What Vegetarians Should Know about the Impossible Whopper from Burger King

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Here’s a version of that scene in The Empire Strikes Back:

Darth Vader: Luke, Burger King is now selling a Whopper without meat. 

Luke Skywalker: No! That’s impossible! 

If you’re a Burger King fan, then the chances are good that you’ve tried the Whopper. After all, it’s the most popular menu item from Burger King. It even outsells their fries, if you can believe it. Of course, it’s not exactly for health nuts and vegetarians. 

But with the rising popularity of the health craze, even fast-food restaurants that aren’t exactly known for offering healthy food had to give in. That’s why they’re all displaying nutritional facts in their websites. Some brands, such as McDonald’s, changed the frying oil they were using as a way to make things healthier. 

Then there’s Burger King, which seems to want to lure vegetarians back to their fast-food joints by adding a meatless burger. It as first introduced in 2019 among a limited number of restaurants, but apparently it proved popular enough that Burger King has made it part of their regular menu across the board. 

If you’re a vegetarian, then this may be a good place to start getting back into fast-food. But before you do so, you should know your facts. 

How much does it cost? 

Prices, of course, differ depending on the Burger King location. On average, the Impossible Whopper costs nearly $6 ($5.92, to be exact) in the US. That price ranges from $8.88 to $9.47 if you get an Impossible Whopper meal. 

Strangely, the standard Whopper costs only $5.34 on average. Perhaps it costs Burger King more to take out the meat and put in a plant-based substitute in their patties. 

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What’s so different about the Impossible Whopper?

Burger King offers these differences for vegetarians:

  • The Impossible patty is totally plant-based. That means it doesn’t contain even milk or eggs (and certainly no meat). 
  • Those who don’t consume cheese won’t have to specify about taking out the cheese. The Impossible Whopper doesn’t contain cheese at all. 
  • Even the bun is vegan. 
  • The other toppings should be acceptable for vegans. These include onion, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and ketchup. 

Nutritional Facts

These are the nutritional facts straight from the Burger King website

  • Calories: 628.9 kcal 
  • Fat: 34 g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.7 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 10.8 mg
  • Sodium: 1,077.9 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 58 g
  • Fiber: 4.2 g
  • Sugar: 11.8 g
  • Proteins: 25.3 g 

Yes, it does come with a sizable number of calories. But the patty here has fewer calories, since the regular Whopper has 674 calories in comparison. At least you were able to reduce about 45 calories from the original. 

It’s also true that it comes with a rather worrisome amount of sodium as well. Those with heart issues may want to take note. 

But here’s the good news: you get 25 grams of protein. Protein intake has historically been a problematic issue for vegetarians who avoid meat and fish (which are the traditional sources of protein). This time, there’s plenty of proteins from their vegetarian meal. 

Why were some vegetarians upset about this?

When this Impossible Whopper first came out, some vegetarians were saying that this burger didn’t quite meet their standards of what a proper “vegetarian” dish ought to be. And they were quite upset

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Here’s a sampling of their complaints:

  • The Impossible Burger is topped with mayo, which is made from eggs. Some veggies don’t consume eggs. 
  • Burger King at the time also used the same broiler for the Impossible Whopper as for their beef and chicken products. That means cross-contamination, since the meatless patty will be in contact with small bits of beef and chicken. 
  • Basically, some of the complainants didn’t like how the Impossible Whopper was vegetarian without making some specific modifications. 

How do you modify this so that it’s vegetarian?

First thing is that you ask that they hold the mayo. Then request that they use a “non-broiler” method of preparation. Basically, that just means they’ll use the microwave oven instead. 

Why are some non-vegetarians upset?

Well, some are objecting on principle. They’re saying that it’s a betrayal of what the “Whopper” name stands for. Their opinion is that Burger King should just have made up a new name for this meatless wonder, and not used the hallowed Whopper name for it at all. 

There also those who seem to think that they’re being forced to order this, even though they’re not vegetarians. They seem to have forgotten that the Impossible Whopper is merely an addition to the menu. It’s not as if it’s replacing the regular Whopper! 

Bottom Line: How does it taste?

Most vegetarians who have tried the Impossible Whopper say that it’s good, and better than they expected. Even some meat lovers say that it doesn’t taste all that bad—though it still doesn’t compare to the regular Whopper.