21 Club Burger

Recreate the iconic taste of the 21 Club Burger with this delectable copycat recipe! Crafted to perfection, this burger features a unique twist where ground top sirloin, bread crumbs, celery, and savory broth come together to create a patty that’s both incredibly moist and bursting with flavor. Savor the blend of premium ground beef, a perfectly toasted bun, and a medley of gourmet toppings that pay homage to the legendary 21 Club experience.

Copycat 21 Club burger on a wood board.

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What Makes the Club 21 Hamburger So Special? 

All burgers are basically the same, right? Not if you are chowing down on a hamburger made using the recipe from 21 Club. This one-of-a-kind burger weighs more than half a pound and is almost impossibly soft and juicy.

A 21 Club Burger is much more than just another hamburger recipe with breadcrumbs. The real secret is all the other ingredients in the meat mixture. From the chicken stock-poached celery to the nutmeg, you’ve never had a burger like this one before.

Why You Should Try This 21 Club Burger Recipe 

Unfortunately, the legendary 21 Club in NYC, known for serving classic American food since 1922, closed its doors for the last time in 2020. But that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate the burger that fed top-tier celebrities and multiple US Presidents for nearly 100 years.

Some of the ingredients may seem a little odd, but trust the recipe; it will reward you with delicious hamburgers you’ll want to make again and again. 

21 Club Burger Ingredients 

To make the famous hamburger recipe with breadcrumbs and other seasonings, you’ll need:

  • Unsalted chicken broth
  • Celery
  • Ground top sirloin
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Hamburger buns

Ideas for burger toppings:

  • Lettuce Leaves or Shreds
  • Tomato Slices
  • Red Onions
Copycat 21 Club burger ingredients on a tray.

Ingredient Notes

Although an 80/20 burger mix is typical, you can use a less fatty 85/15 mix without ending up with a dry patty. If possible, have your top sirloin ground fresh on a slightly coarser setting than a typical hamburger for more toothsomeness. 

Grate the nutmeg fresh, and don’t be tempted to leave it out. The spice adds a lot of flavor to the 21 Club Burger recipe. 

How to Make the Classic 21 Club Hamburger

To make the patties:

  1. Simmer the chicken stock in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Rinse and finely chop the celery.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and poach the celery uncovered in the chicken stock for 20 minutes until tender. Drain, but don’t press any liquid out of the celery. Dump the poached celery into a large mixing bowl. 
  4. Add the ground top sirloin, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, ground nutmeg, salt, and ground black pepper to the bowl with the poached celery. 
  5. Use your hands to mix thoroughly. 
  6. Cover the bowl and chill the meat for about 30 minutes. 
  7. After 30 minutes, form four thick patties a little wider than the buns. Try not to compress the meat mixture more than necessary. 
Celery poached in chicken broth in a pan.
Ingredients for 21 Club burger patties in a bowl.

To cook the patties: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Take the burgers out of the fridge and set them on the counter. 
  3. Heat a heavy pan on medium and melt the butter. 
  4. Once the butter stops foaming, put the patties in the pan. You may need to cook in batches if your pan is too small. 
  5. Place patties in the pan and cook the patties for six minutes on each side and then transfer them to the oven for an additional 6 to 10 minutes. Since the burgers are so thick, use a thermometer to check the temp before removing them from the oven. 
21 Club burger patties in a skillet.
Cooked 21 Club burger patties in a skillet.

To assemble the burger:

  1. Spread butter on the buns and toast them cut-side up in the oven.
  2. Place the cooked patty on the toasted bottom bun and add your favorite toppings. 
  3. Cover the dressed burger with the top bun and serve immediately. 
Four copycat 21 Club burgers and one cut in half.

What to Serve With the Burger

Go ahead and pair the 21 Club Burger with standard French fries or onion rings, but a burger this unique deserves truly stand-out sides like:

How to Store Leftover Hamburgers 

Finish or throw away cooked burgers, but you can prep a batch of uncooked patties ahead of time and keep them in the fridge or freezer. 

Refrigerate uncooked patties in an airtight container for up to three days. If you need to store them for up to a month, freeze them in a single layer on a wax paper-lined baking tray, then stack them in a freezer-safe bag with a sheet of wax paper between each patty.

What Is the Best Way to Reheat a Hamburger

Thaw frozen uncooked patties overnight in the fridge.

Cook the thawed patties as above. 

Copycat 21 Club burgers on a serving board.

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Copycat 21 Club burger on a wood board.

21 Club Burger

Make a legendary hamburger like the 21 Club.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Burger Recipes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 712kcal


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 pounds ground top sirloin
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 hamburger buns


  • Place the celery and chicken broth in a small saucepan over very low heat. Poach the celery for 20 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the poached celery with the ground beef, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix well with your hands. Gently shape the mixture into 4 large patties, being careful not to compact the meat any more than necessary.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Heat the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until the butter is amber in color. Brown the burgers for 6 minutes on each side. Then transfer the skillet to the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare, adding a few additional minutes if you prefer your burgers cooked beyond medium rare.
  • Serve the cooked burger patties on the buns.


Calories: 712kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 555mg | Potassium: 765mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 6.5mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. baltisraul

    I only had 1 chance to visit the 21 Club, Momma Leone’s and Patsy’s in Manhattan. I would not pick a favorite for dining enjoyment and a great experience. Now I must try this burger. This is a great find by you!

  2. Liz Nelson

    5 stars
    These burgers were really great! I did mine on the grill or my husband cooked them on the grill. They came out great and didn’t last long they were gone in minutes! I will be making these for our next cook out!

5 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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