With all the plant-based burger options out there, vegetarians no longer need to settle for just the salads at every cookout. But just because veggie burgers are meat-free, there's no guarantee they're free of gluten, too.
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Double-check the ingredients before you take your first bite and consider buying your own gluten-free vegetable patties.
Are Veggie Burgers Gluten-Free?
Most veggie burgers are made of — yep, you guessed it — vegetables. Once a novelty, these meat-free burgers are now a staple at just about any burger joint, giving vegetarians a great go-to order.
But if you're following a gluten-free diet, this menu option may not be safe to eat.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye as well as derivative grains. While some veggie burger recipes may include wheat, rye or barley-based ingredients, others may be totally gluten-free, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Ordering veggie burgers at a restaurant can be risky because there are countless ways to make veggie burgers, so ingredients and recipes will vary depending on the restaurant and brand.
Even if you confirm the burgers are free of wheat, rye or barley, they may be subject to cross-contamination, which occurs when foods or ingredients come in contact with gluten, per the Celiac Disease Foundation.
How to Buy Gluten-Free Veggie Burgers
To play it safe and avoid the risk of cross-contact, make your own meal at home with pre-made gluten-free veggie burgers. You can find these in the freezer aisle of just about any grocery store.
Still, you'll want to take a close look at the packaging to confirm the burgers you're buying are safe to eat.
Search for a "Gluten-Free" label on the front of the box. This label is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration and signifies that the food you're eating has less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, which is generally safe for even gluten-intolerant or gluten-sensitive people to eat.
Or, for even more security, buy foods that are certified gluten-free by third parties, like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). These foods will don a Certified Gluten-Free label on the package. The GFCO only certifies foods that contain 10 ppm of gluten or less, according to the organization's website.
Gluten-Free Veggie Burger Brands to Buy
If you want to make your trip to the grocery store quick and easy, keep an eye out for these gluten-free veggie burger brands.
1. Impossible Burger
Impossible Burger is made of soy protein, so it has 19 grams of protein per patty. Pair it with a whole-grain bun and veggies for fiber.
Buy it: Target.com; Price: $4.19
Neat's veggie burger mix is gluten-free, soy-free and 100-percent plant-based. This mix is made of simple ingredients that are lower in fat than standard beef. Neat also offers a variety of different flavors, including Egg, Italian Mix and Breakfast Mix.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $7.32
Gardein's gluten-free Chipotle Black Bean Burgers are the only burgers in the line that are gluten-free. One hearty patty has 150 calories and 5 grams of protein.
Buy it: Walmart.com; Price: $4.92
4. Beyond Burger
Each Beyond Meat patty packs 20 grams of protein coming from peas, mung beans, faba beans and brown rice. The Beyond Burger is soy-free and kosher.
Buy it: Target.com; Price: $5.99
5. Dr. Praeger's
Dr. Praeger's is a safe bet. This brand offers a handful of GF options, including:
- All American Veggie Burger
- Mushroom Risotto Veggie Burger
- Black Bean Quinoa Veggie Burgers
- California Veggie Burger
- Cauliflower Veggie Burgers
- Kale Veggie Burgers
- Super Greens Veggie Burgers
- Heirloom Bean Veggie Burgers
- Korean Veggie Burgers
- Sweet Heat Beet Veggie Burgers
- Perfect Turk'y Burger
- Perfect Fiesta Burger
- Perfect Chick'n Spinach Pesto Burger
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $5.69
Hilary's whole line of veggie burgers is certified gluten-free. Choose from:
- World`s Best Veggie Burger
- Super Cauliflower Veggie Burger
- Fiesta Black Bean Veggie Burger
- Southwest Adzuki Bean Burger
- Hemp & Greens Burger
- Root Veggie Burger
- Spicy Thai Veggie Burger
- Black Rice Veggie Burger
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $2.65
Amy's Sonoma Veggie Burger recipe combines veggies and quinoa with walnuts, adding some healthy fats to the dish. Amy's Sonoma burger is free of gluten and dairy, but none of the brand's other burgers are gluten-free.
Buy it: Stores near you; Price: $6.69