10 Plant-Based Burgers to Try (That Aren’t Impossible or Beyond)
Big brands are adding vegan burgers to a meat-heavy lineup. In 2019, the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger drove plant-based proteins into the mainstream, causing a major shift in how meatless patties are received by the general public. Many meat-centric businesses followed in the footsteps of these vegan pioneers by launching their own plant-based proteins or investing in smaller start-ups that had burger alternatives to offer. This is a major win for the vegan movement, one that may just change the trajectory of our food culture and public health.
While some more traditional businesses are holding off joining the plant-based craze (ahem, McDonald’s) and others are transitioning slowly with blended products—Perdue and Tyson, for example, offer NON-VEGAN burgers enhanced with peas, chickpeas, and veggies—a good number of big name companies are jumping in with 100% vegan options added to their old school meat-heavy lineup. Let’s give shoutouts where shoutouts are due.
Here are 10 mainstream companies that have launched, or invested in, meat-like plant-based burgers.
Under their Pure Farmland brand, Smithfield Foods now offers not only vegan burgers (Simply Seasoned Plant-Based Burger Patties and Plant-Based Burger Patties with Dairy Free Cheddar Alternative) but breakfast sausages, plant-based meatballs, and pre-seasoned protein starters as well. Their products are gluten-free, soy-based, and include options such as Italian Style Plant-Based Meatballs with Dairy Free Parmesan Alternative, Maple Plant-Based Breakfast Patties, and Simply Seasoned Plant-Based Protein Starters, among others. Sustainable packaging and charitable giving toward protecting farmland set this brand apart.
Happy Little Plants
Currently available in select Hy-Vee markets throughout Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, Hormel Foods’ Happy Little Plants™ plant-based ground “meat” is gluten-free, soy-based, non-GMO, unseasoned, and free of preservatives. With hopes to increase availability, the company also looks to expand the product line.
Nestlé’s Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods recently launched The Awesome Burger and Awesome Grounds, available in select retail locations as well as at the popular restaurant chain, Ruby Tuesday. Some of the grocers carrying this non-GMO, yellow pea protein-based product include Fred Meyer, Hy-Vee, Ralphs, Safeway, Stop & Shop, and more. The company also has plans to release a plant-based sausage as well.
Kroger debuted Emerge Plant-Based Grind and Emerge Plant-Based Patties through their Simple Truth Plant Based™ brand. With a full line of products, which includes oatmilk, cookies, sour cream and cream cheese alternatives, vegan alfredo sauce, and plant-based chorizo, Kroger leads the way in providing vegan options. Free of preservatives and non-GMO, Simple Truth Plant Based™ brand offers products to cover all your basic mealtime needs.
Don Lee Farms
Costco partners with Don Lee Farms to bring us the Better Than Beef burger, an organic, gluten-free patty that launched last February. With a tagline of “Better on the grill and better for the planet,” this burger is crafted to sizzle like its meat-centric rivals. Don Lee Farms also offers Better Than Beef crumbles.
Kellogg’s Morningstar Farms® Incogmeato “bleeding” vegan burger, a non-GMO, soy-based patty, is scheduled to be on grocery shelves nationwide early this year. Look for it in the refrigerator section near regular beef burgers. The brand plans to release additional Incogmeato products later in 2020. Other vegan items available from the company include Meat Lovers Vegan Burger, Veggie Lovers Vegan Burger, and Meal Starters Chik’n Strips.
While not a retailer, Sysco, the “leading global foodservice distribution company” which supplies to schools, hospitals, restaurants, and hotels, has rolled out their Simply™ Plant-Based Meatless Burger Patty. The burger is gluten-free, non-GMO, and soy-based. In addition to the plant-based patty, Sysco provides a ground meatless option as well.
The sweetheart of the budget-friendly groceries, Trader Joe’s, launched a pea protein-based burger late last year. A great option for those with allergies or shoppers just trying to avoid soy, these Protein Patties ring up at less than some of the more costly vegan burger options currently on the market.
ALDI recently jumped into the plant-based market full force with their expanded line of vegan options. One of the latest additions is their Earth Grown Burger, a non-GMO patty that’s offered in two options: the Veggie Burger (packed with ten different vegetables, including carrots, zucchini, and peas) and the Black Bean Chipotle Burger. Other vegan products available include the Kale Veggie Burger, Zesty Meatless Meatballs, Chickenless Patties, and Chickenless Tenders, among others.
Before the Butcher
Jensen Meat Company recently took controlling interest in the California-based two-year-old start-up, Before the Butcher. The company’s UNCUT Plant-Based Burger is a gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-based patty available in groceries nationwide. The brand also offers UNCUT Plant-Based Chicken Burger, UNCUT Plant-Based Turkey Burger, and UNCUT Breakfast Sausage Patty.
More from VegOut
8 Frozen Vegan Pizzas You’ll Want in Your Freezer
Not sure what to make for dinner? You can’t go wrong with these eight frozen vegan pizzas! We love a good plant-based pie, especially one we can easily make at home. Here are some of our favorite frozen pizzas you can buy in stores and online.
Vegan and Vegan-Friendly Restaurants Lizzo Has Tried in LA (And Featured on Her TikTok)
The award-winning singer has featured some delicious vegan grub from restaurants around Los Angeles on her TikTok page.
San Diego’s First Vegan, Gluten-Free Ice Cream Shop Opens Friday
The new Kula Ice Cream storefront opens this Friday!
Easy Vegan Chickpea “Tuna” Salad Recipe
This easy vegan chickpea salad is rich in protein, fiber, flavor, and versatility. Made from plant-based pantry staples, this salad can be planned in advance or put together totally last minute. Try serving it between slices of whole-grain bread, as a dip paired with veggie sticks and crackers, or atop loaded salads. This legume-based dish is the perfect appetizer, snack, and meal addition. For increased simplicity, this salad can be made with or without a food processor—let’s get mashing!
The Met Gala Will Serve an All-Vegan Menu This Year
Vogue’s popular red carpet fashion event will feature a plant-based menu!
NBA’s Number One Draft Pick Cade Cunningham Is Vegan
This 19-year-old basketball player is the latest to join the ranks of plant-based NBA players.
7 Must-Try Vegan Hot Dog Spots Across America
Hot diggity dog! Summertime is in full force, and hot dog season is among us. The perfect seasonal cookout fare can be found in vegan form at all major grocers, but where can you grab a vegan dog piled high with all the fixings? We’re rounding up some of our favorite vegan and vegan-friendly spots to snag a vegan hot dog around the country.
12 Sustainable Loungewear and Pajama Brands to Add to Your Wardrobe
It seems like all we do these days is lounge around, so we might as well dress for the occasion, right? Loungewear is as comfy as pajamas, but cute enough to hop on a Zoom meeting, post to your IG story, or even take your dog out for a quick walk. Here are our favorite eco-friendly loungewear and pajama brands!
Take-and-Bake Vegan Mac & Cheese Trays Expand to Nearly 100 Costco Locations
Chef Ayindè Howell’s plant-based Mac & Yease can be found in Costco stores across the southeastern United States.
California’s First Vegan Camping Festival Is Happening Next Weekend
The Kind Hearted Campout will feature music, activism workshops, vegan food, games, yoga classes, dance parties, and more!
9 Best Store-Bought Vegan Salad Kit Brands
These plant-based salad kits are easy to assemble and delicious.
7 Vegan Mayo Brands That Taste Better Than the Real Thing
For vegan BLTs and mashed chickpea salads, having a good plant-based mayo on hand is key. And with the variety of creamy vegan spreads available, there’s no reason to reach for the egg-based dressings again. Check out our list of seven vegan mayonnaise options to try out next.
Subscribe NowOrder the magazine!