Classic Patty Melt Recipe


These cast-iron melts are comfort food at its finest.

Classic Patty Melt
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Maggie Ruggiero
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 serves

Instead of the usual hamburgers, surprise everyone with patty melts for dinner tonight. Sturdy, thick-cut bread such as sourdough can stand up to the meat and gooey cheeses in this classic sandwich. Use a cast-iron pan; it's a pro at handling the heat needed to cook the patties and toast the bread.


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 ¼ pounds ground chuck

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce

  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

  • 3 ounces sharp yellow Cheddar cheese, shredded (about ¾ cup)

  • 8 (¾-inch-thick) sourdough bread slices

  • 4 Swiss cheese slices

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add onion and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown and soft, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, divide ground beef into 4 portions. Press each into a flat, ¼-inch-thick patty. Sprinkle with pepper and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook 2 patties at a time, pressing gently, until browned but still pink in the center, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

  4. Stir together mayonnaise, mustard, barbecue sauce, and ketchup in a small bowl until combined.

  5. Wipe out cast-iron skillet; reduce heat to medium. Divide Cheddar among 4 of the bread slices; top each with a patty, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese slice, mayonnaise mixture, and remaining bread. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in skillet. Place 2 sandwiches in hot butter; cook (with another skillet on top of sandwiches to weigh them down) until golden brown and cheeses are melted, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 sandwiches.

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