Veggie patties come in all shapes, forms, and sizes. Some are made with legumes, like black beans, soy protein, pea protein, or lentils. Others are a slice of some sort of vegetable, like eggplant or a Portobello mushroom. However, many are also made of, mixed with, or breaded in eggs or cheese. So, are all veggie burgers vegan? According to these standards, the answer is no.
Egg is a common binder found in many veggie burgers, including legume-based ones. But, it’s not required. Others use binders like flour, methylcellulose, natural gums or even flaxseeds. In fact, even the Beyond and Impossible burgers, praised for tasting the most like meat, use plant-based binders.
Another thing to watch out for when ordering a veggie burger at a restaurant, is cheese/dairy. Even though the patty itself may or may not contain dairy, the sandwich itself could contain cheese, milk, or mayo.
Finally, if you are ordering from a non-vegetarian restaurant, your veggie patty may have been cooked on the same surface as beef burgers. This may not be an issue to you, and there’s no right or wrong answer to whether this makes the burger vegan or not. This doesn’t benefit the animal agriculture industry, so it depends solely on your own standards. Don’t worry too much about this issue if you’re purchasing the vegan option at a popular restaurant! What’s important is you’re sending the message that you want plant-based foods to go mainstream!
Here are some of our favorite plant-based patties that you can find at a grocery store near you!