Mac & Cheese is my go-to quick, easy meal. Whenever I find myself with very few groceries in the house, I resort to whipping up a batch of homemade mac & cheese.
So, when I found myself with some ground sirloin, I figured it would be delicious to make a batch of burgers and then top them with mac & cheese. But that would create a mess… what about mac & cheese INSIDE a burger?
Ladies and gentlemen, this was one of the best decisions of my life.
The Mac & Cheese Recipe
I often share when I am enjoying some homemade mac & cheese, and without fail, people begin begging for the recipe. I mean, just look at this cheesy goodness…
The recipe is very simple, and easily customizable. I love using Banza chickpea pasta, but you can use any pasta you have! This specific photo is regular elbow pasta, and the end result was the exact same. The benefit to using chickpea pasta is the added protein, and obviously the lack of gluten if you are gluten-free.
This recipe makes one serving of mac & cheese, which is enough to fill 4 burgers. I like to make more mac & cheese to either add more on top, or eat on the side. I suggest doubling the mac & cheese recipe here to make extra, but that is totally up to you.
Making the Burgers
To make stuffed burgers, we need to go quite thin. If we were to stuff a giant patty, it would be a nightmare to cook through.
I used ground sirloin (90/10 beef), but you can certainly use 80/20 beef, ground turkey, or any other meat of choice. 99% lean ground beef is also an option, but I never have success getting great flavor out of that.
All you have to do is separate the meat into 4 equal portions to make 1/4 pound burgers. Then, split those in half to have a total of 8 very thin patties.
Create a little cavity with edges to then fill with your mac and cheese:
Then all that is left to do is add another thin patty on top and pinch the edges!
VIOLA! It’s as easy as that. Now let’s get into it…
Ingredients for Burger
- 16oz (1 Pound) 90/10 Ground Sirloin
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
Ingredients for Mac & Cheese
- 2oz Elbow Pasta (I love Banza chickpea pasta, but any small pasta will work
- 28g Lowfat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Laughing Cow Spreadable Pepper Jack Cheese Wedge
- 34g Queso
- 2 Slices Center Cut Bacon
- 1 dash Milk of Choice
- Cheddar Cheese (for topping)
Ingredients for Toppings
- Bun of Choice (Brioche is recommended)
- Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles
- Fill a small saucepan with water and bring it to a boil to make your noodles. Follow the cooking directions based on the pasta you are making.
- In a separate saucepan, combine all of your cheese ingredients (except the cheddar cheese topping) and cook down over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add milk depending on how thick or thin you’d like the cheese sauce. We just need to melt everything together, so don’t put the heat on too high.
- When your pasta is done, drain it completely, then add directly to your cheese sauce and mix that up to make your mac & cheese. If adding bacon, dice it up and add it in now. (I make my bacon ahead of time so it's ready to just mix it right in)
- Keep your mac & cheese over very low heat to keep warm.
- Now, prep the burgers. Take your pound of ground beef and separate into 4 equal balls, and then separate each ball in half, for a total of 8.
- Flatten all 8 pieces into round patties. Take 4 of the patties and create a cavity with edges to be able to fill with mac & cheese. The patty is going to be thin, but that’s okay.
- Check your mac & cheese at this point- if you had too much heat on it, it may have thickened and needs more milk. If it looks good, take a spoonful and fill each of your 4 burger patties. Top with some additional shredded cheese.
- Take the remaining 4 patties and cover your mac & cheese filled patties, being sure to pinch the edges well so the burgers stay together. They’re going to seem huge, but that is totally okay! Just be sure they are fully closed so they don’t open up when cooking.
- Now heat a stovetop pan over medium heat. While it heats up, generously season your burgers on each side with salt & pepper, steak seasoning, or any seasoning you prefer! Since we’re using lean beef, you definitely want to be generous with the seasoning to infuse some flavor.
- When the pan is fully heated up, spray with nonstick spray and add one of your patties to the center, covering with a lid. Let it cook for 2 minutes, then flip and let cook for another 2 minutes (covered). Remove and set aside, then repeat for all 4 of your patties. 2 minutes on each side doesn’t sound like much, but remember these are very thin. These came out medium-well for me (reference the photo) but you can gauge how well-done you’d like yours. Just remember that these will continue to cook once removed from the heat, so even if they are a little pink inside, it will cook more.
- Prep your burger fixings and assemble your burger to your liking! I recommend toasting up your bun as well, but the final assembly is totally up to you.
Nutrition with brioche bun: 440 Calories, 16.5g Fat, 36g Carbs, 33g Protein
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1 Stuffed Burger (No Bun)
Amount Per Serving Calories 280Total Fat 13.5gCarbohydrates 10gProtein 28g