Copycat Krystal Hamburgers

Mike tried this recipe on May 21, 2023

It’s no secret I grew up in north Georgia. And in Georgia and other parts of the South, there are certain restaurants everyone will visit at least once in their lives, if not regularly. One of those is called Krystal (some people will say “Krystals” or “Krystal’s”, but the official name is “Krystal”). Krystal is known for their hamburgers, which use small thin patties of ground beef, come on a square bun that is steamed with the meat patty while it cooks, and served in a square open-ended box. Their appeal is almost legendary – a deliciously simple burger that is inexpensive and quite satisfying for almost anyone. Long a favorite of poor college students or anyone else on a limited budget, Krystal burgers have been popular since their first restaurant opened in the 1930s.

For those of you who live in northern climates, you might be familiar with White Castle, which produces a very similar product. There are some differences in how these two restaurants cook and serve their respective burgers, but I’m not going to weigh the merits of either here; I’ll leave that to you.

The modern interpretation of these burgers is called a slider, but as you’ve seen from other recipes on this site a slider can contain all sorts of other things, and even use round buns made especially for that purpose. This recipe uses plain square dinner rolls, keeping the heritage of a simple, easy, but satisfying little burger intact.

Adapted from CopyKat Recipes

Copycat Krystal Hamburgers

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 10 mins Total Time 30 mins
Servings: 12
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


A homemade version of the classic Krystal hamburger, a southern take on White Castle burgers, both of which are what today would be referred to as a slider.

Adapted from CopyKat Recipes



  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the bouillon cube in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add the dehydrated onions and stir to mix thoroughly. Allow the onions to reconstitute and soak up the liquid.

  2. In a food processor or blender, combine ground beef, 1/2 cup of water, and salt. Puree 1-2 minutes until the meat has a paste-like consistency.

  3. Line the inside of an 11 x 14 edged baking pan with plastic wrap. Spread the meat mixture onto the sheet. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap, then press with another baking pan or rolling pin to flatten the meat into an even layer approximately 1/4 inch thick. Remove the wrap on top and cut the meat into 12 squares approximately 3 x 3 inches in size; note you may have to adjust some of the pieces depending on how the meat flattened out. Replace the top piece of wrap and place the pan in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up the patties, taking care keep it from freezing completely.

  4. Slice the rolls in half similar to hamburger buns. Heat a large skillet on medium-low. Place a layer of onions on the bottom of the pan, followed by the patties, then top each patty with the bottom half of a roll turned face-down, and finally place the top half of the roll on the bottom half. Cover and allow the rolls to steam while the patties cook 4-6 minutes or until done without turning.

  5. When done, remove the top half of the rolls. Using a spatula, lift each patty with the bottom half of the roll still attached and flip over onto a serving plate. Top with cooked onion, a pickle slice, mustard, and the top half of the roll.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1

Servings 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories 222kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5.1g8%
Saturated Fat 1.3g7%
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 640mg27%
Potassium 201mg6%
Total Carbohydrate 26.4g9%
Dietary Fiber 1.3g6%
Sugars 2.6g
Protein 15.4g31%

Calcium 10 mg
Iron 3 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


  • For those who are curious, the differences between Krystal and White Castle burgers:
    • Krystal
      • patties do not have holes/perforations
      • onions are flavored with beef broth
      • served with onions, pickles, and mustard
    • White Castle
      • patties have small holes/perforations in them
      • onions are plain
      • served with onions and pickles (no mustard)
  • Any additional condiments can be added if desired (cheese, ketchup, lettuce, etc.); just be aware these are very small burgers!
Keywords: Krystal, copycat, hamburger, square bun, White Castle
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