Hold on to your diets folks! I’m about to blow your mind with calories in the most delicious way. Take yourself on the most delicious culinary adventure by replacing your standard burger bun made of bread with mac and cheese! That’s right, we’re breading and frying mac and cheese and using it as a hamburger bun. It’s just as delicious as it sounds.

The buns can be used with any burger with any of your favorite toppings. We even have a guide for the perfect burger to help you out.

Why Our Recipe

  • I mean, it’s delicious. So delicious it should go without saying. So delicious it is probably dangerous.
  • Tried and true recipe online since 2014 using the most delicious mac and cheese.
  • Not just for looks, you can actually get your jaw around our buns.

Mac and Cheese Burgers with Guacamole and Grilled Onions sitting on a white plate.

The chefs behind Rockit Burger Bar were on The Today Show in 2013 showing off their famous burger that used mac and cheese as the buns. I needed to try it for myself, and thus this recipe was born. Theirs are the thick, over-the-top burgers that stack up tall, but I decided to make my version a little more edible in a single bite. Sure, it’s a heart attack on a plate, but this is one of those dishes that is meant to be a fun culinary adventure for special occasions. 

Ingredient Notes

  • Elbow Macaroni: elbow macaroni is the necessary shape to turn it into buns.
  • Milk: whole milk works best for a rich, creamy sauce, but you can use lower-fat milk if preferred.
  • Frank’s Hot Sauce: adds a kick and enhances the flavor of the cheese without making the sauce overly spicy. You can double it if you want a bun with a kick.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: gotta be sharp for mac and cheese. Always.
  • Vegetable Oil: you can use any frying oil of your preference.
  • Plain Bread Crumbs: you can also use Italian bread crumbs and skip the basil and oregano.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: adds a mild kick to the buns, but you can always leave them out if you aren’t a fan of heat.

Mac and Cheese

While you can use any baked mac and cheese recipe, there are a few key points to ensure your buns turn out perfect every time. You want to be sure to use elbow macaroni as other shapes might be more difficult to work with and fall apart. Skip any bread crumb or crunchy toppings because we’ll be breading and frying them. Most importantly, the mac and cheese needs to be cold and solid for cutting and frying. This ensures the mac and cheese holds its shape when cut into buns.

Chef’s Tips for Frying and Cutting

Cutting the Buns: Use a cup, biscuit cutter, or round cookie cutter to cut out circles directly from the chilled mac and cheese in the 9×13 pan. You should get about 8 circles, which will be sliced in half to create two buns each. So, you are making enough for 8 burgers.

Handling with Care: Mac and cheese buns are delicate, so handle them gently. Keeping them cold while cutting and prepping will help maintain their shape. It’s easier to fry the thick buns without slicing them in half, but that’s hard to get your jaw around for a bite.

Par-Freezing Option: If you’re concerned about the buns holding together during frying, you can par-freeze the cut and sliced buns. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes before coating and frying. This extra step can make handling easier and help the buns stay intact in the hot oil.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Refrigerate leftover mac and cheese buns in an airtight container. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze the prepared buns by placing them on a baking sheet to par-freeze for about 1 hour, then transfer to a plastic freezer bag or container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

To reheat, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the buns on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through and crispy. Avoid microwaving, as this can make the buns soggy and fall apart.

More fun with burgers…