This Western Bacon Cheeseburger is the perfect hearty burger, loaded with onion rings, a flavorful and juicy burger patty, melted cheese, bacon, and tangy barbecue sauce.
One of my favorite burgers is the Western Bacon Cheeseburger from Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s. But I think this homemade version might be even better!
These Barbecue Burgers are delicious to enjoy all year long, but they’re definitely one of my summer time favorites. They are delicious served with more onion rings, chips, French fries, watermelon, fruit salad, pasta salad, grilled corn, a green salad, or any other summertime favorites.
Ingredients needed to make a Western Bacon Cheeseburger:
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this Western Bacon Cheeseburger recipe. The specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- Hamburger Buns – I like using sesame seeded buns, since those are what Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s use. Your favorite bun will work though.
- Onion Rings – just some frozen rings cooked to crispy perfection work great.
- Ground Beef – use an 80/20 ground beef to keep the burgers nice and juicy.
- Salt and Pepper – to season the ground beef
- American Cheese – the perfect melted cheese on top of your burger.
- Bacon – cooked to crispy perfection, bacon adds the perfect salty and savory crunch to these burgers.
- BBQ Sauce – You can use any favorite store bought barbecue sauce brand, my favorite is Sweet Baby Ray’s Original Barbecue sauce, but Carl’s Jr’s is a hickory bbq sauce, so it’s a little more tangy.
Optional Burger Toppings:
Although none of these additional toppings are traditional to a Western Bacon Cheeseburger, they would still be delicious. Pick your favorite combo!
- Lettuce – torn into pieces or shredded
- Sliced Tomatoes
- Sliced Jalapenos
- Sliced Avocado or Guacamole
- Pineapple Slice
- Sautéed Mushrooms
How to make Western Bacon Cheeseburgers?
- Cook the onion rings in the oven or air fryer until they’re nice and crispy according to their package directions.
- Cook the bacon in a sauté pan or skillet until it reaches your preferred crispiness level. Set the pieces onto a stack of paper towels to soak up the extra grease.
- Mix your ground beef up with some salt and pepper. Divide the meat into 4 equal sections. Flatten each section to be about 1 inch wider than the buns, and slightly indent the center of the patty.
- Preheat the grill, or a cast iron skillet with 2 TBS of oil, over medium-high heat. Cook the patties until brown on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes each, or until they reach your desired inner temperature.
- Once the burgers are almost done, top each beef patty with a slice of cheese. Let the cheese melt slightly and remove the patties from the heat. Let the patties rest for about 5 minutes before assembling the burgers.
- Assemble the burgers by spreading a little barbecue sauce on the bottom buns, then placing two crispy onion rings on top of that. Add the cheeseburger patty, 2 strips of bacon, and additional BBQ sauce to the top bun of the burger. Put the bun on top and enjoy.
Tips and Tricks:
- You can easily make this a double western bacon cheeseburger by doubling up on your beef patties and cheese, per burger. Stack bun, bbq sauce, onion rings, burger patty with cheese, burger patty with cheese, bacon, bbq sauce, bun.
- Use a heavy bottom pan if you’re cooking these burgers on the stove top because it will distribute the heat more evenly and thus cook the burgers more evenly.
- A medium rare burger should reach 125 to 130 F, a medium burger should be 135 to 140 F, a medium well burger should be 145 to 160 F and a well done burger should be above 160 F. Use an instant read thermometer so you can check the internal temperature of your burger without breaking any of them apart.
These delicious barbecue western bacon cheeseburgers are quite a mouthful, but they are the perfect combination, and are definitely my favorite burger out there.
More burger recipes:
- Teriyaki Pineapple Burger
- Gyro Burger
- Candied Bacon Burger
- Butter Burger from The Cookie Rookie
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Western Bacon Cheeseburgers
- 8 frozen onion rings
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3/4 tsp salt (to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 slices American cheese
- 1/2 cup Hickory Barbecue Sauce (or your favorite)
- 4 hamburger buns
- Add your onion rings to a preheated oven or airfryer and cook according to package directions until they're crispy. Set aside.
- Add the bacon to a sauté pan or skillet and cook over medium heat until it reaches your preferred crispy level. Set the pieces onto a stack of paper powers to soak up the grease until needed.
- Add half the salt and pepper to your ground beef, and separate the ground beef into 4 equal sections.
- Press each section into a flat patty about 2 inch wider than the bun, and slightly indent the center of each patty with your thumb. Sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper evenly over each patty, top and bottom.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet (with 2 TBS of oil) or grill to medium high heat.
- Add the prepared patties to the skillet or grill and cook until brown on each side, and the internal temperature of your choice is reached, about 2 to 5 minutes on each side of the burger. Check the temperature to cook the burger to your desired doneness.
- With about 1 minute left in cooking, top each patty with a slice of American cheese. Let the cheese melt slightly and remove the patties from the heat. Let them rest for about 4 to 5 minutes before assembling the burger.
- Build your burger by spreading about 1 Tablespoon of barbecue sauce on the bottom bun of your burger, then topping it with 2 onion rings, burger patty with cheese, one piece of bacon. Spread another Tablespoon of barbecue sauce over the top bun, and close your burger, and enjoy.
These Western Bacon Cheeseburgers were first posted on January 30, 2015. The photos and text were updated for clarity on June 24, 2022.
These Western Bacon Cheeseburgers were first posted in partnership with Kraft Foods and Clever Girls. The words and opinions shared are always mine.
Lisa Dearen (@whiskandcleaver) says
We’re year-round grillers here in San Diego – lucky to have this weather! I’m going to check out that mitt for the griller in my house 😉
Aimee Berrett says
I’m so jealous of the beautiful weather you get down there! And you should totally check out the mitt. Maybe for a father’s day gift?!
My boyfriend would die for this. Maybe I’ll make it on Valentine’s Day 🙂
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
Wow, now this is a burger! Love the onion rings on this! Looks amazing!
Aimee Berrett says
Thank you so much Kelly! The onion rings are my favorite part!
Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! says
I haven’t had a burger like this in forever! These look incredible!
I have never had a burger with onion rings on it. Looks amazing!