“When we were going to get a food truck, I wanted to make sure we had a signature item that really stood out,” says Kurt Kwiatkowski, culinary services corporate chef, Michigan State University. “After numerous tests, we landed on the Smoked Cheddar Cheeseburger.”

It’s the number-one food truck seller, and recently won the gold in NACUF’s 2013 Nutrition Awards in the Best Local Foods Recipe category.

And it really is local: The beef is raised on campus and processed nearby. It features two different MSU Dairy Store cheeses, made from milk produced on campus and at local dairy farms. The vegetables toppings are from the MSU Student Organic Farm.

YIELD: 1 sandwich

1 4 oz. beef patty
1 tsp. Mesquite seasoning
1 Tbsp. sharp Cheddar cheese
2 Tbsps. smoked Cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
a nice bun of your choice
2 slices Roma tomatoes
1 ½ Tbsps. red onions, sliced thin
1⁄4 cup spring mix lettuce

1. Place beef patty on a 350°F flattop grill. Sprinkle with Mesquite seasoning and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Flip the patty, add more seasoning and top with both cheeses. Cover with a grill lid and squirt a little water to create steam.
3. Melt butter on flattop and toast buns until golden brown. Assemble burger: bun, patty, tomatoes, onions, spring mix.

Photo: MSU