Right out of high school, I lived in Rochester, New York for about 2 years.  If any of you are from Upstate New York, you’ve probably heard of the infamous Garbage Plate.  The perfect late night drunk / early morning hungover meal consisting of macaroni salad, home fries, chili meat sauce, either 2 cheeseburger patties, or 2 hot dogs, ketchup, & mustard.  It probably sounds disgusting, and it is, but it truly is the most delicious plate of garbage you’ll ever eat in your life.

Since it’s my birthday today, I wanted to share a vegan recipe for my all time favorite meal, which happens to be this incredible meal of garbage.  But while I have you here, I have some SUPER EXCITING NEWS.  Not only is this an extra special recipe I’m sharing, it’s the first recipe of my first ever E-BOOK coming out this summer!!! I’m so excited for you guys to see this e-book.  It’s filled with 20+ recipes for vegan versions of all my favorite hometown / Upstate New York foods.  From Loganberry Milkshakes, to Garbage Plates and Sponge Candy, to Chicken Riggies, I’ve got you covered.  I’ll be sharing more information about the e-book over the next few weeks, but I figured this would be a really fun way to introduce this e-book to you guys!  I hope you all indulge in this garbage plate & enjoy it as much as I do.


Let’s start out by making the accoutrements for our plate, shall we?  You’ll want to make the mac salad & meat sauce first, since those need to cool / cook the longest.  For the Mac salad, cook your elbow macaroni in salted water according to the package instructions, then drain it & rinse with cool water.  You’ll want to rinse your pasta until it is cool to the touch, then transfer it into a mixing bowl.  Add in your finely chopped celery & red onion, and then your mayo, yellow mustard, sweet relish, salt, pepper, & agave.  Start with less mayo & yellow mustard, and increase after mixing if desired, some people prefer a less dressed Mac salad, as where others prefer heavy dressing, so just make it to your liking!  Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.


The meat sauce we’ll be making is essentially a simplified chili with a more mild flavor overall.  I like using the beyond burger patties crumbled up in this, but any vegan ground   meat / beef substitute will work if you don’t want to use the beyond burger patties!  Start out by finely dicing your yellow onion & garlic, and adding them to a pot over medium heat with your olive oil.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly translucent & fragrant, and then add in your crumbled beyond burger patties, salt, & pepper.  Cook for 5-6 minutes until some browning forms on the meat, then add in your tomato paste and spices (excluding the brown sugar).  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to toast the tomato paste & spices, and then add in your water and brown sugar, making sure to scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and then allow to cook for 30 minutes until reduced & slightly thickened.  You can adjust the seasonings to your liking & cover over low heat until you’re ready to use it!



For the home fries, you’ll need some Yukon gold potatoes.  Start by peeling them & dicing them into cubes (roughly dice sized), and then transferring to a bowl of cold water to make sure they don’t oxidize & to remove some of the starch.  While those are soaking, heat up your oil in a deep fryer or stock pot to 325F.  Take a small batch of potatoes out of the water & completely pat them dry, then carefully place them into your oil.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until they just start to get some color, and then transfer to a paper towel lined tray.  Repeat these steps in batches until all of your potatoes are fried.  Next you can increase your oil temperature to 350F, and again add in your potatoes in batches.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, remove & transfer to a clean paper towel lined tray, and immediately season with salt.  You’ll want to make your Mac salad & chili meat sauce first, because ideally you’ll cook your burgers / hot dogs at the same time as the potatoes, so you can plate up both those items super hot, fresh, and crispy.


Now that you have everything else going, we can cook the main event, our cheeseburger patties & hot dogs.  For the patties I like to use the Beyond Burgers, but you can really use whatever veggie burgers you’d like!  If you are using the Beyond Burgers though, I suggest splitting 1 patty of theirs into 2, so they get a bit crispier and are a similar size to the smaller patties that are typically found on a garbage plate.  Plus this will get you 4 patties out of 1 pack now, instead of 2 so that’s always a bonus!  For the hot dogs, split them almost in half lengthwise (essentially butterflying them), but still leaving a small bit uncut so they stay attached.  Cook your burgers & hot dogs in a skillet with a couple tablespoons of grapeseed oil over high heat until golden brown & crisp.  Top your burger patties with vegan American cheese slices until melty, and you’re good to go!

So assembly.  It’s finally time.  If you want to stick to true garbage plate fashion, you’ll use a styrofoam tray or paper plate, but I know a lot of you try to not use products like that so it’s okay to skip this step if you’d like!  Usually I don’t use these products, but this is how you do a traditional garbage plate, haha.  Fill half of the plate with Mac salad (like to the brim half), and then the other half with home fries.  You really want the ENTIRE bottom of the plate to be covered with these two, so don’t be shy with them!  On top of your Mac salad and home fries, add a generous scoop of your chili meat sauce, then either your 2 cheeseburger patties or 2 hot dogs, and last but not least… plain old ketchup and yellow mustard (go heavy on these two).

Now I know what you’re thinking.  That this combination of food sounds gross, especially with the ketchup & mustard at the end… and trust me it is, but that’s why it’s SO GOOD.  It’s like everything you love about cook outs, just easily combined onto one plate.  Mix it all together & enjoy this garbage plate with dignity… I mean, it took a decent amount of time to cook so I’m going to consider this a really ~fancy~ meal.

I really hope you all enjoy this recipe & garbage plate as much as I do, and are as excited for this e-book as I am!  I can’t wait to show you all what I’ve been working on, and for all the fun things I have planned for 2018.  Thank you all endlessly for your constant support, and for allowing me to create fun content for you.  I love y’all so much.  Now go be garbage people with your garbage plates & enjoy the most delicious meal of your life!

Garbage Plate

This VEGAN garbage plate is perfect for any of you Upstate New York-ians who are missing the classic garbage plate. Mac Salad, Home Fries, Meat Sauce, And Burger Patties / Hot Dogs piled high & topped with Ketchup & Mustard.  

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Author Chef Brianna Gallo of PLVNT


Mac Salad

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1/2-1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp sweet relish
  • 1/3 cup red onion
  • 1/3 cup celery
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tbsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

Home Fries

  • 4 cups yukon gold potatoes
  • canola or grapeseed oil enough for deep frying
  • 3/4 tbsp pink Himalayan salt

Meat Sauce

  • 4 beyond burger patties 2 packs
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • Beyond Meat Burger Patties
  • Lightlife Tofu Dogs
  • Follow Your Heart American Cheese Slices
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard


Mac Salad

  1. You'll want to do the Mac salad first so it has time to cool in the fridge and set up while you make everything else.  Cook your pasta according to package instructions in salted water, drain, and rinse with cool water. 

  2. Once your pasta is cool to the touch from rinsing with cool water, transfer to a large mixing bowl & add in your mayo, mustard, relish, finely diced red onion & celery, salt, pepper, & agave nectar.  Start out with less mayonnaise & mustard, and increase as desired.  Some people like their Mac salad with less dressing, some like it with more, so adjust to your liking.  

  3. Place in the fridge once mixed and seasoned to your liking, and allow to cool while you make the rest of your plate. 

Home Fries

  1. Heat your oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 325F.  Peel & Chop your potatoes into small cubes (or really any size you'd like, but dice size is ideal for this recipe).  Soak in water while chopping all of your potatoes so they don't oxidize & some of the starch has a chance to come off the potato. 

  2. Dry your potatoes off completely (in batches), and add to your 325F oil (in batches).  Cook for about 1 minute, and drain on a paper towel.  Repeat this step until all of your potatoes are done.  You don't necessarily want them to get dark in color at this point, we're just looking to cook the inside first so they get really fluffy, yet super crispy on the outside with our second fry.  

  3. Once you've fried all your potatoes, increase the heat of your oil to 350F.  Add in your potatoes again (in batches), and fry until golden brown.  Transfer to a paper towel to drain again, and immediately season them with salt when they hit the paper towel & are still hot.  

  4. You'll want to do your potatoes last out of everything so you can serve them fresh & hot. 

Meat Sauce

  1. Add your oil, & finely diced onions into a pot over medium heat.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly translucent, then crumble in your beyond burger patties & add your minced garlic, salt, and pepper.  Allow to cook for 5-6 minutes to form some golden brown crust on the ground burger patties.  

  2. Next add your tomato paste & spices, and allow to cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.  

  3. You can then add your water & brown sugar, and stir to combine while scraping up any bits off the bottom of the pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer & let cook for 30 minutes until thick & reduced. 

  4. Keep this on your stove, covered over low heat, stirring occasionally until you're ready to make your plates.  


  1. Cook your burger patties with melted cheese like you normally would on a skillet, but turn 1 beyond burger patty into 2 so that they're a little thinner (you'll get 4 patties out of 1 package then).  Also butterfly your hot dogs by splitting them down the middle (almost in half but still leaving them connected), and cook in the same skillet to brown on both sides.  

  2. On styrofoam trays or paper plates (in traditional garbage plate fashion), start by filling half the plate with Mac salad, and the other half with home fries.  

  3. On top of that add a healthy scoop of your chili meat sauce. 

  4. On top of your chili meat sauce, you can then add your choice of 2 cheeseburger patties, 2 hot dogs, ketchup, and / or mustard.  The traditional plate is a cheeseburger plate with ketchup & mustard, but the hot dog plate is my personal favorite. 

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