The Secret Ingredient To Use In Your Next Classic Patty Melt

A patty melt is a creative take on the traditional cheeseburger. While cheeseburger toppings can vary, it's pretty standard to have a cheeseburger served between two hamburger buns. Of course, there are healthier variations, including lettuce wraps and even sweet potatoes, but for the most part, it's a good ole bun. Patty melts, on the contrary, are always served between two pieces of griddled bread. 

The bread can vary based on personal preference, but recipe developer Christina Musgraves suggests rye bread for her patty melt. And as the name implies, there should be significant melting action going on in a patty melt. Musgraves uses Swiss cheese on her patty melt, and she's in good company: Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond uses Swiss cheese in her recipe as well. 

A good patty melt is also not complete without caramelized onions, and this is where Musgraves flips the script by using a common baking ingredient that's not always found in burgers.

Brown sugar adds a touch of sweetness to a patty melt

Christina Musgraves added a unique twist to the classic patty melt by using brown sugar. Don't worry, the brown sugar isn't going to make this a dessert burger. Instead, brown sugar is added to the onions as they are caramelizing. The brown sugar helps to sweeten the onions, and Musgraves says, "The flavor really comes through in the sandwich." The sweetness from the caramelized onions also helps to balance the richness of the burger and Swiss cheese.

It's actually more common than you may think to add brown sugar to onions. Onions are chock full of natural sugars so it makes sense to pair them with sugar. Becky Hardin from The Cookie Rookie suggests choosing yellow onions or sweet onions to caramelize. She recommends caramelizing onions in both butter and olive oil to add a richer flavor to the onions. Once the onions are soft, they are ready to be eaten. The entire process takes about 25 minutes.

To finish off Musgraves' version of the classic patty melt, top the onions with cheese on each side of the patty and enjoy the delicious sandwich.