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If you once gave veggie burgers a try but wrote them off as rubbery or bland, think again. Thanks to the rise of plant-forward diets, flavorless hockey pucks are a thing of the past.

Even if you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, a plant-forward diet — which emphasizes plant foods but incorporates small amounts of meat — can increase your overall fiber intake, which lowers your risk of obesity and weight gain (1).

A great veggie burger can be substantive, as well as bursting with flavor, vegetables, and legumes. Some can also be mistaken for beef patties.

Whether you’re looking for a veggie-based or imitation meat burger, you’re bound to hit a winner in this list.

Here’s what we considered when choosing the best veggie burgers.

  • Ingredients: We chose veggie burgers made from a variety of ingredients to best accommodate all dietary restrictions. Some veggie burgers listed are made from soy, whereas others are made from alternative plant-based protein sources like wheat gluten.
  • Nutritional profile: We carefully considered the nutritional profile of these veggie burgers. However, it’s important to note that the protein and sodium content varies widely depending on the brand and protein base used to make each veggie burger.
  • Allergens: Veggie burgers are made from multiple types of protein, including soy, gluten, and pea. Because of this, some veggie burgers will contain one or more of the major allergens. Be sure to check the label for any allergenic ingredients you need to avoid.
  • Cost: We’ve listed veggie burgers within a wide range of cost per serving to accommodate almost any budget.
  • Taste and texture: Descriptions of taste and texture for each burger are noted along with preparation tips.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $1.49 per burger
  • $$ = $1.49–$2.99 per burger
  • $$$ = over $2.99 per burger

Veggie- and legume-based burgers are nutritious and fiber-filled — as well as versatile. You can put them on a bed of greens, sandwich them in a hamburger bun, or crumble them into a grain bowl.

Keep in mind that the burgers below are not trying to imitate meat, so don’t expect them to have the look, taste, or consistency of animal-based products.

Veggie- and legume-based burgers are typically lower in protein than imitation meat burgers.

Also, keep in mind that a downside of frozen and store-bought veggie burgers is that they can heap on the sodium.

Excess sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure and a higher risk of heart disease. Most people should consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) mg, or 2.3 grams (g) of sodium per day — that’s the equivalent of about 1 teaspoon (tsp.) of salt (2, 3, 4).

Best high fiber

Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers

  • Price: $

This is an old standby. Dr. Praeger’s carries a range of plant-based products, but this is touted as their most popular burger — with good reason. Their California burger blends peas, carrots, broccoli, soy flour, and spinach to satisfaction.

Each 2.5-ounce (oz.), or 71-g, patty contains (5):

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Sodium: 250 mg
  • Carbs: 13 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Fiber helps keep your digestive tract healthy and plays a role in satiety (6, 7).

The only drawback is that these can get a little mushy if not toasted or browned on a stovetop.

However, Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers are milk-free, peanut-free, shellfish-free, and tree-nut-free, making them a good choice for anyone with these food allergies or sensitivities.

They work particularly well when topped with avocado.

Pros

  • non-GMO project verified
  • vegan
  • inexpensive

Cons

  • lower in protein than other burgers
  • not appropriate for those with a soy allergy

Best spicy

Hilary’s Organic Southwest Adzuki Bean Veggie Burger

  • Price: $$

This burger combines millet, adzuki beans, and quinoa. Adzuki beans are a sweet Japanese red bean, complemented here with spice and sweet potato. Quinoa is considered a whole grain and delivers all nine essential amino acids (8).

These all come together with peppery notes and a spicy kick.

Every 3.2-oz. (91-g) burger contains (9):

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Sodium: 220 mg
  • Carbs: 21 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 4 g

While it provides 14% of the Daily Value (DV) for fiber, it only has 4 g of protein. So you may want to pair it with another source of protein like cheese, yogurt, tahini, legumes, or milk to round it out into a full meal (9).

What’s more, all of Hilary’s products are vegan and free of the 12 most common food allergens.

Pros

  • certified gluten-free
  • vegan
  • allergy-friendly

Cons

  • lower in protein than other burgers

Best black bean

Trader Joe’s Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burger

  • Price: $

If you’re after a bold, bean-packed flavor, look no further than the Quinoa Cowboy burger.

It combines tricolor quinoa, black beans, and a kick of Southwestern flare in ingredients like jalapeño, corn, and bell peppers. Egg white powder adds a bit more protein.

Every 3-oz. (85-g) patty contains (10):

  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Sodium: 310 mg
  • Carbs: 22 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Toast these or heat these on a nonstick pan on your stovetop to get a crispy exterior and creamy center.

Pros

  • inexpensive
  • good source of fiber
  • bold flavor

Cons

  • not appropriate for those with an egg or wheat allergy
  • not much protein
summary

Veggie- and legume-based burgers generally aren’t trying to imitate beef. Instead, they pack chunks of veggies, whole grains, legumes, and other protein sources into a convenient patty. The better ones have less than 440 mg of sodium per patty.

When you’re craving a meaty burger, there are many outstanding meat-free options that taste like the real thing.

Still, not all popular meat substitutes are equally healthy. They can harbor a lot of sodium, excess intake of which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease (2, 3).

Here are excellent imitation meat burgers with a stellar nutrition profile.

Best soy- and gluten-free

Dr. Praeger’s All American Veggie Burger

  • Price: $$$

A whopping 22 g of protein packs into each of these 4-oz. (113-g) patties, sourced from pea protein and a 4-veggie mix that includes butternut squash and sweet potato.

Each 4-oz. (113-g) burger contains (13):

  • Calories: 230
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Sodium: 530 mg
  • Carbs: 10 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 22 g

What’s more, these soy-free, gluten-free, vegan burgers contain 30% of the DV for iron (11).

Iron is important for the production of red blood cells and oxygen transport in your body. You need more of this mineral if you eat a plant-based diet (12).

As delicious as they are, these veggie burgers are a little high in sodium, with 530 mg of sodium per patty. Enjoy these as you would a regular burger, but consider holding off on salty condiments like pickles.

Pros

  • certified gluten-free
  • high in protein
  • good source of fiber

Cons

  • expensive
  • over 500 mg sodium per serving

Most realistic

Beyond Meat Beyond Burger

  • Price: $$

The Beyond Burger has found its way into some fast-food chains and restaurants and is designed to mimic a charbroiled ground beef patty.

Compared with the Impossible Burger, a similar plant-based burger designed to imitate beef, the Beyond Burger is slightly lower in saturated fat.

Each 4-oz. (113-g) Beyond Burger patty has 5 g of saturated fat, while an 80% lean beef patty of the same size packs nearly 9 g and an Impossible Burger has 6 g (13, 14, 15).

Yet, it’s worth noting that each Beyond Burger patty contains 390 mg of sodium — though it boasts 20 g of pea-based protein, 20% of the DV for iron, and 100% of the DV for vitamin B12.

What’s more, its beet juice makes the burger “bleed” to drive home the meat-like effect. For best taste, throw these on the grill.

Here’s the full nutritional breakdown for each 4-oz. (113-g) patty (14):

  • Calories: 230
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Sodium: 390 mg
  • Carbs: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 20 g

Pros

  • high in protein
  • good source of iron and vitamin B12

Cons

  • high in saturated fat (though lower than similar options)
summary

Imitation meat products are increasingly sophisticated. The All American Veggie Burger and the Beyond Burger stand out for their taste, flavor, and more balanced nutritional profile.

Not all veggie burgers are vegan.

Vegan veggie burgers steer clear of egg and dairy products, as well as any animal by-products.

Best vegan

Field Roast Chef’s Signature Plant-Based Burgers

  • Price: $$

Field Roast’s vegan Chef’s Signature burger stands out as an umami bomb, packed with shiitake and porcini mushrooms.

Find these hand-formed vegan patties in the refrigerated aisle.

One 3.25-oz. (92-g) burger delivers (16):

  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Sodium: 610 mg
  • Carbs: 12 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 21 g

What’s more, each serving provides 8% of your iron needs. However, this burger is high in sodium with one serving contributing 27% of the DV for sodium (16).

This well-rounded, flavorful vegan burger is delicious on a bun, as well as crumbled into a salad or bowl of chili.

Pros

  • high in protein
  • vegan

Cons

  • over 500 mg sodium per serving
  • not appropriate for those with a wheat allergy
summary

Not all veggie burgers are vegan. Vegan varieties are free of dairy, eggs, and animal by-products. Among these, Field Roast’s Chef Signature burgers are commendable for their nutrient-dense, hand-formed, flavor-packed patties.

Making your own veggie burgers at home is easy.

Generally, you need a cooked grain like quinoa or brown rice, a binder like egg, flour, or flaxseed meal, a cooked legume like beans or chickpeas, and dry or fresh spices.

You can experiment with folding in sautéed veggies, such as finely diced onion, minced garlic, or mushrooms.

Blend these ingredients with a food processor or mash by hand, working them into a dough. If your dough is too sticky, add more flaxseed meal or flour — or if it’s too dry, add a small amount of water or broth.

Once you’ve reached a workable consistency, roll the dough into balls and flatten into individual patties. Place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake them until crispy and dry on the outside.

Homemade vegan chickpea burger

For this chickpea burger, you need:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled
  • a 15-oz. (425-g) can of chickpeas, drained
  • 4–6 cloves of garlic, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. each of ground cumin, paprika, and ground coriander
  • 1.5 tsp. (3 g) each of salt and pepper
  • 2–3 tbsp. (13–20 g) of flaxseed meal
  • 2–3 tbsp. (30–45 mL) of canola or avocado oil

First, add cumin, coriander, paprika, and pepper to a large saucepan. Dry toast for 1–2 minutes, until fragrant.

Dice and sauté the onion. Add to the pan with 1 tbsp. (15 mL) of oil. Once fragrant and translucent, add garlic, chickpeas, and salt.

Add the mixture to a food processor until blended to your desired consistency.

Next, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Add flaxseed meal to the batter until you can work the dough into a ball. Form into 3–4 flat disks, all roughly the same size. Place them in the freezer for 30 minutes on the lined cookie sheet.

Heat oil in a saucepan, then add all the burger patties to the hot oil. Turn after 5–6 minutes, or when browned. Repeat on the other side.

Serve the burgers with a salad or in hamburger buns with your favorite toppings.

Homemade black bean burger

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup (200 g) of cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup (125 g) of walnuts
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. each of ground cumin, paprika, and chili powder
  • a 15-oz. (425-g) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup (20 g) of panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp. (56 g) of BBQ sauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1–2 tbsp. (15–30 mL) of canola oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. of brown sugar

Toast the walnuts on a skillet for 5 minutes. Add spices and continue to toast for 1 additional minute. Set aside.

Sauté the diced onion with salt and canola oil until fragrant and translucent. Set aside.

Add the cooled walnuts and brown sugar to a blender or food processor. Pulse to a fine meal.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the black beans with a fork. To this, add the cooked rice, beaten egg, sautéed onions, walnut-spice meal, BBQ sauce, and breadcrumbs. Blend until a workable dough forms.

If the dough feels too dry, add canola oil, small amounts at a time. If it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs.

Shape into 5–6 balls and flatten into disks. Add to a skillet with a thin layer of hot oil and flip after 3–4 minutes. Cook the other side for an additional 3–4 minutes, until browned. Serve and enjoy.

summary

It’s fairly easy to make your own veggie burgers at home. You generally need a grain, a legume, a binder, and seasonings. If you desire, experiment with flavors and sautéed veggies.

PriceBaseCaloriesFatCarbsProtein
Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers$vegetables, oats,
soybeans
1306135
Hilary’s Organic Southwest Adzuki Bean Veggie Burger$$millet,
adzuki beans
1607214
Trader Joe’s Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burger$quinoa,
black beans,
vegetables
1808225
Dr. Praeger’s All American Veggie Burger$$$pea protein blend,
rice protein
23012 1022
Beyond Meat Beyond Burger$$pea protein,
rice protein
23014720
Field Roast Chef’s Signature Plant-Based Burgers$$vital wheat gluten,
wheat protein isolate
240121221
Homemade vegan chickpea burger$chickpeas~190~10 ~20~6
Homemade black bean burger$black beans, walnuts~300~18~27~9

When shopping for veggie burgers, you’ll want to consider several factors, such as:

  • price point
  • ingredients
  • taste

If you’re transitioning to vegetarianism or hankering for a meatier flavor, imitation meat burgers are the way to go. They taste remarkably similar to beef patties, with all the juiciness and protein you’re used to. Still, keep in mind that some of these pack a lot of sodium.

On the other hand, traditional veggie burgers honor the flavors of their primary ingredients, which could be peas, adzuki beans, quinoa, black beans, soy protein, or other beans and grains.

Choose these if you prefer an earthier patty or are simply looking for something a little on the cheaper side.

If you follow a vegan or gluten-free diet, be sure to look for appropriate labels on the packaging to identify a burger that suits your needs.

In addition, examine the ingredient list — especially if you prefer your burger made from whole foods. Highly processed burgers, particularly imitation meat ones, may have preservatives and other additives that you would rather avoid.

Or, consider using the recipes above to make homemade veggie burgers so you know exactly what’s in them.

Are veggie burgers good for weight loss?

The best foods for weight loss are the ones that help you meet your total calorie and nutrient needs while also allowing you to remain in a calorie deficit.

Veggie burgers are often low in calories and high in fiber, making them a filling addition to your diet.

However, some are low in protein, compared with animal-based burgers or other high protein burgers.

Be sure to choose a veggie burger that best fits with your daily calorie and nutrient needs.

Are veggie burgers actually good for you?

Veggie burgers vary significantly in their nutrient profile depending on the ingredients and seasonings they contain.

Veggie burgers that contain a moderate amount of sodium and are made from a mix of beans, legumes, and vegetables are often high in fiber and other essential nutrients. This makes them a good choice to add to a balanced diet.

However, some veggie burgers are relatively low in protein and may not offer as many calories as needed for a meal.

Be sure to read the nutrition facts panel and ingredients list to choose a veggie burger that’s made from minimally processed ingredients while also being low in saturated fat and offering a moderate amount of sodium.

Do veggie burgers taste like meat?

Some veggie burgers are made to imitate the taste and texture of meat, whereas others taste nothing like regular meat. The difference depends on the ingredients used to make the veggie burger, as well as the processing techniques used during manufacturing.

Often, veggie burgers made with a base of beans and vegetables are available in a variety of flavors, giving the burgers a unique taste. Veggie burgers meant to imitate regular meat will have a similar taste and texture to meat.

Veggie burgers typically use meat substitutes or are veggie- or legume-based. They may be vegan depending on whether they contain eggs, dairy, or animal by-products.

They’re not only great served on a bun with your favorite fixings but also make versatile additions to salads, chilis, and grain bowls.

When shopping, look for veggie burgers with a moderate amount that are made from minimally processed ingredients. Alternatively, you can easily make your own at home.

Toss those flavorless patties of yesteryear aside. It’s a golden age for veggie burgers.