The Garbage Plate Burger!

Ah Rochester, NY… home of the Garbage Plate. The Garbage plate has been part of Rochester’s history for decades, actually 100 years. Nick Tahou’s is home of the Original Garbage Plate since 1918! I haven’t ever acquired the taste for it, but… my husband and son both LOVE a good Garbage Plate! A mishmash of all your neighborhood burger joint favorites piled high together on one plate! Burgers or hotdogs, mac salad and or baked beans, fries/home fries and hot chili sauce. The hot chili sauce is a combination of spices and ground beef. Of course, Nick Tahou’s chili sauce is a secret recipe. After testing several recipes, I was lucky enough that my sister-in-law let me try hers. It was the winner! Thank you, Mary! Now, her recipe does take a little time, but it is worth it! Being a Rochesterarian, I thought that this would make a great totally outrageous burger for the #BurgerMonth event hosted by #Girlcarnivore! There are many elements to this recipe, but it will be fun! And I am sure any Garbage Plate fan will be happy, who knows… you might become a Garbage Plate fan, too! It was so good that my son asked me to make it again for his birthday meal!!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 2
Author Kecia


Macaroni Salad:

  • - 1 cup cooked elbow macaroni
  • - ½ tbsp. minced onion
  • - 1/ tbsp. grated carrot
  • - ½ tsp. celery salt
  • - ½ tbs. chopped celery
  • - Salt and pepper
  • - ¼ cup mayo
  • Mix together in a bowl. Place in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight for flavors to come out.

** Hot Sauce: (recipe makes a lot, but it does freeze well)

  • - 2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • - ½ tsp. cayenne redpepper
  • - ¼ tsp black pepper
  • - 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • - ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • - 1 tsp. sugar
  • - 3 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • - ¼ bottle Red Hot Sauce
  • - 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • - 1lb finely chopped ground beef
  • - 3 oz. olive oil
  • Brown ground beef in the olive oil breaking apart well as it cooks. Boil the onion in a small amount of water (I used about 1 cup) until softened. Combine the onion broth, ground beef and remainder of the ingredients. Simmer for 4 hours, adding water as needed. For a spicier sauce add more of the Red Hot Sauce or cinnamon.

Burger ingredients:

  • - 1 lb. ground beef formed into 4 patties seasoned with salt and pepper cooked to your liking (grill, fry, griddle)
  • - 1/2 cup macaroni salad I like to use an ice cream scoop
  • - 1/2 cup Hot sauce
  • - 1/2 cup frozen or homemade French fries, cooked (The crinkle cut ones are best)
  • - 8 slices American cheese
  • - 2 hard rolls open and use a little mayo on each half, grill till lightly browned

Extra toppings if desired:

  • - Chopped onions
  • - Mustard
  • - Ketchup

Of course extra fries along the side!


  1. Assemble…
  2. Place the bottom half of the hard roll on a plate. Top with a burger patty, 2 slices of cheese (I melted my cheese on top when I cooked the patties), top with a little of the hot sauce and add the French fries, another patty and cheese, now a scoop of the mac salad and finally more hot sauce. If additional toppings are desired add them now. Time to top it off with the top of the roll! Don’t forget the wet wipes and extra napkins, you’re gonna need them! Enjoy whether you chose to pick it up and take a big bit of it or dive in with a knife and fork!

Recipe Notes

** Hot sauce recipe curtesy of Mary Jerome