The Fool-Proof Plant-Based Burger That Will Wow At Any Weekend BBQ

The Fool-Proof Plant-Based Burger That Will Wow At Any Weekend BBQ

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You’ve tried black bean burgers, store-bought options, and even mushroom tops to get the perfect vegan- and vegetarian-friendly burger—but maybe you’ve yet to find one that you love, or perhaps your hoping to find one recipe that will please everyone at the party (vegans and meat-eaters alike).

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That’s where a dish like this one comes in: a more homemade update using the plant-based alternatives. By simply adding your own spices and focusing on top-notch toppings, you’re likely to have a winner on your hands.

Side note: While Impossible and Beyond burgers aren’t our go-to pick for everyday meals (we appreciate whole foods and they’re packed with vegetable oils we don’t like), we can appreciate them on occasion. Just keep that in mind!

“My family looks forward to those evenings or weekends when we grill up all of our favorites, especially these big, juicy burgers,” writes Krisin Bryan in her cookbook Better Than Beef, “With a vegetarian in the family, and a few of us who would prefer an occasional plant-based option, The Backyard Burger is the perfect solution.”

Bryan provides her own list of recommended toppings, but there’s nothing to say you have to stick to the book. We’d say these would be especially satisfactory if you paired them with homemade ranch dressing or DIY pickles, or maybe even some homemade guacamole on top? And don’t forget the sides—they’re just as important at any holiday potluck. The possibilities are endless.

  • 12 ounces ground beef substitute
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 cheddar cheese slices (or your favorite plant-based cheese)
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Large lettuce leaves
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • Pickles
  • Ranch dressing

  1. In a 5-quart mixing bowl, add the ground beef substitute, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to mix well.
  2. Make hamburger patties. Set aside.
  3. In a 10-12 inch skillet, warm olive oil on medium heat. The patties will brown quickly, so be sure the heat is not too high. If you prefer to use a grill, see the note below.
  4. Place the patties in the skillet and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side. The patties can be cooked to individual preference but are generally moister with a little pink in the middle.
  5. Melt the cheese on the patties a few minutes before completely cooked.
  6. Place patties on the buns, and top with the lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and ranch dressing. 

Note: Before cooking the patties on a conventional grill, spray a large piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and poke a few small holes in the foil. Place the foil on the grill and place the patties on the foil. 

From Better Than Beef, by Krisin Bryan. Copyright (c) 2021 by the author, and reprinted with permission of St. Martin’s Publishing Group.

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