Rachael Ray's Go-To Burger Sauce - Exclusive

If there's one thing that can quickly make or break a good burger, it's the sauce. Even the highest quality meat, loaded up with the right combo of toppings, can wind up ruined without a solid sauce to round out the flavors and textures.

Rachael Ray can testify to this. The well-known Food Network personality and host of "30 Minute Meals" has had her fair share of incredible burgers as the longtime host of the annual Burger Bash tasting and competition at the Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival. Tasting Table caught up with Ray at the 2022 festival where she shared some of her best burger advice, including: "Make sure the protein of choice, even if it's plant-based, gets crispy on both sides. Make the patties even in size and shape ... Cook them all at the same time on a flat, hot surface" such as cast iron, because "that's what creates that "crust and that reddish-brown, yummy bite," and pay attention to "your burger-to-bun ratio ... you should never sog out the bun." 

Overall, Ray says "It's not about the burger itself. It's about the balance." That balance only comes with a tangy and fresh, flavorful sauce between your bun (as for Ray, she's " a big believer in a little sauce on both sides"). Speaking exclusively with Tasting Table, Ray revealed exactly how she likes to finish off her burgers when it comes to condiments, and shared her go-to, quick and easy burger sauce recipe. It's perfectly tasty and probably won't even require a trip to the grocery store.

Greek yogurt makes for a lighter burger sauce in Rachael Ray's go-to recipe

If you ask Rachael Ray what makes her burgers so special, there's a good chance she'd say it's her special sauce. That's literally what she calls the recipe, which should tell you how simple yet delicious it is. "When I make special sauce," Ray tells Tasting Table, "I use sour cream or Greek yogurt. It's thicker and tangier. Then [I add] ketchup, Worcestershire, relish, salt, [and] pepper." 

This lighter and healthier condiment is all you need, all on its own, but Ray says she also kicks it up a notch sometimes by adding a spin on this recipe. "I make a lot of versions ... some with more horseradish, some ranch style, all kinds of things." This means you can definitely get away with adding your own custom spin. 

Ray says that this sauce also goes well with other condiments you might love adding to your burgers. "There are some burgers and patty melts that I'll put mustard on one side and special sauce on the other," she says. However, there's one sauce you'll almost never find on Ray's burgers. "I rarely use mayonnaise, and when I do, it's usually vegan" she insists. Her logic makes sense. "People eat burgers in [the] hot months of the year. I don't want to be eating two-hour-old, baked-in-the-sun raw egg," she says.

For the latest from Rachael Ray, follow her on Instagram. Plus, click here to learn more about the annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented by Capital One, and be sure to check out the highlights from this year's event.