Friday, January 29

Turkey Patty Melts

4 servings
Total cost: NY $6.42/10.21
Cost per sandwich: NY $1.60/2.55

Both Jersey natives*, the LBUH and I grew up hanging out in diners. When we saw Bill Telepan on the Today Show making an elevated version of the classic Jersey patty melt, it got us salivating, although the high levels of butter and red meat gave us pause. (Well, it gave me pause anyway, the LBUH would exist on nothing but an all bacon diet if I let him.)

Turkey Patty Melt
If you don’t know from patty melts, they’re like the perfect union of a grilled cheese and a hamburger. Tasty, yes? Here’s the less heavy version of Telepan’s patty melt that we cooked up.** You’ll notice that we put ketchup right in the meat mixture. We did this for two reasons: (1) turkey meat is less fatty than ground beef, so can get dried out on its own and (2) you shouldn’t be pulling apart a true patty melt to add in any condiments, as it should be partly melted together with the cheese, and partly precariously slippery from the caramelized onions. But in our opinion, its just not a burger without ketchup. OK fine, that’s just my opinion, the LBUH disagrees. But you’re with me, right?

Turkey Patty Melt
  • 2 tbsps olive oil (staple)
  • 3 tbsps butter, softened (staple)
  • 1 large onion (NY $0.79)
  • 8 slices rye bread (staple if you’ve got some/NY $3.79 for a whole loaf)
  • 6 slices reduced fat aged Swiss cheese (NY $1.64)
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (NY $3.99)
  • 4 tbsp ketchup (staple)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard (staple)
  • ½ tsp paprika (staple)
  • ½ tsp cayenne (staple)
  • Salt (staple)
  • Pepper (staple)
Turkey Patty Melt

Slice onion thinly. Melt half a tablespoon butter in one tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned in a large skillet. (If your pan is dark, look for the yellow color of the butter to disappear.) And onion and cook over high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, add a teaspoon of salt and continue cooking another 6-7 minutes, until onions are golden brown and translucent.

Turkey Patty Melt
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine together turkey, ketchup, mustard, spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Form into four patties that are more oval-shaped than round. After the onions are done cooking, add another tbsp of olive oil to the pan and add patties. Cook for about 5 minutes per side over medium heat, or until juices run clear when you press down on the top of each patty with a spatula.

Turkey Patty Melt
While the patties cook, prep the sandwiches. Lay out 8 slices of bread. Top each slice with part a slice of cheese, cutting off the edge so that the cheese doesn’t extend beyond the edge of the bread. Lay the trimmings on the top of the next slice, starting the next slice of cheese after the reset of the trimmings. You’ll end up using about one and a half slices per sandwich.

Turkey Patty Melt
* The LBUH even grew up down tha shourah.

** You’ll note that even though this is lighter version, this is still far from “diet” food. I shudder to think what the fat/calorie content must have been on the version made on the Today Show; I think Telepan glopped about 2 tbsps of butter on each slice of bread. (You’ll note that his recipe literally directs one to “slather” the butter on the bread. Gross.) These make pretty hefty quarter-pound sandwiches. If you like, you could easily make 6 patties out of the meat, or only use one slice of cheese per sandwich.

Turkey Patty Melt
Nutritional Info
Amount Per Serving
Calories 633.4Vitamin A 15.5 %Iron 23.7 %
Total Fat 34.9 gVitamin B-12 0.2 %Magnesium 8.3 %
Cholesterol 133.3 mgVitamin B-6 5.4 % Manganese 33.6 %
Sodium 1,519.4 mgVitamin C 5.3 %Niacin 12.8 %
Potassium 194.3 mgVitamin D 0.0 %Phosphorus 9.9 %
Total Carbohydrate 40.8 gVitamin E 6.5 %Riboflavin 13.8 %
Fiber 4.9 gCalcium 44.0 %Selenium 28.8 %
Sugars 5.5 gCopper 8.2 %Thiamin 19.8 %
Protein 40.4 gFolate 15.7 %Zinc 5.6 %


  1. Yum! I have to try this with my panini grill. I bet it would be delish!

  2. You should know that this site is using your image, possibly without your permission. They appropriated one of mine as well (and have since taken it down). Since they derive revenue from ads on their site, I thought you should know that someone is making money on your work.

  3. That's surely enough for one meal for me... I wonder how long will I be able to finish preparing for this if I'm ask?

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