If you’re looking for a killer sandwich recipe to make right at home, few dishes compare to the Patty Melt. An American diner favorite, the classic patty melt with beef, onions, and ooey-gooey cheese on crispy bread offers a tantalizingly delicious meal that’s impossible to resist!

The juicy patty melt with caramelized onions and Swiss cheese is dipped in an au jus broth.

Get ready to make the best patty melts ever with a French Onion Soup inspired au jus that takes all the decadent flavors of the beef, onions, and cheese to another level.

The homemade patty melt itself is essentially a fusion of two classic American sandwiches: the hamburger and the grilled cheese sandwich. A juicy burger dipped in a savory beef and onion broth is what I call one freakin’ delicious meal! 

Why You’ll Love the Patty Melt

These simple patty melts are so freakin’ delicious, believe me, I would make these cheesy and juicy beef hamburger patties every day of the week if I could. Juicy beef, cooked onions, and layers of gooey, melty cheese between two slices of perfectly toasted Brioche bread is my kind of foodie bliss. 

This is the best patty melt recipe for a casual weekend lunch with friends or an early dinner with the whole family. 

For Other Patty Melt Variations:

Patty Melt Au Jus – Ingredients

The Patty

  • Beef – You’ll need 2 pounds of 80/20 ground beef for the juiciest, most flavorful ground beef patties. 
  • Seasonings – For this recipe, we’ll use my go-to seasoning trio: Kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. For additional flavor, feel free to add a little Worcestershire sauce. 

Caramelized Onions and Dipping Broth

  • Onions – For the caramelized onions and dipping broth, you can use yellow onions or white onions.  
  • Simmer Broth – Some brandy, white wine, beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves bring out the best in the onions. 
  • Canola Oil – You’ll need some high smoke point oil to sauté the onions. 
This image shows the sandwiches lined up and waiting for the grill along with a bowl filled with the French onion soup like broth.

The Melt

  • Brioche Bread – With this French bread, the thick-cut pieces of bread are slightly sweeter, creating a nice balance with the savory meat and onions. 
  • Garlic Mayonnaise – For the best flavor explosion on your sandwich, use a tasty and versatile spread. This one by Duke’s features an additional habanero kick that turns any regular burger into a gourmet experience. 
  • Cheese – For the melted cheese, as much as I love American cheese and cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and Swiss cheese just belong together. 
  • Butter – Helps add to the golden color of the crispy bread and enhance the flavor of the sandwiches.

How to Make Homemade Garlic Mayonnaise

This tasty mayo is easy to whip up at home. Mix a cup of your favorite mayonnaise with 2-3 gloves of minced garlic and a big squeeze of lemon juice. Finish by adding some salt and pepper to taste. Combine all the ingredients until nice and smooth. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Now that you’ve got these flavorful, simple ingredients ready, let’s craft the perfect Patty Melt. It’s perfect for satisfying those occasional cravings for a hearty, cheesy, and utterly satisfying meal. 

How to Make a Delicious Patty Melt

The Prep

First, let’s begin by getting the meat ready to go. Divide some ground beef into small balls of equal portions, about 1/4 pound each. Aim for about 8 balls so that you can have 2 patties on each sandwich. Set them aside on a baking sheet until the grill is fired up and ready to go.

Next, slice up your onions so that they look like long strips ready for caramelizing.

This image shows the prep needed for this recipe: make 1/4 pound balls of beef and make thin slices of onion for the Dutch oven cooking process.

The Caramelized Onion Broth

Heat a couple of tablespoons of canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and add your sliced onions. Sauté them, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until they become dark in color. This cooking process can take a long time, up to 45 minutes, so be patient.

This image shows the process of caramelizing the onions and adding in the brandy and beef stock to kick up the flavor even more.

When the onions are dark and caramelized, deglaze the skillet with the brandy and white wine. After reducing for 2-3 minutes, add the beef broth, thyme, and bay leaves. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

Lastly, pull the Dutch oven from the heat. Strain the onions from the broth, keeping them both warm. 

Beef Patties

To get the beef patties going, heat your grill at a temperature of about 400 degrees F for direct cooking. Add a seasoned cast iron skillet or plancha over the flames.

Once your hot skillet is smoking, add one ground beef patty ball. Using the back of a spatula over a layer of parchment paper, smash the ball into a thin patty. As the juicy beef patty starts to sizzle, season it, and let the first side cook for no more than 90 seconds.

Two beef patties are on the plancha over the grill covered in Swiss cheese and the caramelized onions.

Carefully flip the burger patty over and season the other side. Top with a slice of Swiss and some caramelized onions so that they meld together. Cook for another 90 seconds and transfer the cooked patties to a baking sheet to rest.

Repeat this process for the rest of your meat, making enough thin patties for all the sandwiches you plan on making.

A sandwich is built and ready for the grill.

Lastly, to get the sandwiches ready for grilling, start building the patty melts with a slice of brioche bread, a slice of cheese, a smear of garlic mayonnaise, double patties, more garlic mayo, and then another slice of bread.

If you’re using a cast-iron skillet, add the sandwiches one at a time with about 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan. Toast each side until golden brown.

The finished sandwich is golden and crispy on all sides.

After the bottom and top slices of cheese melt, pull the sandwiches off, and let them rest for a few minutes before slicing them in half for serving. Give each of your guests a small bowl with the dipping broth on the side of their sandwiches. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy! 

What to Serve with Patty Melts

Patty melts are hearty and satisfying sandwiches that go with just about anything. Of course, French fries are my go-to side to pair with this diner classic. However, you may also want to serve them with sweet potato fries, sliced dill pickles, coleslaw, or potato salad. An arugula salad with an easy mustard vinaigrette is another great option!

The patty melt is cut in half and ready to eat.

For more fire cooked sandwiches, check out my Californian Steak Sandwich, Steak Frites Sandwich and Surf and Turf Sandwich.

How to Store Leftovers and Reheat

If you happen to have leftovers (though that’s a rarity with a patty melt!), you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. To reheat, use a skillet over medium-low heat to ensure the bread gets crispy again without overcooking the patty. 

Can I use other types of bread for my Patty Melt?

Absolutely! While brioche bread is a popular choice for its buttery, slightly sweet flavor, you can experiment with slices of rye bread, thick sourdough slices, or any other bread you think might work.

Can I substitute the brandy with something else in the French onion broth?

If you prefer not to use brandy, you can simply omit it from the recipe, and your French onion broth will still turn out delicious.

Can I add some bacon to my patty melt?

While bacon is not a traditional addition to the classic Patty Melt, I say, go for it! Just cook the bacon before adding the burger patties to the hot smoking grill. The bacon grease can add another element of deep flavor to the hamburger meat.

Needing more spice in your life? My spice line can help with that. Check them out here.

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A juicy patty melt with caramelized onions sliced in half.

Patty Melt

If you're looking for the best comfort food and killer sandwich all in one, this Patty Melt recipe has it all. Juicy beef, caramelized onions, and melted Swiss cheese on crispy brioche bread are an unbeatable combination.
Author:Derek Wolf
4.67 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

Beef

  • 2 lbs 80/20 Ground Beef
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder

Caramelized Onions & Au Jus Broth

  • 3 medium Yellow or White Onions thinly sliced
  • 1 qt of Beef Broth
  • ¼ cup of White Wine
  • 1 tbsp Brandy
  • 3 Thyme Sprigs
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • Chopped Parsley for garnish

Melt

  • 6-8 Brioche Bread Thick Cut
  • 3 tbsp Garlic Mayonnaise
  • 9-10 Swiss Cheese Slices
  • 8 tbsp Butter

Instructions 

Caramelized Onions

  • Preheat your grill to medium heat (around 300F) for direct cooking.
  • Add a Dutch oven to heat up for 2 minutes over the fire. Add 2 tbsp of oil then your thinly sliced onion and season with salt and pepper.
  • Slow cook the onions, making sure to stir often with a wooden spoon, until they turn to a dark brown color (about 45 minutes of cooking).
  • When the onions are dark in color, deglaze the skillet with the brandy and white wine. Let simmer for 2-3 more minutes then add the beef broth, thyme and bay leaves. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Pull off the heat and strain the onions from the broth. Keep both the onions and the broth warm.

Patty Melt

  • Heat your grill at high heat (around 400F) for direct cooking.
  • Add a cast iron skillet or plancha over the flames to heat.
  • Grab a handful of ground beef (around 1/4 lbs… ish) and gently roll it into a ball. Repeat this for 6-8 balls or until you’re out of meat.
  • Get your skillet ripping hot (so it's gently smoking). Add a burger ball to the skillet. Place a piece of parchment over one ball and then firmly press with the spatula until the burger is “smashed” on the skillet. Season the patty with salt, pepper and garlic. Let cook for another 1-1.5 minutes.
  • Carefully flip the burger patty over and then season the new side. Top with a slice of swiss cheese and some of the caramelized onions. Let melt for 1-2 minutes. Once melted, pull off and rest. Repeat for the rest of your patties.
  • Build each patty melt by starting with a thick slice of brioche, a slice of Swiss cheese, garlic mayonnaise, double beef patties, more garlic mayonnaise, and another brioche slice for the top.
  • Add the patty melts to the skillet and toast the bread till golden brown.
  • When the patty melts are done, pull off and slice. Add to a bowl some of the broth with some onions and garnish with chopped parsley. Dip the patty melts in the broth for serving. Enjoy!

Notes

How to Make Garlic Mayonnaise
Mix a cup of your favorite mayonnaise with 2-3 gloves of minced garlic and a big squeeze of lemon juice. Finish by adding some salt and pepper to taste. Combine all the ingredients until nice and smooth. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 10Oz | Calories: 1126kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 92g | Saturated Fat: 40g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 33g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 263mg | Sodium: 3137mg | Potassium: 954mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1079IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 436mg | Iron: 6mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

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