Recipes

The Best Patty Melt Recipe – Impossible Burger

The Best Impossible Burger Patty Melt recipe starts with a hearty burger that is cooked to perfection. Jalapeño jack cheese is melted into it on artisan bread as it’s slathered with special sauce. It’s finished by toasting it panini style, until it’s crispy and perfect for holding a juicy, tender burger.

The Best Patty Melt recipe consists of three patty melt burgers toasted to perfection on a cutting board, surrounded by kettle potato chips.

I hadn’t had a patty melt in years, YEARS, when I came up with this patty melt recipe. I had been craving one and decided to make my vegetarian dreams come true using some plant-based protein. The result was delicious. 

I’ll definitely be making this patty melt recipe again and again in the future. The sauce I make is slightly different from others I’ve seen, but I think it’s just the right amount of sweetness and tang. I am not a huge fan of mayonnaise as a topping, but can tolerate it mixed into other things, so I went lighter on it in the special sauce. 

A delicious patty melt recipe has been stacked one on top of the other alongside some potato chips.

A patty melt brings back all of my diner memories from when I was just a kid hanging out with grandma and grandpa. They’d take us to all the cafés and diners when we’d go run errands. So even though I had never tried one of these delicious patty melts until I was much older, it kind of makes me think of simpler times. Patty melts are the iconic diner food, after all. 

This patty melt recipe is best served with potato chips or french fries–and a side of sass if you ask me. All the best diners do involve a bubbly yet sassy server that can dish out comebacks as quickly as a cup of joe…

What is a Patty Melt?

A patty melt is essentially a thin burger that is served on toasted bread, opposed to a traditional bun, with a “special sauce,” melted cheese, and caramelized onions. For this recipe, I will be making a vegetarian version using Impossible plant-based patties that are made of pea protein. It looks, cooks, and tastes like a burger.  

Patty melts are stacked and ready to eat.

Tips for Making The Best Patty Melt Recipe

If you aren’t a vegetarian and don’t care to venture into the plant-based products, you can easily switch out the Impossible meat and use real ground beef. Just be sure it’s a leaner one, so the bread doesn’t get soggy from all the grease.

I love the grill marks the panini press makes, so I choose to toast the patty melt in this. However, you can also use a non-stick skillet to lightly toast this tasty burger. 

This patty melt recipe uses a homemade “special sauce,” but you could also use a store-bought thousand island dressing instead. Especially if you’re trying to save a few minutes of time. Same flavors, different names.

A patty melt has melted cheese and special sauce oozing down the sides of it.

Tools You May Need

Mixing bowls

Measuring cups and spoons

Spatula

Kitchen knife

Skillets

Cutting board

Garlic press, optional

Grill pan or panini press, optional

Ingredients

Impossible Plant-Based Protein – This is my favorite plant-based burger. I prefer buying the ground and forming my own burgers with it, so I can mix in some crushed garlic. If you aren’t vegetarian, you can easily use real ground meat instead. Choose a leaner option.

Cheese – I prefer a white cheddar or a jalapeño jack on my burgers. Traditionally, a cheddar is used, but I like a little spice added to mine.

Bread – Artisan bread is my favorite bread to use with this. You can also use rye or whole grain sliced bread.

Onions – Yellow onions add a little depth and sweetness to the burger. I caramelize them before topping my burger with this.

Oil – Use olive or avocado oil for sautéing the onions.

Garlic – Garlic adds a lot of flavor to the Impossible burger meat. 

Mayonnaise  – This is the base of the special sauce. I go light on it.

Ketchup – Ketchup adds a bit of sweetness to the special sauce.

Vinegar – I use white vinegar in this recipe. The acidity helps add a bit of flavor to the special sauce. Pickle juice can be used instead if you prefer.

Mustard – Yellow mustard works well in the special sauce. It adds a bit of tang to it.

Paprika – Paprika is just an added touch to add a little spice to the special sauce.

A patty melt is being grilled to perfection on a George Foreman grill.

Making Impossible Patty Melts

Heat two medium-sized skillets over medium heat, adding olive oil to one of the pans. 

In the meantime, in a mixing bowl mix the Impossible meat and pressed garlic together. Form into 3 patties with your hands. 

Next, slice the yellow onion into thin slices on a cutting board and add to the heated, oiled pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until onions become tender and caramelized. This should take about 15 minutes or so. If you want them a bit charred, how I like mine, you can turn the heat up a bit higher to cook them faster.

Caramelized onions sit in a skillet on a stovetop.

As you’re caramelizing the onions, heat the burgers in the other pan. Cook each side of the burgers for about 5-6 minutes. You’ll want each side to be browned but not burned and cooked all the way through the middle until no pink is left. 

Three Impossible burger patties cook in a skillet.

Once the burgers and onions are done, set them aside to rest for a moment while mixing up the special sauce. To make the special sauce: Mix the mayo, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, and paprika together in a small bowl. 

Spread a thin layer of special sauce on one side of 3 slices of bread. Then layer each of these slices of bread with a burger patty, a slice of cheese, and caramelized onions. Finish by topping with another slice of bread. 

Slices of artisan bread are being slathered with special sauce.
Patty melts are being put together before toasting.

Lightly brown each side of the sandwiches in a preheated pan on medium heat or by using a panini press. Each side should only take about 3 minutes or so, until the bread is toasty and the cheese is melted. Serve warm with potato chips or French fries. 

A patty melt has been put together but not yet grilled.
The best Impossible patty melts are arranged across a cutting board to be devoured with potato chips.

More Recipe Inspiration:

Summer Avocado Dip  

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

The Best Deviled Eggs  

Easy Artisan Bread  

The Best Impossible Patty Melt Recipe

This Impossible Patty Melt recipe starts with a hearty burger that is cooked to perfection. Jalapeño jack cheese is melted into it on artisan bread as it's slathered with special sauce. It’s finished by toasting it panini style, until it’s crispy and perfect for holding a juicy, tender burger.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword American recipes, burger recipe, diner food, easy recipes, patty melt, patty melt recipe, plant-based recipes, sandwiches
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3
Calories 650kcal

Equipment

  • mixing bowls
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • spatula
  • kitchen knives
  • cutting board
  • garlic press optional
  • grill pan or panini press optional
  • 2 skillets

Ingredients

  • 1-12 oz. package Impossible plant-based protein (or ground beef of your choice)
  • 6 oz. white cheddar or jalapeño jack cheese, sliced
  • 6 slices Artisan bread (or rye or whole grain bread)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp mayonaisse
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Heat two medium-sized skillets over medium heat, adding olive oil to one of the pans.
  • In the meantime, in a mixing bowl, mix the Impossible meat and minced (or pressed) garlic together. Form into 3 patties with your hands.
  • Next, slice the yellow onion on a cutting board and add to the heated, oiled pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until onions become tender and caramelized. This should take about 15 minutes or so.
  • As you’re caramelizing the onions, heat the burgers in the other pan. Cook each side of the burgers for about 5-7 minutes. You'll want each side to be browned but not burned and cooked all the way through the middle until no pink is left.
  • Once the burgers and onions are done, set them aside to rest for a moment while mixing up the “special sauce.” To make the special sauce, mix the mayo, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, and paprika together in a small bowl.
  • Spread a thin layer of special sauce on one side of 3 slices of bread. Then layer each of these slices of bread with a burger patty, a slice of cheese, and caramelized onions. Finish by topping with another slice of bread.
  • Lightly brown each side of the sandwiches in a preheated pan on medium heat or by using a panini press. Each side should only take about 3 minutes or so, until the bread is toasty and the cheese is melted. Once done, remove and slice each sandwich in half before serving.

Notes

If you aren’t a vegetarian and don’t care to venture into the plant-based meats, you can easily switch out the Impossible meat and use real ground beef. Just be sure it’s a leaner one, so the bread doesn’t get soggy from all the grease.
I love the grill marks the panini press makes, so I choose to toast the patty melt in this. However, you can also use a non-stick skillet to lightly toast the patty melt. 
This patty melt recipe uses a homemade “special sauce,” but you could also use a store-bought thousand island dressing instead. Same flavors, different names.


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