The next time you’re stuck on what to make for dinner, try this classic patty melt recipe.
It’s tasty, easy to make, and sure to please the whole family.
Craving a burger but don’t want to fire up the grill? Then you have to check out this patty melt!
It’s got everything – juicy beef, salty bacon, gooey cheese, and a sauce you’ll want to drown in.
Better yet, all that goes between two slices of bread. So you don’t have to run to the store for buns!
What Is a Patty Melt?
Most of us are familiar with the patty melt. If you aren’t, though, no worries!
In fact, I’m a little jealous because you’re about to experience something ah-mazing!
A patty melt is an American sandwich with ground beef and melted cheese between slices of toasted bread. Like a burger, it often also features onions, bacon, and some kind of sauce. Dating back to the 1940s, it’s usually prepared on Texas toast, on a hot griddle, and served with fires.
Lots of patty melts come with caramelized onions. But we’re using onion powder instead.
You’ll still get that delicious oniony taste, but eating it is not as messy. Plus, carmelizing onions takes a while – and I’m hungry!
You’ll need a few simple ingredients to make this mouth-wateringly yummy patty melt. Fortunately, they’re all pretty common.
- Bread – Depending on where you go, you’ll see patty melts on Texas toast, whole wheat, rye, white, sourdough – you name it. So pick what you like best, and be sure to butter it liberally.
- Ground Beef – Use lean ground beef or something fattier. Again, it’s up to you. I think fattier beef works best because it gives you the most flavor.
- Seasonings – Keep it simple with salt, pepper, and onion powder.
- Cheese – Use whatever you like best. I suggest Provolone and cheddar for the best taste and texture.
- Sauce – Thousand Island dressing is a popular choice for patty melts. But if you want to amp it up, make your own with a blend of mayo, ketchup, bacon bits, sweet relish, and white sugar.
How to Make a Patty Melt
Here are the steps for making this patty melt:
- Slice and butter the bread. This recipe makes three patty melts, so you’ll need six pieces of bread. Butter one side of each with a thick smear.
- Make and cook the patties. Mix the ground beef, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Then, form the mixture into patties to match the shape of the bread. Place those patties in a nonstick skillet and cook them over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Then, reduce the heat to low and cook them for 5 more minutes.
- Make the sauce. Whisk the mayo and ketchup until well blended, then stir in the bacon, relish, and sugar. Smear the sauce over half of the bread (three slices). The side without butter.
- Toast the bread, and assemble the patty melts. Place one slice of bread (without the sauce), butter-side down, in a second skillet. Then, build the patty melts on top and cook on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. The bread should be lightly toasted, and the cheese should melt.
What Is the Best Bread for A Patty Melt?
The best bread for a patty melt is thick and firm enough to hold the fillings. Rye bread was the most used initially, but it’s tasty with all different types. It’s best to avoid pre-sliced bread because it’s not thick enough. And sourdough with holes won’t work well because the cheese will melt out.
I love rye bread. It is – hands down – my favorite option for patty melts.
But really, any thick, crusty bread will also work. Some other great options include:
- Texas toast
- Thick slices of whole wheat
- Thick slices of multigrain
As mentioned, I’d avoid sourdough loaves with lots of air pockets because the cheese and sauce will melt out and make a mess.
But if you can find one with a consistent crumb, it’ll be delish!
Tips and Variations
Here are a few last-minute tips to keep in mind:
- No butter, no problem! Substitute margarine or mayo.
- Use different cheeses. Try pepper jack for a little spice. Or go for something smokey, like Gouda.
- Use Thousand Island dressing for quick prep. It really doesn’t take long to make the sauce. But if you’re in a rush, go ahead and use pre-made.
- Take the time to make caramelized onions. I’ve used onion powder for taste and to keep the prep short. But if you have the time, you just can’t beat sticky-sweet caramelized onions.
- Add some sides. This sandwich tastes great with fries, fresh pickle spears, or your favorite chips. Coleslaw or a cold pasta salad would also work.
- Use a cast iron skillet if you have one. Cooking these melts in cast iron gives them a phenomenal flavor.
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