Patty Melt – Life Above the Cafe

Patty Melt

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Patty Melt

Patty Melt
May 12, 2020




10 mins.

10 mins


Long before there were Starbucks Coffee shops on what seems like every corner, Waffle House was the winner of restaurant chain domination around the South. If you’re from the South then you know it’s yellow and black decor and limited seating so you get their early or you go after the breakfast crowd, since they never close. You may have even seen two Waffle Houses sitting on opposite sides of the road on the same exit of the interstate. That’s because travelers in both North and South lanes need food, the demand is real for a good breakfast, and you can only seat so many people in a Waffle House dining room.

Growing up, we didn’t eat at Waffle House very often, so the first time that I can remember eating there I was a teenager and was with my friend and her family. I didn’t know what to order so I followed her lead and asked for a Patty Melt with hash browns.

That day, when I bit into my first Patty Melt, I think I heard a little song from Heaven. The goodness of a juicy, cheesy burger topped with grilled onions and sandwiched between two pieces of toasted white bread had just entered my realm of being. There was no turning back.

The hash browns were crispy and tender and had been cooked on a piping hot griddle that had years of seasoning to help them to achieve amazingness. The plate was perfection in my 14 year old mind.

Since that day, I’ve only strayed from my usual order of a Patty Melt once or twice. When I was visiting my family recently, I finally ordered a breakfast plate of eggs, toast, hash browns, bacon, and a waffle. It was great, but I was left feeling like I needed to eat a second breakfast. My first love, the Patty Melt, had been tossed aside like an old shoe. My belly was full but my taste buds were sad.

Now when I want to enjoy the gooey deliciousness of a Patty Melt, I make it at home. It satisfies my cravings for my nostalgic breakfast, lunch, or dinner option. Burgers on toast for breakfast, trust me, it’s what all the cool kids eat.

I hope that you’ll try this recipe and leave a comment below. Also, follow @lifeabovethecafe on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest by using the social media links found on this page.


  • This recipe makes two patty melts
  • 4 slices of white or wheat bread
  • 2-4 slices of American cheese
  • 1/2 pound of ground beef patted into thin patties the size of bread
  • 1 tsp. of oil if using lean ground beef
  • 1/4 of a white or yellow onion thinly sliced or diced
  • salt and pepper to season the burgers


Form two thin patties with the ground beef. Make them large enough to cover the entire piece of toasted bread that they will sit on when assembled.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat place the ground beef patties and 1 tsp. of oil if using lean ground beef. Season with salt and pepper on both sides as they cook. Brown one side of the patty and then flip it to the other side. Each side will take about 3-4 minutes to cook. Turn down the heat if the patty melts start to brown too much.

As the meat cooks sprinkle the sliced onion around the pan, season them with salt and pepper, and allow them to soften. If their isn’t sufficient grease in the pan from the meat, then add 1 tsp. of oil to the pan and then add the onions. If the onions begin to brown remove them from the pan and finish cooking the meat.  You don’t want them crispy.

Once the patties are completely cooked through top with 1 slice of cheese and a piece of bread then flip it over and top it with another slice of cheese and half of the onions and close up the sandwich with the other piece of bread.  Toast both sides of the bread until golden brown.

Cut the patty melts in half on a diagonal and enjoy.

Note: I’m a purist with Patty Melts so I don’t top them with anything but you can top them with a fry sauce.  Mix up 2 Tbsp. of mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp. of ketchup, 1/2 Tbsp. of mustard, 1 tsp. of black pepper, 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder, 1 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 tsp. of salt. optionally add 1 Tbsp. of sweet or dill pickle relish if you like.

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