Why You Need To Stop Overlooking Potatoes In Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers are having a moment. Gregory Sams invented the first mass-produced veggie burger in 1982, making it a relatively new food. Sams' veggie burger — enjoyed by counter-culture celebrities like John Lennon and Yoko Ono — remained niche, as did its descendants, says the Smithsonian. Yet, over the past few years, plant-based burgers have appeared more frequently on fast food and local restaurant menus. Additionally, grocery store shelves boast a wide variety of alternative meats, writes Forbes. The veggie burger's newfound popularity arises from a growing interest in the environment and sustainability coupled with companies' increased efforts to make tastier, more appealing products. According to Food Service Director, younger generations lead the way in alternative meat consumption, with health and the environment as leading reasons.

However, initial enthusiasm for meat-alternative companies has grown stagnant. The Washington Post cites high prices and unclear health benefits as causes. At the same time, the increased awareness about the importance of cutting down on meat consumption has only grown. In 2022 The Stockholm Environment Institute published findings that 20% of greenhouse gas emissions result from the animal-based food industry.

Making veggie burgers at home is an easy answer for those wanting to keep up their plant-based food habits and save money. Tejal Rao of the New York Times argues that veggie burgers made from scratch taste better and invite creativity, using a range of ingredients, flavors, and combinations.

Use potatoes in your next veggie burger

Making veggie burgers from scratch can sound complex and may bring many hard-to-get ingredients to mind. However, homemade veggie burgers are not complicated, nor do you need to head to the store before you make them. You can make some of the best veggie burgers with ingredients already in your home. Take the potato, for example. Potatoes are a simple ingredient and a pantry staple, says One Green Planet. Not only are potatoes affordable and accessible, but they are excellent ingredients for veggie burgers.

From a taste perspective, potatoes and sweet potatoes are often paired with burgers in the form of fries, which makes the flavor combination familiar and satisfying. Additionally, potatoes do an excellent job soaking up and carrying flavor, says The Spruce Eats, which makes potatoes the perfect conduit for whatever spices and additional ingredients you add to your veggie burger recipe.

Potatoes also bind and hold together the rest of the burger's ingredients, says Smartfitter. Perhaps most importantly, One Green Planet points out that potatoes are also filling, which many look for in a meat substitute. Potatoes make for excellent bases for a variety of tasty homemade veggie burgers. Need inspiration for your next potato-based veggie burgers? Experiment with Indian-inspired flavors mirroring samosas or aloo tikki (via Food Network).