This copycat A&W Buddy Burger recipe tastes just like the original. It has freshly grilled onions and a crispy beef patty nestled between two perfectly toasted buns.
Can't get enough of A&W burgers? Try my Teen Burger next!
The Buddy Burger was added to the A&W menu in 2012, and I've been ordering it ever since. It's tasty, snack-sized, and affordable—perfect for eating on its own or adding to a regular order to fill you up without breaking the bank.
🍔 Deconstructing the Buddy Burger
The buddy burger buns are small, and unlike their regular "A&W family" burgers, they don't have sesame seeds. I've found that Wonder white hamburger buns work great.
The patty is 100% ground beef. There are no extra ingredients or additives. I recommend using full-fat or regular ground beef to give it the juiciest flavor; otherwise, the burgers will come out tasting dry.
Ok, so this is the biggest anomaly, and honestly, what makes the buddy burger, well, a buddy burger!
I've found that grilling the onions with Better Than Bouillon beef base gives it that special flavor. We'll need to grill the onions for at least 10 minutes to give them a sweeter taste.
The sauce is just individual layers of mustard, ketchup, and mayonnaise. Use a 1-2-2 ratio for the best results.
STEP 1: In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of beef broth concentrate with ¼ cup of water. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add onions and the beef bouillon mixture. Grill for 10 minutes until all the moisture is evaporated, and the onions are soft and golden.
STEP 2: Divide the ground beef into six equal portions. Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Using a burger press, flatten each portion into ¼-inch thickness. Cook for one minute on each side, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
STEP 3: Toast the buns.
STEP 4: Now, it's time to assemble the burgers. On the bottom bun, spread one teaspoon of mustard, followed by two teaspoons of ketchup and grilled onions. On the top bun, spread two teaspoons of mayonnaise. Sandwich the patty between the buns, and enjoy!
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Copycat A&W Buddy Burger
- 1 teaspoon beef broth concentrate (I recommend Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base)
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (like canola or vegetable)
- 2 medium onions (diced)
- 1 pound ground beef
- ground black pepper
- 6 hamburger buns
- In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of beef broth concentrate with ¼ cup of water.
- In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add onions and beef broth. Grill for 10 minutes until the moisture is evaporated, and the onions are soft and golden.
- Divide the ground beef into six equal balls.
- Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until lightly smoking.
- Place a beef ball on the hot pan, quickly cover with parchment paper, and smash it down into a thin patty. Peel back and discard the parchment paper, then season the patties with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute then flip and cook the other side for 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining burgers and transfer them to a plate as they finish cooking.
- Toast the buns.
- On the bottom bun, spread one teaspoon of mustard, followed by two teaspoons of ketchup and grilled onions. On the top bun, spread two teaspoons of mayonnaise. Sandwich the patty between the buns, and enjoy!