do your own taste test. Happy roast, and be sure to drop me your favorite meatless burgers in the comments below 🙂