Patty Melt Cheese 101: Picking The Perfect Cheese

Are you a fan of the delicious, mouthwatering, and underrated sandwiches known as a patty melts? You known them as super tasty sandwiches with juicy beef, yummy onions, and melty cheese between two toasty bread slices.

But wait, there’s a crucial question to answer: What kind of cheese goes on a patty melt? Here we’ll cover the cheesy world of patty melts and inform you of the best cheese options to make your sandwich extra special.

Best Cheeses for Patty Melts

The Classic Patty Melt: The patty melt was believed to be invented by Tiny Naylor at his Los Angeles drive-ins called Tiny Naylor’s. The classic was reportedly made with rye bread, a beef patty, caramelized onions, and gooey melted Swiss cheese that was prepared on a griddle.

Swiss cheese has a slightly nutty and sweet flavor that melts beautifully and goes well with the savory ingredients. We can’t imagine a patty melt without Swiss but we certainly understand that many people dislike this type of cheese which is why you’ll find several alternatives below.

The Cheddar Charm: If you like stronger flavors, cheddar cheese is a great choice for your patty melt. Cheddar has a special tangy taste that adds extra deliciousness to the sandwich. Sharp cheddar works especially well because it can handle the bold flavors of the beef and onions. Whether it’s white or yellow cheddar, you’ll enjoy a delightful bite in your patty melt.

Patty Melt with American Cheese

The American Allure: American cheese is another option that many people enjoy in their patty melts. It has a mild and creamy taste that pairs well with the yummy beef and sweet onions. American cheese melts smoothly, so when you take a bite, you get that amazing cheese pull! While it may not be the traditional choice, it remains a popular option for those who love the classic American cheeseburger flavor.

The Blend: A local chain of restaurants near The Dairy Dish that has been open since the early 1970s makes its patty melts with a blend of Swiss and cheddar. This is a solid patty melt variation that is hard beat in terms of flavors if you’re a lover of both cheeses.

The Pepper Jack Punch: If you like a bit of spiciness, choose pepper jack cheese for your patty melt. It’s a mix of Monterey Jack cheese and spicy peppers such as jalapeños. This cheese is creamy and typical has a tolerable amount of heat for most adults. The spiciness of pepper jack cheese makes the patty melt taste even better, with a nice balance of heat, richness, and cheesiness. If you like exciting flavors, this is the cheese for you to use on your patty melt!

The Classy Melt: The granddaughter of the inventor of patty melts, Jennifer Naylor, makes her patty melts with Gruyère cheese, ground prime chuck, caramelized onions, and rye bread. Ms. Naylor states in this New York Times article, “I believe that’s pretty close to the original recipe my grandpa served back in the day.”

Keep in mind that Gruyère is a Swiss cheese named after the town in Switzerland. It tastes salty, creamy, and has nutty flavor. In regard to grocery store cheeses, it’s not cheap, at least in U.S. stores. It is often found in the specialty cheese section of the grocery store and not down the dairy aisle like your standard shredded and block cheeses.

The Experimental Explorer: While the cheeses we talked about are popular choices, there are no strict rules. You can be adventurous and try different cheeses to find your own favorite! You can try provolone, mozzarella, or even gouda—there are so many possibilities to discover. Just make sure the cheese melts well and goes nicely with the other ingredients in your patty melt.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right cheese for your patty melt is super important to make a truly amazing sandwich. Whether you go with the classic Swiss cheese, bold cheddar, creamy American cheese, spicy pepper jack, or something totally unique, each cheese adds its own special taste and texture to the patty melt party.

In closing, we should ask if it really is a patty melt if it’s not made with Swiss cheese? We’d say no but who really cares as long as it tastes delicious to you!