Eat Your… Veggie Burgers

Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers are the odd-man-out when it comes to meat substitutes. There isn’t any interesting ancient history behind them nor any particular tips or tricks to their preparation. Most people will probably choose to buy a prepackaged, frozen variety. But it is also very easy to make your own. Let’s review the options.

Frozen Veggie Burgers

Frozen veggie burgers come in several types, falling into two main categories: those made primarily from veggies, and those made from soy protein (sometimes called “textured vegetable protein” or TVP). The veggie-based burgers are more varied and are generally derived from beans, mushrooms, or mixed veggies. On the other hand, the soy burgers look and cook more like meat. Other veggie burger-ish products, such as “chickn” patties, are also available.

The Products

All of the following brands are national here in the United States. From my experience they all have something different to offer in both taste and texture. Like I’ve said before if you don’t like one brand just try another. And if you live in a big city, be sure to check out any local (often completely homemade) veggie burgers at nearby natural foods markets and restaurants.

LightLife Patties – Light Burgers, Veggie Burgers, Mushroom Burgers, Chick’n Patties.

Yves Veggie Burgers – Meatless Chicken, Meatless Beef, Lentil & Veggie, BBQ Rice & Beans.

Dr. Praeger’s – Bombay Veggie Burgers, California Veggie Burgers, Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers, Italian Veggie Burgers, Tex-Mex Veggie Burgers.

Amy’s – All-American Veggie Burger, Bistro Burger, California Veggie Burger, Cheddar Veggie Burger, Quarter Pound Veggie Burger, Texas Veggie Burger.

Morningstar Farms – Asian Veggie Patties, Cheddar Burger, Garden Veggie Patties, Grillers Original Burger, Grillers Prime Veggie Burger, Grillers Vegan Burger, Mushroom Lover’s Burger, Philly Cheesesteak Burger, Spicy Black Bean Burger, Tomato & Basil Pizza Burger, Classic Burger Organic, Tex Mex Burger Organic, Vegan Burger Organic, Veggie Medley Burger Organic, Tomato Basil Burger Organic, Thai Burger.

Boca – All American Flame Grilled Burger, Original Vegan Burger, Original Burger, Grilled Vegetable Burger, Cheeseburger, Vegan Burger Organic, All American Burger Organic, Garden Vegetable Organic, Roasted Garlic Burger Organic, Roasted Onion Burger Organic, Bruschetta Tomato Basil Parmesan Veggie Patty, Original Chick’n Patty, Spicy Chick’n Patty.

Sunshine Burgers – Original, Garden Herb, South West, Barbecue.

Wildwood Foods – Original Tofu Veggie Burger, Shiitake Mushroom Veggie Burger, Southwest Veggie Burger.

Gardenburger – Original Gardenburger, Sun-Dried Tomato Basil, Portabella, Veggie Medley, Black Bean Chipotle, Garden Vegan, Flame Grilled, The Classic, California Burger.

Homemade Veggie Burgers

The real fun with veggie burgers begins in your own kitchen. There really is no comparison when it comes to the taste and diversity that you can create.

If you missed it the first time around, my article on squash contains a recipe for a squash-based veggie burger. Delicious!

Other great veggie burger recipes can be found in one of my favorite books, Vegetarian Burgers by Bharti Kirchner. In this relatively small paperback she shares an unbelievable array of veggie burgers, ranging from “Beet and Mushroom Burgers” to “Tempeh Walnut Burgers”. It’s a must-have for the vegetarian kitchen.

Here are a few great looking recipes from around the web

Mango Power Girl: Veggie Burger Number 1

The Leftover Queen: Homemade Veggie Burger Experiment

Ventures With Veggies: Homemade Walnut-Oat Burgers

The following picture is by Flickr user roboppy. Now THAT’s a tasty looking veggie burger!

veggie burger

See you next week!

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Now Playing: The Language of Cities by Maserati.

Ben is a graduate student at NCSU studying Crop Science with an emphasis on Sustainable Agriculture. Official foodie credentials are non-existent, other than the fact that he has been cooking for himself since he was 12 years old. You can find his personal blog at, photos and videos at bengarland’s Flickr photostream, and his plans for a self-constructed cob house and organic farm over at Our Farm Adventure (still a very new work in progress).