Mom’s Top Secret Patty Melts

  When I was a little girl, my mom ran a Snack Shop at our small town Christian College. I LOVED playing there after school with my friends, digging in couch cushions for dimes and nickels to buy lifesavers, and begging for nachos with that good fake cheese in the plastic container.
  It wasn’t until my adult years, that I realized why her Patty Melts were so famous there.  She has a secret, one she just told me is the KEY to a “Make You Swoon” Patty Melt.  Prepare to be amazed, you haven’t tasted a Patty Melt quite like it! 

  *I made a big batch for our big family, but feel free to half or third this to make less, it’s so simple.

  Check it out:

Mom’s Top Secret Patty Melts

{click title to print}

moms top secret patty melts



  • 3 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 teaspoon Each, Salt And Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Each… Onion Powder And Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil


  • 3 whole Large White Onions
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 5 dashes Worcestershire Sauce


  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 loaf Of Sour Dough Bread
  • 1 cup Thousand Island Dressing
  • 9 slices Swiss Cheese

Slice onion and sautee in a saucepan on medium heat. Add olive oil and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper and worcestershire towards the end of cook time. Set aside.

While onions cook, mix beef and seasonings, forming into an oval shape like the Sour Dough Bread. I got 9 patties out of the 3 pounds of beef.

Heat olive oil in electric skillet and prepare to fry each patty until nicely browned, and cooked through. Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels, keeping warm until assembly time.

Wipe out skillet with more paper towels, but leave some of the oils and bits of meat behind.

Spread butter on each slice of bread needed, and place butter side down, in the electric skillet. On one side of bread, place a slice of swiss, on the other, a generous helping of 1000 Island Dressing.  {That’s the secret! You might think 1000 Island only belongs on Reubens, but believe me,  it makes it oh so good!  Adds a depth of flavor you can’t quite put your finger on.}

Next, place beef patty and onions on top of the dressing. Wait for breads to be warmed and toasted, before assembling and removing from skillet.

Cut and serve immediately.



15 thoughts on “Mom’s Top Secret Patty Melts

  1. Oh my goodness! This looks AMAZING!!!!!! No wonder you are such a good cook. You have learned from the best!:) I so wish we lived closer. It would be so fun to be able to learn to cook some of these yummy things from you. I mean, I do enjoy printing off your recipes and making them. But, it would be fun to just get together an have you show me a thing or two!
    ❤ and {{hugs}}

    • You really can do either, whatever your preference is. Ours were very standard size I would say, but on the side of thin, I can’t stand when they are too fat and disc like!!!! Good question!

  2. WOW! These look awesome. I didn’t know that about your mama – what wonderful memories! Printing this one to try very soon. Thanks for finally sharing a ‘secret’ that you’ve kept for so long. ;-}}

  3. Tonya,
    These look so good…I’ve already printed out the recipe and can’t wait to make them for my husband….who adores patty melts!
    Question….sorry that I don’t recall you mentioning it before, but what happened to your mother? Did you lose her at an early age? Perhaps you’ve blogged about it and I never read it? Anyway, I lost my mother at a young age and that is why I am curious.
    Keep up the good work with your blog…I look forward to it every day!
    Cindy in Nebraska

    • Aw, bless your heart, I am so sorry to hear it! My momma is alive and well, and just celebrated #55 with us yesterday! 🙂 I wish I could upload a pic here. Anyhow, thank you so much for asking. Sorry for the confusion! I hope you all LOVE these Patty Melts!

      • Hi Cindy….it’s Tonya’s Momma. I am so blessed to be her mom and feel so honored, first of all that you asked about me, and second, that is features me on her blog from time to time. The biggest blessing of all is to be a very big part of the Ferguson’s lives…oh what Joy it brings to me!!! God is so good.

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