whole food ~ well made

Patty melt recipe at

Your Best Homemade Patty Melt is All in the Details

There are some truly great sandwiches I think worthy of having for supper: Ruebens, BLTs, panini and patty melts.

All of them are something you might order at a brewpub or diner. They’re a little indulgent and definitely something I only have once in a while. Most of them are cooked on a griddle, which is probably why I love them {i.e. toast}.

And the patty melt combines a burger with a grilled cheese with the bonus of caramelized onions. {Just yum.}

Patty melt recipe at

Truthfully, it’s a bonus and a curse. Because there are lots of ways to making a great homemade patty melt, but first you’ve got to have caramelized onions. And they take no less than an hour to make.

So, you’re not going to be making this homemade patty melt on the fly. Still, it’s worth the prep time to make these when the air grows chilled and you’re in the mood for something hearty and beefy and melty.

About the Burger

The centerpiece of a patty melt is the burger. And this is one instance when you shape your patty pretty thin.

A lot of patty melt recipes season the ground beef. While I don’t object to a splash of Worcestershire sauce or a bit of fresh thyme, it’s not necessary. Let the beef, especially when it’s grassfed, just speak for itself.

Patty melt recipe at

I like to shape one-quarter-pound burgers and then use a yogurt container lid to press them into an even shape about a half in thick. Then, I brown it in a lightly oiled skillet. This is one of those times when I don’t mind my burger cooked to medium.

All the Elements

There are a couple of other key components to making the best homemade patty melt, but you have wiggle room here:

  • Bread: Sure, rye is the classic, but I think it’s the texture that matters most. Choose a good-quality artisan bread that can stand up to these weighty fillings. I love a French levain with some rye flour, but sourdough, whole wheat or dark rye are all good choices.
  • Cheese: Ditto. Swiss–and its high-quality cousins like Emmanthaler, are the classic choices. The key is to have a cheese that contributes flavor, so skip the American. I go for provolone or sharp cheddar if I don’t have a good Swiss on hand.
  • Sauce: This is a must, but again, you can choose the specifics. Plain mayo is good but sriracha mayo is so much better. Many people like thousand island

Once you have all the components ready to go, it’s time to focus on getting the right heat to griddle your patty melt so that the cheese melts while the bread toasts to a gorgeous golden brown.

Patty melt recipe at

Pay as close attention as if you were searing a steak. And if the cheese isn’t as melted as you’d like, or you need to hold your patty melt to make another, keep it warm in a low oven on a baking sheet.

As you take that first bite, be sure to notice how in this sandwich, it isn’t just about the burger or the onions or the cheese.

But how beautifully they all marry into something spectacular when they’re all squished together.

This patty melt recipe is my method for making one sandwich. Eating it in solitude {with extra napkins} is another pleasure. You can, of course, double the ingredients to make another for your most special friend.


and become a forager

Do you have a favorite sandwich for supper–maybe even to enjoy alone? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Patty Melt Your Way

This is less a recipe than a method for producing the best homemade patty melt. Assemble the components: caramelized onions (made in advance), beef patty, bread, cheese and sauce and then take your time griddling that sandwich until melty and crisp. Serve with a dill pickle.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword patty melt
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 1 sandwich
Author Lynne Curry


  • 1 4 ounce beef patty, about 1/2-inch thick
  • fine sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sauce, such as sriracha mayonnaise or thousand island dressing
  • 2 slices artisan bread, such as rye, whole wheat or sourdough bread
  • 1/4 cup caramelized onions prepared in advance
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced cheese, such as swiss, provolone or cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • Season the burger with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the burger until browned, about 3 minutes each side {or 4 minutes for medium-well}. Set aside on a plate and turn the heat under the skillet to medium-low.
  • Spread half of the sauce onto one slice of the bread on a cutting board. Top with the burger, onions and cheese. Spread the sauce on the top slice of bread and press down firmly. Butter the bread evenly from edge to edge.
  • Flip the sandwich buttered side down into the skillet and cook until deeply golden brown, about 3 minutes. Butter the top side of the bread evenly from edge to edge.
  • Flip the sandwich so that it is now right side up. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil and weight it with another skillet to compress the sandwich for about 3 minutes. Remove the foil and weight and check to be sure the cheese is melted and the bottom bread is golden brown before serving.

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