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Classic versions of the patty melt often include caramelized onions, but those take time, so here cookbook author Molly Stevens leans on quick-charred scallions instead. Chipotle-spiked mayonnaise adds an extra dose of lushness and a punch of smoky heat. For the cheese, semisoft cheeses like Oaxaca or Monterey Jack add a satisfying tang, but any good melting cheese works—cheddar or Swiss are perfectly delicious stand-ins. You’ll need a heavy skillet (cast iron works great) that can hold four sandwiches; otherwise work in batches or in two skillets. Form the ground beef patties to match the size of the bread, ensuring every bite of the finished sandwich achieves a proper bread-to-cheese balance.

September 2020


Credit: Photo by David Malosh / Prop Styling by Amy Wilson / Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

Recipe Summary

30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Shape ground beef into 4 thin patties to match the size and shape of bread slices. Set aside.

  • Toss together scallions, oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper in a bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add scallions; cook, turning occasionally, until charred in spots and tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer scallions to a cutting board, and coarsely chop. Stir together chopped scallions, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, chipotle chiles, and adobo sauce in a small bowl; set aside. Wipe skillet clean.

  • Add butter to skillet; melt over medium-high. Add beef patties, and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook patties, pressing tops occasionally using a spatula to keep patties thin and flat, until bottoms are well browned, about 2 minutes. Flip patties; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook patties, pressing tops occasionally, until a crust forms on bottoms and beef is cooked to desired degree of doneness, 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare (about 145°F). Transfer patties to a plate lined with paper towels. Wipe skillet clean.

  • Spread about 1 tablespoon scallion-chipotle mayonnaise on 4 bread slices. Top each with 1 cheese slice, 1 patty, and 1 additional cheese slice. Cover with remaining bread slices.

  • Return skillet to heat over medium. Spread 1 outer side of each sandwich with 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise; place sandwiches, mayonnaise side down, in skillet. Cook sandwiches, pressing tops with a spatula, until bottoms are golden, 1 minute and 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Spread top of each sandwich with 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise; flip sandwiches. Cook sandwiches, pressing tops occasionally with spatula, until bottoms of sandwiches are toasty and cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Cut sandwiches in half, and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, smoky Washington Syrah.