Recipe Review

I Tried the McBaguette Recipe from “Emily in Paris” and It’s the Chic Upgrade to a Cheeseburger That I Can’t Stop Eating

published Jan 13, 2023
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Credit: McDonald's France

I won’t lie: This past December when I was counting down the days until Netflix released season three of Emily in Paris, it had nothing to do with food. I couldn’t wait to see the next developments in the show’s sexy love triangle, check out Emily’s latest outfits, and marvel at how on earth she keeps her job. Watching the series did lead to all that, but it also left me wondering about a fast-food sandwich. An odd development, for sure!

Part of the plot of the newest installment of Emily in Paris involves Emily’s agency working on a McDonald’s menu expansion. While we might not immediately think of fast food (let alone the golden arches) when imagining Parisian cuisine, the McBaguette takes the classic Big Mac concept and fancies it up by serving it on — what else? — a classic French baguette.

In the series, Emily goes to lunch with Gabriel, the French chef she’s not-so-secretly in love with, and he explains to her that while Americans may view fast food as not remotely fancy, to the French it’s “un petit plaisir,” or “a little treat.”

For those who happen to be lucky enough to visit Paris, this little treat is currently available at McDonald’s locations as part of a partnership with the newest season of the Emily in Paris series. It involves two beef patties, mustard, two slices of Emmental cheese, and lettuce. The McBaguette comes as part of a meal that involves a side, drink, and two macarons (très magnifique!). But as my life is currently based in cold and windy New York City and not beautiful Paris, thanks to a recipe on TikTok account @la_faim, I decided to try to recreate the McBaguette experience at home.

Get the recipe: The McBaguette

Credit: Aly Walansky

How to Make the McBaguette

Creating our own McBaguette “un petit plaisir” is actually rather easy, due to it becoming something of a TikTok trend. There are a bunch of videos recreating this sandwich — and while many are in French, it’s simple enough to just follow the demonstration. 

You begin by taking a pan and preparing two burger patties to your liking. I used a nonstick skillet, but anything from a cast iron to a grill or an air fryer (basically any way you traditionally make your burgers) would be fine. 

Of course, it’s not a cheeseburger without cheese — and while the official McBaguette uses  Emmental cheese (which is in the Swiss cheese family), generally any sliced melting cheese you prefer will be fine here. This could be American (Emily is an American in Paris, after all!), or perhaps a cheddar. Or, go authentic and use Swiss cheese.

While the burgers are frying and the cheese is melting, the spread for the baguette is prepared. This is a simple blend of yellow and spicy mustard with a bit of oil, some mayo, and an egg. That mixture is then spread liberally on the inside of the French bread. If the idea of the egg and mayo is not appetizing to you, straight-up mustard is a perfectly delicious (and even easier) modification. Now, all that’s left to do is to build your sandwich.

Slice open the bread and spread the sauce before adding the two cheeseburger patties. Then, top with crisp lettuce and cover your sandwich with your other slice of bread. And voila! You’re done and ready to bite into the fanciest Big Mac you’ve ever had.

Credit: Aly Walansky

My Honest Review of the McBaguette

I’m honestly not much of a fast-food girl in general, but I love a great cheeseburger. So a homemade upgrade to the Big Mac felt very much within my taste boundaries. And, just as I suspected, it ended up being downright delicious. Often the least appealing aspect of a burger is the rather simple and unassuming bun, but this upgrade to a fresh and crusty baguette was definitely a game-changer.

I know that doing things simple and doing them right is part of the French culinary aesthetic, so it makes sense to me there’s not a bunch of toppings on this burger. That said, my own burger preferences do veer more toward toppings such as sliced pickles, raw onion, avocado, or even a slice of tomato. Any of these would have added a fresh and bright layer to the McBaguette. Honestly speaking, though, the fresh bread and hot, cheesy burger with the pop of mustard was a major win.

4 Tips for Making the McBaguette

  1. Use good bread. It may be tempting to just grab French rolls from your local supermarket, but the whole purpose of this sandwich is that the French baguette upgrades what is otherwise a pretty basic burger experience. It’s worth a trip to the bakery or breaking out your bread machine for this one.
  2. Use your favorite cheese. Personally, I’m not a fan of Swiss cheese. If I were to use that on my burger, it may have compromised how much I enjoyed the result. You’re going to be the one eating it, so use whatever cheese you enjoy, as long as it’s delicious and melty.
  3. Adjust the mustard sauce to your liking. A simple spread of mustard is going to be tasty here, so don’t feel obligated to make the egg and mayo-heavy sauce if that’s not what you like.
  4. Choose the toppings you love. Building a burger is all about having it your way, right? (Wait, that’s a different chain!) But if you love your burgers with pickles or bacon, go for it. The important thing is that it’s a delicious, juicy, and cheesy burger on a baguette — and that’s going to come through no matter how you layer it.

Get the recipe: The McBaguette