Patty Melts with Secret Sauce Recipe: A Classic Diner Favorite

Patty Melts are a classic diner staple, combining the savory goodness of a hamburger with the comforting warmth of a grilled cheese sandwich. With melty cheese, caramelized onions, and perfectly seasoned beef patties, all nestled between slices of toasted rye bread, this dish is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. The addition of a special secret sauce takes it to another level, adding a tangy, flavorful kick.

Patty Melts with Secret Sauce are a delicious, nostalgic dish that brings the classic diner experience to your home. The combination of savory beef, sweet caramelized onions, gooey cheese, and tangy secret sauce makes for a mouthwatering meal that’s perfect for lunch or dinner. Enjoy this comfort food favorite with family and friends for a satisfying and flavorful dining experience! Here’s how to make these delicious Patty Melts with Secret Sauce at home.


For the Patty Melts:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80/20 blend)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices rye bread
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Secret Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Prepare the Secret Sauce:
    • In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, Dijon mustard, sweet pickle relish, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and onion powder.
    • Mix well until all ingredients are fully combined.
    • Season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Caramelize the Onions:
    • In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
    • Add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt.
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. If the onions start to dry out, add a splash of water to deglaze the pan.
    • Remove the onions from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Cook the Beef Patties:
    • Divide the ground beef into four equal portions and shape them into thin patties, slightly larger than the slices of rye bread (they will shrink as they cook).
    • Season each patty with salt and pepper.
    • In the same skillet used for the onions, cook the patties over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until they reach your desired level of doneness.
    • Remove the patties from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Assemble the Patty Melts:
    • Spread a thin layer of the secret sauce on one side of each slice of rye bread.
    • On four of the bread slices, place a slice of Swiss cheese.
    • Add a beef patty on top of the cheese, followed by a generous portion of caramelized onions.
    • Top with another slice of Swiss cheese and the remaining bread slices, sauce side down.
  5. Grill the Sandwiches:
    • Wipe out the skillet and melt the remaining butter over medium heat.
    • Place the assembled sandwiches in the skillet, cooking in batches if necessary.
    • Cook each sandwich for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Press down gently with a spatula to ensure even grilling.
  6. Serve:
    • Cut the patty melts in half and serve hot, with extra secret sauce on the side for dipping.
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Tips for Perfect Patty Melts:

  • Bread Choice: Rye bread is traditional and adds a distinctive flavor, but you can also use sourdough or whole wheat if preferred.
  • Cheese Melting: For the best melt, let the cheese come to room temperature before assembling the sandwiches.
  • Caramelized Onions: Patience is key when caramelizing onions. Cook them slowly to bring out their natural sweetness and achieve a deep golden color.


  • Cheese Variety: Try using different cheeses like cheddar, provolone, or pepper jack for a unique twist.
  • Spicy Kick: Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the secret sauce or use spicy mustard for a bit of heat.
  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute the beef patties with veggie patties or grilled portobello mushrooms for a delicious vegetarian version.


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