Vegan Cheese-Stuffed Burger with Fried Mac and Cheese Buns
So, a week or two ago I saw a video pop up in my Facebook news feed about a restaurant that makes a burger with fried mac and cheese “buns”. My first thought was, “okay, this is absolutely unnecessary and insane”. My second thought was, “I need to veganize this, immediately”.
So, here we are.
I’m sure some of you are thinking “holy carbohydrates, Batman” and “that’s the most unhealthy thing I’ve ever seen”. But, come on, doesn’t it look amazing? Obviously I don’t condone eating this behemoth daily, but as an occasional splurge, hell yeah. Just look at that gooey cheese.
Now, let’s talk about those buns. For the sake of convenience, I used a boxed vegan mac and cheese. Daiya Cheezy Mac to be exact. However, you could totally use a homemade vegan mac. I would just recommend following the step regarding adding a tablespoon or so of arrowroot/cornstarch while cooking to help the mac and cheese set more solidly.
Onto the recipe! If you make this creation, please, please, please tag me on Instagram @Bitchy_Baker or #BitchyBaker <3
Vegan Cheese Stuffed Burger with Fried Mac and Cheese Buns
Yield: 2 Burgers
Time: 1 Hour + 4 Hours Chill Time
Mac and Cheese Bun Ingredients:
1 box Daiya Cheezy Mac (or roughly three cups homemade vegan mac and cheese)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or rice flour for GF)
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½-3/4 cup non-dairy milk, as needed (I use soy milk)
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs (or gluten-free breadcrumbs)
Oil for frying, such as vegetable, peanut, or other high-heat oil
2 Beyond Burgers
2 slices vegan cheese (I used Follow Your Heart American Slices)
Toppings of choice: Ketchup, tomato, pickles, lettuce, onion, etc.
1. Make the Mac and Cheese: Prepare the mac and cheese according to package directions. At the end of cooking, stir in a tablespoon of arrowroot starch and cook on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Prepare an 8 x 8 inch square pan by lining it with parchment and spraying with nonstick baking spray. Pour the mac and cheese into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Transfer pan to a refrigerator and chill for at least four hours, or overnight.
2. Prepare the Buns: Once the mac and cheese has set, cut 3 inch rounds. I used a 3 inch ramekin, but a cookie cutter or mason jar lid would also work well. Place the mac and cheese rounds onto a parchment-lined baking tray and place in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to bread. In a shallow, wide bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Fill another bowl with the soy milk, then pour the panko into a separate bowl.
3. Bread the Mac and Cheese: To bread the mac and cheese, dip each mac and cheese “patty” into flour and carefully turn to coat evenly with the mix. Transfer the patty to the soy milk and turn to evenly coat before transferring to the flour once again. Transfer the patty back into the soy milk. Finally, dip the double coated patty into the panko and toss to coat in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with the remaining patties. Place patties back in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to cook.
4. Prepare the Burgers: Place the thawed Beyond burgers in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the freezer and carefully cut in half lengthwise using a sharp serrated knife. Fold your slice of vegan cheese in half, then fold in half again to get four even squares. Place the four squares onto the bottom half of the burger before placing the top back on. Pinch and “smoosh” the edges to seal, then use your palms to form the burger back into a burger patty shape. Cook the burgers as desired. I cooked mine in a cast-iron skillet for about 4-5 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve so the cheese stays melty.
5. Fry the Buns: In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan, heat one to two inches of oil over medium high heat to 350 F. I use a candy thermometer so I can easily monitor the temperature while cooking, such as this one. Gently place the breaded mac and cheese rounds into the oil. I only cooked two at a time as to not drop the oil temperature. Cook for about three minutes on the first side, or until an even golden brown color. Carefully flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side, or until evenly browned. Remove the patties from the oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Repeat with remaining patties. Keep warm in oven until ready to assemble.
6. Assemble Burgers: Place your cooked burgers onto the mac and cheese buns. Finish with your toppings of choice. Devour.
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