Juiciest Burgers Ever with Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries

The other day my dad told me he heard about a trick to make the absolute juiciest burger ever: add mushrooms. To say I was intrigued is an understatement, and I just HAD to try it out. I pulled some ground beef out of the freezer (I have meat stock piled in there whenever Earth Fare has a sale), and impatiently let it thaw for a couple days. Finally, the day arrived where the meat was all thawed out and I got to make the beautiful masterpiece of the... "shroomger..." "mushburger"?... eh, there's no good way to combine this.... the mushroom burger. I'm a big fan of having mushrooms on my burgers to start, but sometimes toppings can be such a pain and they end up falling off. The flavor of the burger is still super beefy, but it has a hint of "something else" that people probably won't be able to put their finger on. So honestly, you can probably trick shroom haters into eating them without knowing it, and they'll probably proclaim that these are the best, juiciest burgers they have ever had! You're welcome. Also, for those who fear an under-cooked burger, always go for well done and get a dry hockey puck (like me), this burger will be perfect. I always cook my burgs well-done, and I tested it out with these. STILL. JUICY. It's magic I tell you! They're just so tender, melt in your mouth, amazingly tasty.... Now I'm getting hungry and can't wait for dinner to eat another one, this lunch salad isn't going to cut it!

What's a burger without some good, crispy fries to go along with it? Zucchini fries go really well with it, and this recipe still gets you that crispy outside you're dying for, but with deep frying, and you're getting some vegetables in! It's a great trade-off if you're trying to eat more veggies, have less carbs, or simply looking for something new to eat this summer. I like to add a little seasoning to my fries, and I have some pictures below of some of my favorite spice mixes I used in both recipes (I was not paid by any of these companies, I just simply like the products). But get creative and experiment with whatever is in your pantry. Once I start packing my kitchen, I'm afraid to find out how many spices/mixtures I truly do have. I can't help it, I'm an impulsive food shopper! 

Without further ado... 

What you will need...

Mushroom Burgers (makes 8 - 3oz patties, or 6 - 4oz patties)

  • 1 pound 80/20 beef (I prefer grass fed or local, local definitely tastes the best)
  • 8 oz portabella mushrooms (they usually sell them in 8oz packages)
  • 1 medium shallot (about 40g)
  • Your favorite burger seasoning
  • Cast iron skillet or a grill
  1. Grind the mushrooms in a food processor so they are a small grind but not pureed (pics below the recipe section). You want a fine chop so they'll mix in well with the meat. Put the shallot through the food processor as well until ground up.
  2. Thoroughly combine the beef, mushrooms, shallot and some of your favorite burger seasoning. I like to use my stand mixer to beat it all together when it comes to ground meat. Sometimes the meat is just too cold, or in this instance, you want the mixture to be so thoroughly combined, it may be hard to do that with your bare hands. 
  3. Form into the patty size of your choosing. 3oz patties fit pretty well into 1/3 cup, and 4oz fits into 1/2 cup, if you don't have a food scale (but like I've said before, I highly recommend getting one).
  4. Grill (or cook in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat) the burgers to your desired done-ness. Don't worry, if you think you've over cooked it, you won't have the same outcome as a plain beef burger. No hockey pucks here! 
  5. Add to a bun, eat plain, or pile on your favorite burger toppings and devour!

3oz Patty Macros: 7g of Fat, 2g of Carbohydrates, 12g of Protein, 119 Calories. 4oz Patty Macros: 10g of Fat, 2.5g of Carbohydrates, 16g of Protein, 164 Calories. (These are approximate and can vary due to preparation type and other factors)

Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries (serves one)

  • 1 medium zucchini (about 200g)
  • 1 egg (you really will only use about 1/2 an egg)
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • Your favorite seasoning
  • Oil/Oil spray
  • Baking sheet (I line mine with foil)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Thoroughly spray/coat the baking sheet with oil.
  2. Cut the zucchini into 1.5 x 0.5 inch strips. Beat an egg in a shallow bowl, in a separate bowl combine breadcrumbs and the seasoning. Dip the zucchini strips in the eggs so they are lightly coated, then transfer into the breadcrumb bowl and lightly coat with the mixture. Lay the zucchini strips on the coated sheet.
  3. Place the sheet in the heated oven for 20 minutes, flipping the fries halfway through for even browning. If they aren't crispy enough, leave in the oven for a couple more minutes, keep an eye on them!
  4. Remove from the oven and serve on the side with your favorite dipping sauce, or eat plain (they're tasty enough to!)

Macros: 3.5g of Fat, 17.5g of Carbohydrates, 7g of Protein, 130 Calories. (These are approximate and can vary due to preparation type and other factors)