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What is a Vegan Burger?

Mary Elizabeth
Updated May 17, 2024
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A vegan is a specific kind of vegetarian who uses no animal products for food or often for any other purposes either. A burger is a cooked patty, served alone or on a bun, and consisting of ingredients that have either been chopped or are of a consistency that allows them to be shaped. A vegan burger is any cooked patty that meets the vegan criteria for contents. Vegan burgers can be categorized by the main ingredient or ingredients used in the patties. There are some standard types that are often homemade by vegans, as well as commercial brands available.

Some vegan burgers are primarily made with beans. Black beans are a favorite choice. Lentils are also popular, as are chickpeas. Often, cooked, drained, and mashed beans are combined with bread crumbs and an egg-replacement product, combined with spices and seasonings, and sautéed or grilled. Beans can also be combined with corn and/or other vegetables, such as carrot or potatoes.

Tofu is another popular mainstay of the vegan burger. It is often mashed with onion, a little flour, and seasonings, and fried. Carrots and oats or ground nuts can also be added. Grated tempeh can also make a burger when combined with bread crumbs, wheat gluten, and some flavorful moisteners, such as HP® sauce.

As an alternative to tofu, the meat substitute made from wheat, seitan, can also be used. It is often combined with breadcrumbs, spices, and some tomato product to help hold the patty together. Another popular non-bean solution is a stuffed grilled Portobello mushroom cap with vegan hamburger fixings on it.

Commercial vegan burgers are made by several companies. Boca offers soy-based products including Original Vegan Burger and Vegan Burgers Made with Organic Soy. Gardenburger sells GardenVegan® patties that contain bulghur wheat, modified wheat protein, and brown rice as their main ingredients. Morningstar Farms Grillers® Vegan Veggie Burgers get their protein mainly from textured soy protein concentrate. Ope’s offers two choices, each a little different from those already mentioned: one combines soy protein with brown rice, oats, and shredded carrots and kidney beans; the other is a melding of soy protein with brown rice oats, and shredded carrots and black beans.

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Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for WiseGeek, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.
Discussion Comments
By anon248719 — On Feb 18, 2012

Ope's Veggie Burgers are the best on the market. They are 100 percent organic, vegan and best tasting - hands down! Highly recommended.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
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