These patty melts are a homemade take on a diner food favorite: a juicy beef patty topped with caramelized onions and melted cheese between hearty slices of bread and pressed. It’s a like a mix of a reuben, grilled cheese, and a burger, can’t get any better!

Patty Melts - Sweet Tea & Thyme

This lady who guest-starred on an episode of The Kitchen on the Food Network sold me on the patty melt as a comfort food: caramelized onions, thick slices of bread, many slices of gooey cheese, and a burger patty that is encased in it all.

Oh, and butter. Butter that’s spread from crust to crust on each slice of bread.

Crust to crust is, apparently, a must.

And I definitely agree: the butter helps the make the bread so crispy and delicious when you press it. You can cook these on a griddle or pan with a weight (like a cast iron skillet) on top; use a panini press; or use a George Foreman grill (we use a mini one, a gift from Mama Paula my mother-in-law).

Patty Melts - Sweet Tea & Thyme

Patty melts are good for a weekend lunch, like a Saturday before going to Little League, (Married to a Dominican man, where baseball is a wright of passage for the boys.) or when you want to make a quick sandwich that isn’t just a sandwich, you know?

These are so simple to make and taste absolutely delicious, they are a change from typical burgers but really satisfy that craving. Because who doesn’t have cravings for burgers, right? Right?
Because Lord, I was craving Five Guys.

…don’t judge me.Patty Melts - Sweet Tea & Thyme

Patty Melt

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 5 yellow onions, sliced and caramelized
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I love a chuck/sirloin mix), made into 4 patties and seasoned to your liking with salt and pepper
  • 8 thick slices of bread (I used a sourdough bread, some people like using Texas Toast, or Italian bread but Rye bread is the classic)
  • 16-20 slices of cheese of your choice
  • Salted or unsalted butter


  1. Put a large high sided skillet or grill pan on medium high heat. Place 2-3 burgers in the pan (whatever fits comfortably, we want them to sear not steam) and cook each side for 3-4 minutes. Don't try to force your patties to come off the pan, they will release when ready.
  2. Prepare your melts by buttering one side of each slice of bread (the outside side), putting one or two slices of cheese on each slice, and heaping a small pile of caramelized onions on one of the slices per sandwich.
  3. Heat up your griddle, pan, panini press, whatever you're using (I use a mini George Foreman grill!) to medium heat and finish assembling your patty melts with the burger. Put your melt on the griddle and press with a heavy pan, or use your panini press.
  4. If you're using a pan, flip your melt after about 2-3 minutes. Your bread should be a golden brown and deliciously crispy. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Enjoy your awesome patty melts with fries, chips, the game, a shake, whatever you want. You can also add whatever you want to your melt, it's just as customizable as any other burger or sandwich.
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