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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Five Different Veggie Burger Recipes!

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One of my favorite cooking experiments is to take a pretty simple/standard (boring) base, and dress it up with a variety of ingredients to make it feel fancy, gourmet and restaurant-quality! Veggie burgers are one of the easiest things to “dress up” because there are so many different things you can do with them. They also make a super quick and easy weeknight meal!

Note: I originally posted this in 2011 (when I first started my blog), and at that time I used Gardenburgers for our veggie patties. Since then, I’ve become a lot more knowledgable about ingredients in products and we no longer use Gardenburgers because they contain “yeast extract.” Yeast extract contains glutamates, which are forms of an amino acid that are found naturally in many foods. They’re sometimes extracted and used as additives to prepared food, which is known as MSG. MSG is added to foods to make them addictive, and make you want to keep eating them — it has also been linked to headaches, digestive issues, etc. When I see “yeast extract” on a food product, I tend to avoid it for these reasons. So now, our go-to veggie burgers are from Amy’s and Dr. Prager’s:


Dr. Prager’s:

When I originally posted this, I made two of the five versions I’m going to outline in this post – but while I was re-posting this I came up with three more ideas I thought I’d share with all of you!

Ingredients I used for my two versions (three additional versions at the bottom of this post)

Burger #1: The Sports Bar Burger: This is the burger I made for my husband.

Ingredients you’ll need: Sprouted Wheat Burger Buns, veggie burger patties (don’t use Gardenburger – the photos are from the old post!), grilled red onions, jack cheese (or pepperjack is ok too), Barbecue Sauce, Sliced Tomatoes, Baby Spinach or Romaine lettuce (optional)

Grill the burgers over medium heat with some cooking spray

While the burgers are cooking, grill the sliced red onions on medium to medium-low heat with 1 tsp EVOO

Once the patties are done, melt the jack cheese over the patty and the bottom burger bun in the toaster oven

Once the cheese is melted, pull the burger out of the oven and top with grilled onions

Then top with sliced tomatoes and baby spinach or lettuce (the spinach/lettuce is optional)

Spread 1-2 Tbsp of the BBQ Sauce on the other half of the bun, and finish your veggie burger. Enjoy!

Now, onto Burger #2: The Spa Burger: This is the burger I made for myself 🙂

Ingredients you’ll need: Sprouted wheat bread or sprouted wheat burger buns, veggie burger patty, 1 slice of cheese (mild cheddar or pepperjack), Sliced red onions, Sliced tomatoes, Baby spinach, Sprouts (I didn’t have these but I think they would taste really good in the burger), Organic Ketchup (optional), Salt & Freshly ground black pepper

Directions are the same as above: Cook the patty according to the package directions – on the stove with cooking spray, Spread 1 wedge laughing cow cheese on on slice of the sprouted wheat bread/bun, top with burger patty, top with red onions, tomatoes, spinach, sprouts, salt & pepper to taste. Serve with Ketchup if you like!

Here it is: the finished Spa Burger

It was sooo tasty, light and delicious! My husband also loved his version – he said it tasted exactly like Barney’s which was a HUGE compliment 🙂 Now – for the fun part. Three other veggie burger variations, with the same base (sprouted wheat buns, veggie burger patty)

Burger #3: The Fiesta Burger: You’ll need — Sprouted wheat burger buns, veggie burger patty, guacamole or sliced avocado, pico de gallo, shredded jack or cheddar cheese, sliced red onions, baby spinach or romaine (shredded). Melt the cheese on the patty while you’re cooking it and top with the rest of the ingredients.

Burger #4: The Mediterranean Burger: You’ll need –Sprouted wheat burger buns (or you can even use whole wheat pita!), veggie burger patty , low fat or fat free feta cheese, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, diced red onions, and hummus (or tahini). Spread the hummus on the burger buns, top with patty, feta and rest of the ingredients.

Burger #5: The Grilled Veggie Pesto Burger: You’ll need — Sprouted wheat burger buns, veggie burger patty, 1-2 Tbsp Pesto, swiss cheese, grilled zucchini, grilled red onions, sauteed mushrooms, grilled peppers –You can basically use any combination of grilled veggies that you like. Spread the pesto on the buns, melt the swiss cheese over the patty, and top with grilled veggies.

I can’t wait to try these versions next week – if it goes well we might make one night each week “burger night” as long as I can keep inventing different varieties! What’s your favorite burger & toppings combination?

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From healthy baby food to student snacks and comfort food favorites, I have delicious, nutritious, plant-based recipes for the whole family (picky eaters included!) to enjoy.

Following a special diet or cooking for someone who has one? I’ve got you covered! Try my gluten-freevegan, vegetarian, baby food, or kid-friendly recipes. They are all easy to adapt to fit your family’s needs – without sacrificing flavor or quality. Easy suggestions and swaps can help you create meals for everyone.

31 responses to “Five Different Veggie Burger Recipes!”

  1. When making veggie burgers I use this company and their website is and all their products are totally vegan. This company ( beyond meat) has converted hard core meat lovers into veggie lovers with their new line of products that you would say are meat but there veggie burgers. These products are sold throughout the United States and if your grocer doesn’t carry this brand ask them to.

    • I have heard of Beyond Meat! But there are a few ingredients in their patties that I don’t particularly love: Yeast Extract, Maltodextrin, Cellulose From Bamboo, and Methylcellulose – which all indicate that the burger is a little more processed than I’d like. it’s also very high in calories: 300 calories for just 1 patty! On the plus side it does have 20g protein per patty which is good if you’re looking to increase your protein intake – but I prefer the more natural veggie burger patties listed in my post from an ingredients standpoint! Hope that makes sense!

  2. Hello Anjali, I have followed your blog and have loved it over the years. I do have one thing to add here. I’m a scientist in life sciences and I have to respectfully disagree to the notion of “yeast extract is bad”. Mainly due to the explanation typically behind it. Yes, glutamate is major part of MSG, but that doesn’t mean anything that has glutamate is also bad. To explain the corollary here- parmesan cheese, milk, sunflower seeds, peanuts, cod fish are naturally occurring foods that are rich in glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is a natural amino acid, and does nothing but help build muscles. There may be exceptions where some individuals have problems processing high concentrations of glutamic acid at once. Those exceptions cannot be used as a generalized concept. It’s the equivalent of saying “2% of the population has anaphylactic reaction to peanuts, so avoid peanuts altogether as a society”. I hope you don’t mind me saying this here.

    • Hi! Thanks so much for your comment! So I actually agree with you — which is why in my post I mentioned that “Yeast extract contains glutamates, which are forms of an amino acid that are found naturally in many foods.” My issue isn’t with glutamates in general (like you mentioned there are plenty of healthy foods that contain this amino acid). My issue is when they are extracted and used as additives to prepared food – because it’s an indicator that the food is more processed than I’d like. It’s not as much about what % of the population has an adverse reaction to yeast extract or MSG (e.g. headaches), but it’s more about the fact that yeast extract as an ingredient is basically unnecessary to add to foods. It functions just like MSG in that it’s used as an additive to make the food more “appealing” or more “addictive” usually — essentially as an artificial flavor. So I use “yeast extract” as a barometer of how processed the food is, because you’d never make a veggie burger at home and add yeast extract to it! Since I aim for eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods wherever possible, I also avoid certain ingredients that are indicators of a more processed food product, like yeast extract. Hope that helps explain my point of view! Thanks again for sharing your perspective!

    • Hi Barb, you can get them at just about any grocery store! They’re stored in the freezer section – if you can’t find them at your local grocery store you should be able to find them (or a burger like them) at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Hope that helps!

  3. OMG!! I just tried the sports bar burger and it was DELICIOUS! Even my husband who is strictly carnivorous enjoyed it. Thanks!

    • Yay!!! I’m so glad to hear that Samara! 🙂 That’s awesome that your husband loved it too – I’ve always thought that if you add enough spice, flavor, texture and heartiness to a vegetarian dish – that pretty much anyone (meat eaters included) will like it!

  4. I made these burgers yeasterday!! and let me tell you yummy!! I did your spa burger – the only thing i changed was instead of laughing cow cheese I made an avacado spread!! It was really good!!!! I love all your recipes you haven’t let me down thus far, thank you! 🙂

    • Yayyy!! That’s so great!! Love the idea of the avocado spread btw – I’ll definitely be using that as a topping next time 🙂 So glad you’ve been enjoying all of my recipes!!!

  5. Very cool ideas! I will try the bbq sauce one, especially! I really like adding sauteed mushrooms (my fave), avacado slices, pico de gallo, or vegetarian chilli (sloppy joe style)– not all at the same time, but just some yummy ingredients to add.

    • Oh what great ideas!! I especially like the pico de gallo or veggie chili on top – can’t wait to try that next time!

    • Aww! Well the good news is – you can get all of these ingredients at just about any grocery store 🙂 Hope that helps!

      • Anjali, have you tried Trader Joe’s veggie burgers? I like them because they are non-GMO (like all TJ’s store brand items) and most flavors don’t rely on soy protein but use beans and stuff, and they are lower priced than most brands, and TASTY! The only flavor they have that we don’t like is the pizza burger.

      • Thanks for the tip Becca! I haven’t tried Trader Joe’s veggie burgers but I just looked them up and their “Organic Tofu Veggie Burger” as well as their “Qunioa Cowboy Veggie Burger with Black Beans” both look great in terms of ingredients! Some of the other ones like their Thai Sweet Chili Burger isn’t ideal because it uses soy protein, but I agree many of the TJs ones are good options if you read the ingredients carefully!

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