Patty Melts with Pickled Jalapeños

Active time: 30 min. Total time:35 min.
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 patty melt)

Nobody can resist a patty melt, and our version adds some additional flavor and spice. The mixture of quick pickled onions and jalapeños, crispy bread, and melted cheese yields an absolutely perfect patty melt. Quick pickles are a home cook’s best friend, and here, they cut out some of the richness and offer some heat. Feel free to use your bread of preference, and if you’re serving kids or anyone with a spice sensitivity, simply omit the jalapeños. Serve with chips, fries, salad, even more pickles, and a nice cold drink.


  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2small jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1/2mall red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces ground chuck
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8marbled rye bread slices
  • 8yellow American cheese slices
  • 4 tablespoons yellow American cheese slices

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together vinegar, water, sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a small saucepan over medium-high, and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, combine jalapeño slices and onion slices in a medium bowl. Pour boiling vinegar mixture over jalapeño and onion mixture. Let stand until room temperature, about 30 minutes. 

Step 2

Meanwhile, shape beef into 4 (3-ounce, 1/2-inch-thick) patties. Season evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add patties, and cook until browned and crispy on both sides but still pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate, and set aside. (Patties will not be fully cooked.) Wipe skillet clean.  

Step 3

Place 4 bread slices on a clean work surface; top each with 1 cheese slice, 1 patty, and 2 tablespoons drained pickled jalapeños and onions. Top each with 1 cheese slice, and cover with remaining bread slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in cast-iron skillet over medium. Add 2 sandwiches to skillet, cover tops of sandwiches with a piece of aluminum foil, and place a heavy-bottomed pot or small cast-iron skillet on top, and gently press. Cook until golden brown and cheese has melted, 2 to 3 minutes per side, adding 1 tablespoon butter to skillet when flipping to the other side, and checking occasionally to prevent burning. Repeat with remaining sandwiches and 2 tablespoons butter. Serve patty melts immediately.

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