The Perfect Patty Melt Recipe: A Marriage of Burgers and Grilled Cheese

Patty Melt

When it comes to iconic American dishes, the patty melt is a true standout. Combining the juicy goodness of a burger with the melty deliciousness of grilled cheese, this hand-held delight has been winning hearts since its rise to fame in the 1950s. If you’re ready to experience the epitome of comfort food, then buckle up because we’re about to dive into the best patty melt recipe you’ll ever taste.

Why We Love This Burger Recipe

While some may scoff at American cuisine, we know that we’ve created culinary marvels like chocolate chip cookies, popcorn, and of course, the patty melt. This ingenious mash-up of a hamburger and a grilled cheese sandwich is the epitome of comfort food. It’s warm, savory, and oh-so-satisfying.

A traditional patty melt consists of two slices of bread, a griddle-fried hamburger patty, caramelized onions, and two types of cheese – usually American cheese and Swiss cheese. While many variations use rye bread, we believe the best patty melts are crafted with thick slices of “Texas toast” style bread. Its perfect toasting capabilities and lack of excessive crispiness around the edges make it the ideal choice.

Slather each patty melt with a generous helping of yellow mustard, and you’ll have a burger experience like no other. Don’t just take our word for it; give it a try yourself!

Ingredients You Need

To whip up the ultimate patty melt, gather the following ingredients:

  • Ground beef (80/20 fat for maximum juiciness)
  • Worcestershire sauce (for that smoky grilled sandwich flavor)
  • Garlic powder (earthy and fragrant)
  • Butter (to “grill” the melts)
  • Sweet onions (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • Thick-cut sandwich bread (Texas toast is our go-to)
  • Cheese slices (cheddar and Swiss work best)
  • Yellow mustard (the classic tangy condiment)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
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Patty Melt Ingredients

How to Make Patty Melts

Now that we have all our ingredients, let’s get cooking!

  1. Start by setting a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, and once melted, stir in the onion slices. Sprinkle the onions generously with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and caramelized on all sides. Once done, set them aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and cracked black pepper. Mix the seasonings throughout the meat by crumbling it with your hands.

  3. Divide the ground beef mixture into six equal portions and shape them into very flat ovals that are larger than your bread slices. Remember, they will shrink as they cook.

  4. Slather a teaspoon of yellow mustard over six slices of bread. Preheat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Carefully transfer the patties to the griddle or skillet and sear them for 3 minutes on each side.

  5. After flipping the patties, place caramelized onions on top of each patty, ensuring they cover the meat entirely. Layer a slice of American cheese and a slice of Swiss cheese on top of each patty. Continue cooking until the hamburger patties have cooked for a total of at least 6 minutes.

  6. Move each loaded hamburger patty to the slices of bread with mustard on top. Wipe off the griddle with a paper towel, and then spread 2 tablespoons of butter on the griddle to cover the surface. Place the stacked patty melts on the griddle and cover them with the remaining slices of bread.

  7. Toast the sandwiches for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown, adjusting the heat to medium-low if needed. Once ready to flip, add the last 2 tablespoons of butter to the griddle, allowing it to melt as you flip the patty melts. Toast for another 2 to 3 minutes to achieve perfectly toasted bread.

  8. Transfer the patty melts to a cutting board, ensuring the cheese is on top of the patties. Cut them in half and serve immediately.

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Perfectly Toasted Patty Melts

Recipe Variations

While the classic patty melt is a masterpiece on its own, feel free to experiment and add your own twists. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Add-ins: Along with caramelized onions, consider adding pickle slices, spicy jalapenos or banana peppers, or cooked and chopped bacon for an extra kick.
  • Sauces: Swap out yellow mustard for Dijon or try a classic thousand island dressing or mayonnaise instead.
  • Cheeses: While cheddar and Swiss cheese are our favorites, you can mix it up with Colby jack, pepper jack, havarti, or any other sliced cheese you love.
  • Patty: For a lighter option, make your patty melt with ground chicken or turkey. Opt for dark meat to prevent dryness.
  • Bread: Feel free to use traditional rye or sourdough bread as an alternative to Texas toast. Gluten-free bread works perfectly for those with dietary restrictions.

Homemade Patty Melt Serving Suggestions

Now that your patty melts are ready, it’s time to find the perfect accompaniments to complete your meal. We recommend serving them with shoestring French fries and a ramekin of your favorite dipping sauce, such as ranch dressing, ketchup, BBQ sauce, or Southern comeback sauce. Don’t forget to add some crunchy pickles as a delightful side!

Tasty Patty Melt Combo

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are patty melts better than regular hamburgers?

A: While regular hamburgers have their own charm, patty melts offer a unique combination of flavors and textures that make them irresistible. The marriage of the juicy patty, melty cheese, and caramelized onions, all sandwiched between grilled bread, elevates the patty melt to a whole new level.

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Q: Can I make patty melts ahead of time?

A: It’s best to enjoy patty melts immediately after cooking to savor their warm, gooey deliciousness. However, you can prepare the caramelized onions and shape the patties in advance to save time.

Q: Can I freeze patty melts?

A: Patty melts are best enjoyed fresh, and freezing them can compromise their texture and overall quality. We recommend enjoying them right after cooking for the best experience.


The patty melt is a true culinary gem, combining the flavors of a burger with the comfort of a grilled cheese sandwich. With its juicy patty, gooey cheese, and caramelized onions, the patty melt is a must-try for any lover of comfort food. So gather your ingredients, fire up the griddle, and indulge in the ultimate patty melt experience.

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