There’s nothing quite like a hearty breakfast sandwich to start your day. Between the fluffy eggs, melty cheese, savory meat and toasted bread, it’s sure to leave you feeling happy and satisfied all morning. And while there are many kinds of breakfast sandwiches, we confess to loving the McGriddle. Why is it so good? MacDonald’s includes a hint of maple syrup — and that little bit of sweet brings out the salty in a way that’s downright delicious.
The sandwich is a mainstay on the McDonald’s breakfast menu, but it rings in at 990 mg of sodium — which is almost half of our daily recommended allowance. Keep reading to learn the secret that makes it so delicious and how to whip up your own mouthwatering (and slightly less salty) McGriddle!
What is a McGriddle?
What sets the McGriddle apart from other breakfast sandwiches? Like other breakfast sandwiches, it’s filled with a folded scrambled egg, a sausage patty or bacon and American cheese. But instead of toasted bread or a sliced bagel, those fillings are layered inside maple-flavored griddle cakes that act as pancake-style buns.
The secret that makes the McGriddle so special
Just how does the McGriddle get that irresistible maple flavor? Credit a surprising restaurant trick. “There’s a little secret I’ve stumbled upon in my gastronomic adventures — injecting [the griddle cakes] with the maple syrup,” says Casey Bumpsteed, chef and senior editor of Ceramic Cookware Review. How it works: After cooking the cakes, simply use a flavor syringe to inject them with syrup. “The residual heat will spread the syrup evenly, creating the characteristic sweet touch for which the McGriddle is known.”
Don’t have a flavor syringe handy? No problem! Just mix maple syrup into pancake batter, and brush the cooked griddle cakes with it for a sugary flavor that takes your breakfast sandwich to the next level.
How to make a McGriddle at home
This homemade McGriddle recipe from blogger Susanne Slabaugh Hencye uses bacon and sausage patties to make the sandwich more filling. Give this recipe a go as she promises it yields a “yummy breakfast sandwich that tastes just like the real deal!”
Ingredients (makes 4 sandwiches):
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 Tbs. maple syrup, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- ½ lb. ground pork sausage
- ½ lb. ground beef (preferably 80/20)
- 4 slices American cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 8 strips crispy bacon
- Cooking spray or melted butter
To make pancake buns:
- In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, 1 Tbs. maple syrup, egg and vegetable oil.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients until you have smooth batter.
- Heat griddle or non-stick skillet over medium heat and lightly grease with cooking spray or butter.
- Pour ¼ cup of batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on surface, then flip and cook until golden brown on both sides. Repeat until all pancakes are done.
To make sausage-beef patties:
- In mixing bowl, combine ground pork sausage and ground beef. Mix well.
- Form mixture into 4 patties and cook them on the same griddle or skillet over medium-high heat until fully cooked and browned on both sides. Remove from heat.
- Place 1 slice American cheese on each patty while they’re still warm, allowing it to melt slightly
To make egg and cheese:
- In separate skillet, cook eggs to your preference (fried, scrambled, or sunny-side-up).
- Add pinch of salt and pepper to season. .
To assemble each McGriddle:
- Take 1 pancake and spread some of remaining maple syrup on inside.
- Place 1 cooked sausage-beef patty with melted cheese on bottom half.
- Add cooked egg on top of patty.
- Lay 2 strips of crispy bacon on egg.
- Top it all off with another pancake bun.
3 flavor variations on a McGriddle
- Healthy twist: For a nutritious version of this sandwich, use whole-grain pancake batter, turkey sausage or veggie patties, and add fresh spinach or avocado slices.
- Sweet treat: Experiment by spreading peanut butter, Nutella or fruit preserves on the inside of the sandwich for extra sweetness. (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!)
- International flavors: Explore cultural tastes by incorporating ingredients like salsa, guacamole or kimchi for a unique twist on the classic McGriddle.
For more ideas on how to make breakfast anything but boring, keep reading.