Patty Melt {A Copycat Whataburger Recipe}

If you’re looking for a copycat Whataburger patty melt recipe to make at home, then you’ve come to the right place. This delicious patty melt has all the classic flavors of the ever-popular Whataburger version, but you don’t have to leave the house to enjoy it! Loaded with two tasty beef patties, cheese, onions, and the Whataburger secret sauce, this patty melt is absolute perfection. 

A patty melt cut in half with one half on the other with a small white bowl filled with creamy sauce with the title of the recipe at the top of the photos.

I’m a huge fan of patty melts. I think they’re a great change of pace from a cheeseburger, which I tend to make a lot. Patty melts are great because they use toasted bread instead of a bun, giving the entire sandwich a different flavor, both literally and figuratively. That toasty bread makes a tasty, crunchy counterpoint to the juicy, tender beef patty, gooey cheese, onions, and of course, that delicious patty melt sauce. 

This copycat Whataburger patty melt is the perfect thing for weeknight meals, weekend get-togethers, gameday parties, and more. Basically, if you’d serve a cheeseburger at an event, you can serve a patty melt. 

A wood board with four homemade patty melts on it with a small white bowl of creamy secret sauce.

What is a Patty Melt

The patty melt is a variation on the cheeseburger. It’s made up of a ground beef patty with melted cheese and topped with caramelized onions between two slices of griddled bread. We know for sure that it was available as early as the 1940s, but no one knows for sure who made it. I say “for sure”, because many believe it was Tiny Naylor, the wonder of Biff’s and Tiny Naylor restaurants who decided to create the variation of the cheeseburger. 

A fun side fact is that the patty melt is believed to be the precursor to the tuna melt. 

Classic Patty Melt

Like any other recipe that’s been around for any length of time, there are all kinds of variations to the patty melt, but the original classic patty melt is still the all-time favorite among most people. The classic patty melt consists of a hamburger topped with Swiss cheese and caramelized onions sandwiched between two pieces of grilled rye bread. 

These days, you can find all sorts of patty melt variations, just like you can find all sorts of hamburger variations. However, just like the cheeseburger, the classic is still the one that many people opt for.  

A close up photo of half a patty melt with more patty melts stacked up in the background.

The Best Patty Melt Recipe

I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I would say that my Whataburger patty melt recipe is the best. It’s so close to the original, you might not be able to tell the difference. Or you might. Everyone I’ve served this to has said it’s better than the original. Using Texas toast, Monterey Jack cheese, creamy Whataburger sauce, and a few other ingredients, I’ve created a patty melt to rival all other patty melts. 


If you’re interested in all things patty melt, I have some FAQs here that you might like to see. We’ll talk about the patty melt and some of the most common things people want to know about this tasty sandwich. 

What is the Best Bread for Patty Melts

As with most recipes, it all comes down to personal preference, but I advise sticking with a heartier bread that will toast up well. Of course, Rye is the original choice. However, bread like Texas toast, brioche, and thick-sliced Italian bread will work well, too. 

What’s on a Patty Melt

All kinds of things can be on a patty melt. It’s all about creativity, just as it is with cheeseburgers. The classic ingredients that never change, however, are a hamburger patty, caramelized onions, and cheese. 

What Kind of Sauce is on the Whataburger Patty Melt Recipe?

The Whataburger secret sauce used on their patty melts is a mayonnaise-based pepper sauce. It’s a creamy sauce that combines sweetness, tartness, and heat. It’s a bit like a more hardcore version of Thousand Island dressing. 

What to Serve with Patty Melts

Patty melts are essentially cheeseburgers with different bread, so serve them with the same things you’d serve with a burger. Fries are always a great bet. So are other classic grilling favorites like baked beans, mac and cheese, coleslaw, and the like. 

Patty Melt sandwiches on a wooden board with a white small bowl of creamy secret sauce.

Recipe Notes and Helpful Tips

This is a fairly straightforward recipe. Patty melts are not that complicated, after all. That being said, I do have a few tips to help you make the best possible patty melt you can. These are simple tips that will make the entire process easier and turn out extra tasty, so be sure to give them a look. 

  • Only add the eggs and breadcrumbs to the beef after you’ve mixed it with the spices. Adding everything in at once makes it difficult to get the spices evenly distributed throughout the beef.
  • Make your patties as close to as flat as you’d like them to be after they’re cooked. You’ll have to press them a bit, but the less you press, the better. Pressing the patties keeps them flat, but it also presses out the juices. 
  • I have a recipe for copycat Whataburger secret sauce here if you’d like to make your own, but you can also buy it at your grocery store to save time if you prefer. 
  • Use a large cast-iron skillet if you can when toasting the sandwiches. Cast-iron skillets hold the heat better and produce a better finished product. 

Patty Melt Ingredients

Here’s a quick look at the ingredients you will need to make these delicious patty melts. The actual measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Lean ground beef
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • Paprika
  • Slap Ya Mama
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Onion
  • Butter
  • Texas toast
  • Monterey Jack cheese (can use cheddar cheese)
  • Creamy pepper sauce(actual Whataburger sauce from the grocery store)

Make You Own Whataburger Secret Sauce

  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Slap Ya Mama seasoning
  • Black pepper
A stack of patty melts with a small white bowl of creamy sauce.

How to Make a Patty Melt

This is a really easy recipe to make. It doesn’t take much work to create, and the finished product is so, so good. You’ll be in and out of the kitchen in no time, making this a great recipe for any day of the week, as well as parties or get-togethers. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Add ground beef, pepper, garlic salt, Slap Ya Mama, and paprika to a large bowl and mix until fully combined. Then, add the eggs and breadcrumbs, mixing well again. 
  2. Roll the ground beef into equal size balls and press into flat hamburgers. 
  3. Place the hamburgers in a 13×9 baking dish and pour the Worcestershire sauce over them to marinate. 
  4. In a large pan or large cast-iron skillet, fry the hamburgers a few at a time until fully cooked, pressing to keep the burgers thin. Repeat until all hamburgers are cooked. 
  5. As you remove the burgers from the pan, place them on a plate and top with a slice of cheese.
  6. Using a separate pan, or the same pan with the grease poured off, if you prefer, melt a tablespoon of butter and add the onions, cooking them until they’re caramelized. 

Assembling the Patty Melt Recipe

  1. Butter one side of each slice of Texas toast. On the other side, add the Whataburger sauce, two burger patties, and onions. 
  2. Place two sandwiches at a time in a large frying pan and cook them over medium heat until golden brown. 

How to Make Your Own Whataburger Secret Sauce

Making your own secret sauce is incredibly simple. It only takes a few ingredients, and you simply mix them all together. That’s all there is to it!

Simply combine mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, barbecue sauce, hot sauce, Slap Ya Mama, and pepper in a small bowl and mix until combined. 

A double collage pin of a few homemade patty melts like Whataburger serves with the title of the recipe in the center of the two photos.

Try This Copycat Whataburger Patty Melt Recipe Today

Whether you’re looking for a weeknight feast or planning a get-together for game day, you need this Whataburger patty melt recipe in your life. It’s so beefy, cheese, and full of that classic Whataburger sauce flavor that it’s always a hit with everyone who takes a bit. Give it a try, and I know you’ll be hooked, too.

A three photo collage of homemade copycat Whataburger Patty Melt recipe.

More Ground Beef Recipes You’ll Love

If this copycat Whataburger patty melt recipe has you craving more delicious ground beef recipes, then check out the links below. 

Cheesy Ground Beef Egg Rolls

Cheesy Beef Sliders

Ground Beef Quesadillas

And, Taco Pasta from Deliciously Seasoned you might enjoy too!

Looking For More Sandwich Recipes

  • Monte Cristo Sandwich – this sandwich is a combination of French toast and a delicious deli sandwich. The entire sandwich is dipped into an egg mixture, like French toast, and grilled to perfection.
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese – A crispy chicken breast, topped with ham and Swiss cheese, stuffed between two pieces of Texas toast and fried to golden brown perfection and then dipped into a delicious sauce.
  • Cheese Toast Bacon Grilled Cheese – You know that delicious cheese toast from Sizzler that is so delicious? Well, this amazing grilled cheese is made with that toast, which you make yourself, along with crispy bacon and cheddar cheese 

Patty Melt – A Copycat Whataburger Recipe

Great Grub, Delicious Treats

These patty melts are hearty and delicious and now you can make your own Whataburger Patty Melt recipe at home.

Prep Time 40 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 1 hr

Course Dinner, Lunch

Cuisine American

Servings 5 Patty Melts

Calories 1243 kcal


  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 10 slices Texas toast
  • 10 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • 15.5 ounce bottle creamy pepper sauce (actual Whataburger sauce from the grocery store)

Make You Own Whataburger Secret Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Slap Ya Mama seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • In a large bowl, add ground beef, pepper, garlic salt, Slap Ya Mama, and paprika. Mix until seasonings are fully incorporated. Add in eggs and breadcrumbs. Mix well.

  • Roll ground beef into equal sized balls. Press into flat hamburgers.

  • In a 13×9 baking dish, pour in worcheshire sauce and let hamburger patties marinade.

  • In a large fry pan, fry hamburgers a few at a time and continue pressing to keep hamburgers thin.

  • Remove from pan and top with a slice of cheese. Place on a plate (until assembling the patty melts).

  • Continue until all hamburgers are cooked.

  • In a separate pan, melt butter, add onions, and cook until onions are caramelized.

  • Butter one side of each piece of Texas toast. Add creamy pepper sauce, two patties, and caramelized onions to make a sandwich.

  • Place two sandwiches at a time in a large frying pan and cook over medium heat until golden brown.


Calories: 1243kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 83gFat: 76gSaturated Fat: 31gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 324mgSodium: 2361mgPotassium: 1443mgFiber: 4gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 978IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 540mgIron: 22mg

Keyword Copycat Whataburger Patty Melt, Patty Melt, Whataburger Patty Melt Recipe

Here are a couple pics that are perfect to save to your favorite Pinterest boards.

Half of a patty melt with a bite taken out of it on a wooden board with a small white bowl filled with a creamy sauce, with more patty melts in the background.
A couple patty melts on a wood board with a small white bowl of creamy sauce in it.

Enjoy, Terri

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