Contrary to popular belief, not everyone eats turkey burgers solely because they’re a healthier alternative to ground beef. A lot of people really love the taste. That’s why Trader Joe’s decided it was time to create a version made entirely of plants with its new Turkeyless Protein Patties, which you’ll find right next to its beefy Protein Patties. The patties are made up of pea protein, oat fiber, nutritional yeast, and spices, and each serving boasts an impressive 23 grams of protein, 14 grams of fat, 420mg of sodium, and no sugar, as well as vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium.
As for the taste, I’ve gotta say… I’m impressed. The turkey flavor was spot-on, and the texture was so realistic that it almost freaked me out. While the healthy grocer’s vegan beef patties capture the fattiness of real beef, these capture the leanness of typical turkey burgers. It was like I was biting into the real deal—something that felt especially weird considering a turkey burger was the last thing I ate before ditching meat more than three years ago.
While these patties are great replacements for anyone who craves turkey burgers, you can also make your own version at home with minimal ingredients. My husband, Clancy, has become quite the vegan chef over the years (which started because he wanted to recreate all my former favorite meals!), and he whipped up some protein-packed, plant-based patties using what we already had in our fridge and pantry: chickpeas, oats, broth, and plenty of spices.
While Trader Joe’s pea protein blend has that super-meaty texture, this chickpea veggie burger version is loaded with turkey flavor. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, the vegan turkey burger recipe below is a great alternative. Either way, I think I might have to put turkey burgers back into my weekly rotation.
Vegan turkey burger recipe
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can (15.5 oz) can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1/4 cup vegan chicken-flavored broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1. Take 1/2 cup rolled oats and place into a blender or spice grinder. Blitz until you have a powder or flour-like consistency. Set aside 4 tablespoons, and save the rest in the pantry for another time.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté 1/2 medium diced onion for a few minutes until translucent. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.
3. In a food processor, add one can of drained chickpeas*, your 4 tablespoons of ground oat flour, vegan chicken stock, the sautéed onions and garlic, thyme, rosemary, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Pulse the mixture until you get a thick batter-like consistency.
4. Roll 4 similar-sized balls of the batter (if too wet, add more flour) and place on a small floured pan.
5. Press down on the balls to make a patty shape. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
6. Take the chickpea patties out of the freezer. Heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Once hot, cook each patty 3 minutes on each side until browned and crispy.
7. Place your patty on bun and enjoy it with all your favorite turkey burger condiments and fixings.
*Save the liquid from your can of chickpeas—called aquafaba!—to use in other recipes. It makes for a great egg substitute in baking, and you can also use it to make vegan omelets, cheesecake, cheese, and more.
A dietitian breaks down the healthiest option between the Impossible and Beyond Burger: