Frozen Food Battle: Veggie Burgers

Veggie Burger

When I was doing my research on the frozen food endeavors of those around me, I was surprised to get so much consistency. It seems, with all of the full meal options available, many are opting for the frozen patties lining the freezer aisle. It makes a lot of sense and in fact, some of the products out there are pretty good. Plus it is easy to spruce them up with a salad or a great bun and a side or two. And as far as being convenient one box will get you almost a week’s worth of meals. But what about making these patties ourselves. There’s no doubt that fresh burgers outweigh the frozen variety, so what about the veggie patties…

Taste: Veggie burgers often get a bad wrap. Mainly because 99 times out of 100 they are called exactly that: veggie “burgers”. Now come on, these aren’t burgers and will never compete. It’s like I’ve written about before, meat is meat and there is no substitute. Maybe that’s why the Morningstar Veggie Patties are so popular. Notice the lack of burger in the name. If you read the list of ingredients, these veggie patties are filled with mushrooms, water chestnuts, onions, carrots, green and red bell peppers, and black olives. It is nice to see the first ingredients actually being vegetables and the brown rice filler is what clearly gives these patties their texture. But despite all the positives, fresh always outperforms frozen…doesn’t it.

Part of me seems to be rooting for the frozen version but I can’t lie. This homemade veggie patty was awesome. I wanted to keep them as similar as possible for comparison sake so I used a number of similar ingredients. I made my veggie patties with crimini mushrooms, red onion, bell pepper, fresh corn, and garbanzo beans. Rather than using rice, I decided to go with quinoa, a trick I’ve used before. The texture is much better; dare I say meat like. The addition of ginger and a bit of soy sauce gave these patties some awesome flavor. And the best part is, one meal worth of work netted me 10 patties. That’s a lot of future meals….

Cost: It’s a lot of meals but how much did it cost. The Morningstar patties come in a packet of four. The fresh direct price is listed at $4.79 for a whopping total of $1.20 a patty. That’s pretty good. How’d my version stack up. Not including the seasonings (kitchen staples) the total cost of my veggie patties was $9.65*. For all of you who struggle with mental math, that’s 96 cents a patty! Once again cheaper than the frozen!

Time: This time the comparison is a bit more interesting. Once again the time I spent making my meal tonight is completely demolished by the frozen option. The Morningstar instructions give two options for heating. The first, the one I’d prefer is in the oven for 12-15 minutes. The second is in the microwave for only 1 1/2 minutes. Either way the hour and a half I spent preparing my version is a commitment many aren’t willing to make. But here’s where it gets interesting. I now have eight patties in my freezer ready to go (2 morningstar boxes worth). At this point there is no difference between mine and theirs. Except the freshness of a homemade meal!

I served mine with stir fried tat soi and quick pickled vegetables with a chili mayo. Awesome!

*Cost Analysis:

  • 1 Carton Crimini Mushrooms $2.49
  • 1/2 Red Onion $.92
  • 1/2 Bell Pepper $.44
  • Corn $.80
  • Can of Garbanzo Beans $1.39
  • Basil $.50
  • 1 cup Quinoa $.73
  • 2 eggs $.45
  • Panko Bread Crumbs $1.13
  • Garlic $.60
  • Total (10 Patties) = $9.45
  • Individual Patty = $.95

One Response to Frozen Food Battle: Veggie Burgers

  1. Chris says:

    I always put veggie burgers on top of real burgers.

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