Homemade Patty Melt Recipe

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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!

A patty melt stacked on a plate with pickles

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!

A frying pan with patty melt ingredients cooked and ready to assemble

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!

A juicy patty melt recipe on a plate

What to Serve with a Patty Melt

These juicy burgers go great with a handful of potato chips and dill pickles of course!

Classic Homemade Patty Melt Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
A juicy beef patty, caramelized onions, cheese and sauce sandwiched between two slices of butter grilled bread.


  • 2 small onions sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 8 slices sour dough (or rye bread)
  • 16 slices swiss cheese or cheddar
  • 1/4 cup thousand island dressing optional
  • grainy mustard (optional)
Beef Patties
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste

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  1. 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. 

  2. Combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper. Divide into 4 patties shaped similar to the bread.

  3. 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.

  4. Lightly butter both sides of the bread slices. Place the bread buttered side down on a griddle or in a skillet.  

  5. Add dressing and mustard.  Top with cheese, onions and beef patty. 

  6. Add the second slice of bread on top and grill on each side until hot and melted and bread is lightly toasted.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 1013, Fat: 67g, Saturated Fat: 35g, Cholesterol: 215mg, Sodium: 929mg, Potassium: 607mg, Carbohydrates: 42g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 57g, Vitamin A: 1325%, Vitamin C: 2.9%, Calcium: 975%, Iron: 4.8%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword patty melt

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Two photos of Homemade Patty Melts


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Yum! I don’t make sandwiches all that often and your post has DEF inspired me to get my sandwich game on big time!!! Thanks so much for sharing :).

  2. I made this over the weekend it was amazing. This is definitely going down in our house more often.

  3. This patty melt looks downright mouth watering. The added Thousand Island dressing just makes it that more delicious.

  4. A buttery sandwich with a juicy patty, caramelized onions and loads of cheese !! This cannot get better .. I’m drooling !!

  5. OMG you have brought me back to my childhood! Patty melts are my FAVORITE more so than just a regular burgers! And the caramelize onions definitely tops it off. I know it takes time but it’s so worth it!

  6. Haven’t had a patty melt in ages but this one has me craving it big time!!! Heading to grab Ingredients ASAP!!

  7. This patty melt looks absolutely delicious and is exactly how I would make it! I love all of it: the swiss cheese, caramelized onions, thousand island dressing and perfectly cooked patties! Yum! :)

  8. This patty melt looks oh so good! I could definitely see this being a popular dinner option in my house!

  9. How have I never had a patty melt!? This looks SO good! Mashup between grilled cheese and a burger!? Count me in!

  10. I just pinned this recipe! I’m trying not to go out to restaurants as much so this will definitely fit the bill when I’m craving a delicious diner-type meal :)

  11. Talk about a bite shot!! This patty melt is seriously making me hungry right now…I haven’t had one of these in ages. Looks so good, Holly!

  12. That looks great! I could surprise my husband one supper and make it for him. He’d be on cloud nine :-)

  13. yessss….look at all that delicious meat and those beautiful caramelized onions. you’ve won my heart with this one. I love meals like this – what a yummy recipe!

  14. This patty melt looks outstanding. My grandmother used to make them all the time when I was growing up and I haven’t had one in a long time! Your recipe is now on my must make list!

  15. OMG Yum is the word for your Mushroom Swiss Patty Melt!!!! I’m doing it this week for my son who will be over the moon!!!! Thank You!!!!