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Homemade McRib® Sandwich Recipe

Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
4 hrs with freezer time
Makes 6 – 8 sandwiches
In this Recipe

McRib® sandwiches are a guilty pleasure – here’s how to easily make a copycat version at home with fresh, all-natural ingredients!

We know that this sandwich has many fans, and since it’s not available all the time, this is a great way to get your fix at home whenever you have a craving for a McRib® sandwich!

This recipe is pretty easy to make, and the sandwich is not at all complicated, but we want to share a few details about the recipe and help answer questions you may have about the McRib® sandwich. If you’re set to get cooking, scroll down to the ingredients, otherwise, check out these questions and answers.

What is the McRib® sandwich?

The McRib® sandwich is a barbecue-flavored pork sandwich sold by McDonald’s that has become a limited-availability item with a cult-like following. McRib® is a registered trademark of McDonald’s and our version of their product is made with respect to this fact.

Originally added to the McDonald’s menu in 1981, the McRib® is a boneless pork patty that’s shaped like a small rack of ribs that is topped with barbecue sauce, pickles, and sliced onions, and served on a sandwich roll.

The sandwich seems like “frankenmeat” but is actually based on technology developed by the US Army to deliver a low-cost meal to troops in the field and is made primarily from ground pork shoulder.

This sandwich is made through a smart food-science process and not with lots of binders. It’s actually pretty cool, and this recipe tries to replicate the process by using a food processor to mix the ingredients together instead of hand mixing.

The saucy and zesty sandwich with the crunchy toppings is a hit that comes and goes, but using our Homemade McRib® Sandwich recipe, you can enjoy a tasty homemade version any time!

What type of meat should I use?

McDonald’s uses primarily ground pork shoulder for this sandwich, and you could grind your own pork shoulder at home for this recipe. We suggest reaching an 80% lean meat to fat ratio for the best results.

While you could grind your own pork, we suggest purchasing already ground pork from Lake Geneva Country Meats for this recipe. It saves you time and is already properly portioned at the 80% lean ratio that is needed to make a flavorful but not too rich homemade McRib® sandwich.

Why do I mix the meat and seasonings for this McRib® sandwich in a food processor?

Instead of hand mixing the meat and seasonings together, we use a food processor to get a greater level of protein extraction from the meat. This will help the meat stick together and form a nice patty to make the “McRib®” shape.

Make sure you use cold water (ice cold is ideal) to help the mixing process. You want to form a smooth mixture that sticks together easily, so stop processing when you see only small chunks left in the meat.

Hand mixing will not get the same level of protein extraction and your patty won’t stick together in the right way.

Why do you freezer the pork patties and cook them from frozen?

Freezing helps the patties retain their shape when they cook, especially if you form rib shapes. If we cooked them fresh, the patties would sag a bit and lose their shape, so freezing is an important step you should not skip!

Can I spice up this recipe?

Of course you could!

If you like spicy food and have always wanted a spicy McRib®, you can use one of these three methods to make your homemade version a spicy treat:

  1. Add 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper to the meat seasoning mix.
  2. Use a spicy BBQ sauce for the sauce.
  3. Add pickled jalapeño peppers to the toppings!

What bun and toppings should I use for my homemade McRib® sandwich?

Any type of sandwich roll or burger bun will be just fine for your homemade McRib® sandwich. McDonald’s serves the sandwich on a more rectangular bun, but we used plain hamburger buns and they tasted great. Just be sure to form your patties into the shape of your bun.

The classic toppings for this sandwich are sliced onions and dill pickle chips. To us, this is perfect and nothing else is needed, but you could add lettuce, tomato or even coleslaw on top if you desire. As we suggested above, pickled jalapeños would also be a tasty option to add on top if you want a spicy sandwich.

We hope that answered any questions you may have about our homemade McRib® sandwich recipe. If you have any more questions, leave us a comment below, otherwise grab some ground pork from Lake Geneva Country Meats and get cooking.

And next time the McRib® is available, grab one and compare it to our homemade version. We’d love to hear which one you like more!


  • 1.5 lb Ground Pork
  • .25 cup Cold Water
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1.5 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Paprika
  • BBQ Sauce (your favorite sauce, about 1.5-2 cups will be needed)
  • Dill Pickle Chips (for serving)
  • White Onion (thinly sliced for serving)
  • Sandwich Buns (for serving)


  1. Add the ground pork, cold water, and seasonings to a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and divide the pork into 6 – 8 equal-sized portions. Shape each portion into a flat patty that matches the size of your buns.

    If you like, you can press impressions into the patty to create the “McRib®” look, but this is not necessary!

  3. When all the patties are formed, place them in your freezer for about 3 hours, until they are frozen through.

  4. When you are ready to make your copycat homemade McRib® Sandwiches, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place the baking sheet with the frozen patties into the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

  5. After 20 minutes, coat the patties with your favorite BBQ sauce and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes until the pork reaches 165ºF and the BBQ sauce is sticky.

  6. When the patties are cooked, remove them from the oven and assemble your copycat McRib® sandwiches by placing a patty on top of the bun, then placing pickles and sliced white onions on top.


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