Hamburger Seasoning

5 from 8 votes
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Are you looking to take your burger game to the next level? I’ve got you covered with my secret hamburger seasoning recipe. It’s quick, easy, and packed with flavor. Your taste buds won’t know what hit them!

Homemade hamburger seasoning blend in a glass jar.

I have the perfect seasoning blend if you want to elevate the taste of your stovetop burgers or grilled burgers. It’s just five simple pantry staples that you probably have stocked in your pantry. This versatile burger seasoning mix pairs well with other ground meats like chicken, turkey, and salmon.

I use this homemade burger seasoning to add dimension and aroma. Using a blend of concentrated dried spices and alliums instantly boosts the flavor of each patty. The recipe is easy to customize, and I usually make a big batch to quickly incorporate it when cooking.

Key ingredients

Ingredients needed to make this hamburger seasoning recipe.
  • Salt: Use coarse kosher salt to stick onto the meat without making it overly salty. Salt enhances the natural savory taste of the beef.
  • Paprika: Made with a blend of peppers to add a red hue and earthy flavor. I recommend using smoked paprika for a lightly charred flavor, especially if cooking on the stovetop. Sweet paprika has a more neutral taste. Spicy paprika can be used, but use a small amount of it because it can be very hot.
  • Alliums: Dried and ground onion and garlic powder add a roasted aroma and flavor without the sulfurous taste or risk of burning on the hot pan.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a characteristic lingering peppery taste and hint of heat. It also gives a piney and citrusy flavor, especially when freshly cracked.

Make the seasoning mix

Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and paprika in a white bowl.

Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. This burger seasoning recipe yields a large batch to make multiple patties to feed a crowd or save for another meal.

Make sure not to cross-contaminate the seasoning with raw beef. It yields about three tablespoons of spice blend.

Season the burgers

A typical burger patty is 1/4, 1/3, or ½ pound in size. Sprinkle about ¼ to ½ teaspoon on each the surface of each side, depending on how large the patty is or the intensity of the seasoning.

If you prefer seasoned meat throughout, evenly apply the spice mix to the ground beef, gently mix, and form into patties. Add two teaspoons per pound of ground meat. Add more to the surface of the formed patties if desired.

Storing the seasoning

The burger seasoning blend stores well since it’s made with all dried ingredients. Place in an airtight container like a glass jar, or add to a spice jar for easy application. Store in a dark, cool, dry pantry area for up to 6 months.

It’s easy to double or triple the recipe if you make burgers weekly or have a party or barbecue coming up. My family requests burgers at least once a week!

Delicious looking burger seasoned with a homemade spice blend.

Flavor variations

Now that you have the best hamburger seasoning recipe, you can customize the patty with exciting flavors. Here are some tasty ways to switch up the next batch:

  • Sweetness: Add a hint of sweetness with brown sugar or granulated sugar. The sugar accelerates the browning of the meat, and the granules create a crispier surface. Just be careful not to burn the meat! Add 1 to 2 teaspoons to the mix. I prefer less so it doesn’t taste sugary.
  • Spices: Add earthy spices like cumin, coriander, or mustard powder. Add ½ to 1 teaspoon.
  • Herbs: Add dried herbs to the mix, like oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage, or basil. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of the herbs. Chopped fresh herbs can be used to mix inside the patties.
  • Spicy: Add cayenne pepper, chipotle, or chili powder to the seasoning mix. Start with ¼ teaspoon, increasing to taste. Try my cajun seasoning blend for Louisiana inspired- flavor. Mince fresh peppers like jalapenos to add to the patties.
  • Umami: Add soy sauce, coconut aminos, or Worcestershire sauce to elevate the beef’s natural savory and meaty taste. Use 1 to 3 tablespoons per pound.

Serving suggestions

Frequently asked questions

How much seasoning should I use per pound of meat?

If mixed into the ground meat, add two teaspoons of the seasoning mix. Add more to the surface if desired. If adding to the surface, use ¼ to ½ teaspoon per side.

Do I need to add salt to the seasoning mix?

The recipe was formulated to balance the salt with the other spices. However, if you prefer to control the amount of salt added, you can omit and add the desired amount later. Add ¼ teaspoon or less of the spice mix per side without the salt.

Can I use this seasoning for other meats or dishes?

Yes! It can be used on whole pieces of chicken, turkey, pork, or seafood. It makes a tasty addition to ground salmon, chicken, and turkey burgers.

The best hamburger seasoning recipe that will elevate your next meal.

Recipe Science

How to pick ground beef for burgers

Different types of ground beef can be purchased at the market. I recommend using 80% lean ground chuck or 85% lean ground round. This gives the proper ratio of meat to fat. This gives a meaty chew and enough lipids to keep the proteins moist and flavorful. The fat helps to brown and crisp the surface and edges for better flavor. Using 70% lean ground beef has too much fat and will make the patty too soft and too greasy. I find that 90% lean ground beef or higher can taste too dry and tough.

Hamburger Seasoning

I make my own hamburger seasoning because it's fresher and more flavorful than store-bought options. Plus, I can customize the recipe to my liking and avoid any unnecessary additives or preservatives.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Condiment
Cuisine American


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, or sweet
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • Make the Seasoning – In a small bowl, mix together the salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
  • Season the Patties – Evenly sprinkle ¼ to ½ teaspoon of the hamburger seasoning mix on each side of the patty before cooking. Alternatively, mix 2 teaspoons into 1 pound of ground beef. If desired, sprinkle more seasoning on top of the formed patties.
  • Storing – Save the remaining seasoning mix in an airtight container or jar.

Recipe Video

YouTube video


  • Recipe Yield: About 3 tablespoons
  • Serving Size: About ½ to 1 teaspoon per hamburger patty. Typically ¼ teaspoon per side for a ¼ pound patty and ½ teaspoon per side for a ½ pound.
  • Ground Beef Selection: Use 80 to 85% percent lean ground beef.
  • Storing: Store in an airtight container or glass jar for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 8 servings
Calories 5kcalCarbohydrates 1gProtein 0.2gFat 0.1gSaturated Fat 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat 0.01gSodium 873mg (36%)Potassium 25mg (1%)Fiber 0.3g (1%)Sugar 0.1gVitamin A 248IU (5%)Vitamin C 0.1mgCalcium 5mg (1%)Iron 0.2mg (1%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating

4 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. JJ says

    Yummy, and a very easy-to-make blend of seasonings.
    I made a ‘version’ (as it turned out) with half & half sweet/smoked paprika. I found out we don’t like smoked paprika in anything AND something was not as garlicky as we like it. So I threw that batch away.
    In a second mix, I used all sweet paprika AND I used my powdered garlic from Costco, not the Grocery Warehouse brand I’d just used. The new batch was GREAT.
    Through this I learned how a cheaper powdered garlic (probably onion, too) doesn’t deliver the garlic flavor at all (and might have a lot of filler, too). The whole Grocery Warehouse powdered garlic went into the trash.

  2. Carole says

    This is a wonderful seasoning! Thank you so much for that little sentence – “2 teaspoons per pound”. It’s so nice to have a baseline to start seasoning from. Thanks Jessica!