One of the best and most delicious ways to be eco-conscious and reduce your carbon footprint is to take a look at your meat consumption habits. With many restaurants adopting meat substitutes into their menus and Gen Z’s popular “Meatless Monday” practices, it’s more important than ever to know your favorite go-to plant-based burger meat. As a meat-eater myself, I hadn’t spent much time trying out different plant-based burgers under the assumption that they would all be similar in taste and texture. But having this opportunity to taste all these brands has shown me how wrong I was and how satisfying plant-based burgers can be. With the goal of finding a burger that you can feel good about eating but also tastes amazing, these are all excellent substitutions that don’t take away from the nostalgic beef burger experience.  

This ranking reviews some of the most popular plant-based, imitation-meat burger brands, taking into account each brand's ingredients, composition, cooking experience, and most importantly, taste, to assist you in selecting the best fake burger meat for your next meat-free meal. I ranked the brands from worst to best, so you can save your money for a first-rate plant-based burger experience.

9. Rollin Greens Classic Salt & Pepper Burger

While Rollin Greens ME’EAT was a bit more intimidating than some of the other burgers I tried, it delivered in taste and overall texture. Some may recognize this brand from its appearance on Shark Tank. The company originally started with products like cauliflower wings and millet tots, but has moved into the plant-based meat industry. The Rollin Greens Burger is a dry storage pantry product that upon opening, looked like a bag of French’s Crispy Onions. The smell oddly reminded me of Thanksgiving stuffing, but that didn’t turn me off from trying it. This was also the only burger I tried that required me to make my own “meat” mixture and form my own patty, but the process itself wasn’t too hard.

The ingredients were plainly listed, and I felt good about eating it after seeing pea protein, onion, garlic, agar-agar, sea salt, apple and carrot juice (for color), black pepper, oregano, sage, and basil. The small bag contained the equivalent of one pound of meat and made eight servings, making it a great option for serving larger groups looking for a meat-free meal that is also free of allergens.

Starting with boiling water with a bit of olive oil, I then added the contents of the packet and was amazed at the transformation that happened. In a matter of minutes, the contents of my pan turned into what looked like a normal ground beef mixture. After letting the mixture soak up the remaining water in the pan and then letting it cool, I grabbed my trusty patty mold, lined it with a bit of plastic wrap, and started forming my patty. One tip I have for this burger meat is that it is important to pack your patty firmly in your ring mold to prevent it from breaking up in the pan or grill while cooking.

After creating the patties, the instructions say to put them in the fridge to set for 15 to 30 minutes, or they can be left overnight. I recommend preparing them with the time to set overnight to minimize crumbling or breaking apart while cooking. I was impressed by the texture of the patty and the crispy crust I was able to get on the burger.

Rollin Greens Classic Salt & Pepper Burger ended up being a really cool plant-based and vegan burger option to try, but I don’t think it would be my first choice as it takes a bit of a process to prepare. This burger also had a great smokey flavor, but didn’t give me the full, meaty mouth-feel I was looking for, even though the patty was thick and had good texture.

8. Everything Legendary

As I did my research to find out which fake burger meats to try, the vegan Everything Legendary burger stuck out with its eye-catching label and its mission to “bring plant-based, Legendary taste to foods you crave, promoting well-being to ourselves and our planet.” This brand was founded by Duane Myko, Danita Claytor, and Chef Jumoke Jackson, a popular internet chef with over 59K followers on Instagram, and was also featured on the television show Shark Tank.

Photo via Everything Legendary

Upon taking these burgers out of the package, I was disappointed to see an overly-processed patty with a pâté-like consistency. The burger in the episode of Shark Tank looked much different than the one I received, and even though their packaging says their goal was not to “clone” beef, I still expected a meatier-looking product after watching their Shark Tank episode and looking at their website images. 

The patties did end up with a nice caramelized color and flavor after cooking, but the inside of the patty was grainy and a bit dry. The flavor wasn’t bad, but it lacked the juicy, meaty texture that a lot of the other plant-based brands were able to achieve. This brand stood out from the rest because of its use of hemp protein in addition to pea protein commonly used in fake meat products. I loved this combination in theory, but it gave the patty a texture that I didn’t enjoy as much as some of the other burger meats.

Overall, I think Everything Legendary’s burger was a bit of a disappointment, and even though the judges on Shark Tank seemed to love it, my at-home experience was lacking. I enjoyed the chance to try it for our ranking, but I’ll probably skip this brand next time I’m buying plant-based burger meat.

7. dr. Praeger’s Perfect Burger

Made with pea protein, beets, butternut squash puree, and carrot puree, the dr. Praeger’s Perfect Burger advertises that it is soy-free and made with four different veggies. But it still doesn't resemble what most would think of when you use the words “veggie burger.” Visually, this burger looked more meat-like in texture than some of the other veggie burgers I tried, but it did look very processed, and the color would not have passed for beef. While I wouldn’t say it ended up with a full-bodied meaty flavor, it did have a charcoal-grilled burger taste that I enjoyed, and overall thought this was a good burger substitute.

Many Amazon customers have given positive reviews to these burgers, stating that they are "made with wholesome plant-based ingredients, making them a nutritious choice for burger lovers" and that they "buy these on repeat to help reduce the amount of meat they eat." This product is great as a vegan option to enjoy a burger with friends this summer, but this product fell a bit short of what I was looking for when it comes to my burger-eating experience as it could have had a meatier bite and a bit more juicy.

6. Future Farm

The Future Burger from Future Farm is another on this list that advertises its meat-like texture and taste, similar to Impossible or Beyond. The ingredients of this burger also appealed to me. It is made from soy, peas, and chickpeas, which makes it a good source of plant-based protein. But, I was concerned that the burger would have a strong bean flavor due to the chickpeas.

Upon taking it out of the package, I was immediately impressed by the texture and visual appearance of the Future Farm burger patty. The patty had a pleasant, smokey aroma as it cooked, and I was able to get a nice crust on this one.

Unfortunately, to me, this burger ended up a bit dry, and it failed in comparison to other fake meat dupes like the Impossible or Beyond Burger brands. I enjoyed the taste and texture of this plant-based burger, but I do not believe it is the best plant-based burger on the market.

5. Field Roast Signature Chef Burger

I was really excited to try the burgers from plant-based meat and cheese company Field Roast. This company has a wide variety of plant-based products like creamy queso, hot dogs and sausages, and even roasts and other plant-based meats and cheese. Some of the ingredients in the Signature Chef Burger include wheat protein, mushrooms, onions, and garlic, but what caught my eye was the patty's convincing ground beef look and color.

When I first took it out of the package, I noticed that the patties were a bit thin, but they smelled great. They had a pleasant, onion-y aroma, but ended up a little dry after cooking, needing toppings and condiments to enjoy the burger. It did have a meaty mouthfeel, but it somehow didn’t have the beef burger-like taste that I was looking for.

I understand why Field Roast has become popular for its plant-based products, but I found this burger to be too chewy and a bit dry. I would love to try some of the other items listed on their website because it seems like they have a lot of innovative plant-based products. But I would recommend passing on this one next time you’re on the search for a satisfying plant-based burger.

4. Gardein

As I prepared for this ranking, most of my meat-free friends recommended I give this brand a try. Gardein’s Plant-Based Ultimate Burger was one of the most surprising and convincing frozen patties I tried taste-wise, as it was exactly what you would find in any other frozen beef patty. The burger was comparable to a Kroger 100% Pure Ground Beef Quarter Pound Burger in terms of color, texture, and flavor, but it was less fatty and drier after cooking.

This burger did have a great charbroiled burger taste that added to its beefy flavor and achieved a nice caramelized crust while cooking. I cooked it in a pan on the stovetop, but I would like to try it again on the grill to see if the experience is improved.

This plant-based burger lands higher in this ranking for its beef-like taste and texture. I would have loved to see this with a thicker patty and a meatier mouthfeel, but overall I think still think this is a good burger fake and that this product is worth trying.

3. Mings Bing

Mings Bings was another interesting and innovative plant-based meat company that I found, created by Chef Ming Tsai. Unlike the other items on this list, this one comes in the form of a cheeseburger wrapped in gluten-free brown rice paper, giving it an almost egg-roll feel. This product came with two servings per package and was easy to prepare in the oven, but they can also be made in an air-fryer.

This product has more of a chopped cheeseburger feel with plant-based meat and vegan cheese, and I actually really enjoyed this product. With some plant-based burgers, I have trouble with the texture being too mushy if the meat doesn’t get a good crust. With the crispy rice paper that was not an issue, and the cheeseburger filling is reminiscent of a Hot-Pocket.

I loved the seasoning and ingredients used for this product as well, which included ginger, green cabbage, mushroom, garlic, and onion. Most importantly, the actual plant-based meat tasted amazing with a meaty, beefy flavor, and I fell in love with the creamy, salty vegan cheese (which I’ve never tried before and I loved it so much I’m now going to fill my grocery cart with a bunch of different vegan cheeses). I am always excited to see new burger innovations, and this product stunned me with both its ingredients and flavors. I would love to see more burger products from these guys, perhaps this time with an actual plant-based burger patty wrapped in brown rice paper, giving it an almost quesadilla-burger vibe.

2. Beyond Stack Burger

Photo via Beyond

I was lucky enough to try the new Beyond Stack Burger. Like other Beyond products, this fake burger meat is both soy and gluten-free. Beyond is one of the big names in the plant-based meat world, so I went into this tasting with high expectations. These burgers had a strong meaty smell while cooking, and I couldn't tell the difference between them and other frozen beef burgers when looking at them in the pan.

And I was not disappointed. The patty was very uniform in shape, which made it great for stacking more than one patty. The Beyond Stack Burger delivered in mouth-feel, flavor, and texture, and as a meat eater, I had a hard time distinguishing this as a plant-based substitute. I also left them cooking in the pan longer because, after the recommended three-minute per-side cook time, they were still a little gray and lacked a good burger crust.

Ultimately, I thought this burger was one of the better burgers I tasted and had the most meat-like flavor and smokiness. I still would have liked these patties to be a bit wider, and even though they were meant to be a stacked burger, the patties could have been a bit thicker. But these are small criticisms of an overall great plant-based burger product that I would definitely recommend picking up for your next summer cookout.

1. Impossible Indulgent Burger

The Impossible Plant-Based Burger took the top spot in this ranking, which may not come as a surprise to many. Advertised as “juicier” and “beefier,” the Impossible Indulgent Burger, the new gourmet plant-based burger from Impossible, was by far the best out of all the great burgers I got to try. Impossible Foods sets itself apart from other fake meat brands by using plant-derived heme, which creates the meaty, “bloody” texture of their burgers that will help sway any wary meat-eater looking to go vegetarian. These patties are one-third pound, making this patty thicker than the original Impossible burger. The patty mixture looked very meat-like in both texture and color. As I cooked the patty, I got to witness the impressive “bleeding” that distinguishes this product in the plant-based burger world.

While I cannot say that the taste of this burger would fool me compared to a beef patty, the mouthfeel and texture of the mixture are on par with any other burger I’ve had with such a thick patty. The patty was moist, thick, and had a great crumble that reminded me of the inside of a ground beef burger. I wasn’t sure what “beefier” would mean taste-wise, so I tasted both the original Impossible burger alongside the Indulgent burger, and there truly was a more beef-like taste in the new Indulgent burger. The patty itself was the meatiest in texture and feel, and the burger formed a nice crust while cooking, so unlike some of the other burgers I tried, this patty stayed firm and had a good bite to it.

The Impossible Indulgent Burger was by far the best-tasting and most convincing fake meat substitute, and after everything I tasted, I understand how Impossible is such a popular plant-based meat brand. This burger was as meaty, beefy, and indulgent as advertised, and I would suggest this burger to any meat-eater who is hesitant to try plant-based burger substitutes.