Being a vegetarian, my frequent quick go-to for dinner has been the veggie burger. The veggie burger can easily be drab and bland, but if you know how to cook it exactly right, it can be the veggie burger equivalent of In-N-Out. After many years of striving to perfect this healthy vegetarian version of the classic American cheeseburger, I want to share with you my simple steps to go from bland to booming with texture and flavor!
Step 1-Quality Ingredients: To make a good burger, you need good ingredients! I always love to have a whole wheat or whole grain bun for the most texture and flavor, plus these types of buns have the most nutrients. There are many great veggie burger brands, with my favorites being Boca, Gardein, and Morningstar Farms. For your cheese (if making a cheeseburger) use real cheddar cheese versus American cheese.
To pack your veggie burger with even more flavor, use spring greens rather than iceberg lettuce. With a veggie burger patty coming frozen, you don’t want to add more moisture with a watery piece of lettuce!
Step 2-Thaw for 5: Let your patty tenderize! Just like with a real meat patty, it needs to be tenderized. But with a frozen patty, allow it to get a little soft by thawing for five minutes. By thawing slightly, you are allowing some of the moisture to melt off before placing in the skillet. When you cook a patty covered in ice crystals you end up with a soggy veggie patty!
Step 3-Use High Heat: Olive oil isn’t meant for high-heat cooking, as it can become rancid at high temperatures. Instead, use a high-heat cooking oil such as coconut, sunflower, or grapeseed oil. Place about a tablespoon of oil in your skillet and cook your patty on high heat. The higher the heat, the crispier the burger.
Step 4-Cook for 4: Using my gas stovetop, my sweet spot for a great, crispy veggie burger has been to cook each side for four minutes on high heat.
Step 5-Buns + Cheese: Now that your patty has been cooking for four minutes on each side, lower the heat to medium, and allow the patty to keep cooking. Spray the underside of your buns with oil (I used sprayable coconut oil), and place them on the stove top along with your patty. Top your patty with cheese so it can melt slightly. Cook your patty topped with cheese, and your sprayed buns for 1-2 minutes.
Put all of your ingredients together for the most incredible veggie cheese burger you’ve ever had! The burger will be so full of flavor and the cheese so gooey you don’t even need condiments, but if you would like to add a little something extra my go-to healthy condiment is whole grain dijon.
These are all pretty simple steps, but when followed make an incredible, mouthwatering veggie burger!