Sonic is putting a healthy twist on the traditional fast food burger: adding mushrooms.
The fast food chain’s new blended mushroom-meat burger was a hit in trial runs last year, and as of today, it’s available at Sonic locations across the country. Comprised of chopped mushrooms, beef, and seasonings, the so-called “Signature Slinger” starts at around 350 calories and is topped with cheese and the usual veggie goodness — lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles. (In comparison, a regular Sonic cheeseburger with ketchup totals 600 calories.)
“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,” Scott Uehlein, Sonic’s vice president of product innovation and development, said in a statement.
Why Blended Burgers Are a Healthy Hit
With blended burgers, the idea is to replace part of your burger meat with mushrooms — or other vegetables like carrots or broccoli — to add fiber and cut saturated fat.
“They’re low-calorie and low-carb, high fiber, and add a nice meaty texture and flavor,” Erin Morse, RD, Chief Clinical Dietitian at UCLA Health, told MensHealth.com in January.
Blended burgers are still fairly new to the fast food world, but some restaurants across the country have been hawking blended burgers for a few years now, sometimes swapping out the beef for lamb, turkey, and other meats. Colleges are getting in on the culinary action, too, including Penn State, Virginia Tech, and Rutgers. Stanford University serves only the alt burgers in its cafeterias.
You’ll be pleased to know that the blended burger movement is good for the environment, not just your gut. The World Resources Institute says that if mushrooms replaced 30 percent of the beef in every burger in the U.S., it would have the same affect as taking 2.3 million vehicles off the roads.
But Sonic isn’t selling their new sandwich as a Mother Earth-friendly choice, rather a guilt-free pleasure. That said, they’re offering a version topped with bacon — the Bacon Melt Sonic Signature Slinger, made with crispy bacon, layered with melted cheese and mayo and served on a bakery-quality brioche bun.
Nope, definitely not getting away with anything there.