My recipe for Air Fryer Patty Melt is fantastic! I have always loved an incredible patty melt sandwich, and today’s batch in the air fryer did not disappoint!
If you love Air Fryer Hamburgers, you will absolutely love this patty melt; this is a great lunch or a great dinner. Served next to some Air Fryer Homemade Potato Chips or even some easy Air Fryer French Fries, you have a great meal!!
This is a true classic, and you will love this sandwich; it tastes like a classic diner dish! Served on the classic Marble Rye Bread, topped with a hearty helping of sweet onions and some Swiss cheese tops it off. For dinner, I served it with some great pickles. This made for a great and easy meal that my entire family loved!
What Is A Patty Melt?
If you have never heard of a patty melts, it’s a classic American sandwich. It is usually an all-beef patty served between two pieces of bread and topped with cheese and onions.
One of the best things about a patty melt is its versatility. You can make it your own by changing the meat, the cheese, and even the cheese out, and replacing them with your own! You could have a different patty melt every day for a year and never run out of options!
Why You Will Love Air-Fried Patty Melts
Air-Fried Patty Melts combines the classic comfort of a juicy, flavorful hamburger patty with the crisp, buttery goodness of grilled bread, all elevated by the convenience and health benefits of air frying. Here’s why you’ll adore this recipe:
- Crispier Bread, Juicier Patties: The air fryer circulates hot air around the patty melts, ensuring the bread achieves a perfect golden crispness while keeping the hamburger patties juicy and full of flavor.
- Healthier Option: Air frying requires significantly less oil than traditional frying methods, making these patty melts a healthier option without sacrificing the delicious fried taste and texture.
- Quick and Easy: This method simplifies the cooking process, allowing for a quick and easy preparation and clean-up, making it ideal for busy weeknights or a hassle-free lunch.
- Versatile and Customizable: The basic components of the patty melt — bread, cheese, and patties — serve as a blank canvas for various flavors. You can customize your sandwich with cheeses, add-ons like caramelized onions or mushrooms, and various condiments to suit your taste.
- Perfect Anytime Meal: Patty melts made in the air fryer are so versatile they can be enjoyed for lunch, dinner, or a hearty snack, pairing perfectly with sides like fries, salad, or soup for a complete meal.
- Crowd-Pleaser: With their irresistible combination of melted cheese, savory meat, and crispy bread, these patty melts are sure to please both kids and adults alike, making them a great option for family meals or gatherings.
Air-Fried Patty Melts not only offer a modern twist on a diner classic but also bring a deliciously satisfying meal to your table with minimal effort, proving that sometimes, the best comfort foods are also the simplest.
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Patty Melt
Indulge in the classic diner favorite with a twist using your air fryer: the Air Fryer Patty Melt. This delicious sandwich combines juicy beef, melted cheese, and caramelized onions between slices of buttery, toasted bread, all cooked to perfection in the air fryer. It’s a quicker, less messy way to enjoy the comforting taste of a patty melt without sacrificing the crispy exterior and tender, flavorful interior that makes this sandwich a beloved choice.
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Onions: Thinly sliced and caramelized to a golden brown, onions add a natural sweetness and depth of flavor essential to any good patty melt.
- Ground Beef: The heart of the patty melts; ground beef is shaped into thin patties, seasoned to your liking. Choose a higher fat content for juicier results.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Tenderizes the meat.
- Rye Bread: Traditionally used for its distinctive taste, rye bread is lightly buttered and toasted to create the perfect crispy exterior for the sandwich.
- Butter: Spread on the outside of the bread, butter enhances the flavor and achieves that golden, crispy texture when air-fried.
- Swiss Cheese: Melty and slightly sweet, Swiss cheese perfectly complements the savory beef and sweet onions, adding a gooey layer to the sandwich.
- Spices: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Black Pepper: Essential seasonings for the ground beef, bringing out the natural flavors of the meat and making the patty melt more savory
- Other: Cooking Spray
How To Prepare An Air Fryer Patty Melt
Preparing an Air Fryer Patty Melt combines the classic elements of this diner staple with the modern convenience of air frying, resulting in a deliciously crispy and juicy sandwich. Here’s how to make it:
Prep the Patties: Season the ground beef with Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, Kosher salt and black pepper, and shape into thin patties slightly larger than your bread slices. Remember, they’ll shrink a bit as they cook.
Cook the Patties: Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F (176°C). Place the patties in the air fryer basket, ensuring they’re not touching. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through or until they reach your desired doneness. Remove the patties and set aside.
Caramelize the Onions: While the patties cook, caramelize the onions in a skillet over medium heat with a little butter, stirring occasionally until they’re golden brown and soft. This could take about 15-20 minutes for the best flavor.
Assemble the Sandwiches: Butter one side of each slice of rye bread. On the unbuttered side, layer a slice of Swiss cheese, a cooked beef patty, a generous helping of caramelized onions, another slice of cheese, and finally, top with another slice of bread, buttered side up.
Air Fry the Patty Melts: Place the assembled sandwiches back in the air fryer. You might need to cook them one at a time, depending on the size of your air fryer. Cook at 370°F (187°C) for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until the bread is toasted to your liking and the cheese has melted.
Serve: Once cooked, remove the patty melts from the air fryer. Let them sit for a minute before cutting into halves. Serve hot for the best experience.
The classic patty melt is a beloved diner staple known for its savory beef patty, melted cheese, and caramelized onions sandwiched between crispy, buttery bread. When you make it in an air fryer, you not only streamline the cooking process but also open up a world of creative possibilities. Here are some delicious recipe variations to try with your Air Fryer Patty Melt:
- Turkey Patty Melt: Swap out the traditional beef patty for a seasoned ground turkey patty for a lighter version. Turkey pairs well with Swiss cheese, but feel free to experiment with sharp cheddar for a different flavor profile.
- Mushroom and Swiss Patty Melt: Add sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions for an extra layer of umami flavor. This version is perfect for mushroom lovers and adds a gourmet touch to the classic sandwich.
- Jalapeño Popper Patty Melt: Incorporate sliced jalapeños and cream cheese with the Swiss cheese for a spicy kick reminiscent of jalapeño poppers. This version is ideal for those who enjoy a little heat.
- BBQ Patty Melt: Glaze the cooked beef patty with your favorite barbecue sauce before assembling the sandwich. Add crispy fried onions for a crunchy contrast. This variation adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the traditional patty melt.
- Vegetarian Patty Melt: Use a thick slice of grilled portobello mushroom or a vegetarian burger patty instead of beef for a meatless alternative. This variation caters to vegetarians without sacrificing the essence of a patty melt.
- Rye-less Patty Melt: For those avoiding rye or looking for a different taste, substitute the rye bread with sourdough or whole wheat. Each type of bread offers a unique flavor and texture to the sandwich.
- Italian Patty Melt: Mix Italian seasoning into the ground beef and use mozzarella cheese instead of Swiss. Add a layer of marinara sauce for an Italian-inspired twist on the classic patty melt.
- Breakfast Patty Melt: Add a fried egg to the beef patty before covering it with cheese. This version makes for a hearty breakfast sandwich that combines the best of a patty melt and a breakfast burger.
- Tex-Mex Patty Melt: Season the beef patty with taco seasoning and use pepper jack cheese for a Tex-Mex flair. Add sliced avocado or guacamole for creaminess and diced tomatoes for freshness.
- Reuben Patty Melt: Take inspiration from the Reuben sandwich by adding sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing to the patty melt, using corned beef as the patty for an Irish-American twist.
These variations on the Air Fryer Patty Melt prove that this classic sandwich is anything but boring. With a little creativity, you can enjoy a wide range of flavors and textures, all while keeping the preparation simple and quick thanks to the air fryer.
Making a patty melt in the air fryer combines the best of both worlds: the classic, comforting flavors of this beloved diner sandwich with the modern convenience and health benefits of air frying. Here are some pro tips to ensure your Air Fryer Patty Melt turns out perfectly every time:
- Choose the Right Beef: Opt for ground beef with a bit of fat, such as an 80/20 mix. The fat contributes to a juicier, more flavorful patty that won’t dry out during cooking.
- Season Well: Don’t skimp on seasoning your beef patties. A generous sprinkle of salt and pepper can make all the difference in flavor. Feel free to add a dash of garlic powder or onion powder for extra depth.
- Preheat Your Air Fryer: Just like with an oven, preheating your air fryer ensures that your cooking starts at the right temperature for that perfect sear on the patties and crispiness on the bread.
- Thin Patties Are Key: Shape your patties thin and slightly larger than your bread slices to compensate for shrinkage during cooking. This ensures the patty fits the bread perfectly after cooking.
- Low and Slow Onions: Take the time to properly caramelize your onions over low heat on the stove. This slow cooking process brings out their natural sweetness, adding a rich layer of flavor to the sandwich.
- Butter Both Sides of the Bread: Lightly buttering both sides of the bread before assembling the sandwich adds flavor and helps achieve that golden, crispy exterior. Use softened butter for easier spreading.
- Cheese Matters: Swiss cheese is traditional, but don’t hesitate to experiment with other types like cheddar for a sharper taste or pepper jack for a bit of heat. Ensure the cheese is directly in contact with the bread for the best melting.
- Check for Doneness: Air fryer models can vary, so start checking your sandwich a bit earlier than the recipe suggests. You’re looking for melty cheese and toasted bread as indicators of doneness.
- Rest Before Serving: Let the sandwich sit for a minute or two after cooking. This brief rest allows the cheese to set slightly, preventing it from oozing out when you cut into the sandwich.
- Serve Immediately: Patty melts are best enjoyed hot from the air fryer when the cheese is melty, and the bread is at its crispiest.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to create an Air Fryer Patty Melt that’s not just easy and less oily than the traditional skillet-fried version but also deliciously satisfying.
Can I make a patty melt in the air fryer without flipping the sandwich? While you can try, flipping the sandwich ensures even cooking and browning on both sides. It’s recommended to flip for the best results.
What type of bread works best for a patty melt? Traditionally, rye bread is used for its distinct flavor, but you can also use sourdough or Texas toast for a different taste or texture.
Can I use pre-formed hamburger patties for this recipe? Absolutely. Pre-formed patties can save time. Just make sure they’re thin enough to cook quickly and fit well within your bread slices.
How do I prevent the bread from burning in the air fryer? Ensure your air fryer is set to the right temperature (usually around 370°F to 380°F) and keep an eye on the cooking time. Every air fryer is different, so adjustments may be necessary.
What if my cheese isn’t melting? If the cheese isn’t melting by the time the bread is toasted, you can briefly open the air fryer and cover the top of the sandwich with a piece of aluminum foil to help trap heat and melt the cheese without further browning the bread.
Can I add other toppings to my patty melt? Definitely. Feel free to customize your patty melt with additional toppings like sautéed mushrooms, bacon, or avocado. Just be mindful not to overstuff the sandwich to ensure it cooks evenly.
Is it better to use fresh or caramelized onions? Caramelized onions are traditional for a patty melt because of their sweetness and depth of flavor, but you can use fresh onions for a sharper taste or if you’re short on time.
Can I make a vegetarian patty melt in the air fryer? Yes, you can replace the beef patty with a vegetarian patty of your choice. Cooking times may vary based on the patty, so adjust accordingly.
How can I store and reheat leftovers? Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat them in the air fryer at 350°F for a few minutes until warmed through and crispy. The microwave is not recommended as it can make the bread soggy.
Can I make the patty melt ahead of time? While you can prep the components (like caramelizing the onions and forming the beef patties) ahead of time, it’s best to cook the sandwich just before serving to enjoy its crispy texture and melty cheese.
- AIR FRYER POTATO WEDGES
- AIR FRYER FROZEN SWEET POTATO FRIES
- NINJA FOODI BOXED MACARONI AND CHEESE
- INSTANT POT MASHED POTATOES
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
- AIR FRYER FLUFFERNUTTER SANDWICH
- AIR FRYER GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH
- EASY AIR FRYER PEPPERONI CALZONE
- AIR FRYER REUBEN SANDWICH
- AIR FRYER SAUSAGE, PEPPERS, AND ONIONS
- Philips Kitchen Appliances Digital Twin TurboStar Airfryer XXL, with Fat Removal Technology, 3 Lbs, Black, HD9650/96
Don’t Forget To Pin!
Air Fryer Patty Melt
- 1/2 large sweet onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 8 ounces ground beef
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 slices marble rye bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, room temperature
- 4 slices Swiss Cheese
- Season the ground beef with Worcestershire Sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and shape into thin patties slightly larger than your bread slices. Remember, they'll shrink a bit as they cook.
- Preheat the air fryer to 370°F (187°C). Place the patties in the air fryer basket, ensuring they’re not touching. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until they reach your desired doneness. Remove the patties and set aside.
- While the patties cook, caramelize the onions in a skillet over medium heat with a little butter, stirring occasionally until they’re golden brown and soft. This could take about 15-20 minutes for the best flavor.
- Butter one side of each slice of rye bread. On the unbuttered side, layer a slice of Swiss cheese, a cooked beef patty, a generous helping of caramelized onions, another slice of cheese, and finally, top with another slice of bread, buttered side up.
- Place the assembled sandwiches back in the air fryer. You might need to cook them one at a time, depending on the size of your air fryer. Cook at 370°F (187°C) for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until the bread is toasted to your liking and the cheese has melted.
- Once cooked, remove the patty melts from the air fryer. Let them sit for a minute before cutting into halves. Serve hot for the best experience.
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray
- Parchment Paper, optional