Smash Burgers with Zucchini Fries

Servings: 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients for the zucchini fries:

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium zucchini, about 3/4 pound, cut in ½ inch thick wedges
  • 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs, coarsely ground or crushed
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the mornay (cheese) sauce

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, cold
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the burgers

  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 1/2 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 brioche burger buns
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. For the zucchini fries: Preheat the oven to 250°F.
  2. Season the flour with salt and pepper then toss the zucchini in the flour. In a separate bowl combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic powder, cayenne and a pinch of salt. Dip the zucchini in the beaten egg, shaking off the excess, then coat in the breadcrumb mixture. You can refrigerate the battered zucchini for up to 4 hours before cooking.
  3. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil. Once the oil is shimmering hot place the zucchini in the pan, working in batches if needed to ensure that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown, before flipping and browning the other sides. When the zucchini is browned on all sides, about 12 minutes total, transfer to a tray and repeat with the remaining oil and zucchini.
  4. Transfer the tray to the oven to keep warm while you make the sauce and burgers.
  5. To make the mornay sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepot over medium heat before stirring in the flour. Stir constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture (roux) is a pale blonde color. Switch to a whisk and whisk continuously while slowly drizzling in the cold milk. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce begins to boil and thicken, stirring occasionally so that the bottom doesn’t burn.
  6. Once the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon remove from the heat and whisk in the Worcestershire sauce and cheese. When the cheese is melted, taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. To make the burgers: Wipe out the heavy-bottomed sauté pan used for the zucchini fries so that it is crumb-free and place over high heat.
  8. Divide the ground beef into four 4-ounce balls. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  9. When the pan is very hot add the avocado oil and swirl it around. Carefully place the ground beef balls in the pan and, using a sturdy spatula or burger press, evenly press down on each ball until they are about ½ inch thick. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the edges are dark brown; flip. Don’t press down on the meat again as this will cause the burgers to end up dry. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until dark brown. Remove from the heat.
  10. To finish: Gently reheat the mornay sauce over low heat if needed, stirring until it is hot again.
    Place a burger on the bottom of each bun and spoon the mornay sauce over it before topping with a second patty and more sauce. Crown each with the top bun and serve alongside the hot zucchini fries and your favorite condiments.