We dug into 45 meatless patties to find out which healthy picks were best for your buns.

By Ananda Eidelstein
Updated December 19, 2018
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Peter Ardito

Whether a veggie patty is enjoyed in a bun, lettuce wrap, or as a simple main on its own (with one of these healthy sides, perhaps), the worst is heating up a veggie burger and it doesn’t live up to your veggie burger wants and needs. To avoid any disappointments, we took on the challenge of tasting a wide variety of veggie burgers in the hottest and most widely available categories: bean, mushroom, Asian, seed, and last but not least the OG (original). Sure, making your own veggie burger is a nice to-do, but trust these picks for those nights when an easy and quick meal is just what you need, you’re firing up the grill, or you’re heading over to a BBQ and need to bring that veggie option. Get creative with the veggie burger toppings: It doesn’t have to be just ketchup à la classic burger (although we sure love condiments). Slice up some cucumbers, avocado, or radishes and serve with this vegan ranch. Pickled shallots and sprouts or microgreens are always a great addition and can dress up and freshen up a store-bought main dish.

When it comes to cooking the veggie burger patty, try to skip the temptation of the microwave. It’s definitely quick and efficient but you’re giving up the opportunity to bite into a patty that gets browned on the outside and even, in most cases, a crispy exterior and tender inside. Veggie burgers get a bad rap for being too mushy—we’ve discarded that possibility by picking our five favorites, but the microwave will definitely enable a veggie burger to turn to mush. What’s surprisingly great about these best veggie burger picks, is that some of these patties, like the Tofurky Hearty Hemp Veggie Burger can even be cooked on a grill without the risk of it falling apart. So put veggie burgers back on the good list and bite into these meatless and delicious choices.

Peter Ardito

1

Tasters loved this tender patty’s stellar crust. A combination of small red beans, millet, and coconut oil adds up to rich, buttery flavor.

To buy: $4 for 2; freshdirect.com.

amazon.com

2

Made with short-grain Arborio rice (just like a proper risotto), this winner is packed with peas, mushrooms, and just a hint of truffle.

To buy: $5 for 4; amazon.com.

traderjoes.com

3

Meaty shiitake mushrooms and spicy ginger are mixed with brown and black rice for a boldly flavored burger seasoned with tangy sweet chili sauce.

To buy: $4 for 4; traderjoes.com.

amazon.com

4

Brown rice, hemp, and flaxseeds make this champ more tender than those made with soy. We also appreciate that it won’t fall apart over a hot grill.

To buy: $6 for 3; amazon.com.

amys.com

5

With a touch of smokiness and BBQ sauce, this gratifying 4-oz. patty is the closest you’ll get to your favorite beef burger.

To buy: $7.50 for 4; amys.com.