Sometimes if something ain’t broke, it’s best not to try and fix it. That’s the conclusion I came to when I attempted to create a panini version of the classic diner favorite, the patty melt. There’s just something about toasty rye bread loaded with a juicy grilled burger, sitting atop a bed of grilled onions with fresh tomatoes, thousand island dressing and melted cheddar cheese. It’s tried and true and hard to beat. Use your panini grill to prepare the burger and the onions – delicious and easy!
Cheeseburger Patty Melt Panini
- 1 onion, sliced into 1/4″ rings
- 1 lb. ground chuck
- 8 slices rye bread
- 8 slices cheddar cheese
- 2 tomatoes, sliced into 1/4″ rings, seeds removed
- 4 tablespoons thousand island dressing
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic powder (optional)
- Preheat panini grill to medium-high heat (375°F).
- Brush a little olive oil on both sides of onion slices and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill onions on the panini grill (lid closed) for 3 minutes until they are soft with dark grill marks. Set aside.
- Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with waxed paper. With a rolling pin, roll out meat to 1/2″ thickness, roughly in a square shape. Divide meat into four square patties. Season both sides of each patty liberally with salt and pepper. Add a dash of garlic powder to each side if desired.
- Grill patties on the panini grill (lid closed) for 3 minutes until cooked through. Set aside. Carefully clean off grill.
- Brush a little olive oil on one side of each slice of bread. Turn bread over, oiled side down. Build one sandwich at a time as follows: on one piece of bread, layer 1 slice of cheese, onions, a burger patty, 1 tablespoon of thousand island dressing, 2 tomato slices and another slice of cheese. Top with another slice of bread (oiled side up) to complete the sandwich.
- Grill sandwich 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted and golden grill marks appear. Serve and enjoy!