Use Leftover Hamburgers To Turn A Grilled Cheese Into An Easy Patty Melt

Hamburger patties may not seem the most versatile of leftovers to be working with. As a pre-shaped, pre-cooked protein it may not work as well in casseroles or salad as a chicken breast or tuna steak does. Instead, you need to consider how you can spin its sandwich-ready capabilities to your advantage. Enter the cheesy-rich patty melt, the ultimate crossover of the hamburger and the grilled cheese into one perfect sandwich.

Beyond being an epic comfort food, the patty melt solves several issues with reusing your hamburger patty. The main problem it solves is that of gently reheating your burger patty without making the already-grilled ground beef become too tough. You only need to cook your patty long enough to melt the cheese, keeping the burger tender but heated through. It also helps you battle hamburger fatigue with the smallest amount of prep and ingredients. So how should you go about transforming your leftover burger into a proper patty melt?    

Add hamburger meat along with aromatics for a flavorful grilled cheese

The method is fairly straightforward. Start with your favorite grilled cheese recipe, using this as the guideline for selecting the proper cheese and bread for the job. Next, you'll enter the hamburger patty into the equation, sliding it between two slices of cheese so that it gets a double dose of dairy. Then, you'll griddle the sandwich like normal, slathering the exterior of your bread with a bit of butter or coconut oil to get an extra crispy crust on the outside.  

To add another layer of depth, you can add in some aromatic elements, like fresh herbs, crunchy bacon, or sautéed mushrooms. For a touch of heat, you can even incorporate jalapeños or a couple of dashes of hot sauce into the formula. If you like a counter note of sweetness to your patty melt, caramelized onions or a dollop of fig jam would work here as well. Either way, this endlessly customizable leftover idea will have you thinking about holding over a few burgers from the barbecue just to try it out.