Gone are the days when vegans have to miss out on arguably one of the best parts of summer—burgers on the grill. We're sharing our top 10 meat- and dairy-free vegan burger recipes for you to try, plus easy prep and cooking tips so you can live your best vegan burger life.
Tips for Making and Cooking Vegan Burgers
- Replace the egg. Most of the time, the only difference between a vegetarian burger and a vegan burger is one or two pesky eggs to bind or moisten the ingredients. The good news is you can replace one egg with either ¼ cup of mashed ripe avocado, or combine one tablespoon of ground flax seeds with three tablespoons of warm water and let it sit until it gels (just a matter of minutes). Then use it in the recipe.
- Swap the beans. Fresh out of garbanzo beans? No problem—use another bean! For the most part, as long as the recipe calls for enough spices and other flavor agents, you're not going to notice a distinctive flavor of the beans, so feel free to use any bean you happen to have. Note: Black beans tend to have a stronger, earthier flavor than white beans, and they'll change the overall color of the patty.
- Process, process, process. To reduce the amount of burger patty breakage, be sure to use a food processor to chop the ingredients as finely as possible, but without turning them to mush. This will make everything easier to stick together.
- Make patties just before cooking. Refrigerated, pre-made patties can build up moisture, which makes them more prone to falling apart. So, either make the patties right after you process them and just before cooking, or if you need to prepare the mixture ahead of time and refrigerate, just be sure to let it come back to room temperature before you make the patties.
- Heat the oil. If you're pan-frying the patties, be sure the oil is hot before adding patties so they will sear and create a crust.
- Grill 'em good. Some vegan burger mixtures might still be a bit crumbly, so use a non-stick perforated grill pan to prevent bits of burger from falling through the grates.
Top 10 Vegan Burger Recipes to Try
Like extra garlic or extra heat? Add more! It's really easy to customize this recipe and make it your own. Even the recipe submitter, jeshaka, says, "You don't need to follow the recipe or amounts exactly."
Portobello mushrooms make perfect meat-free burgers with their juicy, meaty texture, and they're great on the grill. Be sure to choose bun-size portobellos for this recipe, and swap out the slice of provolone for a dairy-free cheese to keep things vegan. Then load up the bun with your favorite burger fixin's. Watch the video to see how to make them.
Here's one for the broiler: Pita rounds are spread with vegan mayo and tahini, topped with tomato and slices of tofu that's seasoned with soy sauce, and then broiled. So fast and simple! Buckwheat Queen says, "The tahini really makes this sandwich. I didn't have pita bread so I used whole grain gluten free sandwich bread. I also drained the tofu and lightly grilled it."
These versatile burgers are a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure when it comes to cooking: They can be baked, grilled, or fried to peak deliciousness. Top with avocado and your favorite vegan cheese and vegan sour cream.
These burgers call for a little liquid smoke in the recipe to give it straight-from-the-campfire flavor. "Delicious! A hit with even my non-veggie friends and relatives. Not to mention it's vegan!" — Waterbabyaislynn
Canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are mixed with oats, hummus, and peanut butter to make a skillet-fried burger patty. In her review, Buckwheat Queen said she would add a little of the chickpea water to moisten the patty, and she served it with vegan sour cream and a dash of spicy sriracha.
There's nothing subtle about the flavor of these black bean burgers. Spiced up with onion, garlic, habanero pepper, fresh ginger, allspice, and nutmeg, these burgers bring the party to your mouth. "I believe this recipe could make T-Rex less of a carnivore," says Mike Harvey, daPITA. "I made this exactly as stated and cannot think of any alterations to make."
Brown rice, toasted cashews, sunflower seeds, and carrots give this recipe a unique, nutty flavor. The recipe makes 20 patties, so adjust amounts if needed to serve a smaller crowd. FUNKYMUNKY says, "I liked these a lot and so did my friends who asked for the recipe. Someone suggested adding curry—I'll try that next time. The funnest part is mushing it all up with your hands!"
These full-flavored vegan burgers are seasoned with Dijon mustard, ground cumin, fresh ginger, and ground cinnamon. Jai Murthy says, "The added cinnamon brings out the other spices very nicely. To give it a bit more of a meaty flavor, I added 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and smoked Spanish paprika."
Becky, who submitted this recipe, says it's "packed with veggie and quinoa goodness including lots of meatless protein." She also says it can be baked or grilled, and the egg and cheese can be easily omitted to make it vegan.
Check out our collection of Vegan Recipes.
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