In search of tasty, gluten-free veggie burgers

Amy's Kitchen Sonoma veggie burgers.
Amy’s Kitchen Sonoma veggie burgers.

When I found I couldn’t eat wheat, cleaning out the fridge was a painful process. Wheat is added to so many different kinds of foods, and I had never realized. Especially when it came to veggie burgers. Sure, I like to cook. But having Boca or Morningstar patties on hand when I don’t feel like cooking, or during finals week in college (and now, grad school) was such a time saver. There’s probably an element of comfort food in there somewhere as well. Discovering I could discretely bring a package of veggie burgers to a friend’s barbeque made me not feel like an outsider, and I could take part in the outdoor grilling ritual of summertime. When I first went veggie, I remember my grandmother keeping Gardenburgers in her freezer for me. Sadly, now that whole plethora of wheat-filled, frozenpatties is off the menu. Though I’ve been looking at delicious-looking recipes for veggie burgers, part of the charm of them is the convenience. Mixing up the perfect combination of vegetables, grains and spices, then forming them into little patties, and freezing them for later, is just not as convenient. So, here’s the list of all the gluten-free veggie burgers I’ve found the time to try.

UPDATE: I’m putting Ope’s Veggie Burgers on top of the list, because I love their black bean burgers. Also, locally made in Kalamazoo? I’d post a picture, but I keep eating them. I did use the veggie burgers in the this recipe.

Franklin Farms Veggieburger: Perfect. They taste like little patties of vegetables and grains, so they’ll take to whatever sandwich or other dish you want to add them to. These come unfrozen, so you can eat them straight out of the package (not that I do this often.)  They’re located in one of those islands in the produce section at Meijer. I’ve been eating these for years without realizing they’re gluten-free as well. I’ve tried both the original and portobello burgers, and both were great.

Franklin veggie burgers.
Franklin veggie burgers.

Amy’s Bistro Burgers: These patties are rich, savory, and mushroom-y. A perfect replacement for the standard portobello cap. Also, Amy’s are available at many different places, like Kroger, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time tracking them down.

Amy’s Sonoma Burgers: I took a package of these on a ski trip, and found them crunchy, flavorful and very filling. Despite being vegan, they’re almost meaty in their flavor. However, when you cook them, they can be a bit crumbly— be careful when you’re flipping them over.

Amy's Bistro burger, on teff bread.
Amy’s Bistro burger, on gluten-free teff bread from Tasty Bakery in Ann Arbor.

Hilary’s Eat Well: Light and crunchy, made of millet and quinoa (two underappreciated grains, in my opinion!) Only complaint: There should be more than just two to a pack. I mean, who can resist a name like Green Chili and Cumin Adzuki Bean Burger?

Wildwood Veggie Burgers: Unusual, in that tofu is their main ingredient not a grain. Is juicy an ok description for a veggie burger? These little patties were wonderful. I found the broiler was the best way to heat these up, making them crunchy on the outside yet moist on the inside. They come unfrozen, in packs of two. Also, for veggie burgers, they’re on the larger size.

Qrunch burgers:  The main ingredient of these patties is the protein-rich grain quinoa, which makes me happy. There are several varieties of these burgers. I tried two— the original and the Italian spice— and found the original light, crunchy, and filling. However, the Italian spice one was over-spiced and a bit artificial-tasting.

Qrunch burger, with asparagus and potatoes.
Qrunch burger, with asparagus and potatoes.

Sol Cuisine: I tried the mushroom rice burger, and I found them a little bland. The frozen patties stayed soft, no matter how I tried to fry or broil them. (I didn’t try to bake them, though.) Their lack of mushroom-y taste, coupled with their small size, made me reluctant to try this brand again.

Sunshine Burgers: I really wanted to like these, because their name is so cheerful. Who dislikes sunshine, especially this time of the year? Also, they’ve been around since the early 1980s. Unfortunately, they weren’t that great, taste or texture wise. If you don’t fry them up right, they come out very soggy, and nothing was changing the greenish gray color of ‘em.

The downside to these burgers is, like many gluten-free products, that they’re more expensive. (Grumble.)  And if I don’t indicate where to buy them, I would try a local health food or co-op, or the behemoth known as Whole Food’s. Luckily, I’ve been compiling a list of health food type grocery stores here (or just click on the “Where to Shop” menu to the left. Also, Dr. Praeger’s also makes gluten-free veggie patties, but I’m waiting til my next payday to try those. Disclaimer: yeah, this post is full of name brands. But I paid for them all myself.

11 thoughts on “In search of tasty, gluten-free veggie burgers

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    1. Thanks a lot for the recipes! The quinoa and jalapeno one looks very tasty. (As a slightly novice cook, I was uncertain about how to make the burgers with both taste and without wheat…) I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  1. My favorite veggie burgers in terms of flavor, are Amy’s Quarter Pounder and the Qrunch Quinoa Bugers – Sweet Curry flavor. Both tend to fall apart if cooked in the microwave, so it’s worth the extra effort to bake, grill or toast. Yum!

  2. Reading the ingredients on the Amy’s burgers, the Sonoma burger contains oats, which many gluten intolerant people like myself are also sensitive to. The Amy’s Bistro burger looks to be fine to me from its ingredient list.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out! However, the oats themselves don’t contain gluten. The issue with oats is cross-contamination, as wheat and oats are often processed on the same equipment. Since some places have dedicated machines for oats only, I assumed that Amy’s gets their oats from a place like that.

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