Broccoli Cheddar Smash Burgers

Broccoli Cheddar Burgers

I was really craving a burger (when am I not?) but didn’t know what I was going to put on it. At the store I saw one of those beautiful fractal broccolis and decided it would be fun to serve as a broccoli steak on top of the burger. Charred broccoli is one of the best flavors, and broccoli cheddar is such a classic combo that I knew this burger would be awesome. I decided to do a smash burger so I could load up on the cheese in between layers, and I served it with a simple mayo with a little sriracha and horseradish mixed in.

Yes, I know it’s called romanesco but I like to call it fractal broccoli. This type of broccoli was key to this burger because it is more full on the inside so you can cut better “steaks” out of it.

Cut it bun sized and get rid of the extra woody stems.

Then sear it on both sides.

Smash the burgers in the pan and top both patties with a slice of cheese, with a third slice on the broccoli. I used a pepper cheddarjack.

I was thinking about broccoli cheddar bites you can sometimes get at takeout sandwich shops when I was coming up with the sauce, so I mixed some horseradish with mayo and sriracha. It went perfect with these burgers. The charred broccoli was nice and tender and had that great caramelized flavor.

Broccoli Cheddar Smash Burgers

A big slab of charred broccoli on top of a double smash burger with lots of cheese and a horseradish sriracha mayo.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 Burgers


  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horsradish
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 large romanesco broccoli
  • 1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef
  • 12 slices pepper cheddar jack or cheese of your choice
  • 4 brioche buns


  • Mix the mayo, horseradish, and sriracha in a small bowl and set aside in the fridge.
  • Cut the broccoli into 4 slabs that are somewhat bun sized. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Split the meat into 8 equal pieces and roll them into balls. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a grill pan or frying pan to high heat. You probably need to do this in batches. Add in some oil and add the broccoli first to sear. Flip the broccoli once it has a good char on one side. Meanwhile add the balls of meat and cook about 2 minutes. Roll the meat over so that the seared dot is on top, and press it into a thin patty with your spatchula. Cook 2 minutes and flip. Add the cheese to the burgers and the broccoli and cook til the cheese starts to melt. Stack the burgers right in the pan, 2 patties and then the broccoli on top.
  • Spread the mayo mix on both top and bottom buns and add the burger stack to the bottom bun. Top with the remaining bun and serve.

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