Vegetarian, turned Pescatarian, for over twenty years I have tried about every veggie burger on the market, including the new and famous brand Impossible Burger. These days we (vegetarians) have an abundance of choices as the fad of healthy eating is growing and meatless options are more in demand. Based on taste alone, here is my personal list for the best burgers for grilling.
1. Impossible Burger: I first tried this brand, that was highly recommended from a meat eater. (Double head turn – Say what? Truth. A meat eater told me I had to try this burger) So, when I went to Burger King and tried the Impossible Burger, well it lives up to its name. I actually asked the worker again, “So, this has no meat in it?” When buying the Impossible Burger “meat” from the grocery store it is in a square package and you will have to transform the red meatless square into patties for the grill; I recommend adding spices to the burgers on the grill. There is almost enough “juice” so that cooking spray isn’t needed but I recommend it. In addition to grilling, because of the way this meatless option is packed, it is easy for cooking on the stove top for “crumbles” in chili, tacos, etc.
2. Quorn Meatless Burgers: These meatless burgers are bought frozen and while it definitely helps to spray the grill to avoid any ‘sticking’ they do emit “juice” when cooked. They are a little bigger than ‘slider burgers’ and very thick. I’m a huge Quorn fan because of the texture and taste of their products along with them being soy free.
3. Morning Star Prime Grillers: These meatless burgers come frozen and you will need to spray the grill so they don’t stick and tear. (No “juice” here) The texture of this burger is like the Impossible Burger you would buy from Burger King. It’s thin and the texture and taste are star worthy, it already having the chargrilled flavor before touching the outside grill.
4. Morning Star Spicy Black Bean: If you want to return or keep an ‘ole school veggie burger on your grill this is the one to do it! (I’m a huge fan of this burger) Like the Prime Grillers, you will want to you use a healthy cooking spray ( I prefer olive oil ) to keep it from sticking. I love throwing these burgers on my salads too! These burgers have a bit of a spicy bite but they’re not going to set your tongue on fire. Because they are mostly bean and plant base, they aren’t as firm as the above options, but they keep packed well together after being chargrilled.
5. Gardein Veggie Burger: Like the Spicy burger, this meatless burger still has its veggie texture but it is delicious, especially grilled. They do have a frozen burger called The Ultimate Burger, that is textured like the Impossible and Prime Grillers but I personally love this version that is packed with veggies I can see like roasted red peppers, carrots and peas. If you want a healthier option than throwing it on a bun, it is delicious in a wheat wrap!
What to Know When Picking Out A Meatless Burger: Sometimes the newest trend of refrigerated veggie burgers (red meatless patties), actually leak red juice when cooked giving these meatless burgers a very real appearance of meat. However, I found some of these new burgers taste bland and are in need of being spiced up (check out my blog post on spices that fight anxiety and depression while adding flavor). In addition, when cooking most of these meatless textures on the stove the color transforms to more of a gray color than brown unless sauces or spices are added. If this isn’t for you, stick to meatless burgers that are packed with seen, by the eye, veggies. A healthy cooking spray keeps any of them from sticking on the grill if applied every time the patty is flipped. You can also use aluminum foil with cooking spray and add additional veggies to the grill.
Secret Exposed: One of the most interesting things I’ve found during my meatless burger tasting adventure is the amount of sodium packed into an individual patty. Unfortunately, some of the best tasting burgers are usually the ones with most amount of sodium. Be aware that “going meatless” doesn’t always mean the healthier option. A normal beef burger ranges to about 90 grams of sodium and most veggie burgers range in a sodium content from 190 grams to 560 grams of sodium! That’s a huge jump! Check your packages content before diving in for consumption and don’t plan on making some of these burgers part of your daily diet. Definitely think: moderation. (One of my favorite articles I found on this was by Emily Gelsomin who weighs the positive and negatives of meatless burgers)
Now that you know the best tasting and how to find the perfect meatless burger for you, fire up the grill and enjoy! (Don’t forget the garden toppings!)