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front view of a platter of crunchy cheesy patty melts with sauteed onions and crinkle fries

Crunchy Cheesy Patty Melts on Grilled Sourdough

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  • Author: Stacey
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


The only patty melt recipe you’ll ever need. Crunchy cheesy patty melts on grilled sourdough are the answer to every question today.


Units Scale


  • 1.5 pounds of ground beef (80/20 blend)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 8 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices good sourdough bread (or other hearty, sturdy bread - see note#1)
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter, softened (depends on size of bread)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for cooking onions)
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola oil (optional, for cooking burgers)
  • Salt
  • Pepper




  1. Set aside your butter so it gets soft on the counter while you do the rest of you prep.
  2. Peel onions and cut in half, then cut into slices about a ¼” in thickness or a little less. Put in a large pan with olive oil, salt (¼ teaspoon) and pepper (¼ teaspoon). Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes until cooked through and golden brown, stirring continuously. Once done, transfer to a small bowl.
  3. While the onions are cooking shape your beef patties. I broke my package of ground beef into four portions for four patties. Shape them in a ball, smooth out the edges a bit. Next, smash with your hands until they are thin and flat. Patty melts are typically a thinner sandwich that are cooked through. Season with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides (approximately ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt total for both sides and same with pepper). Have a metal spatula on hand to flip them over when seasoning.
  4. Get your Swiss cheese slices ready.
  5. Butter one side of each of your bread slices. We’re grilling this bread so we want to prepare this before we start cooking the burgers. Set aside.
  6. Add canola oil (optional) in the pan you’ll be cooking the burgers in and put heat on high. If you’re not using oil just heat the pan for a minute or two on high heat and then add the burgers. Press down on burgers with spatula when they first go in pan. Press again a minute later. You will cook these on high heat for a total of three minutes which should give you a nice, crispy crust on the bottom. Do NOT look at the bottom of the burger for THREE MINUTES.
  7. After three minutes, flip the burgers and press down on them again to keep them flat. Cook for one minute then add the cheese slices and onions to the top and let cook one more minute.
  8. Transfer the cooked and loaded patties to a sheet pan and let rest a few minutes.
  9. While the burgers are resting, heat up your countertop griddle (medium heat) or if you don’t have that you’ll need two pans to grill the bread. (my video shows this well). Add buttered bread to the griddle/pans BUTTER-SIDE DOWN.
  10. Press down on the bread with a skillet or sheet pan (or spatula) to make sure you get the crispiest bread possible. Cook a few minutes until golden brown then turn to the non-buttered side to let toast for a couple of minutes too.
  11. Lay grilled bread on your cutting board and place patties on the bottom slice. Put your tops on the patty melts and cut in half. Serve immediately.


  1. If you live in New England and have access to the sourdough bread from When Pigs Fly Bread (from Maine) you should definitely use it for this patty melt. They sell it in a lot of grocery stores. Can’t say enough good things about their bread. If you are local to Massachusetts and are near Concord, you should try the sliced French bread loaf from Nashoba Brook Bakery. And if you’re in the Cambridge, MA area, of course, get your bread from Iggy’s Bakery. OTHER BREAD OPTIONS: Try to get bread from your local bakery for this and if you can’t, just select a good, sturdy store-bought sourdough or other bread for this sandwich. A standard, generic white bread WILL NOT WORK WELL. It’s too flimsy.