A delicious plant-based burger? You can make it at home.

Plant-based burger with spicy special sauce
You won’t believe it’s not beef.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

The toppings and condiments I call for here are for a classic burger with a spicy kick. You can put whatever you want on these burgers as long as you’re adding loads of flavor. Impossible burger “meat” tastes the most like beef burgers, but you can follow the recipe below using Beyond Meat as well. Buy their preformed patties, then slice them each in half through their equators so you end up with two thin patties.

See how you can make this burger at home.

Sept. 26, 2019

Plant-Based Burger With Spicy Special Sauce

20 minutes. Serves 4.


  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, vegan if you’d like
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 ounces plant-based burger “meat,” such as Impossible or Beyond Burger
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 burger buns
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mustard, dill pickle slices, sliced red onion and tomato and iceberg lettuce leaves, for serving


  1. Make the spicy special sauce: Stir together the mayonnaise, relish, ketchup and cayenne in a small bowl.
  2. Divide the burger “meat” into four even pieces (3 ounces each) and shape into thin patties the same diameter as your buns. Press firmly so that the patties won’t fall apart.
  3. Heat a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet, griddle or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Coat lightly with a thin sheen of oil and put the burger buns, cut sides down, on the hot surface. Cook until dark golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to plates, cut sides up.
  4. Add more oil to the hot skillet so that the bottom is completely coated with an ⅛ inch or more and heat until it looks wavy. Carefully slide the patties into the shimmering oil and cook until the bottoms are evenly dark brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Slide a thin spatula under a patty, wiggling if needed to help it release from the pan, and carefully flip. Repeat with the remaining patties. Sprinkle the browned tops generously with salt and pepper. Fry until the other sides are deeply browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, divide the special sauce among the bottom buns. You should have a thick coating. Spread mustard all over the top buns. Place the hot patties onto the bottom buns. Shingle a layer of pickles over each patty, then top with the onion, tomato, lettuce and top buns. Serve immediately.

Make Ahead
The special sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.