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The Shackburger Recipe

The Shackburger holds the title for one of the most beloved burgers in America. Originating from the famous Shake Shack chain, it’s a simple dish that packs a flavorful punch. The secret lies in the harmony of its ingredients: a perfect blend of savory ground beef, fresh vegetables, and the special ShackSauce on a lightly toasted bun. This recipe lets you recreate this iconic burger in your own kitchen.

The Shackburger Recipe
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Photos of The Shackburger Recipe

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While most of the ingredients for the Shackburger are standard in any kitchen, there are a few you might need to look for. The first is the potato buns, which give the burger its unique texture and slight sweetness. You can find these in most supermarkets' bread section. American cheese, which is milder and melts better than other types of cheese, is essential for that gooey cheese pull. Lastly, if you don't have any kosher dill pickling brine for the ShackSauce, you can usually find it where pickles or condiments are sold.

Ingredients for the Perfect Shackburger

Hamburger potato buns: These are the foundation of your burger. They provide a slightly sweet contrast to the savory ingredients.

Butter: Butter is used to toast the buns, giving them a rich, golden color and a slight crunch.

ShackSauce: This is the secret to the Shake Shack flavor. It's tangy, creamy, and easy to make at home.

Ground beef: The star of the show. Get the best quality you can for a juicy, flavorful burger.

Salt and pepper mix: This simple seasoning lets the beef shine.

American cheese: Melts beautifully on the hot beef, adding a creamy, tangy layer to your burger.

Green leaf lettuce: Adds a fresh crunch and color to your burger.

Plum tomato: Sliced thin, they give a burst of juicy freshness.

Mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Ketchup, Kosher dill pickling brine, Cayenne pepper: These are the components of your ShackSauce.

One reader, Kaycee Dockery says:

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The Shackburger recipe is a game-changer! The buttery potato buns and the flavorful shacksauce take the classic burger to a whole new level. The perfectly seasoned beef patty and the melty American cheese create a mouthwatering experience. It's a must-try for burger lovers!

Kaycee Dockery

Key Techniques for Mastering the Shackburger Recipe

How to prepare the shack sauce: Combine mayonnaise, dijon mustard, ketchup, pickling brine, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined and set aside.

How to toast the buns: Brush the insides of the hamburger buns with melted butter and place them buttered side down on a warm griddle. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.

How to cook the burgers: Heat a griddle over medium heat. Season the ground beef with salt and pepper, then form into patties. Cook the patties on the griddle for about 2½ minutes until the edges are brown and crisp. Flip the burgers, add cheese, and cook for an additional minute for medium doneness.

How to assemble the burger: Spoon the shack sauce onto the top bun. Place a piece of lettuce and two slices of tomato on the bottom bun. Transfer the cooked cheeseburgers to the prepared buns and serve.

How To Make The Classic Shackburger

This Classic Shackburger assembled with your classic hamburger ingredients made special with a tasty homemade shack sauce is bound to make you want more!

Preparation: 1 minute
Cooking: 9 minutes
Total: 10 minutes



  • 4hamburger potato buns
  • 4tbspbutter,melted
  • 4tbspshacksauce
  • 1lbground beef,very cold, divided into 4 pucks
  • ½tspsalt and pepper mix
  • 4American Cheese,slices
  • 4pcsgreen leaf lettuce
  • 8slicedplum tomato,ripe, ¼-inch slices

For Shack Sauce:

  • ½cupHellmann’s real mayonnaise
  • 1tbspdijon mustard
  • ¾tspheinz ketchup
  • ¼tspkosher dill pickling brine
  • 1pinchcayenne pepper

For Salt and Pepper Mix:

  • ½cupkosher salt
  • ½tspfreshly ground pepper


  1. Heat a cast-iron griddle over medium-low heat until warm.

  2. Meanwhile, open the hamburger buns and brush the insides using a soft brush with the melted butter.

  3. Place the buns buttered side down on the griddle and toast for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.

  4. Transfer the buns to a plate. Create the Shack Sauce with the provided ingredients.

  5. Spoon the sauce onto the top bun.

  6. Increase the heat to medium and heat the griddle for about 2 to 3 minutes until hot.

  7. Evenly sprinkle a pinch of the salt and pepper mix on top of each puck of meat.

  8. Place the pucks on the griddle, seasoned side down.

  9. Using a large, sturdy metal spatula, firmly smash each puck into a ⅓-inch-thick round patty. Pressing down on the spatula with another stiff spatula helps flatten the burger quickly.

  10. Evenly sprinkle another big pinch of the salt and pepper mix.

  11. Cook the burgers, resisting the urge to move them, for about 2½ minutes until the edges beneath are brown and crisp, and juices on the surface are bubbling hot.

  12. Slide one of the spatulas beneath the burger to release it from the griddle and scrape up the caramelized browned crust. Use the other spatula to steady the burger and keep it from sliding.

  13. Flip the burgers. Put the cheese on top and cook the burgers 1 minute longer for medium. Cook more or less depending on your preference.

  14. Add a piece of the lettuce and two slices of tomato. Transfer the cheeseburgers to the prepared buns.

  15. Enjoy.


  • Calories: 839.01kcal
  • Fat: 63.77g
  • Saturated Fat: 22.49g
  • Trans Fat: 1.80g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 20.23g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 14.66g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.49g
  • Fiber: 5.49g
  • Sugar: 8.91g
  • Protein: 32.24g
  • Cholesterol: 135.74mg
  • Sodium: 858.58mg
  • Calcium: 255.74mg
  • Potassium: 1120.73mg
  • Iron: 4.21mg
  • Vitamin A: 177.51µg
  • Vitamin C: 17.37mg

One Simple Technique to Elevate Your Shackburger Game

When smashing the ground beef into patties, it's important to do so with a firm, quick motion to ensure an even thickness. This not only helps the patty cook evenly, but also creates a nice crust on the outside while keeping the inside juicy. Additionally, resist the urge to move or flip the burgers too soon. Letting them cook undisturbed allows for the formation of a caramelized crust, which adds a significant amount of flavor to your shackburger.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing the Shackburger Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the ShackSauce and salt and pepper mix in advance and store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator. This will save time when you're ready to cook the burgers.

Organize ingredients: Before you start cooking, make sure all your ingredients are measured and prepped. This will streamline the cooking process and prevent any last-minute scrambling for items.

Substitute Ingredients For The Shackburger Recipe

  • hamburger potato buns - Substitute with brioche buns: Brioche buns have a rich, buttery flavor and a soft texture, which will complement the burger patty and toppings well.

  • butter - Substitute with mayonnaise: Mayonnaise can be used as a spread for toasting the buns, adding a creamy richness to the burger.

  • shacksauce - Substitute with special sauce: A homemade special sauce made with mayonnaise, ketchup, and relish can replicate the flavor profile of the shacksauce.

  • ground beef - Substitute with ground turkey: Ground turkey is a leaner option and can be seasoned to mimic the flavor of beef, offering a healthier alternative.

  • salt and pepper mix - Substitute with seasoned salt: Seasoned salt adds extra flavor with a blend of spices and can enhance the taste of the burger patty.

  • american cheese - Substitute with cheddar cheese: Cheddar cheese provides a sharper flavor and melts beautifully, adding a delicious twist to the burger.

  • green leaf lettuce - Substitute with butter lettuce: Butter lettuce has a tender texture and a slightly sweet flavor, making it a great substitute for green leaf lettuce.

  • plum tomato - Substitute with vine-ripened tomatoes: Vine-ripened tomatoes offer a similar juiciness and sweetness, enhancing the overall flavor of the burger.

Presentation Tips for Serving the Perfect Shackburger

  1. Elevate the burger buns: Gently toast the hamburger potato buns with a brush of melted butter until they achieve a golden brown color, adding a touch of richness and enhancing the texture.

  2. Craft the perfect patty: Form the ground beef into a perfectly shaped patty, ensuring it is evenly seasoned with a pinch of the salt and pepper mix for a burst of flavor in every bite.

  3. Create a symphony of flavors with Shack Sauce: Prepare the Shack Sauce by combining the Hellmann's real mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, Heinz ketchup, kosher dill pickling brine, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, resulting in a harmonious blend of creamy, tangy, and slightly spicy flavors.

  4. Master the art of smashing the burger: Use a large, sturdy metal spatula to firmly smash each patty into a ⅓-inch-thick round, ensuring a perfect sear and caramelization for an irresistible crust.

  5. Achieve the ideal cheese melt: Place a slice of American cheese on top of the burger patty, allowing it to melt and envelop the patty in a creamy, gooey layer of deliciousness.

  6. Layer the fresh produce: Add a piece of green leaf lettuce and two slices of plum tomato to provide a refreshing and vibrant contrast to the savory and rich flavors of the burger.

  7. Present with finesse: Assemble the burger with precision, ensuring that each component is thoughtfully placed to create an appetizing and visually appealing dish that will impress even the most discerning culinary professionals.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making the Shackburger Recipe

  • Cast-iron griddle: A heavy-duty, durable cooking surface that provides even heat distribution and is perfect for grilling burgers.

  • Soft brush: Used for brushing the insides of the hamburger buns with melted butter.

  • Plate: A flat dish used for holding the toasted buns.

  • Large, sturdy metal spatula: Essential for smashing and flipping the burger patties on the griddle.

  • Stiff spatula: Used in conjunction with the large spatula to help flatten the burger patties quickly.

  • Food processor: Used for preparing the shack sauce by blending the ingredients together.

  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining the ingredients to make the shack sauce.

  • Knife: Used for slicing the plum tomatoes and any other necessary prep work.

  • Griddle scraper: Used for releasing the caramelized browned crust of the burger from the griddle.

  • Tongs: Used for handling and flipping the burger patties on the griddle.

The Best Methods for Reheating Leftover Shackburgers

  • The best way to reheat a leftover Shackburger is to separate the burger patty from the bun, lettuce, and tomato. This will prevent the bun from getting soggy and the lettuce from wilting.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the burger patty on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. If you have any leftover cheese, place it on top of the patty.
  • Bake the burger patty in the preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes, or until it's heated through and the cheese is melted. The time may vary depending on the thickness of the patty and your oven's performance.
  • While the burger patty is heating up, lightly toast the bun in a toaster or under the broiler for a minute or two. This will help restore its texture and warmth.
  • Once the burger patty is heated and the bun is toasted, reassemble your Shackburger. Start with the bottom bun, add the patty with melted cheese, followed by fresh lettuce and tomato slices. Spread some Shack Sauce on the top bun before placing it on the burger.
  • If you prefer a quicker method, you can use a microwave to reheat the burger patty. Place the patty on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 30-45 seconds. However, be aware that microwaving may cause the patty to lose some of its texture and juiciness.
  • Another option is to reheat the burger patty in a skillet or on a griddle over medium heat. This method will help maintain the crispy exterior of the patty. Cook the patty for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until it's heated through.
  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, make sure the internal temperature of the burger patty reaches 165°F (74°C) to ensure it's safe to consume.
  • If you have leftover Shack Sauce, you can microwave it for a few seconds to bring it back to room temperature before spreading it on the bun.
  • Remember, reheating a Shackburger may not yield the same quality as a freshly made one, but these methods will help you enjoy your leftover burger while minimizing the loss of texture and flavor.

Surprising Facts About the Origins of the Shackburger

The Shackburger recipe was created by the popular restaurant chain Shake Shack in New York City. It has gained a cult following for its delicious simplicity and high-quality ingredients. The Shackburger's signature ShackSauce, a blend of mayo, mustard, ketchup, and spices, sets it apart from other burgers. This iconic burger has become a symbol of modern American fast-casual dining and has inspired countless home cooks to recreate it in their own kitchens.

Evaluating the Cost-Effectiveness of Making Shackburgers at Home

This shackburger recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients are commonly found and reasonably priced. Ground beef, cheese, and vegetables are affordable, and the homemade shacksauce can be made in bulk for future use. The total cost for a household of 4 people would be approximately $20-25, making it a budget-friendly option. The overall verdict rating for this recipe would be 9/10 for its affordability and delicious outcome.

Is the Shackburger Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

The Shackburger recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. Here's why:

  • High in saturated fat: The recipe uses a significant amount of butter and ground beef, both of which are high in saturated fat. Consuming too much saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease and other health issues.
  • Processed ingredients: The recipe calls for American cheese, which is a processed cheese product. Processed foods often contain additives and preservatives that may not be beneficial for health.
  • High in sodium: The salt and pepper mix, along with the kosher dill pickling brine in the sauce, contribute to a high sodium content. Excessive sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems.
  • Refined carbohydrates: The hamburger potato buns are likely made from refined flour, which lacks the fiber and nutrients found in whole grain alternatives.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Opt for lean ground beef or even ground turkey to reduce the saturated fat content
  • Use whole grain hamburger buns to increase fiber intake and provide more nutrients
  • Replace the American cheese with a slice of natural, low-fat cheese like Swiss or cheddar
  • Reduce the amount of salt and pepper mix used, and consider using low-sodium pickles in the sauce
  • Add more vegetables to the burger, such as sliced onions, pickles, or even a handful of baby spinach leaves to boost the nutrient content
  • Instead of butter, try brushing the buns with a small amount of olive oil, which is a healthier fat option

By making these adjustments, you can enjoy a tasty burger while also making it a bit more nutritious. Remember, moderation is key, and treating yourself to a classic Shackburger every once in a while can certainly be part of a balanced diet.

Our Editor's Honest Opinion on the Shackburger Recipe

The Shackburger recipe is a classic and well-crafted dish that captures the essence of a delicious cheeseburger. The use of quality ingredients and the attention to detail in the cooking process result in a mouthwatering and satisfying burger. The Shack Sauce adds a unique and flavorful touch, elevating the overall taste experience. The careful instructions ensure that each element, from the toasted buns to the perfectly cooked patty, comes together harmoniously. This recipe is a testament to the art of burger-making and is sure to delight anyone who enjoys a good, old-fashioned cheeseburger.

Enhance Your The Shackburger Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy garlic mashed potatoes with a hint of parmesan cheese and chives, served in a fluffy mound.
Grilled Vegetables: Colorful array of grilled zucchini, bell peppers, and asparagus, drizzled with a balsamic glaze and sprinkled with fresh herbs.
Fruit Salad: Refreshing mix of seasonal fruits, such as juicy watermelon, sweet strawberries, and tangy pineapple, tossed in a light honey-lime dressing.

Delicious Alternatives to the Classic Shackburger Recipe

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate your favorite vegetables in a zesty herb and garlic marinade, then grill them to perfection on skewers for a delicious and healthy side dish.
Braised Beef Short Ribs: Slow-cook beef short ribs in a rich red wine and tomato sauce until they are fall-off-the-bone tender, then serve with creamy mashed potatoes for a comforting and hearty meal.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: Combine ripe mango, creamy coconut milk, and nutritious chia seeds to create a refreshing and tropical dessert that is perfect for a light and satisfying sweet treat.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Your Shackburger Meal

Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a delicious blend of cheeses, herbs, and breadcrumbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Caprese Skewers: Elevate your appetizer game with these colorful and flavorful caprese skewers. Fresh mozzarella, juicy cherry tomatoes, and fragrant basil, drizzled with balsamic glaze, make for a refreshing and elegant start to any gathering.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This elegant dessert is perfect for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of apple crisp, with tender baked apples and a crispy oat topping. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate sweet treat.

Why trust this The Shackburger Recipe:

This recipe is crafted with care and expertise by a seasoned chef, ensuring the highest quality and delicious taste. The ground beef is carefully seasoned with a perfect blend of salt and pepper, creating a flavorful patty. The shacksauce is a unique and delectable addition, elevating the burger to a whole new level. The use of real mayonnaise and dijon mustard in the sauce adds a rich and tangy flavor. The attention to detail in toasting the potato buns and the addition of fresh lettuce and plum tomato guarantee a delightful dining experience.

Want to share your experience making the Shackburger or discuss tips and tricks? Join the conversation in the Recipe Sharing forum!
What is shack sauce and can I substitute it with something else?
Shack sauce is a special sauce made with mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, pickling brine, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. You can try substituting it with a similar burger sauce, but the unique flavor of the shack sauce is what makes the Shackburger so special.
Can I use a different type of cheese for the Shackburger?
While American cheese is the traditional choice for a Shackburger, you can definitely experiment with other types of cheese to suit your taste preferences. Cheddar, Swiss, or even a blue cheese could be interesting alternatives.
Can I cook the burgers on a grill instead of a griddle?
Yes, you can absolutely cook the burgers on a grill. Just make sure the grill is preheated to medium-high heat and follow the same cooking times and techniques for achieving that perfect Shackburger crust.
Can I prepare the Shack sauce in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the Shack sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. This can save time when you're ready to assemble your Shackburgers.
Can I make the patties ahead of time and freeze them?
Yes, you can make the burger patties ahead of time and freeze them. Just make sure to separate the patties with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together. When you're ready to cook, simply thaw them in the refrigerator before cooking.

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