This Best Burger Sauce Recipe is truly the best sauce to add to your burgers. It’s very much like a Thousand Island dressing, and it’s the perfect pairing for hamburgers! Watch the video showing you how to make the Best Burger Sauce Recipe, then scroll to the bottom of this post and print out the recipe so you can make it at home.
It has been 3 years since my cookbook- The Recipe Girl Cookbook– was published, and I’m still picking it up and making the recipes. Since I packed the book full of 195 of my favorites, my family has things that they request again and again.
This Best Burger Sauce Recipe is one of them. There’s a big story behind it…
When I was 15, I talked my way into a job at a little mom and pop ice cream and fast food shack called The Penguin. It was one of those places where you stop when you’re driving through a small town on a long road trip, flashing frostie sign luring you in. It was also a place that was very popular with the locals. The malts, dipped cones, and finger-sized French fries were among the favorite menu items. Even the Penguin tacos were a big hit! But the burgers were what kept people coming back.
The Penguin Burger was by far the best burger the town of Carson City, Nevada has ever seen. I grilled up my share of Penguin Burgers working there as a young high school student, and I topped them all with a secret, special sauce that made them so delicious.
Is this Best Burger Sauce Recipe the same thing as Thousand Island Dressing?
Pretty much! That’s something McDonald’s did right back in the day with the creation of their “special sauce.” That special sauce turned out to be very similar to Thousand Island Salad Dressing, and it turns out to be a delicious addition to hamburgers! I don’t keep Thousand Island Salad Dressing in my refrigerator, so it’s nice to have this recipe to whip it up for burgers when I’m grilling.
The Penguin was torn down several years ago to make room for a gas station conglomerate, but my Penguin Burgers’ special sauce recipe is a nod to what those burgers were all about.
The full recipe for the actual Penguin “Burgers” is in my cookbook, but I’m sharing the special sauce with you today so you can add it to your own burgers!
You may want to add the Best Burger Sauce to my Turkey Garden Burgers or these Blue Cheese Burgers. It’s such a great addition to a burger! And be sure to serve your burgers with either my Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad or my favorite All American Potato Salad.
Here are a few more burger-themed recipes you might enjoy:
- Bread and Butter Pickles by RecipeGirl
- Homemade Ketchup by Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- Caramelized Onions by Cookin’ Canuck
- The Best Garlic Burgers Ever by FoodieCrush
Best Burger Sauce Recipe
This burger sauce is the absolute best addition to your grilled hamburgers!
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated onion
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- dash of freshly ground black pepper
- dash of ground cayenne pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. If you tend to like a sweeter sauce, add 1 full teaspoon of sugar. Add 1/2 teaspoon to cut the sweetness.
- Refrigerate the sauce until your burgers are ready to assemble. This may be may up to 1 day ahead.