Ground Turkey Patty Melts
This Turkey Patty Melt is made with ground turkey instead of beef- so it is a little lighter and healthier, but it still has all the hallmarks of the traditional classic diner sandwich. This comfort food classic is topped with savory caramelized onions and melted cheese all piled inside golden griddled rye bread.
Table of contents
Why We Love This Recipe For Turkey Patty Melts
If you have never had a patty melt, think of it as a mashup between a burger and grilled cheese. This classic and delicious griddled sandwich is oh-so-cheesy, using multiple types of perfectly meltable cheeses.
- Ready in only 35 minutes
- Has a veggie serving in the form of caramelized onions
- Great for a weeknight dinner
- Made with lean ground turkey instead of beef to make it healthier
- Customizable: check out our suggestions for ways you can make it your own
Ingredients for this Turkey Patty Melt Recipe
- Ground Turkey: This recipe calls for a 1-pound container of ground turkey. We recommend using a minimum of 90% lean as we prefer that it’s lower in fat and calories; however, if you can only find 85% lean, feel free to use it!
- Breadcrumbs: Used as one of the binding agents in these turkey burgers. We recommend using plain, not seasoned, bread crumbs since seasoned crumbs can interfere with all the other flavors of these patty melts.
- Cheeses: We recommend a mix of sweet, slightly buttery cheese like Havarti, Muenster, or Monterey Jack with a nutty flavored cheese like Swiss or Gruyere.
- Onions: When picking your sweet or vidalia onion at the store, choose an onion that is firm, free of any mold or soft spots, and has a nice even white color.
- Worcestershire Sauce: A savory condiment usually described as adding umami to a dish. It’s the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and tangy and adds that extra depth of flavor to these turkey burgers. If you are unable to locate Worcestershire, feel free to swap in tamari or soy sauce for a similar flavor profile.
- Bread: Rye bread is traditionally used for patty melts; however, feel free to sub in the bread of your choice. We also like pumpernickel, marble or sourdough.
- Kitchen Staples: Butter, Salt, Pepper, Egg Yolk
Equipment Note: While we usually reach for our cast iron skillet for stove top recipe, we found that a non-stick skillet was best for caramelizing the onion (step 1) and cooking the patties (step 3). Once the sandwiches are assembled, you can use the skillet again or switch to a griddle so you can brown all four sandwiches at once (step 6.) If you want, you can also griddle the patty melts with a panini press (without additional butter on the bread) to save a little extra calories.
How to Make Ground Turkey Patty Melt Sandwiches
Step 1: Carmelize the Onions
In a heavy, large, non-stick skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add in onion and salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are browned and softened. Transfer onions to a small bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.
Step 2: Form Turkey Burgers
In a medium bowl gently knead ground turkey, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, egg yolk, salt, and pepper. Then divide into four equal portions and gently form into 4 flat oblong burger patties. If the mixture is very sticky or tacky, slightly moisten your hands with a little tap water. Place on a plate.
Tip: Shape the patties into oblong patties like your bread slices to maximize how much of the sandwich is filled with the burger.
Step 3: Cook Turkey Patties
Coat the non-stick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the turkey patties and cook, flipping once until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer registers 165° in the center of each patty. Place on a plate and tent with foil.
Step 4: Prepare the Bread
Place bread on the work surface and evenly spread butter over the bread. Mix the two cheeses together.
Step 5: Assemble Sandwiches
Wipe the skillet clean with a clean paper towel or rinse. Place the clean skillet over medium heat. Place 2 slices of bread, butter side down, and evenly top each piece of bread with some of the cheese mixture. Divide the onion among 4 of the sandwich halves. Top with a turkey patty, and then close the sandwiches, butter side up.
Step 6: Cook Until Cheese is Melted and Bread is Golden Brown
Cook the sandwiches until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, flipping halfway through. Cut in half and enjoy!
FAQs and Expert Tips
The best turkey patty seasoning is a mix of salt, black pepper, garlic, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce.
Traditional patty melt recipes are topped with Swiss cheese. Often, caramelized onions or sauteed mushrooms are tasty additions. We think bacon, pickles, grainy mustard or tomatoes would also be tasty additions.
Yes, patty melts are made with thin patties that are crispy on the outside and juicy in the middle!
A turkey patty melt is a thin, seasoned turkey patty that’s been grilled to perfection, then placed between two pieces of grilled bread and topped with melty cheeses and caramelized onions.
Meal Prep Ideas
While these healthy grilled turkey patty sandwiches taste best when enjoyed right from the griddle, there are a few shortcuts to make this simple recipe even easier!
- Portion out the ground turkey and form into patties one day in advance.
- Cook the onions ahead of time and place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Then, when you are ready to make these patties, remove the onions from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature while you grill the patties.
- Reheat the patty melts in the air fryer for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
What to serve with Patty Melts
These patty melts are pretty hearty but if you are looking for sides to pair with it try one of these ideas.
- Serve with a simple garden salad or Caesar Salad
- Pair with a classic picnic side like healthy classic potato salad or macaroni salad.
- If the whole family is craving diner fare make them happy with baked oven fries on the side or grab a bag of frozen sweet potato fries.
- A classic diner side of course is just a pickle and potato chips!
Substitutions and Variations to Try
One of our favorite things about this turkey patty melt recipe is how versatile it is! Try out one of our suggestions below:
- You can swap in ground chicken or ground beef
- Top with sauerkraut and make these melts more like a Reuben
- To add a bit of texture, top with a grainy mustard like Dijon
- Add additional veggies like sauteed sweet peppers or mushrooms or top with slices of fresh, juicy tomatoes
- For a touch of heat, add sliced jalapenos
- Add slices of crisp bacon for a layer of saltiness and crunch
- Swap the type of bread used! Try serving on sourdough, Texas toast, hamburger bun, or even a pretzel roll
- Instead of griddled bread, make this low-carb and serve it between two pieces of crisp lettuce
- Instead of topping with caramelized onion, top with coleslaw for added flavor and crunch!
- Since it’s customizable, switch up which kind of bread you use for those picky eaters in your house.
- Omit the onions and use a little whole-berry cranberry sauce on the bread!
Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!
Happy Cooking! ~Katie
When comfort food is what you crave, then this ground turkey patty melt is for you! Quick to make and satisfying family favorites, this cheesier and slightly healthier option is sure to please!
- 3 tablespoon softened unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced (French cut)
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 pound ground turkey, preferably 90% lean
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 8 slices rye bread, deli-style
- 3 ounces shredded Havarti, Muenster, or Monterey Jack cheese (1/2 cup)
- 3 ounces shredded Swiss cheese or Gruyere (1/2 cup)
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large heavy non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add in onion and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often until the onions are softened and browned, about 14 minutes. If the onions start to brown before they are translucent, add 4 to 6 tablespoons of water and turn the heat to medium-low to help them soften more slowly. Cook away any excess liquid, if necessary. Scrape the onions into a small bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, gently knead together turkey, the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, bread crumbs, Worcestershire, egg yolk, and pepper in a medium bowl. Form into 4 flat oblong burger patties and place on a plate.
- Coat the skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot add the turkey patties and cook, flipping once, until they are cooked through and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees in the center of each, 8 to 10 minutes total. Alternatively, grill over medium-high for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Place on a plate and tent with foil.
- Lay the bread on the work surface and spread butter over the bread, dividing evenly. Mix the two cheeses together.
- Wash and dry the skillet and place over medium heat (or use a griddle.) Place 2 slices of bread, butter side down, in the skillet (or four slices if using the griddle.) Top each piece of bread with some of the cheese dividing evenly among the bread slices (about ¼ cup total per sandwich.) Divide the onion among 4 of the sandwich halves. Top with a turkey patty and then close the sandwiches, butter side up. Alternatively if using a griddle assemble all four sandwiches at once.
- Let the sandwiches cook until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, flipping halfway, about 5 minutes per side. If using a skillet, repeat with the remaining two sandwiches. If necessary, reduce the heat to prevent the bread from darkening too much before the cheese melts.
- Cut in half to serve.
- Category: Sandwiches
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 596
- Sugar: 3 g
- Fat: 36 g
- Carbohydrates: 35 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 37 g
Keywords: Turkey Burger Patty, Ground Turkey Sandwich, Turkey Burger Sandwich, Turkey Patty Melts