Going meat-free definitely doesn't mean you can't get your grill on.
For hard-core carnivores and serious meat lovers, grilling season is heaven on earth, but for those who avoid animal proteins it can be a slightly trickier time of year to maneuver. It’s no secret that veggie burgers are better for your body and the environment than their meaty counterparts, and whether you’re experimenting with one meat-free day a week or sticking to an entirely vegetarian diet, there’s no reason the animal-friendly grilling alternatives shouldn’t satisfy all of your summer cravings.
The good news is that today, there are a wide array of high-quality, flavorful meat-free patties on the market. Whether you’re a traditional frozen veggie burger fan or want to try something with a little more kick, these brands will help you up your vegetable intake one patty at a time.
The Scientific Groundbreakers
Beyond Burger - This plant based burger looks and cooks like meat, but it’s totally animal-, soy-, gluten-, and GMO-free, with 20 grams of plant protein per patty. The brand’s other offerings include the Beast Burger, an even more protein-packed option with 23 grams of protein, as well as the mini-sized Beastly Sliders, perfect for a party spread.
Impossible Burger - This patty, which has received tons of hype since it came on the scene last year, “bleeds” like a real burger but uses 95 percent less land and 74 percent less water to make than typical beef burgers, and creates 87 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. This brand has taken aim at developing a patty so meat-like that it could fool even your most carnivorous party guests, and what better time to test that than grilling season?
All American Classic Burger - This icon of the frozen burger market is made of non-GMO soy protein, and contains 15 grams of protein per patty. At just 90 calories, this product has been a stand-by of the vegetarian burger scene for years. Boca also offers a vegetarian “chicken” patty, with 12 grams of protein per piece, as well as a slightly fancier Boca Essentials Sweet Potato and Red Quinoa option.
Original Veggie Burger - This veggie burger OG has been around seemingly since the dawn of frozen vegetarian options, and hasn’t changed much over the years. If you’re craving something classic, this is the product for you.
California Veggie Burger - Amy’s Kitchen, the beloved gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian-friendly brand beloved by healthy foodies world over offers their own veggie burger made with organic bulgur wheat, mushrooms, toasted walnuts and veggies. These burgers are non-GMO, dairy-free, kosher, and totally vegan—making them a safe bet for most kinds of eaters.
Garden Veggie Patties – While plant-based foods are all the rage these days, this brand has been in the green-friendly biz for over 60 years, producing products like their classic veggie patties made with mushrooms, water chestnuts, onions, bell peppers, olives, and more.
In addition to their classic burger, Morningstar has an assortment of flavorful options, including Spicy Black Bean, Mediterranean Chickpea, and Tomato and Basil. Heads up that while many of Morningstar’s patties aren’t vegan—as they contain eggs, as well as wheat and soy—the brand does offer two “Meat Lovers” and “Veggie Lovers” vegan patties.
Ultimate Beefless Burger- With 70 percent less fat than a beef burger and 16 grams of protein, these patties made with soy, wheat, and vegetables are perfect for a health-conscious meal plan. The totally meat-free brand also offers Meatless Chicken Patties and a Chipotle Black Bean Burger to satisfy all of your BBQ guests’ preferences.
The Grocery Store Favorites
365 Everyday Value Meatless Burgers - The health food giant’s in-house brand has its own vegan burger, made with soy and vegetable proteins. While you’re sure to find an assortment of vegetarian options at Whole Foods, this more affordably priced brand might be your best bet if you’re on a tight budget.
Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers with Black Beans and Roasted Corn - The popular grocery chain offers a flavorful quinoa-based option for their main veggie burger selection. In addition to their Southwest-inspired patty, the grocer also offers a more standard Hi-Protein Veggie Burger, which is made with pea protein and packs a whopping 26 grams of protein into every piece.
The Flavor Risk-Takers
Hilary’s “World’s Best” Veggie Burger - With the self-appointed title of “world’s best veggie burger” right there in the name, Hilary’s is clearly confident in their burgers, which are made with organic millet, quinoa, coconut oil, sweet potato, greens, and more. The brand also offers a slightly funkier Adzuki Bean Burger—which is flavored with green chili, cumin, and other spices— as well as a Black Rice Burger and Root Veggie Burger made with turnips and beets.
California Veggie Burgers - Made with carrots, peas, broccoli, zucchini, and edamame, these chunky veggie patties are GMO-, Trans Fat-, and Cholesterol-free. The brand, which prides itself in using “pronounceable and recognizable ingredients” also offers other veggie-packed options for any taste preference, including a Kale Veggie Burger, Black Bean Quinoa Burger, and Super Greens Burger made with six kids of greens, quinoa, and ginger.
Original Quinoa Burger - These gluten-free, quinoa-based burgers have a mild, nutty flavor that lovers of the grain will enjoy. The brand, which is available at many major grocery chains, also offers a variety of twists on their classic patty, including Green Chile, Spicy Italian, and Saucy Buffalo-Style burgers.
Poblano Black Bean Burger - These gluten-free burgers made with black beans, brown rice, oats, Poblano peppers and tomatoes promise to bring a “savory Southwest” flavor. In addition to their Poblano patty, Engine 2, a brand dedicated to spreading plant-based nutrition, also offers more flavorful twists on your average veggie burger, like Italian Fennel and Pinto Habanero.
Quarter Pound Veggie Burgers - For a hefty vegetarian patty option for your next grill session, check out this totally organic brand’s quarter-pound burger that won’t leave you hungry. The brand also offers a variety of flavors, including Garden Herb, Spicy Tuscan, Black Bean South West, Barbecue, Falafel, and Shiitake Mushroom, and are sold at a number of health food stores nationwide.
If you’d rather opt for a homemade, meat-free patty that you can tweak and season to your heart’s content, give one of these amazing veggie burger recipes a shot the next time you’re firing up the grill. With options ranging from Buffalo Quinoa Burgers to Homemade Quick Black Bean Burgers you’re sure to find an animal-friendly option you’ll be making for years to come.