Krystal Copycat Burger

Copycat Krystal Burgers

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These familiar looking little burgers are just as delicious as you remember, and just as greasy. No need in running to buy a bag when you get a craving – you can make a batch of Copycat Krystal Burgers right at home and save your gas.

Copycat Krystal Burgers

Does the name “Krystal” ring a bell? I’ve known the name and the little burgers in a box since I can remember. Especially during my teenage years. Late, late teenage years.

If you grew up in the South, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

If you didn’t, you really missed out. Now, if you’re in another part of the country, (and some of these places are indeed in the south) you might know these as White Castle burgers or sliders.

These things are like crack in a little greasy box.

So, if you’ve gone your whole life without experiencing Krystal burgers, I’m about to get you up to speed.

If you’re familiar, these little itty bitty burgers were a very welcome sight for you about 2 am after a few too many Miller Genuine Drafts.

Or it could have been some sort of booze concoction in a fish bowl made by your teenage friends, that made you violently vomit while your friends held your hair.

After all the fun, someone would inevitably say ‘Let’s go to Krystal!’. And, of course, you would end up ordering more than you could ever eat in one lifetime.

Why are Krystal burgers so adored?

These little things are served up in cardboard boxes, the sides are a bit on the greasy side. Well, ok, they were damn greasy, but it was part of the allure. The buns are generously dotted with tiny little onions, that are absolutely necessary. There’s always some cheese sticking out of the top on at least one corner, and sometimes a glimpse of a pickle

The cheese is half ass melted, and there’s a squeeze of regular mustard  in the middle.

The perfect amount. 

Copycat Krystal Burgers

These little bastards were definitely a staple, and as nasty as anybody wants to say they are – because they do – they’re absolutely, absurdly, fantastically delicious. 

Copycat Krystal Burgers
Greasy little tiny ass onions and all.

I’ve found the secret – it’s NO seasoning. Like, seriously, nothing except salt and pepper. I tried splashing some Worcestershire on a batch of them and it ruined the entire Krystal taste. Y’all, I’m not even exaggerating. Read again:

The burger has to be unseasoned.

Unseasoned AF.

I suppose that makes sense?? Maybe. It doesn’t even matter, that’s part of the science behind it.

So, here’s the method. You start by spreading ground beef out very thin using a rolling pin in between wax paper. Salt and pepper it, slice it into squares and throw it in the freezer. It’s so much easier than I thought it would be.

I used my counter top grill, and it worked perfectly.

Another quirky little thing about this is adding the diced onions on the raw side of the burger and then flipping it over and adding the bun on top for a minute.

It absolutely works!

Just don’t waste any time, now because it’s a method that is flowing and you want the bun to hit just right, the cheese to halfway kinda sorta melt, and to get that greasiness on the bottom just the way they’re served.

Copycat Krystal Burgers

However, I still cannot get the unseasoned thing out of my mind. I guess it doesn’t matter when all of the elements are in place.

All of these come together to give us that nostalgic taste-

  •  The plain ass ground beef
  •  Greasy little soft bun (greasy from the beef)
  •  Little, kinda caramelized, tiny onions
  •  American processed cheese slice, melted about ¼ of the way
  •  One squirt of mustard 
  •  One, sometimes two, pickles that are highly, highly essential

Again, no matter WHAT, DO NOT forget the pickle. 

Here’s your printable –

Yield: 12

Copycat Krystal Burgers

Krystal Copycat Burger

Krystal's like you know them - thin burger, tiny diced onions, grease on the inside of the bun, cheese, mustard and a pickle!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground chuck or round
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 cup white onions, finely diced
  • Mild cheddar or American cheese slices
  • Pickle slices
  • Mustard
  • 1 package square slider buns, or dinner rolls


Roll ground beef out flat on parchment paper, almost paper thin, then transfer to baking sheet on parchment paper. Carefully cut or score the beef into 2"x2" squares using a pizza roller, but do NOT separate.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in freezer for at least 30 minutes, but no more than overnight.

Melt butter on a flattop griddle or large frying pan over medium high heat and add onions, saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes; remove from heat.

Add burgers straight from the freezer, a few at a time, to griddle.

Sear each for 1-2 minutes, then flip, add a spoonful of onions on top, top with bottom part of bun, then top that with top part of bun. Let them grill for about 1 minute.

Remove from pan; remove top part of bun, flip over and add slice of cheese, a squeeze of mustard and pickle slice.

Top with top part of bun and serve.

Try not to eat 10.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 307mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 23g

The provided nutrition calculated may not always be accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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  • Jeff
    April 27, 2022 at 3:39 AM

    Made this for the family,
    . Loved it!!

  • chefwes
    August 6, 2021 at 11:33 PM

    Having worked at Krystal’s, there is NO butter. The onions are dried, minced onions, then rehydrated (I would say that this is to keep from having to mince a bunch of onions, and to keep from having them go bad!) Onto the heated grill top (in Krystal’s it is divided into 24 different sections, in a set amount of time, you add the Onions, then the burger patties (which ARE seasoned with salt and pepper! but, they are pre-seasoned at the factory). Then you put the top down let them cook for a set amount of time, then they are all flipped over and the bottom bun added, then topped by the top bun (again, all in a set amount of time) then steamed for another set amount of time, after which they are “held” for another set amount of time, if not used immediately) Then pulled off the grill, topped with Mustard and ketchup and cheese (if desired for all of them) and 2 pickles. No butter, ever because they are steamed, with the water coiming from the rehydrated onions!

  • Cary
    April 12, 2020 at 9:28 AM

    I worked in Krystal back in the 70’s. The secret is to use hydrated Dried Onions.

  • Paula Lewis
    October 24, 2019 at 12:26 PM

    How many burgers does this recipe make?

  • Krystal Connoisseur
    May 18, 2018 at 5:09 PM

    This is the first recipe I’ve seen, that actually looks spot on. So many other recipes have thicker patties- true Krystal’s have patties that are VERY thin.

  • Michele
    March 31, 2018 at 10:31 PM

    I did’t grow up in the South, and I really believe I’ve missed out because of that… But I love my Midwest like crazy, and will happily serve these babies up anytime!!

  • Shea
    April 1, 2018 at 7:25 PM

    Thank you Michele!

  • Christine
    March 30, 2018 at 12:15 AM


  • Shea
    April 1, 2018 at 7:25 PM

    They are definitely delish!!

  • Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls
    March 29, 2018 at 9:16 PM

    I love this recipe and can’t wait to try it! … Just one question: It says “1/2 white onions” … does that mean 1/2 cup white onions or 1/2 of a white onion … or is it just as many chopped onions as you feel like you need? Personally I would go with the latter, but I wanted to ask.

  • Shea
    April 1, 2018 at 7:27 PM

    1/2 cup! I fixed it – I’m so SORRY Ann! But, I agree with you, give me lots of onions 🙂

  • Claudia
    March 28, 2018 at 9:17 PM

    Wow how awesome you recreated one of the tastiest hamburgers on the planet and they look fabulous!

  • Shea
    April 1, 2018 at 7:28 PM

    Thanks Claudia – they’re not difficult at all.

  • ally
    March 28, 2018 at 11:07 AM

    Just give me this entire plate…want all three…and I love love classic yellow mustard…I mean why mess up a burger w/so many accessories!! I want the burger experience…pickles, onions, mustard, lettuce and ‘mater! xo

  • Shea
    April 1, 2018 at 7:28 PM

    Thank you, Ally! You would adore these!

  • JR
    July 15, 2017 at 11:40 AM

    Back in the day we had a Coral Castle in Miami.

  • Michele @ Bacon Fatte
    March 17, 2017 at 12:42 PM

    I’d love a big plate of these sliders right now… They look SO good! We don’t have Krystal here in the Midwest, but I know we’re going to enjoy your Copycat Krystal Burgers very soon!

  • [email protected] is How I Cook
    March 17, 2017 at 12:29 PM

    Love how you do this. We don’t have Crystal’s here but I can dream!

  • Shea
    April 1, 2018 at 7:28 PM

    Abbe, you must make these!

  • Lynn Elliott Vining
    March 15, 2017 at 5:17 PM

    We don’t have a Krystal’s here, but I have made a version of this and it was a HUGE hit! Love it!

  • Shea
    April 1, 2018 at 7:29 PM

    Thanks Lynn!

  • Ann -- The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
    March 15, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    These look so easy and so good…and I love the pickle slice! 🙂

  • Shea
    April 1, 2018 at 7:29 PM

    Thank you Ann 🙂

  • Adam J. Holland
    March 12, 2017 at 8:25 PM

    I know you’re excited about this. I think my wife is also excited (since Krystal and White Castle are basically the same thing). All I have to say is, y’all are some drunk sumbitches to be eating this stuff. Still, I understand, and this recipe is spot on.

  • Shea
    April 1, 2018 at 7:29 PM

    Thank you Holland!!

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