This Vegan Big Mac is a copycat recipe you will love. Two all-plant patties, Vegan Special Sauce, lettuce, vegan cheese, pickles, onions, on a dairy-free bun. Sung to whatever tune comes to mind. If you love indulgent vegan sandwiches, you’ve come to the right place!
My last name is McMillen. My dad was a college football player so, you can guess, he was a big guy. That’s why he oftentimes went by the nickname ‘Big Mac’. When you grow up in a small town and people call your dad Big Mac, it gives you a sense of importance. I may not have carried any social weight myself in that small town, but most everyone knew my dad… for better or for worse. Sometimes definitely for worse!
My dad was also fairly well known for eating not just one but two hamburgers in a sitting. That’s why I’m naming this sandwich, the Vegan Big Mac, after him. He would have liked it that way.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Dairy-free buns — You can buy dairy-free buns quite easily these days. Make them look iconic by selecting ones with sesame seeds on top. Or you can make your own vegan buns by using this vegan hot dog buns recipe. You’ll need 8 buns to make 5 vegan Big Mac sandwiches.
- Veggie burgers — This is a great time to use plant-based burgers, like Impossible Burgers or Pureland Farm Burgers. There are many to choose from these days. Or see below for some homemade veggie burger options.
- Vegan special sauce — This is the sauce that changes everything. I like keeping it around for all my veggie burgers.
- Lettuce — Any lettuce will do, but I like using finely chopped romaine.
- Vegan cheese slices — You can buy vegan American or cheddar slices. My favorite is Daiya cheddar slices.
- Pickles — Use dill or sweet pickle slices.
- Onions — You’ll need just a bit of finely chopped white or yellow onions.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- MEATY — Using Impossible Burgers or your favorite plant-based meat burger creates a rich vegan burger experience
- AUTHENTIC — Making your own vegan special sauce creates an authentic flavor, just like you get at the restaurant
- RESOURCEFUL — You can make five burgers, including that famous center bun, with eight hamburger buns, using the heel and a sliced top of the three remaining buns
How Do I Make Big Mac Sauce?
The special sauce on this vegan Big Mac is what helps it stand out. The good news is that it’s effortless to make Big Mac sauce.
Make your own vegan Big Mac sauce by combining vegan mayo, french dressing, relish, sliced green onions, vinegar, and sugar. That’s it!
You can add this special sauce to any veggie burger, vegan hot dog, or even a grilled cheese sandwich. I may have been guilty of dipping a chip or two in this sauce, but please don’t tell anyone!
More Veggie Burger Recipes
Use any of these veggie burgers to create a vegan Big Mac. I recommend making thinner patties because you’ll be adding two per sandwich.
Vegan Big Mac
- Cook the veggie burgers according to the package instructions.
- Prepare 5 buns for toasting by spreading vegan butter over the cut side and placing them buttered side down on the griddle, cooking until a light golden brown.
- Create 5 middle buns from the remaining buns. Use the 3 bottom buns as is, and cut 2 of the top buns, removing a sliver from the top to create 2 additional middle buns. Butter both sides of the middle buns and toast them on both sides.
- Create your vegan Big Macs, beginning with the bottom bun. Top it with: vegan Big Mac sauce, onions, lettuce, cheese, vegan burger, and the middle bun, vegan Big Mac sauce, onion, lettuce, patty, 3 pickle slices, and the top bun. Repeat this with the remaining burgers.
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- 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon dried chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1⁄2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes 1 tablespoon Bragg (or soy sauce)
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Combine the pinto beans, ground flax seeds, corn starch, dried chopped onions, garlic powder, celery seeds, paprika, cornmeal, nutritional yeast flakes, and Bragg (or soy sauce) in a food processor. Pulse for several seconds and then use a spatula to push ingredients down from the side of the bowl. Pulse again for several seconds. Repeat this process until the ingredients are well combined.
- Add the cooked red quinoa and pulse again for a few seconds.
- If the mixture feels sticky enough to hold together in patties, then you’re ready. If it feels dry, add 1 to 3 tablespoons of water and pulse for a second or two. Form 8 patties.
- Place a skillet over medium heat and spray with vegetable spray. Add the burgers. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of the uncooked patties. Cook the patties until browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Repeat until all the patios are done. Place cooked patties in the toaster oven or oven on low heat to keep warm while getting the rest of the burger ingredients assembled.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2014 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.