Vegan

The Ultimate Vegan Burger, 3 Ways

May  4, 2020
Photo by Gena Hamshaw
Author Notes

Whereas vegan beef crumbles are difficult to shape (I’ve never had success, even after adding bread and flour for binding), vegan ground beef is happy to be molded into patties, meatballs, or meatloaf. And once molded, so they’ll stay. I was impressed by how flippable, and smashable these burgers were. In the case of the Impossible Burger, there’s even the faintly metallic taste of iron (thanks to the plant-derived heme), coupled with a bright red, juicy interior. You’ll also notice the lack of salt in the recipe—I found these vegan ground beefs to be so well-seasoned as-is, that they didn’t need any extra.

Pick the style of burger (thick and juicy, smashed and crispy, Emma's cheesiest—but vegan) you’re craving right now, then pile it high with shrettuce, pickles, onions, and secret sauce. (Oh, and would you like fries with that?) —Gena Hamshaw

  • Prep time 4 minutes
  • Cook time 6 minutes
  • Makes 2-4 burgers, depending on style
Ingredients
  • 1 (12-ounce) package vegan ground beef, such as Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-4 sesame or regular burger buns, or English muffins (for Cheesiest Cheeseburger variation), split and toasted
  • 4 1/2 ounces vegan cheddar cheese shreds (for Cheesiest Cheeseburger variation)
  • Sliced tomatoes, sliced or caramelized onions, dill pickle chips, ketchup, mustard, and/or mayonnaise for topping
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Tavern-style

    Divide the meat into 2 6-ounce mounds, then gently shape into patties (each will be 1 1/2-inches high and 3 1/2-inches across. Heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium-high heat with the vegetable oil. Sear patties until deeply charred, about 2-3 minutes per side for the Impossible Burger and 4 minutes for the Beyond Burger. Place on a seeded or regular burger bun and top as desired. Place patties on seeded or regular burger buns and top as desired.
  2. Smash burger

    Divide the meat into 3 or 4 4-ounce mounds, then gently shape into patties (each will be 1 1/2-inches high and 3 1/2-inches across). Heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium high heat with a coat of vegetable oil. Sear patties until deeply charred on one side, about 2-3 minutes for the Impossible Burger and 4 minutes for the Beyond Burger. Flip the patties and press with a spatula to about 1/2-inch thickness. Top each patty with a slice of cheese, and cook until the cheese is melted and edges are crisp, another 3 or 4 minutes. Place patties on seeded or regular burger buns and top as desired.
  3. Vegan Cheesiest Cheeseburgers (adapted from Emma Laperruque’s recipe)

    Combine the meat and cheese shreds in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands. Divide the mixture into 6 or 8 2-ounce mounds, then gently shape into patties (each will be roughly 1-inch high and 1 1/2-inches across). Heat a griddle or large frying pan over medium high heat with a coat of vegetable oil. Add patties and smash to 3 1/2-inches diameter. Cook until crispy on bottom, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape and flip the patties, and cook another 3 minutes. Place 2 patties on each toasted English muffin or bun, and top as desired.

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.