Whataburger Patty Melt sure is a tasty sandwich. What could be better than a flavorful burger, melted cheese, cooked onions, and creamy pepper sauce between buttery Texas toast?
The humble patty melt has been a staple of diners and restaurants across the US for decades. If you have never had one before, looking at it, it’s easy to make the mistake of thinking of it as just a cheeseburger served on bread. But it is so much more than that.
Many folks think Whataburger serves the pinnacle of patty melts with its thick crusty bread and spicy patty melt sauce. If you agree and are craving the version of the patty melt Whataburger makes, you are going to love this recipe!
What’s the Difference Between a Cheeseburger and a Patty Melt?
Let’s first get out of the way any notion that a patty melt is just a poor man’s cheeseburger. That’s not the case. Except for using the same burger patties, the two sandwiches share very little in common.
The most noticeable difference is that patty melts use bread, not buns. Although most short-order cooks make patty melts with toasted rye bread, Whataburger switches things up and substitutes thick slices of Texas-style toast.
The lightly toasted, thick-cut bread ups the crunch factor considerably and eliminates the tang of the rye bread that some people don’t enjoy.
And then there are the onions. You can’t have a patty melt without them. Even if you are someone who generally doesn’t like to put onions on burgers, you are going to love these richly caramelized onions.
If you are making a Whataburger Parry Melt, it’s well worth setting aside about an hour to make these fall-apart soft, sweet onions. However, if you don’t have the time, check out the “Tips” section below for a quicker way to make caramelized onions.
Let’s Talk About Whataburger Patty Melt Sauce
This creamy chipotle-flavored patty melt sauce is the real game-changer. It adds an incredible amount of complex flavors and takes this patty melt beyond the ordinary.
Despite the patty melt sauce’s long list of ingredients, putting it together is quick and easy, so definitely make it. You can even double the recipe and keep it covered in the fridge for up to two weeks. Try it on fries or even as a dip for veggies!
Tips for Making a Whataburger Patty Melt
- Give rye a try. Sure, some people don’t like the taste of rye bread, but it takes the Whataburger Patty Melt in a whole new direction. Traditionally, Jewish-style corn rye was the way to go, but you can get a bit fancy by using marbled rye bread instead.
- Steam your cheese. It’s called a patty melt, so you had better make sure that the cheese good and gooey. To melt the cheese quickly and prevent the patties from overcooking, pour a little water around the edge of the pan you are cooking in, and immediately cover with an upside-down pan. The steam from the water will take about a minute to melt the cheese.
- Save time caramelizing your onions. Cooking the perfect onions for a patty melt can take up to 45 minutes, but who has time for that? Try this quick method of caramelizing onions from America’s Test Kitchen to cut the prep time in half.
Watch us cook up your favorite Whataburger recipes on YouTube!
Here’s what you need for the Whataburger patty melt sauce:
- Kraft mayonnaise, you can also use Duke’s or Hellman’s
- Dry mustard powder
- White vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Ground white pepper
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Dried parsley
- Accent flavor enhancer (MSG), optional
Here’s what you need for the patty melts:
- Texas toast
- Ground beef chuck
- White onion
- Monterey Jack cheese slices
- Patty melt sauce
How to Make Whataburger Patty Melt
- Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Mash and stir until smooth.
- Place the sauce in an airtight container and let it set for at least 1 hour.
- Heat a grill pan or a large cast iron skillet to medium heat.
- Spread butter on both sides of the Texas toast slices.
- Cook both sides of the bread slices in the skillet until toasted and browned.
- Place the ground beef and salt into a bowl. Mix well.
- Shape the beef into 4 thin round patties.
- Melt butter in the skillet.
- Add onions and salt to the melted butter.
- Cook the onions until they have browned then remove them from the skillet.
- Place all four burger patties in the skillet and cook them for 3 or 4 minutes and then flip the burgers.
- Add the cheese slices on top of the meat. Cook the burgers for another 3 or 4 minutes or until cooked through.
- Spread some sauce on a slice of the toasted bread.
- Scatter onions on top of the sauce.
- Add a burger patty and then place another toasted bread slice on top.
- Repeat with the remaining bread and patties.
Love Whataburger? Try these copycat recipes!
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Whataburger Patty Melt
Creamy Pepper Sauce
- 1 cup Kraft mayonnaise You can use Duke’s or Hellman’s
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
- 1 1/3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dry parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon Accent MSG optional
- 8 slices Texas toast
- 1 tablespoon butter softened
- 1 pound ground beef chuck
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons butter
- ½ cup chopped white onions
- 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
Creamy Pepper Sauce Preparation
Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Mash the chipotle peppers as you stir the sauce until you have a uniform mixture.
Place the sauce in an airtight container and let set for at least 1 hour before using for best flavor.
Heat a grill pan or a large cast iron skillet to medium heat.
Spread butter on both sides of all four slices of toast.
Place buttered bread slices in the skillet and cook on both sides until toasted and browned.
Place the ground beef into a bowl. Add salt and mix well.
Form the beef into 4 thin round patties.
Add 2 teaspoons of butter to the skillet.
Add onions and a pinch of salt to the skillet.
Cook the onions until they have browned. Remove the onions from the skillet.
Place all four burger patties in the skillet.
Cook the patties for 3 or 4 minutes and flip the burgers.
Add the slices of cheese on top of the meat. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes or until cooked through.
Build the Patty Melts
Spread about 1 tablespoon of sauce on a slice of the toasted bread.
Scatter onions on top of the sauce.
Add a burger patty and then place another toasted bread slice on top.