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Vegan Big Boy

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The Original Double Decker Burger, 30 years older than the Big Mac, only we are making this guy into a VEGAN BIG BOY!

Growing up my family went to the original Bob’s Big Boy quite often. Usually when we would visit my grandparents. I always loved it and I always ordered a Big Boy! I rarely was able to finish it, but when I did I was rewarded with a Hot Fudge Sundae Cake! Which I definitely never finished!

Suffice to say, I enjoy these just as much if not more, and I think you will too!

big mac vs. big boy

So most people today will think that this is just a rip-off of the Big Mac, but the opposite is true! This Big Boy was famously invented in 1937 by Bob Wian after some hungry musicians came in and asked him to create something special.

He put on his burger thinking cap and came up with this! Word spread and then 30 years later in 1967, McDonald’s came out with the Big Mac.

My version of the Big Mac, can you spot the difference?

So what are the differences? Well the architecture is nearly identical. However, the Big Mac has pickles and onions. There’s also the Big Mac sauce, where as the Big Boy has mayo and a red relish.

There are other Big Boy restaurants around the country that feature a sauce more like a Big Mac sauce, however, the original did not!

One thing that both burgers employ that I will abstain from is putting a piece of unmelted cheese in between the lettuce and first burger patty. I’ve tried it and I don’t like it, so if I’m making these at home, I’m melting some cheese on each patty! So sue me!

How to make a vegan Big boy

Making a Big Boy is unsurprisingly similar to a Big Mac, though maybe even easier since there’s less components and the sauce is simpler too!

the Red Relish

The Red Relish is super dang delicious and easy to put together. All you need is some Heinz Chili Sauce (which is like a more tangy ketchup), some sweet relish, and then some normal ketchup. This stuff is so good I was eating it by the spoonful!

What size buns should I use?

So based on my research and memory, the Big Boy buns are actually smaller than you’d expect. They are about 3.5 – 4 inches wide. As a kid, the burger felt much bigger obviously. So as an adult, it only makes sense to use bigger buns. I suggest using buns that are 4 1/2 inches wide.

In the US most commercially available buns are accidentally plant based. Obviously check the ingredients, but for me I have no problem finding larger sesame seeded buns. For the middle “club” bun, we just need to get another bottom bun. Then use a serrated knife to shave off the very bottom to expose the interior of the bun. It’s as simple as that!

Big Boy Patties

Obviously if we are using bigger buns, we’ll need to use bigger patties too. According to my research, the Big Boy is made with 1/4 pound of beef divided into 2 patties. This works out if you are using smaller buns, but if you are using the larger sized buns, make each patty 3 oz. each.

To form patties, I suggest weighing out 2 or 3 oz. portions of vegan meat and then rolling them into a ball.

Then shape them inside of a cookie cutter that’s the same size as your buns.

Or simply smashing them with a burger press on some burger paper.

Don’t wanna use store-bought plant-based meat? Check out my TVP BURGER RECIPE!

Cheese – To Melt or not To Melt!

Like I said, probably my biggest issue with the Big Boy (and Big Mac) is the cheese placement. Vegan cheese isn’t gonna melt from residual heat from a burger patty. And even if it did, I don’t want melted cheese on top of lettuce! Gnarly!

So we’ll simply season and grill our burger patties for 2-3 minutes, give ’em a flip, and then add a slice of vegan cheese. Squirt some water and then cover to steam and melt the cheese!

Then just assemble the burger like so and dig in!

other recipes you’ll dig!

does bob’s big boy have vegan options?

Just a quick note, if you happen to be in the Burbank area and would like to visit an American Institution, the original Bob’s does have a Vegan Burger now! Although it’s not a Big Boy, it’s still great that a restaurant as old as Bob’s is providing vegan options. They sometimes have vegan mayo in stock too, so ask them about that!

Recommendations for Kitchen Gear, Spices & Pantry Items, Photos and Videos, are on my AMAZON Storefront!

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, please leave a rating & review! It really helps out the blog and it makes my day, thank you!

Yield: 1 Burger (with extra red relish)

Vegan Big Boy

Vegan Big Boy


  • 2 Plant-Based Meat Patties⁣⁣⁣ (3 oz each)
  • 2 Slices Vegan American Cheese ⁣⁣⁣
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Iceberg Lettuce⁣⁣⁣
  • 2 Tbsp vegan mayo
  • 1 Large Sesame Seed Bun + Bottom Half of another Bun⁣⁣⁣

Red Relish

  • 2 Tbsp Chili Sauce*
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp sweet relish


  1. Combine ingredients for the Red Relish. Stir until well combined. ⁣⁣Season to taste and then set aside in the fridge.
  2. To prepare your middle bun (aka the Club), use a serrated knife and shave off just the bottom of the extra bottom bun.
  3. Form or press your burger patties so they match the circumference of your buns.⁣⁣⁣
  4. In a skillet or griddle over medium heat, lightly toast buns and set aside. ⁣⁣⁣
  5. Then over medium high heat, add the burger patties, season with salt and pepper, and grill on each side for about 3 minutes and then give 'em a flip.
  6. After you flip the patties, add a slice of vegan cheese to each one and cover with a melting dome / lid. ⁣⁣⁣You can add a little water before covering to steam the cheese too!
  7. Once Cheese is melted, assemble as follows; Bottom Bun, Vegan Mayo, Lettuce, Burger Patty, Middle Bun, Vegan Mayo, Burger Patty, Red Relish, Top Bun. ⁣⁣⁣
  8. ENJOY!⁣⁣


*Heinz Chili Sauce should be easy to find in the US, however use whatever brand you can find!

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