Patty Melt

October  4, 2022
6 Ratings
  • Serves two burgers
Author Notes

I have to cop to absolutely loving the Friendly's Patty Melt growing up. This is my best shot at recreating that food memory. I cook most of the elements in my biggest frying pan because it’s more like a Friendly’s flat top grill than my gas grill is. - cheese1227 —cheese1227

Test Kitchen Notes

This will take you back to the 1970s, and you'll want to stay there until you've enjoyed every last succulent bite of this patty melt. You season the grass-fed burger meat (that's cheese1227's 21st century move) with mustard and Worcestershire, slap and nudge it into a patty, and fry it up in a pan. Then you layer the burger on rye bread, toasted in a pan with butter and topped with Gruyere, and sauteed onion and mushrooms. Cheese1227 calls for optional mayonnaise. We opted to leave it out. Our only note is that you can cook the burger on a grill, if you prefer. Actually, no, we have a second note: put this on the weekend menu, right now. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 lb 85/15 ground beef (yes, I use grass fed, which I don’t believe Friendly’s does)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3-4 Tablespoons butter, softened and divided
  • 6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ sweet onion, sliced thin, half-moon slices
  • 4 slices of oval-shaped, light rye bread
  • 4 ounces, thinly sliced Gruyere cheese
  • Mayonnaise (optional)
  • Pickles (absolutely crucial garnish)
  1. Mix ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper thoroughly. Divide mixture and form into two, oval patties. I like to make thinner patties, but shape them so that when they are fully cooked, they cover almost the whole bottom piece of rye bread as this is a sandwich in which each bite should have all the elements. Refrigerate the patties for about an hour or so.
  2. In a large frying pan, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium high heat and add the mushrooms. Make sure all the of the mushrooms get coated with butter, but then leave them untouched for 3-4 minutes so that one side gets some nice color before you stir them around so the other side can get some color.
  3. Remove the mushrooms from the pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the onion to the pan and cook slowly over medium to low heat for 10-15 minutes until the onions are soft and somewhat caramelized. Remove the onions from the pan and keep them warm with the mushrooms.
  4. Increase the heat to medium high and fry the burgers to desired doneness. I like mine medium rare, which typically takes 3-4 minutes per side to achieve.
  5. While the burgers are cooking, put a second skillet over medium heat and butter one side of each piece of rye bread. Put the bread buttered side down on the hot skillet until you see some nice color. On two of the slices of bread, place two ounces of Gruyere cheese.
  6. When the burgers are done and the bread nicely browned, assemble your burgers: Bottom piece of bread with cheese, beef patty, onions, mushrooms, optional mayonnaise and top piece of bread. I like to give them a firm press and then slice each in half before serving with a pickle.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • sevenfaces
  • LeeLeeBee
  • inpatskitchen
  • iuzzini
  • mainecook61
I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.

55 Reviews

Dawn B. January 2, 2015
Made this last week and it was awesome! The whole family loved it! Will be making again and again. Thank you!
sevenfaces September 2, 2014
This is one of the first things I made from Food52. Still making it, still loving it!
cheese1227 September 2, 2014
An oldie but goodie!!!
LeeLeeBee June 25, 2013
This recipe was insanely delicious and far exceeded our expectations. SO MUCH BETTER than just another burger!
inpatskitchen March 6, 2012
We made this last night and Really loved it. Would love to link it on my blog with your permission. Thanks for a great burger recipe!
cheese1227 March 6, 2012
Hi Pat,

So glad you enjoyed it! Please link away!
cheese1227 March 6, 2012
Link away!!!
iuzzini October 27, 2010
Oh my god- I want this RIGHT NOW! :)
mainecook61 August 2, 2010
This was delicious. With a freezer full of our own grass fed beef, I am always looking for something different to do with the hamburger (a quite large proportion of a side of beef is hamburger!). The rye bread is essential---mmm, rye from Maine's Borealis Bread. A sliced cucumber and dill salad from long and skinny Suyo cucumbers (seed from Johnny's Selected Seed Co in Albion, ME) rounded things out, along with Latham raspberries for dessert.
ChefJune August 3, 2010
Stop! you're making me hungry.
cheese1227 August 3, 2010
A whole freezerful? Wow, I am jealous!
Sagegreen August 2, 2010
I just heard back from Leah Zomek, a guest service rep: Friendly's did not come up with the names for either sprinkles or jimmies. These names were already established before Friendly's became a company. Mystery not solved.
cheese1227 August 3, 2010
You are too funny!
Waverly August 2, 2010
Beef + Worcestershire + Mustard: this is the symphony of my childhood! My mother STILL seasons everything from steak to burgers with mustard and worcestershire. We should own stock in Lea and Perrin! Adding mushroom, sweet onions, and Gruyere....I vote for this burger - hands down. What a perfect combination. Pass the pickles, please!
cheese1227 August 3, 2010
Thanks! SO glad you liked it.
ChefJune July 31, 2010
I agree, Midge. There is hardly such a thing as a BAD home crafted burger. Made with top quality ingredients and love. imho one of the great foods of the world. ;)
Midge July 31, 2010
That looks soo tasty. A very tough choice this week..
Kelsey B. July 30, 2010
oh Friendly's, so many happy memories from that place! I've even taken my own daughter once or twice, this likes a great recreation of their classic! :)
ChefJune July 30, 2010
I love patty melts! made one the other night with Point Reyes Blue Cheese. ;) Have always preferred my burger on toasted rye to a bun. I grew up on the North Side of Chicago, and went to college at Northwestern, so my earliest patty melt memories are from Hackney's -- which I understand still exists.
wanderash August 1, 2010
It most certainly does! I made a pilgrimage in my brief stint home from Mexico for a Hackney's burger!
cheese1227 August 3, 2010
I will have to try Hackney's the next time I am in Chicago.
EmilyNunn July 29, 2010
I'm 12 again, in my purple two piece, eating before I go back into the pool without waiting an hour.

cheese1227 August 3, 2010
My mom only required a half hour.
SallyCan July 29, 2010
My senior year in high school, I worked at our local Friendly's, and I must say that yours looks much better than any I ever made! It's the mushrooms, I think...
cheese1227 August 3, 2010
My sister worked at Friendly's, but never on the grill.
slulibby July 29, 2010
I think you are dead on with the pickle comment. There is no sandwich without a pickle. Congratulations! This looks soooo delightful.
cheese1227 July 29, 2010
I just had some pickles last night made from courgettes. Kind of like bread and butter pickles. They were served with a rillette made from pork belly and neck. They were a perfect compliment.
lapadia July 29, 2010
Yum! I don't know "Friendly's Patty Melt" (must be your neck of the woods), but I do love a good Patty Melt, congratulations on the EP and good luck as a finalist...voted.
cheese1227 July 29, 2010
I did not realise the Friendly's was an east coast wonder. Thanks for the best wishes, I will need it given the competition.
MrsWheelbarrow July 29, 2010
OhMyGosh - This looks so so good. I, too, was a child who adored the Friendly's Patty melt, and you just transported me back in time. Cannot wait to make this. Maybe tomorrow.
cheese1227 July 29, 2010
Hope you like it Cathy!
TheWimpyVegetarian July 29, 2010
Congrats cheese1227!! My husband LOVES patty melts; this is definitely on our menu for this week! I just taught a cooking class (my second class!) at a farm last weekend which featured grilling grass-fed beef. So glad you're using it too!
cheese1227 July 29, 2010
Congrats on the classes. I've got my first one out at the CSA farm I support in early Sept. I"ve got to come up with some recipes for fall pastas. I'd love some suggestions if you have any.
Lizthechef July 29, 2010
Looks delicious!
cheese1227 July 29, 2010
mrslarkin July 29, 2010
Hooray for the Cheese! Can't wait to make this.