White Castle Sliders Copycat Recipe

If you've ever found yourself in the White Castle drive-thru after a long night out, then you're familiar with the delicacy that is a White Castle slider. There really are few fast food burgers quite like it, with its miniature, squarish shape instantly recognizable. If you've ever enjoyed one of these beefy, oniony, ultra-savory little sammies, you know exactly why White Castle retains such a fan base of people who regularly flock to snag a slider or two (or five). 

Of course, there are only so many White Castles in the world, and if you're anything like recipe developer Patterson Watkins, then you tragically don't live near one. "I, unfortunately, live several miles away from a White Castle," Watkins laments. Luckily, her copycat recipe is just the solution: "When those cravings hit, you gotta make some homemade concessions, and this recipe will definitely satisfy any and all White Castle cravings." Indeed, these homemade sliders are just as good as the real thing — possibly even better, because you can guarantee that they'll be fresh and served with all of your favorite toppings. 

Gather the ingredients for White Castle copycat sliders

To achieve that heightened beefy flavor, you'll need beef, of course, along with a special ingredient: beef bouillon paste. "There's a unique element to White Castle burgers, an underlying savoriness, an umami-quality, that really sets these sliders apart from other fast food items. To mimic that flavor, we use beef bouillon," Watkins explains. You'll mix the bouillon right in with the other patty ingredients (yellow mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper), which will "bring out those savory notes," as Watkins puts it.

Of course, there are other important components to a White Castle slider, so you'll also need some minced yellow onion, American cheese, pickles, and dinner rolls, which will serve as the buns.

Form, then freeze, the patties

To get started, you'll want to mix the beef, bouillon paste, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Watkins uses her hands for quick mixing, but you can use whatever tool works best for you. 

Next up, grab a 9x13-inch baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Place the ground beef mixture on the pan and squish it down into a thin, even layer, making sure to also press it into the corners. Use either a knife or bench scraper to score the meat into 12 even squares that you can easily break apart later — these will be the patties). Next, use the back of a wooden spoon to poke or dock the meat throughout, which will help reduce shrinkage and puffiness down the road when you cook it, not to mention replicate White Castle sliders' holes. Finally, cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and transfer it to the freezer for 3 hours, allowing the patties to freeze completely. "You want to make sure those patties are scored well and frozen," Watkins advises. "This will certainly help your burgers achieve that iconic White Castle square shape."

Cook the burgers and onions

Once the patties are frozen, get the oven preheating to 425 F and remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Since you scored the patties earlier, they should snap apart with ease. Set the separated sliders aside for just a bit, then sprinkle the minced onion right onto that same parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread them out in an even layer, then place the patties on top of the onions. 

Pop the baking sheet into the oven, allowing the onions and patties to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. While the process of baking the onions and patties is different from White Castle's griddling process, the method will yield similar results — without splattering your cooktop. "During the (fast food) cooking process, the patties sit atop a layer of onions. The steam/vapors rising off of the onions not only flavor the patties but subsequently cook them," Watkins explains. "We achieve this, not via a griddle, but by layering the onions and beef patties on a baking sheet and cooking them in the oven."

Warm the buns

Take the baking sheet out of the oven and place a cut-side down bottom bun onto each individual patty. Then, place a top bun (also cut-side down) onto each bottom bun. Put the whole dish back into the oven for just about 3 minutes, or enough time to warm the buns. This process may look a bit funny, but the buns won't stay in this position for long. 

Assemble the sliders and serve

For this next step, it may be handy to have a clean baking sheet or surface available to place the burgers. Remove the tray of patties and buns from the oven and set the top buns aside. Use a spatula to flip the patties and bottom buns right side up, scraping up as many onions as possible in the process, then place them onto a clean baking sheet, plate, or surface. (Inverting the entire tray of sliders won't work, as the pan juices would make the buns soggy.) Pile on the American cheese, pickles, and any other toppings you might enjoy. Add the top buns, and voila — you've got a White Castle slider, no drive-thru required.

As for side dishes, there's a pretty obvious choice here, as Watkins points out: "Crinkle-cut fries all the way!" Classic crinkle-cut fries will certainly give you that authentic White Castle experience, but any type of fry will pair well with these copycat sliders. 

White Castle Sliders Copycat Recipe
5 from 40 ratings
Right down to the ultra-savory onions, these cheesy beef sliders nail that signature White Castle flavor and don't require a trip to the drive-thru.
Prep Time
Cook Time
white castle copycat sliders
Total time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 ½ tablespoons beef bouillon paste
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 12 dinner rolls, halved
  • 6 slices American cheese, halved
  • 24 pickle slices
  1. Place the ground beef, beef bouillon, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then stir to combine.
  2. Line a 9x13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the ground beef mixture to the prepared baking sheet and, using your hands, spread it out in an even layer, making sure to press the mixture into the corners.
  3. Using a knife or bench scraper, deeply score the meat mixture into 12 even squares.
  4. Using your fingertips or the rounded handle of a kitchen spoon, dock/indent the surface of the meat to help reduce shrinkage. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Freeze for 3 hours or until the meat is firmly frozen.
  5. Once frozen and firm, remove the baking sheet from the freezer and break apart the patties. Set the patties aside and preheat the oven to 425 F.
  6. Sprinkle the same baking sheet with minced onions, spreading them out in an even layer.
  7. Return the patties to the sheet, placing them on top of the minced onions. Once the oven has preheated, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the patties are cooked through and the onions are tender.
  8. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place a bottom bun (cut-side down) onto each patty. Place a top bun (also cut-side down) on top of each bottom bun. Return to the oven and bake for 3 minutes (just enough time to warm the buns).
  9. Once the buns are warm, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Remove the top buns from the stack and set aside. Using a spatula, flip the remaining stack over, scooping up as much of the onions as possible. (Since the original baking sheet will be quite juicy, it is recommended to transfer the flipped stacks to another baking sheet or a large platter to reduce sogginess).
  10. Top the patties with slices of cheese and pickles before finishing with the toasted top bun. Serve immediately with your favorite burger condiments.
Calories per Serving 453
Total Fat 19.5 g
Saturated Fat 7.1 g
Trans Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 50.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 5.4 g
Sodium 562.4 mg
Protein 21.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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