Flickr: Mike Mozart

Sonic Drive-In to Debut New Blended Mushroom Burger Nationwide

Beef and mushrooms are a classic steakhouse taste; they just go together well. To satisfy that taste craving, Sonic Drive-In is introducing a new steakhouse-style mushroom burger that is both guilt-free and environmentally friendly.

The Sonic Slinger is a "blended burger." The burger patty is a mixture of ground beef and 25-30 percent mushrooms, topped with melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions,  dill pickles, and mayo and served on a brioche bun. There's also a Bacon Melt version, with bacon, mayo, and cheese.

mushroom burger

Sonic Drive-In

"The Signature Slingers is a first-of-its-kind fast food cheeseburger, which delivers the juicy savory deliciousness you expect from a burger in a way that makes you feel like you're getting away with something," said Scott Uehlein, vice president of product innovation and development for Sonic.

The important thing is taste, of course, but mixing mushrooms with the ground beef is good for your waistline. This burger comes in at under 350 calories, plus adding tasty mushrooms means you're eating a bit less red meat.

Since the new burger has less beef, the blended mushroom burger is also good for the environment because it has a lower carbon footprint. Comparing mushrooms with beef shows that a pound of mushrooms has a carbon dioxide footprint of 0.7 pounds while the same amount of beef has a carbon dioxide footprint of 12.3 pounds.

Creating a burger with health benefits, improved sustainability, and great taste has long been a quest of chefs. The James Beard Foundation runs a Blended Burger Project, which challenges chefs to create and offer a blended burger as part of a contest.

The fast food chain has been working with the Mushroom Council, which provides marketing and education on behalf of U.S. mushroom growers and importers. Bart Minor, president of the Mushroom Council, said, "The trend of blending mushrooms into a burger patty has been atop a number of food trend lists this year and we can't wait for guests to experience Sonic's uniquely delicious creation."

You can try the Sonic Signature Slingers starting Monday, March 5 at Sonic locations across the country.

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