Mac and Cheese Sliders
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, macaroni and burgers go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s basically the ultimate cheeseburger.
This macaroni is made with aged cheddar and gruyere, and then the slider is topped with even more cheddar, because you can never have too much cheese. The sliders definitely don’t need the bacon but it does add a nice crunch and a bit of texture. I also used Sriracha mayo for a bit of heat.
The soft and gooey macaroni, the juicy burger, and the crispy bacon all work together to form the perfect bite. I kept it pretty simple but you could also add some other toppings. Jalapeños would work well if you wanted some extra heat.
A big part of what makes these sliders so good is the buns. I went with mini brioche buns. They are so buttery and really take things to the next level. If you can’t find these don’t worry, regular slider buns will still be alright.
The macaroni recipe will make more than you need for the sliders, so feel free to half it if you don’t want a lot of leftovers. I usually like to make a big batch and freeze the extra in individual portions. It actually freezes quite well and is perfect for a quick snack.
If you’ve never tried macaroni on a burger, just trust me and give these sliders a try.
Mac and Cheese Sliders
For the Macaroni
- 1lb elbow macaroni noodles (1 box)
- ½ up (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour
- 4½ cups whole milk
- 6 cups shredded cheese (half cheddar, half gruyere)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
For the Sliders
- 1lb ground beef
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 slices cheddar cheese
- 8 slider buns
- Black pepper
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp mayo
- 1 tbsp Sriracha
- Start by mixing the mayo with the Sriracha in a small bowl. Place in fridge until ready to build sliders.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Place bacon on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cook in oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
- To make the macaroni, start by cooking the noodles according to package directions – they typically take 5-7 minutes in boiling water. Set aside when ready. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter and then add the flour. Constantly whisk until golden brown. Slowly pour in the milk while constantly whisking. Continue to stir until it comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then stir occasionally until the sauce has thickened. Add the salt, pepper, and mustard powder.
- Add in the cheese in 3-4 batches stirring between each batch until the cheese is fully melted. Turn off the heat and add the cooked noodles to the pot, then stir to combine everything. At this point it may be a little wet but the sauce will continue to get thicker as it sits.
- Form the beef into 8 equal 2 oz sliders and season both sides well with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter to fry the sliders. Cook for 1½ – 2 minutes per side for medium rare. Cut each slice of cheese into 4 equal squares and place them on the sliders after you flip them. In a separate skillet, melt the other half of the butter and toast the buns for about a minute or until golden brown.
- To build the sliders, spread a layer of Sriracha mayo on the bottom bun and then place on the patty. Top with half a slice of bacon and then spoon on the macaroni. Add the top bun and you’re good to go.
Easy Homemade Margherita Pizza
Making pizza from scratch is a lot easier than you think. If you’ve never done it before, you should definitely give it a try. This recipe is for a Margherita pizza made with a simple tomato sauce, mozzarella, and a bit of fresh basil. But you could use any toppings you like and change it up. Working with the dough takes a bit of practice, so don’t worry if you’re pizzas don’t come out perfectly round, mine usually don’t.
This pizza is all about simplicity. The sauce is pretty much just one ingredient: a blended can of San Marzano tomatoes. It seems a little too simple, but trust me, it’s all you need. Same thing goes for toppings. All you need is a little bit of mozzarella and some fresh basil to garnish with. The flavours all go so well together and each one really speaks for itself.
For the dough
- 3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 cup warm water (about 110° F)
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more for greasing bowl
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- Handful of basil leaves
- 1 can (14 oz) San Marzano tomatoes
- Big pinch of dried oregano
- Kosher salt
- Olive oil for drizzling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Allow 10 minutes for yeast to start bubbling. With the mixer running on low (with dough hook attachment), add the salt and olive oil. Slowly add the flour in several additions until the dough starts to form. If it’s too sticky, add a bit of flour, if it’s too dry, add a splash of water. Continue to mix on low for about 5 minutes.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead with your hands for an additional minute or two. Form into a ball and place in a large greased bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel or saran wrap. Place the dough somewhere warm to rise for 2 hours or until about doubled in size.
- To make the sauce, blend the whole can of tomatoes with a pinch of oregano and season to taste with salt.
- Preheat oven (and pizza stone if you have one) to 500°F
- When the dough has risen, punch it down and dump it out onto a floured surface. Divide it into 3-5 pieces (depending on the size of pizza you want and form them into round disks. Cover each disk for 15-20 minutes for another quick rise. Now to form the dough into it’s final shape, roll out each piece of dough into a thin round circle. If you feel confident, you could stretch it out with your hands instead.
- To make the pizzas, drizzle the dough with a bit of olive oil and spread on a thin layer of tomato sauce. You don’t need a lot. this is a situation where less is more. Place on some torn mozzarella and then transfer to pizza stone. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
Easy Homemade French Onion Soup
French onion soup is one of my all time favorite soups. The bread and cheese make it so satisfying and it’s perfect for a light lunch or makes a great appetizer before a nice steak. It’s something I used to typically just get in restaurants but homemade french onion soup isn’t actually that hard to make. It takes a while to caramelize the onions, but other than that there’s not much to it.
When it comes to the onions, it doesn’t really matter which type you use. I usually use a mix of Spanish and red, but just use whatever you have on hand. I also typically use a mandolin to slice the onions so they all are the exact same size and cook evenly. Definitely not necessary though. Same goes for the wine. I’ve used both red or a dry white and they both work well. Use whatever you have on hand or prefer.
A lot of places that serve french onion soup broil it at the end with the baguette already inside of it. I actually prefer to toast the baguette separately and then place it in the soup. This way, it still maintains a bit of crispness and isn’t a soggy mess. That means you also don’t need any special bowls for this soup. I still like to serve it in an oven safe bowl but that’s just preference. Pictured are these mini Cocottes from Staub.
Easy Homemade French Onion Soup
- 2 lbs of onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp flour
- 4 cups beef broth
- 3/4 cup wine
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 black pepper
- 1/2 cup gruyere, shredded
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- Baguette, sliced 1/2″ thick
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt in butter and add in the onions, garlic, thyme, bay, leaf, salt, and pepper. Cook till golden brown and cartelized stirring frequently. This will take anywhere from 25-45 minutes depending on the heat and size of the onions. Add in the flour and stir for another minute or two and then pour in the wine and bring it to a simmer for a few minutes until most of the liquid is gone. Add in the beef broth and bring to a light simmer. Season the broth to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the thyme and the bay leaf.
- Top sliced baguettes with gruyere and parmesan and toast until the cheese is golden and bubbly
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with 2-3 baguettes, depending on the size of your bowl
I first heard of cheeseburger spring rolls at a restaurant called Lee in Toronto. It’s one of their signature items so I figured they had to be good. And I was right. They were good. Really good. So good that I had to try making them myself. It may seem like a weird combination but I’m telling you, it just works. They are also really versatile. You can serve them on their own, with dipping sauce, or put them on lettuce “buns” and dress them up like you would an actual burger. The possibilities are endless. Give these cheeseburger spring rolls a try; you won’t be disappointed. Recipe below!
- Spring roll wrappers
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ white onion
- ½ tbsp mustard
- Salt + pepper
- Olive oil
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 teaspoon water
- Finely dice the onion and add it to a hot pan with olive oil
- Cook onion for a few minutes until it starts to soften
- Add the beef to the pan and break it up into smaller pieces
- Season with salt and pepper and add the mustard
- Brown the beef but do not fully cook it (it will finish cooking later)
- Remove the beef from pan and drain excess oil
- Combine the shredded cheese with beef
- Mix flour and water together to form a “glue” for the spring rolls
- To form spring rolls add about a tablespoon of the mixture onto the wrappers with the corner facing away from you so it looks like a diamond. You want to place the mixture near the top of the wrapper. Fold the top towards you, wrapping the beef tightly and fold the outer to edges towards the center. Tightly roll towards you and seal with the flour/water mixture. Repeat until you’ve used up all the beef.
- Heat canola or vegetable oil to 350 degrees and deep fry the spring rolls for about 5 minutes or until golden brown
Sometimes you need a big juicy cheeseburger. Other times you need a warm bowl of macaroni & cheese. But what about those times where what you really NEED is both. Finally, a solution to one of life’s biggest dilemmas has been solved. I present to you, the mac & cheeseburger. It brings together two worlds of cheesy goodness into one delicious package. Not to mention the addition of deep fried goodness; because everything is better deep fried. Find out how to make it in the recipe below!
Deep fried mac and cheese
- Leftover mac ‘n cheese that has been refrigerated
- panko bread crumbs
- vegetable oil for frying
- Form the leftover mac into balls (think meatballs) and freeze to firm up until ready to use
- Set up a breading station with 3 bowls. bowl 1 should contain flour, bowl 2 should contain beaten egg, and bowl 3 should contain the panko. season the flour and bread crumbs with salt+pepper and any additional spices of your preference such as cayenne. You can also add some hot sauce to the egg mixture.
- One by one, put the frozen mac ‘n cheese balls into bowl 1,2,3 (in that order) ensuring it is completely coated at each stage
- Heat oil to 350 degrees and carefully drop in the breaded mac ‘n’ cheese balls. Cook for 5-6 minutes until golden brown. Remove the balls and drain excess oil
For the Burger
- Organic ground beef
- Sliced cheddar cheese
- Toppings – Lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeños,
- Sriracha mayo or sauce of your choosing
- Deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls
- Form the ground beef into 1/2 pound patties by hand or using a burger press (make it bigger than you want it because it will shrink)
- Heat your pan (cast iron is ideal but anything should work) over medium-high heat and melt butter in it
- Generously season one side of the burger with salt and pepper (you’ll season the other side once it’s cooking)
- Place seasoned side down and make an indentation with your thumb in the middle to keep the burger from bulging
- Cook 3-4 minutes per side until pink and juicy on the inside. place a slice of cheese on top when its almost done.
- Toast and butter the bun while the burger is cooking
To assemble the burger, put sauce on the bottom bun and then place lettuce, tomato, and onion on it. Place the burger ontop of your toppings and top with jalapeños. Take you’re fried mac ‘n cheese and put it on the burger (you can cut them in half to expose the inside or leave them whole). Squish everything down with the top bun and dig in!
Can you think of any food more comforting than big a bowl of mac & cheese? I don’t think I can. It really is the perfect comfort food. It’s warm, cheesy, crispy, and so satisfying. It’s got it all going on. It makes for a great lunch or a great dinner. It can be made for casual and also for special occasions. I really don’t see why you’d ever need to eat anything else. And good news, it also couldn’t be simpler to make. Whether you’re a first time cook or a chopped champion, I promise that you can do it. Just follow the recipe below!
- 1/2 box elbow macaroni noodles (half a pound)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2.5 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups of cheese (2 cups cheddar, 1 cup Monterey Jack, 1 cup Gruyere)*
- preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan, add flour and whisk to combine
- Pour milk into saucepan and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens
- Slowly add 3 cups of cheese to the pan and mix until the sauce has reached a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put the noodles into a lightly greased cast iron pan or oven safe dish, pour the sauce over and combine.
- Top the noodles with remaining cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and delicious
*if these cheeses don’t sit well with you, feel free to swap it for your favourite kind. Just be sure to use the same amount.