Patty Melts

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This may be one of those recipes that you read and wonder just how bi-polar my diet is.  Occasional indulgences are (I hope) OK, and they're probably even more OK when you make them at home, able to control your ingredients.  That's at least what you can tell yourself to make yourself to feel better about making diner classics like patty melts at home. 

I'm not even sure if I've had a patty melt in a restaurant, but when I saw Pioneer Woman make it on her Food Network Show, it seemed like the right thing to do was to make one ASAP. 

These were so good, and easy! and they were even so good reheated.  If you make burgers at home and are looking for a way to jazz up burgers, this is it.  I'm in love and I don't care who knows it.  I made some changes, but encourage you to visit PW's site for the original recipe, as well as a plethora of other great recipes and reading.

Patty Melts
inspired by The Pioneer Woman
Makes 4 sandwiches

1 lb ground beef (I recommend lean)
1 large or 2 medium white or sweet onions, thinly sliced (rings or slivers, it doesn't really matter)
8-16 slices of provolone cheese
8 pieces rye bread
Butter/olive oil
Salt, Pepper, Worcestershire Sauce

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 1-2 Tb. butter (or olive oil, if you prefer) and add sliced onions.  Cook over medium or even medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized, approx. 30-45 minutes.

In the meantime, prep your ground beef:  preheat a grill pan or other skillet to medium-high.  In a medium-large bowl, add beef, approx 1 tsp. Kosher salt (1/2 tsp table salt), freshly ground black pepper, and a few dashes Worcestershire sauce.  Lightly mix to incorporate, and form into four equally sized patties.  Grill the patties to desired doneness (approx 10 minutes total for med-well to well done), flipping halfway through.  This could vary for your stove, or even your own personal tastes.

Wipe off grill pan.  Once the onions are done, assemble and grill sandwiches:
Butter 1 side of each slice of bread.  Place buttered side of four pieces facing down.  Top with 1-2 slices cheese, then the hamburger patties, and then the caramelized onions.  Top with more cheese and the other slices of bread, buttered side up.  Grill in grill pan (or skillet), over medium heat, until cheese is nice and melted.


  • Caramelizing onions is almost alchemy.  Low and slow is the name of the game, and it's worth it!  They go from sturdy, crisp, and white/yellowish to an almost velvety-soft, medium to deeper brown color.  The flavor is mellowed and sweeter.  Here is a good visual guide.  If you don't want to wait that long, you can of course use slightly higher heat and cook for a lesser time.  The effect won't quite be the same, but it'll still be good.
  • My husband can handle 3-4 slices of cheese on his patty melt, which really covers both slices of bread and is ooey gooey and delicious.  When you think about the cheese, plus the beef, plus the butter used in the recipe, you get that this isn't exactly diet food.  Feel free to make it a little less bad for you by using 2 slices per sandwich.  I did that and didn't feel deprived.
  • To reheat:  wrap in foil and place into a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until center is warm and cheese is melted.
  • Serve with fries, a salad if you're like some Givenses who believe the two will balance out, or chips.

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