This make-ahead creamy, tangy smash burger sauce comes together in less than ten minutes!
A classic smashburger (you know, the type of burger with thin, crispy edges and a juicy interior) needs a special sauce, and this smashburger sauce inspired by the Shake Shack burger sauce hits the spot. Plus, It's a simple and easy way to elevate your burger game.
What is in The Sauce?
While Shake Shack won't reveal their *exact* recipe for the shack sauce, according to Bon Appetit, they reveal a rough template to work off of. Their recipe calls for: ½ cup Hellman’s mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, ¾ tsp. Heinz ketchup, ¼ tsp. kosher dill pickling brine, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
I started with their base recipe but adjusted the ratios to my own taste preference. For example, I upped the ketchup and pickle brine, and I seasoned generously with salt and pepper. Otherwise, the recipe is quite similar.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
My version is just as easy and straightforward -- and it's infinitely customizable. When researching this recipe, I noticed several other online versions including other ingredients, such as Worcestershire sauce or finely chopped pickles. I like to keep it simple, but you can absolutely change it up as you like. I debated adding finely chopped pickles for a bit of texture, but because I typically add pickles in my own smashburger recipe, I didn't feel this was necessary.
- Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise serves as the base for this sauce. It's creamy texture cuts through the flavors of the juicy, salty burger.
- Dijon Mustard: A bit of dijon mustard adds a little bit of spice and tang.
- Ketchup: Ketchup imparts a light pink hue to the sauce, while also providing sweetness and umami.
- Dill Pickle Brine: The brine from a jar of dill pickles is salty and sour, and it helps contrast the fatty, creamy flavors of the mayonnaise. If you don't have pickle brine, you can use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
- Cayenne Pepper: Just a pinch of cayenne pepper provides some heat to the sauce. Feel free to add more if you like it spicy!
How to Make Smash Burger Sauce
Making homemade smash burger sauce couldn't be easier.
Step 1: Add all of the ingredients, including the mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, dill pickle brine, and cayenne pepper into a small bowl.
Step 2: Mix everything together...and season with salt and pepper. on the products you use and your own flavor preference, you may want something sweeter, spicier, or saltier. So don't be afraid to change things up as you like it!
Switch it Up
There are endless ways of switching up this sauce to suit your mood!
- For more umami: Before adding the salt and pepper, stir in a ½ teaspoon of fish sauce or 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce into the sauce and season to taste.
- For a garlicky twist: Add in 1 small clove grated garlic.
- For an oniony twist: Add 1 tablespoon finely minced white onion or shallot.
- For a smoky twist: Substitute the cayenne pepper for ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder.
Storage and Make-Ahead Instructions
The smashburger sauce will last up to a week in the fridge stored in an airtight container. You can easily make this ahead of time and warm to room temperature before serving.
This sauce makes a great dipping sauce for fries or any type of crispy potato dish! Sweet potato fries would be great with this too, as would fried fish.
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Smash Burger Sauce
- Mix the ½ cup full-fat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons ketchup, 1 teaspoon kosher dill pickle brine, and ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper in a small bowl until combined.
- Taste and season with Salt and black pepper.
- Leftover smashburger sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
- The sauce should taste creamy and well-seasoned with a hint of spice and tanginess. Want it tangier? Add more pickle brine. Want it spicier? Add more cayenne pepper. Want it sweeter? Add a bit more ketchup.