Cheeseburger Dumplings

published Aug 31, 2021
Cheeseburger Dumplings Recipe

Untraditional in every way, these dumplings combine the best of two worlds: delicate dumplings and juicy cheeseburgers, complete with special sauce.


Makesabout 60

Prep1 hour

Cook10 minutes to 15 minutes

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Cheeseburger dumplings plated.
Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig / Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

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It’s not Lunar New Year without dumplings in my house. Every year for the holiday, I throw a dumpling-making party and invite friends over. If you’ve ever made a large batch of dumplings before, you’ll know the benefit of extra hands while pleating mountains of plump dumplings closed. And of course, the company and conversation is also a plus.

This year, however, was different. Still wanting to find a way to ring in the year of the ox, cheeseburger dumplings were my festive answer to being stuck indoors without friends. Untraditional in every way, these dumplings combine the best of two worlds: delicate dumplings and juicy cheeseburgers, complete with special sauce. People may call it fusion, but there’s really one word that describes them best: delicious.

Credit: Photo: Kristin Teig / Food Stylist: Catrine Kelty

Making Cheeseburger Dumplings

The dumpling filling has all the classic components of a cheeseburger: Beef, American cheese, onion, and seasonings create a sturdy foundation, while a mixture of ketchup, mayo, and yellow mustard gives it that iconic “special” taste.

When the dumplings are steamed, the cheese melts inside to create an oozy pool of sauce. But I prefer them pan-seared, which leaves each bottom crisp with lacy edges and gives a taste reminiscent of smashed burgers. Cooked this way, the cheese adds a richness to the filling and tastes like the best versions of my childhood cheeseburgers. Sesame seeds are sprinkled on at the end and cling to the tender dumpling wrappers, resembling a studded sesame bun.

Cheeseburger Dumplings Recipe

Untraditional in every way, these dumplings combine the best of two worlds: delicate dumplings and juicy cheeseburgers, complete with special sauce.

Prep time 1 hour

Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Makes about 60

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 3 tablespoons


  • 2 tablespoons


  • 1 tablespoon

    yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon

    chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    toasted sesame oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 1

    medium scallion

  • 8 slices

    American cheese (about 5 1/2 ounces)

  • 12 ounces

    ground beef, preferably 80% fat

  • 60

    round dumpling wrappers (about 3-inch wide)

  • 5 to 6 tablespoons

    vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups

    water, divided

  • Roasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


  1. Place 3 tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and whisk until combined.

  2. Prepare the following, adding them to the bowl as you complete them: Finely chop 1 small shallot (about 1/4 cup), thinly slice 1 medium scallion (about 2 tablespoons), and stack and chop 8 slices American cheese into 1/2-inch pieces (as you add to the bowl, separate the pieces).

  3. Add 12 ounces ground beef and mix with your hands until everything is well-combined and the cheese is evenly distributed.

  4. Fill a small bowl with water. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 6 round dumpling wrappers on a work surface. Scoop about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each wrapper, making sure there is cheese in each portion, and flatten it out a little bit.

  5. Dip your finger into the water and gently trace around the edges of a wrapper to dampen. Fold in half by bringing the bottom up to the top and pinching together just at the top. Create pleats on the side of the wrapper facing you by starting to the left of the center pinch: Use your index finger and thumb to gather and fold a pleat toward the right and pinch to seal. Repeat with two more pleats to the left until you reach the end. Repeat folding three pleats to the right of the center pinch. Pinch tightly and make sure the filling is completely sealed in the wrapper. (Alternatively, you can skip the pleating altogether by just folding the wrapper in half over the filling and pinching to seal.)

  6. Pick up the dumpling by the pleats and place down on the baking sheet to form a flat bottom. Repeat until all the dumplings are formed, making sure they don’t touch on the baking sheet.

  7. Cook the dumplings in batches: Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add 10 to 12 dumplings flat-side down, making sure they do not touch. Cook until the bottoms are light golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook until the wrappers have completely softened and the water has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the bottoms are dark golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

  8. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining oil, dumplings, and water. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds if desired and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The dumplings can be filled, covered in plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to 1 day ahead before cooking. The uncooked dumplings can also be frozen solid on the baking sheet, then transferred to a zip-top bag and frozen for up to 3 months. Cook frozen dumplings straight from the freezer according to the directions for the same amount of time.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.