Homemade Vegan Burgers

There are veggie burgers and then there’s vegan meat. And this homemade vegan meat burger recipe, a perfect blend of TVP and seitan seasoned to perfection, is most certainly the latter. They have an irresistibly meaty texture with a delicious flavor and a light pink center, thanks to a bit of vegan magic using beets. Perfect for the plant-based lifestyle on the go, they’re an easy recipe to make, freezer-friendly, and ohhh so satisfying!


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A while back I was watching my parents’ house (and my sister-puppy!), and therefore, on my own for dinner. T and I genuinely love cooking and eating dinner together, but these types of nights give us each a chance to really tune into precisely what we’re craving and make it! 

We always laugh at how different our dinners are when we do this, and this occasion was no different. T went with a giant veggie stir fry with a light vinegar sauce. And me? A vegan bacon cheeseburger! Oh so typical.

I initially assumed I’d grab a pack of Beyond Meat burger at the store and do something super easy. But then I realized I wanted to make my own vegan meat burger copycat recipe! 

Not that I’m bashing vegan convenience food like the Beyond or Impossible burger because…hahaha, that would be silly of me. I love that stuff! 

But sometimes, I just want to know I’m capable of making a fantastic version of these meat alternatives, with fewer processed ingredients and at a fraction of the cost, in my own kitchen.

Why You’ll Love This TVP Burger Recipe

I based the recipe for this off our TVP meatballs that we just love. It took a few tries to get this homemade version just right, but I can now say with confidence they are everything I ever wanted in a vegan copycat of a traditional meat burger! 

They’re meaty and flavorful, no mush, not at all bland. Not to mention, they’re easy to make, freezer-friendly, and have 100% less cholesterol than a regular beef burger! 

Overhead photo of all the ingredients you need to make vegan burgers with TVP

What are vegan TVP burgers made of?

You’ll need a few simple plant-based ingredients for this meaty veggie burger recipe.

To make this Beyond Meat Burger copycat recipe, you’ll need:

  • Sliced beets – We’ll blend these with more water until smooth and use it to add an earthy flavor and nice beefy color to our burgers.
  • TVP – Short for “textured vegetable protein.” This is a must-have plant-based pantry staple and the main ingredient. It’s bits of dehydrated soy protein you season and rehydrate for a vegan meat substitute. They’re a great addition to a lot of our favorite dishes that require a meaty texture. TVP is sold by brands like Bob’s Red Mill and Anthony’s Goods, and they’re usually pretty budget-friendly!
  • Vital wheat gluten – Gluten is the protein element in flour. This product is the extracted gluten protein that will add a chewy, meaty texture to our burgers.
  • Yellow onion – minced
  • Fresh garlic – minced
  • Hamburger seasoning – We use our special blend of Copycat Red Robin seasoning.
  • Seasonings – dried parsley, ground black pepper, ground cumin
  • Soy sauce
  • Olive oil to saute the vegetables and give a nice fat component to the texture

What’s TVP?

TVP is a dehydrated soy product. Mostly commonly in the US, it comes in a crumbled form that takes the place of ground or minced beef in many vegan recipes. 

When rehydrated with the spices, it really takes on the flavors you’re looking for to make great vegetarian chili, vegan meatballs and of course, the best veggie burgers that taste like ground beef instead of brown rice.

It can often be found in the health food section of your grocery store or wherever they keep the Bob’s Red Mill products. They’re rather affordable too! We typically order them online in packs of four like this and store extras in the fridge or freezer. 

They’re great to have on hand to throw into marinara sauces to make a quick bolognese among other things!

Where to Buy TVP

Of course the Internet is always an option. Amazon sells a popular brand of TVP from Anthony’s Goods. 

But it’s becoming increasingly popular and more easily available. You can probably find TVP from Bob’s Red Mill in your local grocery stores or health food stores.

Is TVP gluten-free?

Yes, TVP is a naturally gluten free product. Bob’s Red Mill proudly states that their TVP is made and packaged in their separate and dedicated GF site if you worry about cross contamination of gluten. And it’s a great source of protein and fiber as well!

Overhead photo of two hands holding a vegan cheeseburger

Substitution Options

If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you! 

For the beet puree: We’ve had success using beet powder in similar recipes, but you’d need to add a considerable amount of liquid if you try this.

For the onion: We suggest using yellow or white onion because they’re more mild than their red onion counterpart. You can also use some dehydrated onion or onion powder. One tablespoon of dehydrated or one teaspoon of onion powder onion is equal to one small minced onion. You can also sub a red onion for a different flavor vibe.

For the fresh garlic: Use 1 tsp of jarred minced garlic for each garlic clove the recipe calls for. If you are using garlic powder, use 1/8 of a teaspoon per clove of garlic.

For the soy sauce: You can sub Tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos for the soy sauce.

For the olive oil: You can omit, but the oil adds a nice fat component to the burgers. Feel free to switch for avocado oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, or refined coconut oil.

How to Make Vegan Burgers

As with all hand-formed burger recipes, this takes a little time. But once you make them once, you’ll have burgers for weeks and pull them out of the freezer when needed.

Step by step photos showing how to make beet puree for vegan burgers.

Step 1: Make the beet puree.

First, you’ll make the beet puree by dumping the whole can of beets (water + all) into a blender or food processor. Fill the empty can to the brim with water and pour that in too. Then, blend on high until no chunks of beets remain. Measure out 1 1/2 cups from this mixture and set it aside to use in your burger. 

You can add the leftover beet puree to sauces, smoothies, and soups for a nutritious boost! You can also freeze it for up to 2 months.

Making vegan teriyaki burgers - process shots steps 2 and 3. Saute the garlic, ginger, and red onion with black pepper and bouillon powder in refined coconut oil. Then, add the beet puree, TVP, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and scallions. Second photo is after that has been covered and cooked.

Step 2: Rehydrate the TVP

Then, the TVP needs to be re-hydrated. We do so in a mix of spices and flavor-packed ingredients to really get the flavor going. 

You’ll cook everything up in your wok or a large, deep saute pan and then stir in some vital wheat gluten.

Step by step process shots of making vegan burgers. Sprinkling the wheat gluten into the vegan burger mix before kneading it with your hands to activate the gluten.

Step 3: Finish the vegan burger mix.

The wheat gluten (both Bob’s Red Mill and Anthony’s Goods make this stuff too!) is used as a binder, but we also like to knead it into the mixture for a minute or two. This activates the gluten and will create an incredible meaty texture. So cool! 

Step-by-step photos of how to form the best vegan burgers that won't fall apart while they cook: Roll the mixture into a ball and squeeze. Flatten gently. Clean up the edges and fix any cracks that formed.

Step 4: Form and cook.

From there, you’ll form your patties, bake them on a heavily oiled pan (which kind of faux-fries them), dress, and serve! 

I have yet to try these burgers in the air fryer, or on a griddle or grill but will report back as we do. They seem to hold up rather well, so I’d imagine they’d be good!

Overhead photo of 7 vegan burgers on a baking sheet before baking

How to Serve Homemade Plant-Based Burgers

We have a ton of fun dressing these delicious burgers up with alll our favorite burger toppings! 

I always opt for some rice paper bacon, lettuce, some vegan “secret sauce”, and a gooey melted vegan slice of cheese. T loves sliced onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and a generous helping of yellow mustard and ketchup. 

We’ll each tell your ours is the best way. But the real question is what are you going to top your burger patty with?! Try some of these great options below, and have fun with it!

A note about burger buns: Always check the ingredients when buying burger buns, as some contain milk, honey, and/or eggs. We find you’re usually safe with basic store brands, but still check to make sure. If you’re into making your own buns, check out this recipe for our homemade hamburger buns (coming soon!). Or go wild and make our homemade soft pretzel buns!

Vegan Burger Topping Ideas

Veggies: You can’t go wrong with the classic combination of a lettuce leaf, tomato, dill pickles, and an onion slice. But you can always spice things up a bit with some avocado slices, sweet pickle relish, pickled veggies or even kimchi. Sauteed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and caramelized onions are all great toppers too!

Condiments: Ketchup and mustard are the standards, vegan mayo too. Make sure you get the bottom half and top half of the buns. Also, feel free to shake things up with fun sauces like a spicy BBQ sauce, guacamole, vegan ranch, or an easy homemade vegan burger sauce! Also, a lot of the steak sauce you find at the grocery store is actually vegan-friendly. 

Vegan Cheese: Vegan cheeses are almost as plentiful as vegan burgers these days. Some of our go-to brands for vegan are Violife, Vevan (great melt!), Daiya, Follow Your Heart, Field Roast, and 365 (Whole Foods’ store brand). Our vegan feta cheese recipe or vegan goat cheese is also great on a burger!

Vegan Bacon: We like using Lightlife for store-bought vegan or seitan bacon. But our rice paper bacon recipe is our go-to for meat-free burger bacon! A sprinkle of our coconut bacon salt would also work.

Vegan Burger Seasoning: There’s a lot of vegan burger spices and seasoning blends out there. We always top our burgers (AND our fries) with a little of our copycat Red Robin seasoning. Highly recommend it!

What to Serve with Burgers (vegetarian)

As far as burger sides go, here are a few of our favorites:

Head on photo of a homemade vegan burger with dairy free cheese, lettuce, and rice paper bacon

Homemade Meatless Hamburger FAQ

Here are a few FAQs we hear often about making homemade vegan burgers. To learn more about plant-based burger options, check out our Plant-Based Burger Guide!

How do you bind vegan burgers (without eggs)?

There are myriad ways to bind veggie burgers, and this particular recipe uses vital wheat gluten mixed in with the ingredients. Another of our favorite methods is using a flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water) for each chicken egg you would normally use. There are plenty of other egg replacer products on the market, but we find these classic vegan hacks work best for DIY vegan burgers! Check out our full flax egg guide if they’re new to you.

How do you make vegan burgers that don’t fall apart on the grill?

You have to make sure your plant-based patty is tight and compact when formed. Before flattening it, squeeze it hard with your hands into a compact ball. However, some burgers were just not made for the grill, but you can always put a grill guard over the grill if you’re worried about the patty breaking apart and falling in. (And those guards are GREAT for veggies too!)

How do you shape vegan burgers?

First: uniformly. Even-sized burgers will cook evenly. Take the suggested amount between your two hands and form a tight ball, squeezing to make sure the mixture is compact. Then, press gently between your palms to form your patty. Finally, shape the edges and fix any cracks that formed while you were flattening them. See the grid above for our shaping method for perfect vegan beef patties!

How can you cook vegan burgers?

All of our vegan burger recipes can be either baked, air-fried, or pan-fried. Almost all (if not all) of them can be grilled.

Can you freeze vegan burgers?

Good news, you can! Just make sure they’ve cooled completely first, then you can freeze them on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag with parchment paper separating them. This method will keep the burgers from sticking together when they freeze.

More TVP Recipes

We can’t wait to see all the beautiful vegan burgers you’re going to create with this recipe. Let us know what you think by rating the recipe and leaving a comment in the section below. 

Not only do we really appreciate it, but it helps more people like you find our delicious recipes. 

Now, go pour yourself a drink and get into the kitchen. It’s burger time!

Close up photo of two hands holding a tvp burger with a big bite taken out of it.

Vegan Hamburgers (Beyond Meat copycat)

Brittany Roche
There are veggie burgers and then there’s vegan meat. And this homemade vegan meat burger recipe, a perfect blend of TVP and seitan seasoned to perfection, is most certainly the latter. They have an irresistibly meaty texture with a delicious flavor and a light pink center, thanks to a bit of vegan magic using beets. Perfect for the plant-based lifestyle on the go, they’re an easy recipe to make, freezer-friendly, and ohhh so satisfying!
4.73 from 11 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Burgers
Cuisine American
Servings 5 big burgers
Calories 264 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the beet puree:

  • 1 15.5-oz can sliced beets

For the burger:

Instructions
 

  • Make the beet puree: Dump the whole can of beets (water + all) into a blender or food processor. Fill the empty can to the brim with water and pour that in too. Then, blend on high until no chunks of beets remain. Measure out 1 1/2 cups from this mixture and set it aside to use in your burger. You can add the leftover beet puree to sauces, smoothies, and soups for a nutritious boost! You can also freeze it for up to 2 months.
  • Start the burgers: Heat the olive oil in your wok or a large, deep saute pan on medium heat. Add the minced onions and garlic, and your seasoning (Red Robin seasoning / dried parsley / pepper / cumin). Stir to make sure everything is evenly coated and cook 3-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the mixture is fragrant.
  • Rehydrate the TVP: Add the TVP, the 1 1/2 cups of beet puree, and soy sauce. Stir, cover, and allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes, stopping once halfway through to stir. When you stir, be sure to scrape the bottom, so no TVP pieces burn.
  • Finish the burger mix: Remove from heat, stir in your vital wheat gluten, + allow the mixture to cool down for 5-7 minutes. You don't want to burn your hands! While it cools, preheat your oven to 350F and generously grease a large baking pan with refined coconut oil. When the mixture is cool enough to touch, get in there with your hands and start kneading the mixture for about 2-3 minutes. This will activate the gluten and make the burgers super meaty!
  • Form the burgers: Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and use clean, dry hands to form your patties. Be sure to pack them tightly and give each burger a little extra squeeze before placing them on the baking sheet. Bake them for 20 minutes, carefully flip each burger, and bake another 20 minutes.
  • Serve / store: Now, it's time to have fun with toppings! I love vegan cheese, mayo, lettuce, and our rice paper bacon . Get creative, and ENJOY! Store leftovers in the fridge for a week or the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

Notes

*To make these burgers gluten-free, replace the vital wheat gluten with chickpea flour. This will produce a slightly less meaty result but still be delicious! Also, be sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.

Nutrition

Serving: 1large burger (1/2 cup mix)Calories: 264kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 32gFat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 509mgFiber: 6gSugar: 9g
Keyword best vegan burger recipe, seitan hamburger, tvp burger recipe, tvp burger recipes, tvp burger recipes vegan, tvp burgers, tvp veggie burger, vegan burger recipe, vegan burger recipe easy
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21 Comments

  1. Hi Brittany, Can these be made and then frozen before cooking? Or should they be cooked and then froze?
  2. Made these for dinner tonight. Let me start by saying I usually prefer a black bean based burger. I don't do beets. I've really tried to like them but I just...don't. I've tried other burger recipes with beets in them and wasn't crazy about them. These looked pretty "meaty" and I thought my boyfriend would really like them. Well I have to tell ya - we BOTH really liked them a lot! Mine didn't stay together very well when I flipped them (but that wasn't a big deal) Maybe I didn't knead them long enough. Will definitely be making these again and trying them on the grill at some point. Thanks for another great recipe!

    5 stars

    1. YOU ROCK, Kelly! So happy to hear how much you enjoyed the burgers. I too am a chronic beet-hater, so I totally know the shock when you find a way to fit them into your diet that you actually enjoy, haha. For the issue of the burgers falling apart: When you're kneading them, if the mixture feels like it's not sticky enough, try adding a Tbsp or two more water to the mix. Also, it's suuuuper important to squeeze the mixture tightly when you're forming the burgers. I find it easier to squeeze them into a ball and then flatten them out a bit with my hands. Hope that helps but SUPER excited to hear how well the first round went. Let us know if you try them on the grill!
    1. Oh no! Sounds like they could be too dry? If it happens again, try mixing in a Tbsp of warm water at a time until the mixture feels stickier. Also, squeezing the patties tightly while forming them is SUPER important. Let us know if you give it another try!
  3. I decided to make meatballs instead of hamburgers. I didn't have parsley,so I used dill and oregano. I used cayenne pepper instead of black pepper. They're in the oven. Do I still need to bake them as long?

    5 stars

  4. This recepie rocks! Two attemps in one recepie. I've cooked "the paste", formed my patties, and cook them in a pan. The result was a bit deceiving and it's probably because I hav'nt cooked the paste as long as it should. So when eating my first burger it had a texture of uncooked meat, mushy, falling appart. That being said, I formed the other patties that remaind uncooked in the pan. I froze them in an vucuum bag. So the second time I prepared those patties, I cooked them in the over at 350 F degree for approx 30 min. They turned out fine, the moisture in it that was making them soggy went away and I was able to appreciate the real texture of it all!

    5 stars

    1. Honestly, Becky, not really. You can get away just sauteing them and deglazing with small amounts of water as you go. Still really flavorful, but don't just "saute" in water...you're basically just steaming them at that point. Glad you like the burgers!!
    2. Hi again, Becky. Just checked on this with Brittany and she mentioned that the oil is there for a reason: it helps mimic the fat content of an actual burger and really aids in the texture. That being said, if you do saute the veg without the oil/fat the texture of the burger could come out a little differently than it regularly would.
    3. I haven't made this recipe yet. I do intend to make it this week. Just one quick question. Did you rehydrate the TVP before adding it to the pan or is there enough liquid in the beet puree and soy sauce to rehydrate the TVP? I don't want toake a mistake and end up with eitherush or concrete. Thanks
      1. Hi, Gene! There's enough liquid being mixed in with the TVP that you don't need to rehydrate it first. I'd love to hear how they turn out for you after you make them. Hope you enjoy!
  5. The only thing that could have made these better would be if they didn't fall apart. I read the comments after making and will do as you suggested next time and add some water before forming the patties next time. The flavor of these was the best of any veggie burger I've ever had. Weirdly, I'm guessing it was the beets and I'm not usually a beets fan. I guess in veggie burgers, I am. Thanks for a great recipe.
    1. Hi, Lorie Anne! I'm so glad you enjoyed the burgers! And yes, sometimes a pair of wet hands will help them stay togethjer if the mix comes out a little loose. Hope this helps!
  6. We found that 20 minutes and 20 minutes more in the oven is too long. Is there a specific reason that they need to be baked that long, or is it ok to cut that time back?
    1. Hi, Lori. We found undercooking the burgers makes the loose and fall apart. If you feel the burgers are done to your liking, then by all means go ahead. It won't have any health repercussions like raw or undercooked meat, if that's what you mean. Hope this helps!

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