Mac and cheese meets its new best fried with this decadent burger served on pan-fried mac and cheese buns. Our KNOW Better Elbow Pasta and toasted KNOW Better Slices form the basis of these grain-free buns, and a special sauce made with KNOW Better Ketchup is the, er, icing on this cake. Feel free to divide and conquer with this generous burger and share it with a friend. (Or don't!)
Don't want to read? Scroll down to watch our recipe video below.
Makes 1 burger (with leftover mac and cheese)
8 ounces KNOW Better Pasta Elbows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup cubed medium cheddar cheese, plus 2 slices cheese for the burger
2 tablespoons no-sugar-added olive or avocado oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon KNOW Better Ketchup
1 KNOW Better Slice
2 large eggs
1/3 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Toppings, such as sliced tomato, lettuce, pickles and red onion
Grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with nonstick coconut spray or butter.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain immediately, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
Return the saucepan to the stovetop and add the cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in the cheese cubes, a few pieces at a time, until smooth. Pour the sauce over the pasta in the bowl and stir well to coat.
Transfer the mac and cheese to the prepared pan. Use a spoon to press into an even layer. Refrigerate until very firm, 1 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce and breadcrumbs: In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup and mayonnaise until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside for serving.
In a toaster or under the broiler, toast the KNOW Better Slice until browned and very dry. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form fine crumbs. Transfer to a shallow bowl.
In a second shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs until smooth.
Remove the chilled mac and cheese from the fridge. Use a 4- to 5-inch bowl to cut out 2 buns. Reserve the remaining mac and cheese for another use.
Dip the buns in the egg mixture, turning to coat, then place in the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Press firmly to coat on all sides. Transfer the buns to a plate.
Shape the beef into a patty and season well with salt and pepper.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large well-seasoned cast iron or carbon steel skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is foamy, add the burger and cook until well-browned on both sides and an even medium-rare to medium in the center, about 5 minutes. Top with the cheese and cook until melted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the skillet.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet. Add the buns and cook until golden brown on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Place the burger on one of the buns and top with the special sauce, followed by the toppings of your choice. Serve.