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Stuffed Mac and Cheese Burgers

What’s better than a hamburger? A cheeseburger, of course.

But what’s better than a cheeseburger?

How about a mac and cheese burger… with mac and cheese STUFFED inside the burger!

By stuffing mac & cheese inside of a burger, we’re eliminating the mess that you’d normally get from using mac & cheese as a burger topping.

And even though this burger is loaded with cheese, one stuffed burger patty contains only 300 calories with 31g of protein thanks to the lean ground beef.

 

Should you use store-bought or homemade mac & cheese?

To make this recipe very simple, I used a store-bought masc & cheese.

Specifically, I used Trader Joe’s “Guilt Free Mac & Cheese which is a lower calorie option in the freezer section.

After just a few minutes in the microwave, it’s ready to go, and the container was the perfect amount of mac & cheese to stuff 4 burgers.

When I’ve made this recipe previously, I’ve used my own homemade Bacon Mac & Cheese recipe, and it worked very well. It’s a spicy mac packed with tons of crispy bacon, so you can’t go wrong.

Pan of bacon mac and cheese

If you go the homemade route, just plan to make the mac & cheese ahead of time. It will be easiest if you make it the day before and keep it stored in the fridge until you’re ready to make the burgers so you’re not dealing with hot macaroni.

 

How to make stuffed mac and cheese burgers

For these burgers, I used 90/10 ground beef (sirloin) to keep these nice and lean. Since we’ll be getting a ton of flavor and moisture from the cheese, a lean meat works great here.

Lean ground sirloin

To make 4 burgers, separate the ground beef into 4oz portions. Then split each one in half, rolling them into balls. This will leave you with 8 total balls of ground beef that weigh 2oz each.

You can form the patties with your hands, but I use a burger press to make it MUCH easier (trust me, they are worth the tiny investment).

Place a ball of ground beef in each burger press, then press down into very thin patties. Set aside and continue for all of the ground beef.

If you’re using frozen mac and cheese, be sure to heat it up in the microwave to fully thaw it out. Note that it doesn’t need to be hot, but it can;t be frozen. If you are using leftover mac & cheese from the fridge, it’s fine to use it cold!

Add a scoop of mac & cheese into the center of 4 of the burger patties. If you want these burgers to be extra cheesy, add some additional cheese on top of your mac & cheese scoops. I love using American cheese, but cheddar cheese or even cheese sauce will work great.

Top each with another burger patty and pinch down all of the edges to fully seal the patties so all of the pasta is locked inside.

These stuffed burger patties are going to be very thick, but don’t worry! That’s exactly what we want.

Preheat your grill to about 500 degrees F. If you would rather make these on the stove, preheat a pan over medium heat.

Once heated up, lightly salt & pepper your burger patties on each side, then add to the grill or pan. If you prefer specific seasoning (like bbq seasoning or garlic powder, for example) feel free to spice these up- but they have a ton of flavor with just salt & pepper!

Close the lid (or cover your pan) and let the mac and cheese burgers cook for 2.5 minutes. It’s a quick process because the burger patties are incredibly thin.

Flip the burgers and let them cook for an additional 2.5 minutes.

It’s okay if some cheese is oozing out at this stage, too. As long as the macaroni pasta is locked inside, some cheese sneaking out is totally fine.

With about 1 minute left, add a slice of cheese on top of your patties to allow it to follow melt.

Remove the burgers from the heat and let them sit for about 5 minutes to allow the juices to lock in.

Add each mac and cheese burger to a brioche bun (or any bun of your choice) and add your toppings. I like to keep it simple with pickles, grilled onion, and ketchup, but feel free to get creative with your toppings.

Additional bacon would make a great addition, or you can go with the classic combo of lettuce, onion, and tomato.

 

Cheesy sides to serve with stuffed mac and cheese burgers

If you’re going to go all-in with a burger stuffed with macaroni and cheese, and you might as well pair it with another cheesy food! Whether you want a cheesy appetizer to kick things off, or fries to pair your burgers with, here are some of my favorites:

 

Mac and cheese stuffed burger

Mac and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Yield: 4 Burgers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Why settle for a regular ol' cheeseburger when you can stuff your burger with mac & cheese instead?!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If you're making your own mac & cheese, prep it first. Since I used a frozen mac & cheese, I just followed the instructions to microwave it until ready, then set it aside.
  2. Take your ground beef and break it up into 8 equal-sized pieces, then flatten them out into thin patties. I like to use a burger press to make sure they're uniform, but you can use your hands.
  3. Take 1/4 of the mac & cheese, add to the center of one of the patties, then cover with another patty. If you want to make these extra cheesy, top your mac and cheese with some additional cheese before adding the patty on top. Pinch down the edges to seal the burger. It's going to seem very "poofy" but don't worry, that's what we want!
  4. Preheat your grill (I get mine around 500 degrees F) or heat a pan on the stove over medium heat.
  5. Lightly salt and pepper each side of your stuffed patties, then add to the grill or pan. Let cook for 2.5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 2.5 minutes. If you're using a pan, be sure to cover it to help the patties cookie through.
  6. When there is about 1 minute left, add a slice of cheese onto each patty to melt.
  7. Remove from the grill and let sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the juices to settle. In the meantime, toast up your brioche buns.
  8. Assemble your burgers and top with the condiment of your choice!

Notes

Nutrition facts for stuffed burger without bun: 300 Calories, 12.5g Fat, 12g Carbs, 31g Protein

The nutrition reflects using the Trader Joe's Mac & Cheese as well as fat-free American cheese. Be sure to calculate your own nutrition based on the cheese you use.

If you prefer a dairy-free option, I have a Vegan Mac & Cheese recipe you can use for this!

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Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1 Burger With Brioche Bun
Amount Per Serving Calories 450Total Fat 15.5gCarbohydrates 37gProtein 36g

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