Weeknight Shorts: Griddle Patty Melts

Admit it. There are days you wish a genie would just hand you and your family dinner. Actually, those days might even outnumber the days you are in the mood to cook! Unfortunately, I'm not here to hand you a magic lamp. However, I can set you up to be looking at this on your plate in less than a half hour:

Patty melts always seem like a special treat because they combine a tender, juicy burger with ooey, gooey cheese and a crisp, buttery surrounding. But isn't that a lot of work? Not for me and not for you, anymore. Reach for your griddle.

I know it might seem like blasphemy to suggest forgoing the grill in summer, but we all end up busy now and again and appliances like griddle exist for moments like these. My griddle is one of those nifty foldable types, so I have two separated cooking areas on mine that make frying bread on one side and beef patties on the other a snap. If you don't have one like that, simply fry the bread first and then continue with the beef patties later. Everything comes together quickly, so it won't even take much longer that way.

You can use whatever toppings or sauces you'd like, but I happened to have french fried jalapeños on hand and mixed those with my favorite bottled BBQ sauce for a quick sauce that had a little heat and even a little crunch. And really, for a quick midweek meal, it was perfect!

Easy Patty Melts

  • 8 slices of sourdough bread, buttered on one side
  • 1 lb. ground beef, mixed with your favorite burger seasoning
  • 4 large slices sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. BBQ sauce
  • 3 T. french fried onions or peppers

Preheat your griddle to medium-high heat. If you have a split griddle, you can prepare the bread and the patties at the same time. If not, prepare the bread first and then prepare the patties.

To prepare the bread, place it — buttered side down — on the griddle and fry until the surface of the slices of bread are golden and crispy. Remove from the griddle and save for the patty melt assembly.

To prepare the patties, form the seasoned ground beef into 4 patties (shape them to fit the slices of bread you have) and place them on the griddle. Fry without moving the patties for 5 minutes and then flip them over. Place the slices of cheese on the done side of the patties and fry the other side 4-5 minutes or until the patties have reached your desired level of doneness.

To assemble, stir together the BBQ sauce and french fried onions or peppers to make a sauce. Evenly distribute the sauce among the 4 bottom slices of bread for the melts. Place a hot beef patty on top of each bottom slice of bread and add the top slices of bread to the top of the melts. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes