The Healthiest Frozen Foods in the Supermarket: Veggie Burgers
Meatless burger options are plentiful these days. You can take your pick of protein source (soy, beans, grains, nuts, or vegetables); then choose your flavor which can range from smoky and flame-grilled to nutty and earthy. This many choices can be overwhelming, so we’ve done the work for you and narrowed down our favorites depending on the type of burger you’re looking for.
Taste Test Winners:
Carrots, corn, spinach, broccoli, and zucchini are the key ingredients and offer a fresh, veggie-forward flavor. Mashed soybeans provide protein as well as a creamy binder to hold the burger’s shape. If you’re wanting a true vegetable burger, this is the one to buy. $3.99 for 4 burgers, vegan
Calories 120; Fat 5g (sat 1g); Protein 5g; Carb 14g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 1g; Chol 0mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 240mg; Calc 40mg
Don’t let the vegan label turn you away; these burgers are hearty and flavorful thanks to a blend of whole grains, mushrooms, veggies, and walnuts. The flavor is slightly nutty, making them a versatile for a range of toppings. $6.99 for 4 burgers, vegan
Calories 150; Fat 5g (sat 0.5g); Protein 6g; Carb 21g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 2g; Chol 0mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 500mg; Calc 20mg
Our favorite “meaty” burger, this one’s a good choice if you’re looking for veggie burger that tastes similar to a traditional hamburger. The burger’s flavor is smoky and savory, and the texture is slightly chewy - similar to that of a cooked beef patty. $2.99 for 4 burgers, vegetarian
Calories 120; Fat 4.5g (sat 1.5g); Protein 15g; Carb 5g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 0g; Chol 5mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 350mg; Calc 150mg
Others We Liked:
Basil, mozzarella cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes added a nice flavor change and made this burger stand out. If you’re wanting to venture from the traditional veggie burger, this Italian-inspired one is a great choice to try. $3.79 for 4 burgers, vegetarian
Calories 130 Fat 7g (sat 1g); Protein 9g; Carb 7g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 2g; Chol 5mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 360mg; Calc 100mg
Made with lentils, chickpeas, carrots, peas, and potatoes, this patty had a spicy curry flavor with a hint of garlic and lemongrass. It also had a nice crispy, firm texture. We liked this burger best when served without a bun and topped with small dab of chili mayo or mango chutney. $4.89 for 4 burgers, vegan
Calories 130; Fat 8g (sat 1g); Protein 6g; Carb 11g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 1g; Chol 0mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 370mg; Calc 40mg
The roasted garlic is nice, not too strong, in this veggie burger that is made primarily of lentils, brown rice, and carrots. The patty crisped nicely in the skillet, and the burger’s flavor is versatile enough to pair with a variety of condiments like tzatziki sauce or chutney. $4.89 for 4 burgers, vegan
Calories 130; Fat 8g (sat 1g); Protein 7g; Carb 12g; Fiber 7g; Sugars 1g; Chol 0mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 350mg; Calc 40mg
One of the first veggie burgers on the market, these are still a great stand-by. The burgers are juicy with a strong mushroom and onion flavor that allows you to dress them up however you like. $3.99 for 4 burgers, vegetarian
Calories 110; Fat 3g (sat 1.5g); Protein 5g; Carb 16g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 0g; Chol 5mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 490mg; Calc 40mg
These are a great “meaty” burger option that just happens to be vegan. The soy-based burgers have a smoky flavor, crispy outside, and pleasantly soft inside. Add a bun and classic burger topping to enjoy fully. $2.79 for 4 burgers, vegan
Calories 70; Fat 0.5g (sat 0g); Protein 13g; Carb 6g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 0g; Chol 0mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 280mg; Calc 60mg
Things to Look For:
- Protein: Since the veggie burger is often the meal's primary protein source, make sure it offers an ample amount to keep you full and satisfied. Look for one with 5g or more per burger.
- Colorings and Additives: Some veggie burgers have lots of added colorings, flavorings, preservatives, and fillers, so compare the ingredient list among brands. Typically, the simpler the ingredient list, the healthier.
- Sodium: Veggie burgers aren’t something you think of as a major sodium source, but thanks to added preservatives and flavorings, the sodium can creep up. Look for one that has 500mg or less of sodium, especially if you’re pairing with a bun and condiments.
How We Tested
Only frozen foods that met Cooking Light’s nutrition guidelines were tested. Products were eliminated based on the following: lack of calorie and/or protein adequacy, lack of whole grains, presence of trans fat or hydrogenation, presence of significant added sugars, and presence of artificial coloring or sweeteners. All frozen foods were cooked according to package directions and taste tested by a panel of Cooking Light editors and staff. To ensure consistency, Breville microwaves were used to cook all foods.