29th July 2021
We’ve tested 12 vegan burgers and found some great-tasting meat-free options that should easily take the place of a beef patty.
If you're aiming to cut down on meat, or already committed to a plant-based diet, our tests reveal the tastiest meat-alternative burgers around.
In May 2021, we taste tested a dozen meat-free burgers that aim to be a convincing substitute for the real deal, including branded options such as the Beyond Burger, Moving Mountains and Oumph!, as well as supermarket own-label burgers.
Our tests revealed some cheap supermarket burgers that punch above their weight for taste, and will save on your shopping bill too.
All the burgers had to be suitable for vegans and had to be a meat-substitute; so no bean patties or mixed vegetable cylinders in sight here. Most of the burgers are made from soy, pea or wheat protein, or a combination of these.
Many of the burgers here are available chilled and frozen; we tested the frozen varieties for consistency.
All burgers are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Prices correct as of 30 June 2021.
£1.49 for 2 (227g), 75p per burger
Aldi’s vegan burgers are the cheapest on test, so if you’re catering for lots of people they could be a great choice. Are they too good to be true?
£5 for 2 (226g), £2.50 per burger
These trendy burgers are among the few here that don’t contain soy, but they’re also by far the most expensive. Do they live up to the price tag and the hype?
£2.50 for 2 (200g), £1.25 per burger
Birds Eye is relatively new to the meat replacement game, so is its green cuisine the best on the scene?
£1.85 for 2 (210g), 93p per burger
These chunky soy-based burgers are among the cheapest on test, so should you pop down your local Co-op and grab some?
£2 for 2 (226g), £1 per burger
The frozen food stockist has a variety of ‘No Bull’ products in its freezers, but are these burgers up to the task?
£2.20 for 2 (227g), £1.10 per burger
These burgers from the stalwart veggie brand are suitable for vegans. Can these patties beat the newer upstarts?
£2.50 for 2 (340g), £1.25 per burger
By far the biggest burgers on test, you’d really hope these chunky patties pack a flavour punch.
£3 for 2 (227g), £1.50 per burger
Move Over Meat says it’s ‘making a difference one meal at a time’. But did our panel taste that difference?
£4 for 2 (227g), £2 per burger
Moving Mountains’ burger was previously exclusive to restaurants and pubs, but now we all get the chance to cook them at home. Do they live up to the hype?
£3 for 2 (226g), £1.50 per burger
It might make you go ‘oomph’, but does it also make you go ‘mmm’? Our taste testers had to find out.
£2 for 2 (210g), £1 per burger
Sainsbury’s Plant Pioneers range is growing all the time, but are its staple meat-free burgers the ones to go for?
£1.50 for 2 (227g), 75p per burger
The second-cheapest on test, Waitrose has undercut the competition on price with its vegan burgers. Let’s hope they taste good as well.
Plant-based meat alternatives such as these burgers often sell themselves as good for you and good for the planet, but is that really true?
We asked Which? nutrition expert Shefalee Loth to cast her eye over the ingredients list of these meat-free burgers. This is what she said:
'These burgers contain mainly soya, pea protein or a mix of both. These are good plant-based proteins but won't be suitable for people with soya allergies. Some of the burgers also contain wheat protein, which won’t be suitable for those with wheat or gluten allergies.
'However, just because these burgers are plant-based don't assume they are healthier than a beef burger. The Beyond Burger, for example, has more fat and saturated fat weight-for-weight than a typical steak burger. That's because oil is one of the main ingredients of these burgers – it increases palatability and without it the burgers would be very dry.'
Also worth noting is the fact that the vegan versions typically contain more salt and sugar than a beef burger, which is important to consider if you’re watching your intake. On the plus side, fibre content – essential for a health diet – is way up on the beef equivalent in many of the burgers.
They’re certainly more sustainable than beef burgers, which with modern farming methods require intensive land use not just for the cows themselves, but the feed they consume.
As ever with anything where the environment is a factor in your decision, there are myriad issues to think about, and those eagle-eyed veggie burger fans may well have spotted that a fair portion of the products we taste tested contain soya protein. Soya has been linked to deforestation in South America, which itself contributes to a loss of biodiversity and exacerbates climate change.
However, it is important to take into account the scale of the problem. The vast majority of soya grown in South America is used for animal feed, and it is the animals themselves, processing the feed and excreting it as greenhouse gas (GHG). Some 90% of the three million tonnes of soya imported into the UK is used for animal feed. It also takes a lot more soya to feed an animal to make it ready for slaughter, while eating the soya yourself entirely cuts out the middleman (or pig, or sheep). , for example, claims its burgers have a 92% lower CO2 footprint than beef, and require 70% less water.
Other burgers on this list use pea and wheat proteins, which should have less of an impact than soya protein if it is of great concern. But also keep in mind that whichever brand you choose will likely have a sustainability commitment that specifically references soya. For example, this is and this is . If in doubt, contact your chosen brand’s customer services and they’ll almost certainly have a response they can share.
As ever, there are more considerations you should make if sustainability is something you’re concerned about. Minimising waste, avoiding food that travels by air freight, and generally eating more plant foods (not just fake meat, but actual fruit and veg) are all easy ways to minimise your impact. Read our for more stats, facts and advice.
The products were assessed by a large panel of consumers who regularly consume burgers.
The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK, and included a mix of non meat eaters and those looking to reduce their meat intake.
All the burgers were cooked according to the pack’s instructions ‘for best results’, or if no specific recommendation was supplied they were shallow-fried to the pack’s instructions.
The panellists rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each product and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.
The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying.
The order they sampled the burgers was fully rotated to avoid any bias.
Each panellist had a private booth so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.
The overall score is based on: