11 Best Grocery Store Meatless Burgers Ranked

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Not long ago, the only meatless burgers you could find were black bean burgers and soy patties. For a long time, those offerings weren't much to get fired up about. They were passable as food and may have provided some nutrition, but they were far from satisfying. Anyone with a taste for meat flavor while eating a plant-based diet was out of luck. Eventually, there were better-tasting options in restaurants that realized they had an audience for meatless eating. But the versions in grocery stores were still sorely lacking.

That was then. This is wow! During the last ten years, the number of meatless burger options that taste appetizing and hold their own against an open flame or a frying pan has grown by delicious leaps and bounds. From mouth-watering flavor mash-ups to meatless burgers that are nearly indistinguishable from real beef, here's a round-up of the best and tastiest to light up your cookout.

11. Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Burger

Gardein's entry in the meatless burger race is surprisingly beefy for a plant-based burger. There's a density to the texture and little chewy bits that feel like traditional meat-based fat. It's a strange yet welcome addition for burger lovers who hope to replace their animal diet standards with a plant-centric fix. The ingredient list features textured pea and wheat proteins, as well as vital wheat gluten. It's definitely not gluten-free food.

But at 210 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 20 grams of protein, the nutritional profile is a winner for anyone looking to keep health as a priority while enjoying a plant-forward burger that feels and tastes incredibly meaty. Ultimate Plant-Based Burgers are also a cost-effective option, with a two-patty pack averaging less than five dollars in some grocery retailers. They're great for participating in Meatless Monday, too. If the grill is calling out for a burger that nothing had to die to create, you can't do better than what Gardein offers.

10. Beyond Burger

Beyond Meat was launched in 2009 to offer a plant-based meat substitute that tastes similar to meat but with a significantly reduced environmental impact compared to beef production. The result is one of the most convincing analogs of meat on the market. Beyond Burger uses non-GMO ingredients in a patty that feels and tastes like actual beef. The protein content of 20 grams and fat content of 14 grams is similar to 85% lean beef, though the pea protein and coconut oil in Beyond are plant sources, of course. The taste and texture help make Beyond a replacement comparable enough to a real burger to convince meat-eaters that plant-based isn't so bad. It's appetizing enough for none other than fast-food powerhouse McDonald's to include it in their McPlant burgers.

As the price goes, Beyond Burgers aren't terribly expensive in most grocery retailers, with two patties priced at around five dollars. All things considered, this patty is a great option for a backyard cookout or a weeknight dinner when nothing but a burger will get the job done.

9. Impossible Burger

Impossible Foods has concocted one of the most convincing formulas for meat-free burgers, attractive enough to entice fast-food colossus Burger King to introduce their patties in an Impossible Whopper. Though not vegan because of the inclusion of mayonnaise and cheese, the similarity to a real Whopper is uncanny. The same can be said for the grocery version of the Impossible Burger, which is available in patties or ground-style for make-your-own burgers. The meat-like flavor is thanks to an ingredient called heme, which also ups the iron content. It also makes the patties "bleed" on the grill and in the frying pan, a plus for meat lovers making the transition to non-animal burgers.

As well as including soy-derived heme, Impossible uses soy as a protein source for their burger, an ingredient that has garnered its share of controversy over the years because of its potential health impacts. Heme has been the subject of a great deal of scientific scrutiny. The most recent declaration is that soy is safe to be consumed a few times a week, which makes guilt-free enjoyment of the Impossible Burger entirely possible.

8. Morningstar Farms Meatless Burgers

This mainstay brand of meatless grocery products offers a spicy black bean patty that meat-free eaters love. This jazzy little patty is 100% plant-based, a go-to burger for diners who love a spicy patty that sizzles up nicely, even if the texture isn't terribly close to meat. It's more like a thick hash brown with bits of bean, brown rice, and shredded vegetables throughout. This is actually preferred by burger lovers who know what they're getting into and is the expected form of a black bean burger from the freezer section. And because the name explains the product, there's no wondering if you're getting a weird meat-veggie hybrid. You're getting a black bean burger, and one of the best of its kind.

Though the company hasn't quite lived up to its promise to veganize all of its products, MorningStar Farms has partnered with Kellogg's to put their brand stamp on Incogmeato, a meat replacement that actually tries to emulate beef. The ingredients and nutrition stack up nicely, with 20 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, and 220 calories per patty.

7. Field Roast Vegan Burgers

Field Roast prides itself on gourmet-level plant-based meat and cheese products, and their burgers are some of the most thoughtful patties in the refrigerator case. The ingredient list includes porcini and shiitake mushrooms, barley malt extract, and balsamic vinegar, items not generally found in meatless burgers. With a 240-calorie patty delivering a whopping 21 grams of plant protein and a moderate 12 grams of fat, the health profile is impressive. However, the use of wheat gluten as a protein source nixes Field Roast from the gluten-free list. Vegan.com points out that the company doesn't intend to match the texture of real beef directly, allowing Field Roast to create a less processed burger. The result is what one reviewer at Shop Smart calls "nourishing and relatable." For burger eaters who crave a more refined version of a meatless burger, Field Roast is a highlight on the alternative burger scene.

6. Dr. Praeger's Perfect Burgers

Instead of trying to emulate meat, Dr. Prager's gives burger lovers a variety of gourmet vegetable patties to choose from, including black bean quinoa and mushroom risotto. According to its website, the company's founding principle was to provide "food that tasted so good, it would make it easy to help people adopt better eating habits." With health as a guiding factor, these burgers include pea protein and a blend of sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, beets, and other veggies in their plant-based patties. They're also gluten-free, making them accessible to an even larger burger-loving audience.

While you won't be getting a classic hamburger encounter from Dr. Praeger's patties, they still provide a premium patty or crumble experience. Reviewers give these burgers high marks, with an average of 4.4 out of 5-stars on Influenster. One reviewer notes that "[They] like that they're not pretending to be meat," a plus for plant eaters who don't want a meaty texture from their veggie burgers.

5. Amy's Kitchen Organic California Kitchen Burger

Amy's Kitchen is a big brand in the vegan and vegetarian grocery space, with burgers that do their best to live up to such a tall order. The Organic California Kitchen Burger originated in 1989 after the company's quest to create a perfect non-meat burger. The latest addition to the Amy's Kitchen enterprise is a stab at fast food, with drive-thru windows serving their organic burgers with all the fixings, including vegan cheese and a secret sauce. Amy's seems committed to the ever-expanding plant-based dining movement, and their core veggie burger recipe is one that's readily found in most grocery retailers.

These organic patties are a fully vegan combination of walnuts, oats, mushrooms, and bulgur wheat. Burger fans who aren't looking for a simulation of a beef or turkey patty and are comfortable with an earthier patty will find something to love here. There are other variations available in the burger rotation depending upon where you shop, but the Organic California recipe seems to hold steady on the menu.

4. Hilary's Eat Well World's Best Veggie Burger

The name World's Best Veggie Burger is a lot to live up to, especially for a burger that blends millet, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes into a burger-style food. A trim 160 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein position Hilary's as a solid option for healthful eaters. These certified organic patties are also allergy-, gluten-, and soy-free, making them friendly for just about every plant-based diet on the list.

According to the story on the company's website, Hilary herself suffered from food allergies and created her burger for a restaurant she ran at the time. If the incredible 4.4 out of 5-star average among more than 2,200 ratings on Amazon is any indication, the burger replacement she came up with really works for diners looking for a plant-centered patty. One reviewer notes that these burgers are more like croquettes and are "easy to cook on the stovetop and come out crispy on the outside." Anyone looking to fill a burger bun with something special but not meaty might find the name to be entirely appropriate.

3. Sweet Earth Burgers

Sweet Earth turns plant-based eating into a cultural flavor adventure with their gourmet veggie burgers. The Not Your Basic Black Bean Burger kicks burger lovers right in the tastebuds with a fiery blend of poblano and chipotle, while the Kimchi Cashew Burger brings in the umami brightness of naturally fermented cabbage. Both versions contain 260 calories per patty, but they also contain more than twice as much fat as protein, making them more of a luxury food than a fitness meal.

Though the company claims to be Earth-conscious, the Track Our Impact button on their website links to ... more product pages. And the company is part of GoodNes, an element of food superpower Nestlé, whose sustainability efforts feel a bit outdated. Achieving zero emissions by 2050 is about 20 years too late by current estimates. So while the name and the burgers may focus on keeping the carbon footprint small, whether Sweet Earth can keep its commitments is unknown.

2. Lightlife Plant-Based Burgers

The name may suggest lighter fare, but a single Lightlife plant-based burger contains 17 grams of fat and 390 milligrams of sodium, making it one of the less healthful entries on the list. A calorie count of 250 isn't exactly the worst, and if you're banking on flavor and texture rather than health, this patty includes beet powder and cherry juice to impart the color of real meat, as well as cane sugar to lend a certain meat-based sweetness. It also contains pea protein, which can cause problems for anyone with a pea or legume allergy.

On the upside, Lightlife's burgers are soy- and gluten-free. The company also keeps its ingredients to a precious few and readily calls out their use of modified cellulose, a plant-based thickener that makes up less than 2% of their burgers. There are definitely more desirable options in the meatless deli, but if Lightlife is one of the few options available where you are, then at least you have an option for the cookout.

1. Quorn Meatless Patties

A company that spells its name as uniquely as Quorn does surely provides a one-of-a-kind burger ... right? Well, not exactly. Quorn's meatless patties use mycoprotein, a fungus-based ingredient grown especially for the company's non-meat food lines, which qualifies as both unique and meatless, for sure. And the fermentation process that produces mycoprotein is much more sustainable than animal farming and results in a nutritious and adaptable substitute for meat when it comes to burgers and patties. It sounds healthy for humans, animals, and the planet they both live on.

But Quorn's offering at the cruelty-free buffet isn't exactly trying to be a veggie burger, and it doesn't specifically replace a chicken patty, and it isn't quite a fish filet analog, it ends up as something in-between all three. The spongy texture plays like a chicken nugget, and the breading adds crunch and spice, all of which make these meatless wonders a versatile option when a true burger experience isn't a must.