Supermarket taste test 2019: What’s the best veggie burger?
PUBLISHED: 19:30 21 August 2019
Looking for a meat-free offering for that bank holiday barbecue? We’ve tried several vegetarian and vegan burgers to take the guesswork out for you.
Marks & Spencer Plant Kitchen Beet Burgers, 2 for £2.50
These fuchsia pink patties are made (unsurprisingly) with beetroot, and claim to be seasoned with garlic and fresh parsley. I have to admit that I couldn't taste much seasoning as the beetroot flavour is certainly the strongest of the bunch. The packaging promises beetroot and beetroot is definitely what you get - I found it a little overwhelming when I tried the burger on its own, but when it was placed in a bun with a little mayonnaise, it was quite pleasant. Not my favourite veggie burger I've ever tried, but by all means not the worst, either.
The Deli Beetroot burgers, Aldi 1.59 for two
In the package these look plump and appealing and it was great to see they were lower in fat than many of the others (just 5%) and packed with veggies - including a whopping 40% beetroot. The purple hero ingredient is accompanied by chickpeas, red pepper, onion and spinach.
Out of the oven the burger had a pappy, squidgy texture and it was hard to determine many of the key ingredients. There was a breath of heat but the patty had an odd smell and a bit of a sharp aftertaste. Not the worst but it needs sauce and a bit of crunch in the bun to balance it out.
Vivera Veggie Burger, £2.69 for two, available from most supermarkets
Bland during the first mouthful, this vegan burger, made with rehydrated textured soya protein, builds up a nice spiciness, with chilli and paprika among the ingredients too. It's a bit dense in texture, and definitely needs a good blob of ketchup with it.
Waitrose Vegetarian Aubergine & Feta burgers, 2 for £2.89
Vegetable-based burgers aren't the most robust of foods, often crumbling apart or turning into mush after one bite. This thankfully wasn't the case here, as these patties held their shape remarkably well, and crisped up nicely after baking in the oven. Flavour-wise, this burger had a pleasant mix of aromatic spices, with the mint in particular shining through. I couldn't detect even the merest hint of the promised feta, though, which left me slightly disappointed. Still, a nice enough burger, and one that could stand up either on its own or in a bun.
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Co-op Incredible Burgers, £2 for two
On reading the ingredients list I wasn't overly enamoured by these. Soya protein, chickpea flower - and a lot of oil. In fact fat was one of the ingredients highest on the list (although the burgers have an 'amber' rating on the front and are surely lower in fat than beef versions).
In the oven a lot of fat came out which was a bit of a turn off. But after the recommend turning and final 10 minutes they appeared sticky and charred at the edges, with the inclusion of a touch of beetroot powder making them look startlingly 'real'.
The aroma was mouthwatering and I have to say I was more than surprised by the taste and texture. The patty ate like a meat burger, being juicy, crumbly and flaky, and had an umami, almost Bovril-like twang. I'm a meat-eater trying to cut back and would happily switch to these on the barbecue. Find them in the freezer.
Sainsbury's Love Your Veg! The Smoky 'Jack' Quarter Pounder, £2.25 for two
There's no need to stand around the barbecue waiting for the perfect heat before putting your veggie burger on with this quarter pounder. Pan fried in just eight minutes, this succulent, moist patty had a lovely smoky taste. Even carnivores could enjoy this 'meaty' vegan quarter pounder.
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