Ready in just 35 minutes, this juicy tofu burger is full of smoky flavors that taste just like something you would find in a Whopper, but without the meat! The secret is minced frozen tofu. Add some fresh veggies and condiments to top it off, and you will have a protein-packed burger so good you will be craving another one!
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The best part about burgers is that they are just as versatile as they are delicious. Be sure to check out our other vegan burger recipes, such as our vegan beet burger, TVP burger, vegan portobello mushroom burger, or vegan pulled pork burger.
What to expect from this recipe?
These soft and juicy vegan burgers are made with a combination of minced frozen tofu, vegan Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic, and a variety of spices to mimic the texture of ground chicken. After these tofu burgers are fried to perfection to achieve a crispy crust and tender insides, you can top them with your veggies and vegan condiments of choice to create a mouthwatering burger just like the Burger King Whopper!
Here’s why you will love this recipe:
- It is incredibly versatile and customizable to your specific tastes.
- It has a soft and juicy texture that isn’t dry and won’t fall apart.
- The frozen tofu is minced in a food processor, giving it the consistency of a ground chicken burger.
- The combination of spices gives it a delicious smoky flavor, just like a burger right off the grill.
- It is full of protein, low in calories, and low in fat.
- It is easy to make and ready to eat in just half an hour!
The main ingredient in this tofu burger recipe is the minced tofu, which is combined with breadcrumbs and a variety of spices and seasonings to give it its delicious Whopper-style taste. We also provide a few substitution options to customize the burger to your specific taste and dietary needs.
- Firm tofu – It has been frozen for at least 24 hours.
- Breadcrumbs – Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed.
- Dairy-free milk – We recommend oat, almond, or cashew milk.
- Cornstarch – Tapioca starch is another option.
- Onion – Finely chopped
- Garlic – Finely chopped
- Olive oil – This helps give the burger its juiciness.
- Worcestershire sauce – We like to use this vegan and gluten-free brand. You can also use soy sauce or tamari.
- Sweet smoked paprika powder – Make sure it is smoked paprika, as this helps give the burger its smoky taste.
- Mustard powder
- Nutritional yeast
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- For the best results, always use frozen tofu for at least 24 hours and thaw overnight.
- Once you thaw the tofu, use your hand or a milk bag to squeeze the tofu hard until you reach a sponge-like texture.
- Then, use a food processor to chop the tofu into small crumbles.
Making onion-garlic puree
This puree gives the tofu burger its juiciness and melt-in-your-mouth texture. We used acclaimed chef Joe Sasto’s method to make the onion sweeter without the overpowering aroma.
- Preheat a frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and the finely chopped onion and garlic.
- Cook the onion and garlic over medium-low heat until it becomes tender, opaque, and yellow. Do not let the mixture caramelize.
- Add the onion and garlic mixture and the remaining oil to a bowl, then use a hand blender to blend it.
Making tofu burgers
- In a large mixing bowl, add the tofu crumbles, breadcrumbs, dairy-free milk, cornstarch, onion and garlic paste, 1 Tbsp olive oil, fennel, smoked sweet paprika, cumin, mustard powder, vegan Worcestershire sauce, salt, and nutritional yeast.
- Mix everything well using your hands or a spatula. Roll and press the tofu mixture to form the burger patties.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat. If you don’t have a non-stick skillet, add a small amount of coconut oil, or vegetable oil to the pan. Add 2-4 patties depending on how much fit in it comfortably.
- Fry the patties on each side for a few minutes until they turn brown.
Let’s build a whopper style burger
- Cut and grill the burger buns in a grill pan to give them a charcoaled finish.
- Add one or two tofu burger patties in between vegan cheese slices.
- Then add several slices of sweet pickled cucumbers.
- Apply a generous drizzle of ketchup.
- Add raw onion and tomato slices.
- The last layer of veggies is these gorgeous, ruffled lettuce leaves.
- Spread some vegan mayo on top.
- Finish it off with the top burger bun. Enjoy!
- Don’t skip freezing tofu – We recommend freezing and thawing tofu before using it. If you skip this step and use firm tofu straight out of the packaging, this recipe will not work the same. Tofu is too moist and spongy, even after pressing it.
- Completely dry the tofu – The tofu must be completely squeezed before mincing it with the food processor. If it is not dry to the touch, the recipe will fail.
- Different seasonings – Switch up the flavor by mixing in other seasonings and herbs, such as oregano, basil, or balsamic vinegar.
- Optional spices – Add chili pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a kick of heat. Or, add some liquid smoke for a tasty chargrilled taste.
The best part about this juicy tofu burger is that there are many different ways to prepare and serve it to fit your taste and appetite! Here are a few of them:
- With all the fixings: Make your tofu restaurant-style by adding a toasted bun, lettuce, vegan cheese, sweet pickles slices, ketchup, dijon mustard, and raw onion. If you are really hungry, add an extra patty!
- With fries: Serve the classic “burger and fries” by adding sweet potato wedges or roasted potatoes to the side.
- With veggies: Serve your burger alongside carrots, parsnip, roasted cauliflower, broccoli, grilled vegetable kabobs, or the tomato-corn salsa from our copycat Chipotle veggie bowl recipe.
- With grains: Brown rice, quinoa, or our riced sweet potatoes are an excellent side dish to go with tofu burgers.
- With salad: Serve it next to a light green salad, or try our easy vegan coleslaw.
- Without the bun: Skip the bun altogether and serve your tofu burger atop a green salad or rice.
- Food processor
- Cast-iron Skillet – We like to use the one from UnoCasa.
- Non-stick frying pan – We recommend a 10.5-inch / 26 cm pan.
In the fridge – To store your tofu burgers in the refrigerator, place them in an airtight container for up to five days.
In the freezer – You can freeze these burger patties for up to three months in an airtight freezer bag or container. We recommend wrapping them individually in parchment paper before freezing them to prevent them from sticking together.
Defrosting and Reheating – Defrost your tofu burgers in the fridge or at room temperature. Reheat them in the oven, on the stove, or in the microwave. For the best results to help them keep their crispy crust, reheat the patties over the stove.
Yes! To grill, lightly brush them with olive oil, then place them on the grill pan for approximately 8 minutes per side until they are crisp and golden brown. Flip at halftime.
The breadcrumbs in the recipe act as a binding agent and prevent the tofu from falling apart during the cooking process. Other binding agents you can use include oats, ground flax seeds, and wheat germ. Eggs are also a popular binding agent for burgers, but since we are a vegan blog, we do not use them in our recipes.
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Meaty Tofu Burger (Whopper Style)
- 4 Burger bun
- ¼ Lettuce
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1 Onion (medium)
- 8 Tbsp Ketchup
- 8 Tbsp Mayo
- ¼ cup Pickled cucumber
- 4 Vegan cheese slices
Making onion-garlic puree
- Take a frying pan or skillet and preheat to medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and finely chopped onion and garlic. Cook on medium-low heat until tender, opaque, and yellow but not caramelized.
- Add onion and garlic with the remaining oil to a bowl and blend it with an immersion blender.
- For the best result, use frozen tofu. Thaw it overnight, then squeeze it hard. Use your hand or a milk bag. You will have a sponge-like texture at the end.
- Use a food processor to chop the tofu into smaller crumble-like pieces.
Making tofu burger patties
- Take a large mixing bowl and add tofu crumbles, breadcrumbs, dairy-free milk, cornstarch, onion and garlic paste, 1 Tbsp olive oil, smoked sweet paprika, cumin, fennel, mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and nutritional yeast. Mix everything well with a spatula or with your hands.
- Form patties with your hands. Rolling and pressing.
- Take a frying pan and heat it on medium heat. Add a bit of coconut or olive oil if you don’t have a non-stick pan. Fry them for a couple of minutes on each side to give them a nice brown color.
Assembling a Whopper inspired burger
- Cut and grill the burger buns in a pan to give them a charcoal finish.
- Add one or two tofu burger patties in between vegan cheese slices.
- Then add several slices of sweet pickled cucumbers and apply a generous drizzle of ketchup.
- Add raw onion, tomato slices, and ruffled lettuce leaves.
- Spread some vegan mayo on top. Finish it off with the top burger bun. Enjoy!