Patty Melt with Baby Swiss Cheese and Caramelized Onions on Russian Rye

patty melt

Patty melts are definitely a comfort food for me. When I was around 8 years old, my mom and I were in a big production at our church. I was a dancing horse and my mom played Mary, the mother of Jesus. Our good friend Toni was also in the play and the three of us had so much fun at weekly rehearsals. Every week after rehearsal, my mom and I would go to a local diner and split a Patty Melt. The best part was spending quality time with my amazing mother, and sharing that whole experience together. Ever since that time, when I eat a Patty Melt, I’m brought right back to those special moments. There is no love like a mother’s love and growing up, some of my favorite times were when mom and I had special times together, away from the hustle and bustle of life at home.

A Patty Melt is simply a grilled burger between two pieces of rye bread, sandwiched between melted cheese and caramelized onions. Rye bread is one of my favorites. Even as a kid, I loved toasted rye bread with butter and jam. The caraway seeds give it a unique flavor and it holds together nicely on a Patty Melt.

I like mine with Russian Rye bread, but you can use Jewish Rye or Pumpernickel bread of that is your preference.

Start with ground beef seasoned to your liking. I always use 90/10 lean ground beef. Ground chuck is typically used on burgers, but I like a leaner cut of beef and between the cheese and caramelized onions, there is plenty of moisture in this sandwich, so I really don’t miss the extra fat.

I always season my ground beef for burgers with Montreal steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs and an egg.

Place the burger mixture in a bowl and mix with your hands. This is the only way to mix ground beef and it’s fun to get a little dirty in the kitchen!

patty melt

Form the meat into oblong shaped patties to fit the shape of the rye bread. A typical burger is round, but for patty melts, the oblong burger gives you a better bite! You want to have that meat in every, glorious bite :).

patty melt

For the caramelized onions, use yellow onions. They should be thinly sliced and cooked in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Sauté them until the sugars begin to caramelize. They will get sweeter the longer they cook.

Grilled Onions

Cook the burgers on medium-high heat on a grill pan. They only take about 3 minutes per side for a burger cooked medium with a little pink in the middle.

patty melt

A grill pan is an essential in the kitchen, especially in the winter when outdoor grilling is not an option. I never use my Foreman grill for burgers, because I want those juices to stay with the meat. Because I use such lean meat, there is no grease on the pan. I like to get a bit of char on the outside. They smell so good! That steak seasoning and Worcestershire sauce makes all the difference.

When the meat is done, assemble the Patty Melts. Start by lightly buttering one side of each slice of the Russian Rye bread. Place the butter side down on the same grill pan. Add one slice of Baby Swiss, followed by the meat, the caramelized onions, another slice of Baby Swiss and finally the other slice of rye bread. Cook for about 1.5-2 minutes before flipping. Cook until the bread is browned and the cheese starts to melt.

If you’ve never made a Patty Melt at home, you’re missing out! You can control the quality of the ingredients and you can get the family involved in the assembly.

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try! If you do, please come on back and leave me a comment and tell me how they turned out and snap a photo and tag #ketchumkitchen on Social Media. I love to see food photos! Thanks for stopping by :). If you’re not already subscribed, subscribe to my email list to receive notifications whenever I post a new recipe. I promise I won’t spam you. The only thing you’ll get from me is delicious recipes.

Patty Melt with Baby Swiss Cheese and Caramelized Onions on Russian Rye

15 minutes

20 minutes

Yield: 3

One patty melt

Patty Melt with Baby Swiss Cheese and Caramelized Onions on Russian Rye


  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (I use 90/10)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 slices Russian Rye bread
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 6 slices Baby Swiss cheese


  • In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil on medium-high heat and add the sliced onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions have caramelized. It takes a while to caramelize them so be patient. You want that full caramelization so that they get nice and sweet.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, steak seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well with your hands to combine all of the ingredients.
  • Form into oblong patties.
  • Heat a grill pan on medium-high heat. Add the hamburger patties and cook about 3 minutes on each side for medium doneness. Cook less time or more time, depending on how rare you like your burger.
  • Remove the patties from the grill pan. Butter one side of each of the slices of rye bread and place the butter side down of three of the slices onto the same grill pan. Top each slice of bread with one piece of Baby Swiss, followed by one hamburger patty, caramelized onions, another slice of cheese and top with another slice of rye, with the buttered side up.
  • When the first side is golden brown and crisp and the cheese starts to melt, flip each burger and cook the other side to desired doneness.
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