The Ultimate Pastrami Burger: A Utah Staple

A Pastrami Burger is hugely popular in Utah and for good reason. A classic, juicy burger is topped with delicious pastrami and drenched in Fry Sauce.

pastrami burger

The Pastrami Burger is a singular treasure that entices the senses and wins people over—it is a gem of Utah cuisine. Combining the aromas of an East Coast deli with the heritage of a typical American burger, this legendary dish has come to represent Salt Lake City’s and the region’s thriving culinary culture.

Come along on a journey to learn the techniques for creating the ideal pastrami burger, from its delicious recipe to its interesting history.

Check out Florida’s beloved CubanoWisconsin’s Fried Fish Sandwich, or Buffalo’s famous Beef on Weck.


Why You’ll Love The Pastrami Burger:

Sandwiched between two soft buns, this handheld is a wonderful combination of savory pastrami, juicy beef, and a kaleidoscope of toppings. No matter the occasion—whether you’re having a backyard BBQ or are in the mood for a substantial dinner at your favorite diner—its mouthwatering blend of flavors and textures makes it a hit with everyone.

With each bite, the tangy crunch of the toppings, the juicy patty, and the richness of the pastrami combine to create a truly great sandwich.

What Kitchen Tools Are Needed For This Recipe:

Prepare your kitchen with the following tools to embark on your Pastrami Burger adventure:

  • Grill or stovetop griddle
  • Spatula
  • Mixing bowl
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board

What Ingredients Are Needed for the Pastrami Burger:

Gather the essential components for crafting your masterpiece:

  • Ground beef
  • Pastrami slices
  • Cheese slices (typically Swiss or cheddar)
  • Salt
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Grilled onions
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Burger buns
  • Fry sauce (a Utah specialty)
  • Optional: additional toppings such as pickles or jalapeños

How To Make It:

  1. Add the ground beef, salt, and a little amount of Worcestershire sauce to a mixing bowl. Create the desired burger patties out of the ingredients.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium-high on your stovetop griddle or grill. After putting the burger patties on the hot surface, grill them until they are done to your taste, turning them over halfway through.
  3. Warm the pastrami slices on the grill or griddle until warm, while the burgers are cooking.
  4. Place a slice of cheese and a liberal amount of warmed pastrami on top of each patty to assemble.
  5. Add tomato slices, lettuce leaves, and grilled onions to the pastrami.
  6. Place the top bun carefully on top of the burger stack after spreading a dab of fry sauce on it.
  7. Serve it hot and enjoy the mouthwatering blend of textures.

Helpful Tips:

  • The best flavor and juiciness come from using freshly ground beef.
  • Try varying the cheeses you use to tailor your Pastrami Burger to your own personal tastes.
  • Toasting the burger buns keeps them from getting too soggy and adds another layer of flavor.

History Behind This Recipe:

The pastrami burger’s roots are in Salt Lake City’s eateries and burger shops, where inventive cooking melds with comfort food staples. Though its precise beginnings are up for question, Utah’s culinary identity has grown to include this handheld, which is a favorite among both residents and tourists.

Substitutions And Variations:

  • Instead of meat burgers, go for veggie or turkey ones for a lighter option.
  • Try creating your own unique version of this popular handheld by experimenting with different toppings, such crispy bacon or avocado slices. You can be creative with this recipe in so many ways, so feel free to experiment with different combinations of ingredients to suit your own tastes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Where was fry sauce invented?

It is thought that Utah is where fry sauce first appeared and where it gained popularity as a topping for fries and other munchies.

What is in fry sauce?

Typically, fry sauce is ketchup, mayonnaise, vinegar, and spices like paprika and garlic powder.

How to make fry sauce?

Just combine equal amounts ketchup and mayonnaise in a basin to produce fried sauce. Stir in seasonings to taste and a splash of vinegar.

What makes the Pastrami Burger unique?

The Pastrami Burger combines the richness of pastrami with the juicy texture of a traditional burger patty. It’s a very fulfilling meal when you add grilled onions, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and fry sauce.

What’s a good alternative to pastrami?

Instead of utilizing pastrami, you could want to try using other deli meats like corned beef, turkey, or roast beef. Use these to make delicious variations and offer similar savory qualities.

How many calories are in a pastrami burger?

The number of calories in a pastrami burger can vary depending on the size of the burger, the type and amount of cheese used, the toppings, and the preparation method. On average, a pastrami burger can range from 500 to 800 calories per serving.

Do some people add coleslaw or sauerkraut to their pastrami burger?

Yes, some individuals like to add extra taste and texture to their pastrami burgers by topping them with coleslaw or sauerkraut. Enhance the rich pastrami and cheese with crunchy and tart toppings, making for a special and filling meal. 

What is the best place to get a pastrami burger in Salt Lake City?

There are many places in Salt Lake City that provide mouthwatering pastrami burgers, each with a distinctive take on the traditional dish. Hires Big H, Lucky 13, and Crown Burger are a few well-known restaurants that are well-known for their outstanding pastrami burgers.

Storage Instructions:

Any leftover pastrami burgers can be kept in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container. To maintain their deliciousness, reheat them gently in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

Utah has beautiful mountains, Mormons, and the Pastrami Burger. It has acquired its reputation as a cherished comfort food classic that continues to surprise diners throughout the Beehive State and beyond with its delectable taste combination and modest beginnings.

pastrami burger

Pastrami Burger with Fry Sauce

Author: Maddy & JD – Them Bites
A Pastrami Burger is hugely popular in Utah and for good reason. A classic, juicy burger is topped with delicious pastrami and drenched in Fry Sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course dinner, Luch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 burgers
Calories 784 kcal


For the Fry Sauce

  • 1 cup mayo
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 – 2 tbsp dill pickle juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

For the Burger

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 12 oz thinly sliced Pastrami
  • 4 toasted buns
  • shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato slices, sliced white onion for topping

Recipe Instructions

For the Fry Sauce

  • In a medium sized bowl, mix all of the fry sauce ingredients together until combined. Taste and add more pickle juice if needed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Burger

  • In a medium sized bowl mix the garlic powder and onion powder with the ground beef. Form into 4 even patties. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add burgers and cook until browned, roughly 2 – 3 minutes. Flip and cover each burger with a slice of cheese. Lower the heat slightly and cover the pan so the cheese melts.
  • Remove from heat and assemble. Serve the burgers on toasted buns topped with pastrami, lettuce, tomato, onion, and topped with fry sauce.


Calories: 784kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 26gFat: 70gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 26gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 794mgPotassium: 471mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 370IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 192mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Fry Sauce, Pastrami Burger
Tried this recipe?Mention @thembitesrecipes or tag #thembites

Similar Posts

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating