What feels like a very long time ago, I used to be a vegetarian, which you’ll probably find hard to believe, since you came here to read about a Bacon Mushroom Dairy Free Cheeseburger recipe. On a website that clearly has the word “meat” in its name. But, really, I was! That’s actually how this site ended up being christened “meatified”: it was a little joke and play on words that hinted at how much I had changed my diet over time. I will freely confess, I was a terrible vegetarian. No, I didn’t run around sneaking bacon from people’s plates or “accidentally” ordering myself a Meat Feast big enough to feed a family (unlike the 37% of veggie Brits who apparently admit that they’ll chow down on a meaty meal when drunk), but I will admit this: I was a vegetarian who didn’t really like or eat vegetables. Unless you count frozen corn or peas – and then I eventually worked out, years later, that those weren’t actually vegetables. Oops.
In my defense, I was (a) broke, (b) always on a diet and (c) had no idea how to cook. Oh, and like almost every other female on the planet, I was SO confused about what was “healthy”, thinking that eating less and avoiding ALL THE FATS was somehow key. Oi, what a mess. So, needless to say, my “healthy” vegetarian diet was heavy on a bunch of things I wouldn’t want to eat now (lookin’ at you, heavily processed grain products, textured vegetable protein and weird soup-in-a-mug) and also full of cheap things that I thought were “good sources of protein” like hummus and cheese. I really did believe those things were a good protein source, which was the only reason my fat-phobic-face could justify eating them. Sad, but true.
Cheese was one of the absolute hardest things for me to give up when I began to move towards a grain and dairy free diet. At the beginning, in fact, I kept the dairy and just ditched the grains: that’s how hard getting off the dairy train was for me! I tried to tell myself that “primal” was totally fine for me, when in reality, I knew my lactose-loving soul was just hanging onto a food crutch that my stomach didn’t really appreciate, no matter how much my brain tried to convince me otherwise.
When I was working on my cookbook, Nourish, I came up with a recipe for Loaded Sweet Potatoes. I wanted to top them with a real-deal nightshade free BBQ chicken, but the recipe was lacking a little something. That’s when I had the idea to scoop out a little of the baked sweet potatoes to turn into a creamy “cheese” sauce to drizzle over the top – I’ll be honest and admit that my inspiration here was totally channeling nachos. Yes, you should probably buy the book for that recipe alone, it’s total tummy friendly comfort food… but I digress!
I found myself playing around with that “cheesy” sauce often and found that it made an amazing burger topper that satisfied all my old cravings for something creamy, cheesy and savory. I previously posted a recipe for the Dairy Free Cheese Sauce here on the site and today, I’ll show you how to really go overboard by making these amazing dairy free cheeseburgers, then topping them off with bacon and sauteed ‘shrooms. Because even though we don’t do dairy, we totally deserve to enjoy our own version of an “all the fixins” burger experience!
- 1 lb / 454 g grass fed ground beef
- 1 - 2 tbsp / 15 - 30 ml avocado oil, lard or tallow
- 1 tsp / 5 g fine sea salt
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 4 slices of bacon
- 8 oz / 240 g white or cremini mushrooms
- Chicken broth to deglaze the pan
- SHAPE: In a bowl, mix together all the burger ingredients and work the mixture with your hands until the fat is evenly distributed throughout the meat. Divide the mixture into four equally sized portions and shape them into patties. Pop them on a plate and keep them in the refrigerator until later.
- CRISP: Add the bacon to a skillet and fry until crisp. While the bacon is cooking, clean and slice the mushrooms. When the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pan and reserve it for later. Over medium heat, add the sliced mushrooms to the pan along with the rendered bacon fat. You'll only need a tablespoon or so to saute the 'shrooms, so drain off any excess (and save it in the fridge for some other recipe) before adding the mushrooms.
- COOK: While the mushrooms are cooking, heat a second skillet (I like to use my cast iron for this) over medium heat and add the burger patties, making a little indentation in the middle of each burger to help them keep their shape. Cook the burgers until they have a nice crust on the outside and are evenly cooked through inside, about 3 - 4 minutes per side, then rest the patties until later. While the burgers are browning, cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and the pan is dry, then deglaze the skillet with a little chicken broth to finish.
- ASSEMBLE: Place each burger on top of lettuce leaves and red onion, then top each with the bacon, each slice broken into two pieces. Spoon over a little of the Dairy Free Cheese Sauce onto each burger, then top with the sautéed mushrooms and serve with a pickle (see notes).
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