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Big Mac Bao Bun Recipe

Warm, pillowy bao buns, filled with the best homemade cheeseburger you've ever tasted. But we're not done yet, spread some of that mothwatering mac sauce, lettuce, onion, and pickle and you have a fusion fun food to be remembered forever. Eat one, or eat four! We're not judging!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: bao bun, cheeseburger
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 5 Servings


  • Bamboo Steamer
  • Cast Iron Frying Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Flat Metal Spatula


  • 1 Pound Ground Beef 80/20
  • 5 American Cheese Slices
  • Dill Pickles Sliced
  • Iceberg Lettuce Shredded
  • 1 White Onion Minced

Bao Bun Dough

  • 1/2 Cup Warm Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Warm Water
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar Divided in Half
  • 2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • Sesame Seeds Optional

Big Mac Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup Mayo
  • 2 Tbsp Sweet Relish
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp White Vinegar
  • 2 Tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Onion Powder


Mac Sauce

  • In a small bowl, add the mayo, relish, ketchup, mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt, paprika, garlic, and onion powder. Mix until combined and refrigerate until ready to use.

Bao Buns

  • Get directions for bao bun dough here. Before cooking the bao buns we added some sesame seeds on top.
  • In a 10-inch frying pan add ¼ inch of water and bring to a simmer. Place the bamboo steamer on top and steam for 8-10 minutes.


  • Divide the meat into 3-ounce portions and gently form the meat about 2 inches high. Salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Brush vegetable oil in a large cast-iron pan and preheat on medium for about 5 minutes. Then increase to high and heat until you see the pan smoking, about 2 minutes. Add 2 meat mounds to the pan and top with a piece of parchment paper. Using a flat metal spatula, press down, turn the spatula and press down again to form a thin patty.
  • Cook for 1½ minutes on the first side. Using the edge of the spatula, carefully scrape up the patty and make sure to get all the browned bits from the skillet. Cook for 15 seconds then add your cheese. Cook for an additional 30 seconds or until the desired doneness.
  • Take a cooled bao bun, spread some big mac sauce on the top and bottom, minced onion, shredded lettuce, half a burger patty, and pickle. Continue assembling until you make all of them and enjoy!


  • Make sure the liquid for the bao dough is at 110-115 degrees to allow the yeast to properly bloom.
  • Add a piece of parchment paper to the bao bun circles before folding in half. This made it easier to open after steaming.
  • We used a 3 ½ inch biscuit cutter for the bao buns.
  • You can make the bao dough ahead of time. After the rise time, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Make sure the plastic is touching the dough. This will prevent the dough from getting a hard crust on top.
  • You don’t want to overwork the meat when shaping just enough to keep the meat together.
  • Use a potato masher to help press the spatula down if needed.
  • You can store cooked bao buns in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze them for 4-6 weeks.
  • You can reheat the cooked bao buns from the fridge by steaming them for 2-3 minutes or 7-8 minutes if frozen.
  • If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, no worries, check out school of wok for other methods.
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