I loved these sliders and they are kid approved, which, lately, is a huge win because my kids have been picky AF. So, now that I promoted the end result of this recipe, let me start by saying I really never liked White Castle sliders. In theory they should be really good. Right. Lots of onion. Meatloaf consistency patty. Pillowy soft roll. More onions. Maybe a pickle and if you’ve been a good boy you can get a slice of cheese too. They are all the hype here in the Midwest, and years and years ago I tried one. Again. In theory it should have been good. But. Let’s be honest. You don’t go to the WC for fine dining.
So, why make a vegan version of this iconic Midwest fast food item? There’s a WC right by the grocery store I go to all the time and every time I drive past I think to myself, “self, you could make a vegan version of this.” So. I did! I wanted to keep it really simple and use ingredients that are commonly available. I also wanted to avoid making yet another seitan patty, because that is kinda my default when it comes to veganized burger patties. I remembered back to twenty some years ago when I had that WC slider and remembered that the patty didn’t have much firmness and was basically meatloaf. The result is a burger that is melt in your mouth with loads of oniony goodness and is an easy vegan burger ready for dinner, drunk nights, or game-day parties! Sports. Amiright.
I made my own onion soup mix blend, to ensure it would be vegan, and I made my own dinner rolls, see recipe here for buns, just because I couldn’t find a vegan version at the store. Grrrr. If you aren’t vegan or persnickety like me you can just use Lipton’s onion soup mix and any dinner rolls. I added an onion soup mix blend below if you want a vegan version but can’t find one in your store.
I used Vevan Foods vegan cheddar cheese slices. This is a newer company that I’m really enjoying. They have a couple vegan cheese slice options and bags of shredded cheese. Their cheese melts smooth, has a great flavor, and the color makes sense. Some vegan cheese looks weird or wrong. Vevan is also made in Wisconsin! I got really excited to see a vegan cheese company from my state so I had to try it and I’ve enjoyed it since. Plus, the people at the company are super friendly and nice.
Note on the recipe: I rolled out my slider patty into a giant sheet, baked it once, then baked again with a layer of onions on top. This was to mimic the WC slider process, but if you don’t like so many onions, like my friend Biz, you can skip the onion layer. It makes your house smell awesome though and I highly recommend it. Plus. It makes social distancing a breeze since the only people who will want to be around you are the people who truly love you. Biz. This is your chance to prove your friendship!
Vegan Onion Soup Mix
- 3/4 cup dehydrated onion, the big pieces kind
- 1/3 cup powdered vegan “beef” bouillon or veggie bouillon
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar (helps bring it together)
Add all of the ingredients to a jar, shake, then use. Will this work as a soup? Yes! Use just a tablespoon per bowl of soup, but make sure to shake your jar before measuring out. The powders will settle through the dehydrated onion pieces.
Veganized White Castle Slider
- 1 Slider Bun Recipe (18 rolls)
- 16 ounces firm tofu (House Foods brand is what I use)
- 15 ounces canned chickpeas, drained
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon tahini or peanut butter (Adds umami)
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire (Can omit but adds flavor)
- 1/4 cup onion soup mix (See blog for recipe)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (Essential for awesomeness )
Optional Onion Topping
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drain chickpeas, pour into a large mixing bowl. Use your hands and squeeze the block of firm tofu. Add to the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and use a potato masher or heavy spoon to mix and crush the tofu and chickpeas.
- Turn the patty mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top and use your hands to spread the mixture out. Use a rolling pin or another baking sheet press the patty sheet to about 1/2" thick and the same size as your combined dinner rolls. Use a fork to make marks on the top to help with even cooking.
- Remove the top layer of parchment paper. Bake the burger patty sheet for 20 minutes.
- If adding the onion topping, spread the diced onion on the top of the patty sheet and bake for 15 minutes. If not using the diced onion just continue to bake for 15 minutes rather than remove it from the oven.
- Top with cheese. Place the top layer of the buns on top. Bake for 7-10 minutes. The cheese should be melted and the buns warmed but not dark.
- Use a spatula to cut down through the bun and patty then place it on the bottom bun and serve!
I might be a terrible blogger, because I’m generally too lazy to type out recipes, but I do post regularly on Instagram! If you make any of the recipes from my blog make sure to tag me when you post so that I can shout you out. It’s win win because a bunch of shout outs means you’re doing my IG story for me and I can just chill and watch Bob’s Burgers and not worry about creating content. Win!
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