If Patty Melt is on the menu, it’s almost always going to show up on my plate! A tender juicy beef patty, caramelized onions, cheese, and dressing all tucked between slices of pan-grilled rye bread.
This diner classic is easy to create at home with a few simple ingredients; ground beef, onions, and cheese!
An Easy Classic
Everyone loves a messy, juicy burger! The best patty melt is filled with all the good stuff but depending on what region you’re in, a patty melt recipe can be made with different kinds of cheese and on different kinds of bread and a great patty melt sauce (thousand island dressing)!
So, what is a Patty Melt? It’s almost like a smashup of a perfect grilled cheese sandwich melded with a juicy burger. In fact, the difference between a patty melt & burger is really just the grilling of the bread. They were invented sometime in the 1940’s and almost every restaurant has their own twist on it.
What’s on a Patty Melt?
Since a patty melt recipe is fairly simple and doesn’t contain many ingredients, using good quality ingredients is key!
- Bread: Quality sourdough or rye bread will hold up against a juicy hamburger patty, cheese, and onions.
- Onions: Caramelized Onions add tons of flavor and shouldn’t be skipped. (I make big batches in my crockpot and freeze them for recipes like this one and for Homemade French Onion Soup).
- Beef: You want lean beef but not extra lean (80/20 should be good). A little bit of fat adds great flavor, keeps it juicy and is also great in the pan for grilling the bread!
- Cheese: Swiss, cheddar, or American are great choices for a patty melt but really, any cheese goes! Add your favorite or layer a few for extra yum!
Optional additions: The sky’s the limit… Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic, grainy-style mustard for dipping, pickles, sauerkraut. Get creative!
How to Make a Patty Melt
A patty melt is super easy to make but does take a little bit of time. Caramelized onions add so much to the flavor of this sandwich, it’s worth the extra time!
- Caramelize onions.
- Cook burger patties.
- Add cheese to the bread, and cook in butter in a skillet.
Talk about easy!
What to Serve with a Patty Melt
These juicy burgers go great with a handful of potato chips and dill pickles of course!
- The Best Potato Salad Recipe (Easy) – Classic recipe
- Baked French Fries (Oven Fries) – Easy and crispy
- Easy Pasta Salad – Make ahead
- Broccoli Salad– Crowd favorite
- The Best Coleslaw Recipe– Simple and fresh!
Classic Homemade Patty Melt Recipe
- 2 small onions sliced
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 8 slices sour dough (or rye bread)
- 16 slices swiss cheese or cheddar
- ¼ cup thousand island dressing optional
- grainy mustard (optional)
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt & pepper to taste
- Combine sliced onions and 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan. Cook over low heat until onions are golden, about 20-25 minutes Meanwhile, prepare remaining ingredients.
- Combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper. Divide into 4 patties shaped similar to the bread.
- Add 1 tablespoon butter to a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side or to desired doneness.
- Lightly butter both sides of the bread slices. Place the bread buttered side down on a griddle or in a skillet.
- Add dressing and mustard. Top with cheese, onions and beef patty.
- Add the second slice of bread on top and grill on each side until hot and melted and bread is lightly toasted.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)