The Impossible Burger is a vegan meat alternative that was created by a Silicon Valley company hoping to reduce carbon emissions caused by the beef industry. Made of soy, potato, and other ingredients, this entirely plant-based product cooks, looks, and tastes like beef. It's commonly used to make burgers and is popular in restaurants, especially with vegan and vegetarian diners.
What Is Impossible Burger?
The Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger patty that looks and tastes remarkably like a beef burger patty. The ground "beef" can be used in place of real ground beef in any recipe but is frequently used to make vegan burgers. Impossible Burgers are a popular menu item in restaurants across the country, from fast food to sit-down establishments. Impossible meat can be found in some grocery stores and is sold ready-to-cook with no extra prep involved. Because it's a rather niche item, it tends to be more expensive than regular ground beef.
How to Cook Impossible Burgers
Impossible Burgers are cooked exactly like ground beef burger patties. The "meat" can be shaped into patties and grilled or cooked in a skillet just like a burger. It can also be formed into meatballs or cooked and crumbled on the stovetop and used for chili, tacos, and more. When substituting Impossible meat for ground beef, simply use the same amount and cook as you would the beef. It's easy.
What Does the Impossible Burger Taste Like?
The Impossible Burger looks and tastes so much like a beef burger that many diners can't tell a difference. The plant-based substitute uses a key ingredient to replicate the distinct flavor of red meat: a molecule called heme that's present in meat. Impossible uses fermented yeast to recreate and add this beefy molecule to their mixture. Filling out the ingredient list are soy and potato protein, coconut and sunflower oils, food starch, and a few natural flavorings. This all equals the flavor of ground beef—iron-rich and lightly salty with a touch of fat—without any meat involved.
Impossible Burger vs. Beyond Meat
As the tech business has entered the food business, these two heavy hitters have entered the eco-friendly plant-based meat business. While the two companies share similar goals and end products, their ingredient lists differ. Impossible relies heavily on heme, a molecule found in meat that they recreate using fermented yeast. This is added to a base of potato and pea protein, achieving 19 grams of protein. Beyond Meat has a base of pea and brown rice and is often lower in protein and lower in saturated fat. Beyond Meat is easier to find in the grocery store, and while both are popular in restaurants, Impossible tends to be one that chefs prefer and so it seems to be more widely available on menus.
Impossible Burger Recipes
Since Impossible Burger meat cooks up just like meat, it can be used in any recipes that call for ground beef. Try using it to make burgers, chili, meatballs, pasta sauce, and more.
Swap Impossible meat for the ground beef called for in these recipes, and adapt the ingredients as necessary to suit your prefefrences—leaving out the cheese, for example, to make a vegan version.
Where to Buy Impossible Burgers
Impossible Burger can be found at select grocery stores around the country. Look for the shrink-wrapped 12-ounce packages, which look very similar to packs of ground beef, in the meat aisle or refrigerated vegetarian "meat and cheese" section. Always check the expiration date before purchasing.
Impossible Burgers can also be found at restaurants across the country. Some fast food chains are offering Impossible Burgers as a menu option, and many restaurants use Impossible meat to make vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Storing Impossible Burgers
Impossible Burger meat should be kept in the refrigerator (or freezer, if purchased frozen) in its original packaging until use. It will keep for 5 to 7 days. Once open, store Impossible meat in an airtight container and use it within 3 days. Impossible meat products can be frozen for up to a few months if it is well wrapped. Thaw before using and use the thawed "meat" within a few days.
Nutrition and Benefits of Impossible Burgers
With 19 grams of protein, Impossible Burgers have the same amount of high-quality protein as red meat. One four-ounce serving contains more than 30 percent of the recommended daily intake. Impossible is also rich in thiamin, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and iron. However, because it's a plant-based food, Impossible Burgers also contain 11 percent of the recommended daily value of fiber—something red meat can't boast.