If you have ever wanted to make an Impossible Burger at home but weren’t quite sure how to go about it, we’re here to help. This is the DIY Impossible Burger 2.0 homemade recipe!
We all know how popular the Impossible Burger became and still is among those who don’t want to eat meat. This trend has meant that the original recipe has been tweaked to make an even more widely appealing burger because now it is gluten free.
Vegetarian burgers always struggled to get the right texture in comparison to a beef burger. The use of soy, lentils and beans meant that there was more of a crumble than a chew. The advent of the Impossible Burger changed all that.
The flavor, the texture and even the way it looks means that the Impossible Burger is hard to differentiate from a real beef burger. And now there’s an even better version with the 2.0.
So let’s dive in and see what a homemade Impossible Burger 2.0 involves. We’ll look at how it compares to the original, what ingredients you will need and how to cook this impressive veggie burger.
The Original Impossible Burger
So you may be asking, where did this game-changing burger come from? It was actually the result of five years of research by Impossible Foods into what makes a beef burger so appealing. This meant breaking it down to a molecular level.
Only then could they begin to work on recreating the taste, appearance and texture of a beef burger in their veggie burger. The goal was to lure meat eaters into giving up beef by creating a plant based burger that tasted, looked and cooked exactly the same way.
So the first Impossible Burger was made. Its ingredients included wheat protein, coconut oil, and a binding agent, as well as an unusual ingredient called heme
Heme was the real innovation and mimicked the taste and even the ‘bleed’ of beef. This product is derived from the roots of legumes and its full name is legume hemoglobin. With the help of this substance plant based burgers, looked, cooked and tasted like beef.
What Is Heme?
Heme is found in all living things, animals and plants. The heme in meat is what gives it its taste. It’s an iron rich molecule that in hemoglobin allows your blood to carry oxygen around your body.
Heme also plays an important role in the way that your cells burn calories to create the energy that they need. The high amounts of heme present in animals is necessary for the high amounts of energy that they need.
But heme is also responsible for the way that the meat of animals tastes. During cooking heme causes the reaction that releases the aromas and flavors in meat.
Heme In The Impossible Burger
Naturally for a vegetarian burger it is not possible to use an animal derived substance to flavor your product so Impossible Foods started looking for a plant based alternative.
They knew that heme occurs in all plants as well as in animals, so they started testing various sources for it. Finally, they discovered that the hemoglobin in the roots of legumes was the best match for their needs, hence the derivative name leghemoglobin.
They mixed soy leghemoglobin with plant proteins, fats and other ingredients to produce a meatless patty that had the texture and flavor of beef. Not only did it have the taste of beef, but it also cooked in a similar way.
Rather than dig up countless soy plants to extract the heme from the roots, Impossible Foods realized they had to produce heme in a more sustainable way. They did this through fermentation.
The heme they use today comes from a genetically modified yeast that has the soy leghemoglobin gene. They grow the yeast via fermentation and then isolate and extract the soy leghemoglobin. This is then added to the other ingredients to create the beef substitute.
Impossible Foods made sure that this product was safe and tested it extensively including checking if it had allergenic qualities. It was deemed safe and received the FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) notification.
Impossible Burger Vs Impossible Burger 2.0
The Impossible Burger hit restaurants in 2016 and was slowly rolled out across more and more outlets. The fact that the burger was almost indistinguishable from a beef burger ensured that it hit the headlines.
The original Impossible Burger was made from the combination of wheat protein, fats, flavor and binders to recreate the look and feel of a beef burger. The burger’s fat content came from coconut oil.
Then of course there was the heme that made the Impossible Burger ‘bleed’ like real beef. This had been added to genetically modified yeast to simulate the texture, appearance and taste of a beef burger.
Impossible Burger 2.0
In 2019 the company updated their formulation and removed the wheat protein from the recipe and replaced it with soy protein. This effectively made the Impossible Burger gluten free as well as vegetarian.
Soy protein is comparable in quality to the protein found in meat based on its digestibility. Soy is also rich in fiber and contains potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
In addition, Impossible Foods replaced some of the coconut oil with sunflower oil to reduce the saturated fat content. They also added the binding agent methylcellulose. This is a bulk forming binder that is commonly used in a lot of foods
So the new Impossible Burger had all the taste, appearance and goodness of the original, but now it was suitable for those following a gluten free diet.
Impossible Burger 2.0 Ingredients
If you want to recreate the Impossible Burger at home there are a few ingredients that you may not be able to include. Heme is probably one of them, so you will have to substitute some flavoring ingredients instead.
Let’s take a look at the other ingredients.
Textured Vegetable Protein
The main ingredient in a homemade Impossible Burger 2.0 is textured vegetable protein or TVP. This substance is soy that has had its oil removed and is also known as soy meat or soy chunks. It works well in this recipe because it has a chewy and meaty texture.
TVP is high in protein with every 100 grams containing 54 grams of protein. As an ingredient it comes dehydrated in either chunks or a finer granular consistency. It is rehydrated by adding hot water or vegetable broth. Using vegetable broth gives the TVP added flavor.
By allowing the liquid to seep into the textured vegetable protein for a few minutes it will start to absorb the moisture. You can then fluff it up with a fork until it is the consistency that you want for your burgers.
Short Grain Rice
To bind everything together in this recipe the best ingredient is short grain rice. It is very starchy and so is ideal for helping all the different elements in the recipe combine.
Using rice is also quick, easy and inexpensive as a binder. The rice makes a burger that is held together but is also nicely chewy.
One of the problems with regular veggie burgers is that they tend to fall apart when you try to form them into patties and cook them.
By adding potato starch to the Impossible Burger Homemade recipe you are thickening the mixture and binding it together.
Along with the starch from the rice this will give you a patty that sticks together and remains intact during cooking. It will also give a good ‘mouth feel’ to your burger, making it chewy and reminiscent of a beef burger.
To get the delicious, juicy consistency and flavor of an Impossible Burger you will need to add some fat or in this case, oil. The recipe calls for sunflower oil and coconut oil.
However, the coconut oil is not added in liquid form but rather chilled until it solidifies and then cut into chunks and added to the mix.
This mimics the pockets of fat that randomly occur in beef burger patties and which help to moisten and flavor the meat.
As TVP on its own has no flavor it relies on the other ingredients that you will add for its taste. The oil will add a certain amount of flavor, but you will also need some extra flavor from spices.
The flavorings used in this recipe are onion and garlic powder, some black garlic if you can get it, red pepper flakes and liquid smoke.
You should also add some salt and pepper along with a little vegetable broth for additional flavor and moisture.
As with flavoring TVP doesn’t have a particularly appealing color, it is more of a beige color in its natural state. This is because it is actually a byproduct of soy oil production.
To get a nice red hue in your burger mix you will want to add some finely grated beets. This blends into the TVP, rice and potato starch to give a meat-like color to the mixture.
How To Cook An Impossible Burger 2.0
Cooking a DIY version of an Impossible Burger will not be exactly the same as the one you get in a restaurant or in the grocery store.
This is mainly because the key ingredient in a genuine Impossible Burger recipe is heme which is not widely available as a home cooking ingredient.
Methylcellulose is also another ingredient that you won’t be easily able to find in your local grocery store. This is the binder that Impossible Foods use in their burgers. You will be using short grain rice instead.
However this recipe is one of the best for recreating this incredible meatless burger.
Cooking A Homemade Impossible Burger 2.0
Making this Impossible Burger replica at home is really easy and takes less than 25 minutes to prepare. Cooking time is 10 minutes and the recipe is enough for 6 burgers.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white or brown short grain rice
- 2 cups textured vegetable protein
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp coconut oil solid and chilled, not melted
- 2 tsp sunflower or other liquid oil
- 1/4 cup potato starch flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp black garlic (optional)
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp beets, finely grated
- First cook the brown or white short grain rice following the instructions. Put it to one side.
- Put 2 cups of textured vegetable protein in medium sized bowl that is heatproof. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups of vegetable broth to a rolling boil and pour onto the TVP. Allow the textured vegetable protein to absorb the broth and then mix it up with a fork until fluffy.
- Put the TVP, cooked rice, and the remaining ingredients into a food processor. Use the pulse function to blend the mixture together but not so that it loses texture.
- Shape the mixture into burger patties and cook in some sunflower oil.
Serve your homemade Impossible burger on a burger bun with some lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. Or with the toppings of your choice.
Try A Different Impossible Burger Recipe
This recipe is more like a traditional vegan burger but has tons of taste and a great texture. It also has no hard-to-find ingredients and everything can be bought from your grocery store.
The recipe makes 8 burgers. Preparation time is 20 minutes and cooking time is 20 minutes.
- 12 oz sliced mushrooms, sautéed until browned
- 12 oz chopped tempeh
- 1 cup short-grain rice, cooked
- 1/4 cup dry quick cook oats
- 2 tbsp grated beets
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp oil for cooking
- First, cook the rice and then put it to one side.
- Next, lightly fry the sliced mushrooms until brown and tender.
- Roughly chop up the tempeh until you have ½ inch pieces.
- Now, put all the ingredients into a large food processor. Mix until all the ingredients have been chopped and incorporated into the mixture.
- You will have enough mixture to form at least 8 patties.
- Fry them in a pan with a little oil until brown and crispy on the outside and cooked in the middle.
Serve on burger buns with the toppings of your choice.
What Does The Impossible Burger 2.0 Taste Like?
The goal of the Impossible Burger and its successor the Impossible Burger 2.0 is to taste as much like beef as possible.
This is why the company undertook five years of research to determine what would make meat eaters switch from meat to plant based burgers.
In fact, the Impossible Burger 2.0 taste so much like beef that most people cannot distinguish between the two. It even made a vegetarian reporter say that it smelled, tasted and felt so much like beef that it was grossing her out.
But if the taste, smell and texture of the Impossible Burger 2.0 is that beef-like then Impossible Foods will have accomplished their goal.
The time and money that they put into their research and development will have been well worth it.
Where Can You Buy Impossible Burgers?
So, where can you buy Impossible Burgers? At one point they were only available in a few select restaurants. Luckily that is not the case anymore.
Fast Food Restaurants
Burger King was one of the first to introduce the Impossible Burger under the title Impossible Whopper. In fact this was one of the first plant based burgers to be sold in a fast food outlet.
They then added the Impossible Croissan’wich as a breakfast option, although this is not the most vegan option.
Other restaurants offering the Impossible Burger 2.0 are Bareburger, The Cheesecake Factory, Fat Burger and The Hard Rock Cafe. Many other fast food chains also have it on their menu.
You can buy fresh and frozen Impossible Burger patties as well as fresh ground Impossible beef in a lot of grocery stores such as Target, Costco, Hy-Vee and Walmart among others. You can also buy all of Impossible Foods products online via their website.
Cost Of Impossible Burger 2.0
The cost of Impossible Burgers will depend on where you are buying them from. The most expensive way is probably at a fast food restaurant where the burger will cost between $7.49 and $14.40.
But remember you are also paying for the convenience of having the burger cooked for you.
To buy the fresh Impossible Burgers in a grocery store will cost around $4.50 for a pack of two patties. A pack of six frozen Impossible Burgers typically cost $10.98 or $1.83 each.
If you are buying your Impossible Burgers through the Impossible Foods website a pack of two fresh patties will cost just under $6.50.
Instead of buying ready made patties you can also buy packs of Impossible ground beef, 12 ounce packs cost $8.99 online.
Why Eat Meat Alternatives?
Is it just vegetarians and vegans that don’t eat meat or are there other reasons for avoiding it? In a world where we’re all conscious of our impact on the environment should we be looking for alternatives to meat and eating more plant based foods to save the planet?
Or should we be more concerned about the effect on our health of eating so much meat? And of course, no one wants to see animals suffer so that we can have a tasty burger.
So, when it comes to eating meat substitutes there is more than one reason to do so.
There are health benefits to eating less red meat including reducing the amount of cholesterol in your diet. Plant based burgers do not have any cholesterol as it is only found in animal derived products.
The Impossible Burger contains vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for your health, including iron, vitamin B12, folate, and thiamine. However, these are added to the burger whereas the nutrition of a beef burger occurs naturally.
Beef also contains vitamin K which is not found in the Impossible Burger.
The Impossible Burger offers a similar amount of protein as 80% lean beef. It is also lower in calories and total fat content and contains fiber and carbohydrates, something that ground beef doesn’t have.
Potential Health Disadvantages Of The Impossible Burger
Despite being a plant based alternative to meat there are a few things that you should be aware of in regard to the Impossible Burger.
First of all, it has a lot of sodium. In fact, it contributes 16% of the sodium daily value. A burger made with either 80% or 90% lean beef provides only 3% of the sodium daily value.
In addition, one of the main causes of concern about how the Impossible Burger is made is that it is a highly processed food.
The heme is made from genetically modified yeast which has the soy leghemoglobin gene, this in itself is a lengthy process.
We are being encouraged to eat less processed food and more naturally occurring foods. And while the Impossible Burger is plant based this doesn’t mean that it is made from vegetables and therefore automatically healthy.
But to be fair it’s not actually promoted as a healthy alternative to beef. Rather it is promoted as a more sustainable version.
So what is the benefit to the environment of eating plant based burgers? Well the founder of Impossible Foods made it his goal to reduce the world’s dependence on meat and highlight the detrimental effects of meat production on the planet.
Impossible Foods claim that beef creates only 3% of the calories in the US but generates half of all greenhouse gases created by agriculture.
They also claim that livestock farming takes up half of the vegetated land in the country and uses a third of all freshwater.
According to the company dietary choices can have a greater impact on the environment than choosing to drive an electric car or having solar panels on your roof.
Instead of trying to persuade people to stop eating meat Impossible Foods provided an alternative that looks, tastes and cooks just like beef. But with a significantly reduced environmental impact.
There is little argument that getting meat from cattle is not a process that most of us would want to witness. But yet there is a huge demand for beef and that demand does not seem to be slowing down with 50 billion burgers eaten in the US every year.
By using plant based ingredients the suffering of cows would be removed, and we would still have burgers that taste like beef.
Why Do Vegetarians & Vegans Eat Faux Meat?
But if vegans and vegetarians are fundamentally opposed to the eating of meat why is there such a market to recreate it even down to the ‘bleed’ in the beef patty?
Of course, everyone is different and there are as many reasons for wanting to eat a meat substitute as there are vegetarians and vegans. However, there are a few commonly cited reasons for wanting a plant based version of meat.
Most people choose to become vegetarian with few being raised on a purely vegetarian diet. Some people, who have had the experience of bacon, sausage and burgers, will crave that taste, texture and smell.
They want to satisfy their desire for those experiences again without compromising their values as vegetarians or vegans.
It’s nice for those who follow a vegetarian diet to be able to participate in family traditions and national celebrations with their version of a hot dog, burger or holiday roast.
They don’t want to eat meat but still like to participate in Thanksgiving, Christmas and other family events by substituting plant based meats for beef, chicken or turkey.
Vegans and vegetarians appreciate convenience as much if not more than people who eat meat. A lot of plant based meals have to be cooked from scratch so if there’s a convenient alternative why wouldn’t you take advantage?
Of course, not all convenient vegan and vegetarian dishes will be equally healthy, so it’s a good idea not to rely on them too often.
However, for busy weeknights or when you don’t feel like cooking there’s nothing wrong with choosing a convenient vegetarian option.
The Impossible Burger 2.0 has set a benchmark for all other plant based burgers. It has achieved what many thought was literally impossible, to make a vegetarian burger that tastes, cooks and bleeds like beef.
It is a well named product and testament to the dedication of the Impossible Foods company and their founder. To produce a meat alternative which can help to reduce the impact of livestock rearing for meat is a great achievement.
With many competitors now in the field and the range of quality meat substitutes growing the benefit to consumers will surely grow too. New ways of creating better tasting and perhaps healthier plant based burgers seem to be just over the horizon.
If the Impossible Burger 2.0 is this good now we can’t wait for the next version. We’re sure Impossible Foods are going to keep pushing the boundaries in order to make global food more sustainable.