Chao Stuffed Italian Burgers with Zucchini Fries

One of the things I enjoy doing the most each week is sitting down and planning menus for the following week. I print out the list of fruits and veggies I am going to receive in my produce box, take inventory of what I need to use out of the refrigerator and pantry, grab a hot chocolate (soy, with a dash of orange extract YUM!), settle in with my cookbooks and smartphone for recipe inspiration and plan menus for Monday through Sunday. It takes a while to accomplish the task sometimes, but I love the feeling of satisfaction that comes from having each meal planned out for the week and grocery lists made out and ready for shopping days. While it seems like it would take a lot of time out of the day, I have found that it takes far less time than trying to figure out meals last minute, having to make several trips to the store to get forgotten or missing items, and not having necessary items (like pressed tofu, prepared seitan or ground spices) prepped and ready to use.

One of the things I do in order to simplify the recipe planning process is that I try to have meals represent several different cultures over the course of the week. I have Asian, Mexican, European, American and Middle Eastern Cuisine take the spotlight on different days of the week. This keeps the flavors and nutrients very diverse and surprising. This last week, however, I ran into a problem. I wanted to have both burgers and Italian food on the same night, as all the other nights were planned already. Thus, the Italian Burger.

I took my vegan burger patty and gave it an Italian spin by adding Italian seasoning and sundried tomatoes, and serving it on a whole grain ciabatta bun. To add an element of surprise, I made cheese stuffed patties by incorporating Field Roast’s Chao cheese into the patties. Chao is marvelous for stuffed burger patties because it melts and gets soft and creamy, but it does not get runny and escape from the burger patty like most other cheeses I have tried to use for this purpose. It stood up incredibly well to both the initial steam-bake and the final grilling. Every bite of burger was full of tanginess from the sundried tomatoes, savory full flavor from the seitan/tofu patties and amazing creaminess from the Chao and vegan mayo. It was a perfect balance of flavors. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA To round out the meal, I made zucchini fries. They were the perfect accompaniment to the burgers, with a crispy breading that was perfectly seasoned with Italian spices and vegan parmesan. Marinara dipping sauce gives just the right touch since a burger really HAS to be served with something like fries and ketchup 🙂 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Chao Stuffed Italian Burgers with Zucchini Fries

Chao Stuffed Italian Burgers

“These Can’t Be Vegan!” Hamburger Patties, with the following alterations:

  1. Add 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning to the dry ingredients.
  2. While the dough it resting, tear 6 slices of Chao Creamy Original into smaller pieces (4 pieces per slice). When you form the patties, form a ball of dough for each patty. Create a dip in each ball using your thumb and place 4 small pieces of cheese in each. Flatten each patty, covering the cheese as you go. Bake as directed.

6 whole grain ciabatta buns, warmed


Vegan mayonnaise (such as Vegenaise)

Sundried tomatoes, sliced into thin strips

  1. Spread mayo liberally on the buns. Add the hamburger patties, lettuce and several slices of sundried tomato. (When I served these, some people wanted to put marinara sauce on their burgers as well, which was a rather tasty idea).


4 small zucchini, cut into thin strips

¼ cup vegan mayonnaise (such as Vegenaise)

½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/3 cup vegan parmesan (Optional, if you wish to omit this just replace it with 1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs and add 1 teaspoon salt)

1 cup dried breadcrumbs (I like to use panko) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise and milk in a shallow dish. Mix well with a whisk or fork until there are no lumps.
  3. In another shallow dish, combine the Italian seasoning, parmesan and bread crumbs. Stir well.
  4. Coat the zucchini with the milk and mayonnaise mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs.
  5. Place the zucchini on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with warmed marinara sauce for dipping OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



  1. Oh, wow, that looks terrific! I must try this recipe. My family loves chao cheese. I am always looking for a good vegan burger recipe! Thanks for posting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 since you like Chao, I think these will be a hit!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I plan my menus out just like you, but usually over a cup of coffee on Saturday morning. I often ask The Author for his input, but he has a hard time getting his head around a dinner menu when the sun is still on the rise!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, I often have the same problem getting input from my family. They never seem to be able to think about food when I am making menus! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your place is valuable for me. Thanks!


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