The Best Veggie Burger for Anybody and Everybody

by Katherine Sacks

1/10/19

What is a perfect veggie burger? “Perfect” can mean a whole slew of different things to different people: there are advocates for burgers that are bean-based, nut-based, vegetable-packed and even some made with oatmeal. Not every veggie burger lover loves every veggie burger. (Try saying that 10 times fast.) Some people hate too many beans, some focus on grill-ability, while others want shredded vegetables and nothing else.

For all those particular eaters, we rounded up the best recipes on the internet, culled for the specific fancies of all the veggie burger lovers out there. Choose your style, and get cookin’!

The Most Meat-Like, Non-Meat Burger

Although his veggie burgers attract both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, New York City chef Brooks Headley isn’t trying to make a meat replacement at his vegetarian outpost, Superiority Burger. Instead, he layers flavor by treating the vegetables as he would meat: long roasting carrots, de-glazing with vinegar to catch all the flavorful bits. The result is a flavorful veggie burger with nice texture from a mix of carrots, walnuts, chickpeas and quinoa. Thanks to Headley’s new cookbook, Superiority Burger Cookbook, you can try the method out yourself.

The Beet, Not Meat, Veggie Burger

For Ana of The Awesome Green, a good veggie burger needs to have smoky flavor and a succulent and chewy texture. Her beet burger recipe meets all those requirements. She roasts her beets first, to give them a smoky, rich flavor, then combines the veg with quinoa, breadcrumbs and seasoning to give it the proper texture. Don’t love beets? Try out her technique with sweet potato.

Beet burger
You can’t beat this beet veggie burger. Photo by The Awesome Green

The Grill-able, Freezable, Anything Goes Veggie Burger

Just because veggie burgers are delicious, doesn’t mean they are grill-able. Most have a fragile texture that’s better suited for baking or sautéing. But if you’re a backyard barbecue champ, Dana from Minimalist Baker perfected a veggie burger recipe that is both delicious, and grill-able. She uses a combination of mashed black beans, walnuts, spices and barbecue sauce to create a patty that’s totally grill-able, plus they have about 14 grams of protein each, so even meat-eaters can’t complain. Want it even easier? Cook them, then freeze, and you can have a veggie burger any time you want it.

Veggie burger
A great, grillable veggie burger. Photo by minimalistbaker.com

A Veggie Burger for the Nut Fanatic

Some swear that nuts belong in veggie burgers since they add more protein and texture. If this is you, then we suggest Vegan Richa’s walnut and lentil burger, a hearty combination of lentils, rice and walnuts, along with warming spices like cumin and garam masala. Her avocado ranch sauce takes this veggie burger over the top.

Vegan burger
Go nuts with this veggie burger. Photo by veganricha.com

A Veggie Burger for the Cauliflower Obsessed

Cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower tots: can’t get enough cauliflower? Then try out Lindsay from Pinch of Yum’s spicy cauliflower burgers, made with quinoa, cauliflower and pepper jack cheese for a rich burger that has just the right texture. And don’t sleep on the chipotle mayo, friends — as Lindsay says, it makes the burger.

Pinch of Yum Cauliflower Burger
Get your cauliflower fix – burger style. Photo by pinchofyum.com

The Grain God/Goddess Veggie Burger

For some, the only way to get the ideal veggie burger texture is to add in the chewy bite of cooked grains. In fact, quinoa or brown rice is commonly found in most veggie burger mixes. But the folks over at Oh My Veggies created this mostly grain burger, using freekah, a roasted durum wheat, to give their burger mix that chewy taste. Topping the burger with caramelized onions cooked in harissa, as well as a smoked garlic mayonnaise, adds in tons of rich flavor.

The Toss-In-All-the-Scraps Veggie Burger

Want a burger that’s both delicious and reduces your food waste? Then start saving that juice pulp, because Joni of Food by Jonister has a veggie burger recipe that puts the pulp into the mix. Juice pulp is full of nutritious fiber, and makes for a “juicy” burger. Don’t have a juicer? Use grated vegetables like beets and carrots instead.

The Person Who Wants to Cut Back On, But Not Give Up, Meat

If you haven’t gone quite veggie, but are looking to cut back on meat, the blended burger is perfect for you. Swap finely chopped mushrooms for 25 to 50 percent of the total amount of meat. Use whichever type of mushroom you like, and any kind of ground meat. Not only will the burgers be more flavorful (and moist!), they’re also better for the environment.

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