Shake Shack's Classic Cheeseburger Recipe

We've eaten so much Shake Shack over the years, and there's a very good reason: It's ridiculously delicious. So you can imagine our excitement when we heard that the beloved burger joint was releasing a cookbook, Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories. As soon as we got our hands on the book, we gave the ShackBurger a whirl, and we can attest that this recipe is the real deal.

The key to the Shake Shack burger is the smash. To get an even smash, culinary director Mark Rosati recommends pressing down on each patty with a sturdy metal spatula, while using another stiff spatula to press on the first for double the pressure. This way, you can quickly flatten each patty evenly and get the perfect sear.

To learn more, read "Love Shack." Recipe adapted from 'Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories,' by Randy Garutti and Mark Rosati

Shake Shack's ShackBurger
4.9 from 156 ratings
Shake Shack shares the secret recipe for its famous ShackBurger, slathered in ShackSauce and covered in American cheese.
Prep Time
Cook Time
burger and fries on tray
Total time: 30 minutes
  • For the ShackSauce
  • ½ cup Hellman's mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Heinz ketchup
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher dill pickle brine
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • For the ShackBurgers
  • 4 hamburger potato buns
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ShackSauce
  • 4 pieces green-leaf lettuce
  • Eight ¼-inch slices plum tomatoes
  • 1 pound cold ground beef, formed into four 1-inch-thick pucks
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices American cheese
  1. Make the ShackSauce: In a small bowl, stir all of the sauce ingredients until smooth, then set aside.
  2. Make the ShackBurgers: Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, open the hamburger buns and brush both sides liberally with the melted butter. Working in 2 batches, place the buns onto the heated skillet, buttered-sides down, and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce on each top bun, along with a piece of lettuce and 2 slices of tomato.
  3. Increase the heat to medium and let the pan heat up for 2 to 3 minutes. On a plate, season both sides of each puck of ground beef with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the pucks into the cast-iron skillet, leaving plenty of room between them. Using a large, sturdy metal spatula, firmly smash each puck into a ⅓-inch-thick round patty. Cook the burgers without touching them until the edges are brown and crisp, 2½ minutes, then flip them. Place a slice of American cheese on each burger and continue to cook until medium, 1 minute more.
  5. Transfer a cheeseburger to each bottom bun, then sandwich with the top bun and lettuce and tomato, and serve.
Rate this recipe