Meredith Baird is the plant-based chef we rely on for simple hacks in the kitchen that keep us living well at home. We’ve seen a barrage of new veggie burgers hit the market recently and asked Meredith to tell us which are ‘truly’ clean and — of course — delicious! Check out Meredith’s recipes from our cooking class with Jenni Kayne here and her vegan recipe for tuna salad here!
The 6 Best Veggie Burgers On the Planet
The world of veggie burgers has come a long way. Gone are the days of cheap and salty soy burgers or grain patties made with suspect ingredients. While those outdated vegan burgers may have helped many us to eat less meat, ultimately, they aren’t the ideal fit for healthy whole foods diet that more of us should be eating.
Today, there is an endless array of whole foods options for vegan burgers that are each uniquely delicious. These six picks have been crafted in a kitchen — not a lab — and each of these burgers has a different taste, texture, quality and appeal. The world of veggie burgers is an interesting place these days, filled with some of the most innovative ingredients in the food world that deserve more attention.
With meat and dairy prices going up, it’s a great time to explore the benefits of eating plant based!
To prep this round-up of the best veggie burgers out there today, I’ve been on a veggie burger bender! These are my top picks based on clean ingredients, sustainability and, of course, flavor…
The Lekka Burger | Although I live in L.A. with plenty of veggie burger options, my sister recently sent me the Lekka burger kit from NYC and I was blown away. I’ve since ordered it many times.
Crafted by Chef Amanda Cohen (of Dirt Candy fame) this burger is hands down one of the best I’ve ever had in my life. The flavor is a delicious umami hit, and the texture is as good as it gets. It’s made primarily from portobello mushrooms, Cannellini beans, onions, and fennel. If you’re in New York, try them in person — lucky for the rest of us, they ship nationwide via Goldbelly.
Akua | Kelp is the new…kelp, an ingredient that deserves an article unto itself (here are a few!). According to sustainability experts, kelp is a big part of the future of food. By incorporating this remarkable ingredient into all that they do, Akua is making waves in the veggie burger meets seaweed world and their burger is a standout. The flavor is slightly salty, smokey, and savory — with no “seaweedy” flavor at all. It really just tastes very good!
I also liked that the Akua patty isn’t too bulky, so it’s easy to eat — and delicious on its own or in a salad. Made from kelp, crimini mushrooms, black beans, quinoa and pea protein it’s packed full of whole food goodness. You can order it online, and it comes in both ground and patty form. (Also, their kelp jerky is a must try!)
Burgerlords | Burgerlords is Los Angeles’ answer to a fast food joint, but it’s 100% vegan. Unlike some of the other vegan burger places, Burgerlords makes a solid effort by creating their own patty that is absolutely delicious. Made from ingredients like barley, eggplant, shiitake and kombu, this vegan burger is super savory and so good! If you live in the L.A. area, it’s a must try — and if not, they are available online to purchase frozen. These plant-based burgers are priced as a bit of a splurge, but they are so worth the splurge.
Hilary’s Eats Well | I consider these vegan burgers a new classic. Although Hilary’s veggie patties in no way resemble “the real thing”, they are quite tasty, and contain all whole food ingredients. They are also almost completely allergen free, eliminating the top 10 most common allergens like soy, corn, nuts and gluten. I love these plant-based burgers on their own in a salad, chopped up in a burrito, or served open faced. You can’t go wrong with any flavor, although I am partial to the Beet version. They are available in the freezer section of most natural grocery stores and online!
Amy’s Sonoma Burger | Amy’s has been in the vegetarian food game since 1987, and they know what they are doing. Many of their prepared foods are trust-worthy and easy to eat staples. They also happen to make delicious veggie burgers. I’m partial to the Sonoma Burger made of oats, walnuts, celery, potatoes, and mushrooms which is dairy and gluten free. It’s really good, and very easy to find!
Dr. Prager’s Perfect Burger | Hand’s down, these are my go-to vegan burgers in a pinch. Dr. Prager’s perfect burgers are easy to find, crowd-friendly, and I think that the flavor and texture is great. They aren’t the most clean burgers on this list, as they do contain pea protein (which some people don’t love), but I think they deserve a spot on this list as a suitable meat alternative. These vegan burgers are great to take along to a BBQ where you know the crowd will be a mix of carnivores and vegans. They hold up on the grill, and look “meaty” for whatever that’s worth!
Whether you are a devoted vegan, vegetarian, plant-curious, or a committed carnivore, I think that veggie burgers deserve a place at the table as an interesting and delicious alternative. Once you get it out of your head that a vegan burger needs to taste just like a meat-based burger, your palate may open up to some of the more innovative options out there. And my kudos go out to all the restaurants out there still making their own vegan burger patties! Anytime I see one on a menu, I have to try it out. What is your favorite vegan burger? Please share in the comments!