The Reason Veggie Burgers Need More Seasoning Than You Might Expect

For folks who want a meatless burger, there are several options. You can, of course, buy a box of veggie burgers for the easiest prep-free cookout. Or you can choose one of the many plant-based meats designed to deliver the closest thing to beef without the cow. But if you're looking for a from-scratch veggie burger, there are a host of recipes. Whether you choose a recipe like our hearty black bean burger or you're using our tip for binding your veggie burger using carrot baby food, there's one thing homemade veggie burgers need a lot of, and that's seasoning.

Burgers made from beef rely on fat for much of their flavor, and that's one thing that veggie burgers lack. This near-absence of fat can leave your veggie burger a bit bland, which is why you might find it a bit disappointing without sufficient salt and plenty of spices.

Veggie burgers need a sound seasoning strategy

Veggie burgers contain vegetables and some sort of binder like eggs, breadcrumbs, or the matzoh meal that holds together our quinoa burger, but without adequately seasoning both, it can make for a pretty bland affair. That's why the best veggie burgers rely on a combination of seasoning and creative toppings to make the burger delicious.

The best seasoning strategy for your meat-free burgers is to taste and season throughout the process. So, before you form and cook the burger patties, make sure you season your ingredients as you're breaking them down for patties, and season each side of the patties before pan-frying. Ingredients you often find in veggie burgers — like mushrooms, breadcrumbs, and beans — often require more seasoning than you'd expect, certainly more than you'd use for a beef burger. If you've ever prepared dried pinto or black beans, you know  most of the flavor doesn't come from the beans themselves. 

Of course, too much salt can spoil any dish, so it's smart to rely on a combination of both salt and flavorful spices to ensure your veggie burger is packed with so much flavor that nobody will miss the meat. Since fat so often carries the flavor, don't forget for these lean burgers that an herby mayo or drizzle of infused oil can also provide restaurant-level taste as well as presentation.