Hosting a vegan or vegetarian at your next barbecue? Interested in trying a new treat or perhaps a new lifestyle? Check out this list of the top ten homemade veggie burger recipes that go far beyond the normal black bean veggie burger probably hidden in your freezer. We’ve got vegan burgers, cheesy vegetarian options, and super-fast, easy recipes for pleasing crowds with only a few ingredients. Try one, or sample all ten, to see which one is the best veggie burger recipe!
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What Is In a Veggie Burger?
Vegetarian burgers can be packed full of many different ingredients. Although usually containing vegetables, they also contain other ingredients such as quinoa, chickpeas, mushrooms, or lentils. Black bean burgers tend to be the most well-known option, but other burgers like the simple, grillable portobello mushroom and the succulent sweet potato veggie burger, have become increasingly more popular. The very first meatless patty was made from seitan (or “gluten meat”), oat flakes, and adzuki beans. It was probably much less appetizing than the typical vegetarian burger recipe of today, which often is jam-packed with fresh ingredients.
Now that there are so many options of veggie burgers, the question, “What are veggie burgers made of?” no longer has a single answer. Typically, veggie burgers are made up of a bean, a mushroom, a nut, and/or a grain-like product. Examples of these include black beans, baby bellas, walnuts, and brown rice respectively. Technically speaking, many recipes are gluten-free, but it’s important to be careful of grain-like substances like quinoa.
Those looking for a vegan veggie burger recipe should know that some recipes and products contain cheese, so it is always important to read the label or recipe beforehand.
Are Veggie Burgers Healthy?
One would assume the answer is always “yes,” but it’s actually somewhat complicated. Compared to meat, it’s a healthier option. However, frozen or fast-food veggie burger products usually contain an uncomfortably high number of preservatives and very high amounts of sodium. When buying pre-made patties, either at a restaurant or a grocery store, pay close attention to the ingredients and nutritional facts, especially the sodium and number of calories. For instance, Burger King’s veggie option has 390 calories and 1,060 milligrams of sodium. Five Guys has a 440-calorie veggie sandwich option that has 1,040 milligrams of sodium. Both of those have about half of the total recommended daily value of sodium (2,400 milligrams). Fans seem to love the very salty White Castle veggie sliders as well, but at 150 calories, they actually have morecalories than their original sliders (140 calories). Alternatively, many fast-food restaurants have chosen not to offer a veggie option. In particular, McDonald’s has refused to introduce a new veggie burger option in America due to past failures, even though its restaurants located in other countries like South Africa and India sell meatless burgers with a fair amount of success. Those products range between 675 and about 1,000 calories. Meanwhile, Wendy’s tested out a black bean burger in several cities, but has yet to unveil the product nationwide. The healthiest veggie burger that you can buy in the grocery store uses millet and quinoa and is only 190 calories, with only 350 milligrams of sodium. But if you really want the healthiest option, go with a healthy veggie burger recipe and make it yourself, so you can control the salt and avoid preservatives.
Is it Difficult to Learn How to Make Veggie Burgers From Scratch?
No, it’s not difficult! When given the option, definitely make your own veggie burgers. They can be both healthier than buying pre-packaged frozen patties and pretty easy to make. A homemade veggie burger usually involves using a food processor (though a grilled Portobello mushroom sandwich requires no such prep). The secret of how to make a veggie burger is reading the recipe closely and making sure your “dough” has enough chunky wetness. Note that in our list of make-your-own veggie burgers, recipes range from the very easy to the more complicated. For instance, the goat cheese, herb, and lemon patties might take a bit more time than a simple veggie burger recipe that uses a large Portobello mushroom as a burger. Once you’ve chosen a recipe for veggie burgers, see if you can make them ahead of time so that you can show up to the party with patties in hand this summer!