Whataburger Patty Melt

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Whataburger Patty Melt is beyond delicious, from the juicy beef to the zesty sauce. Learn to make this outstanding patty melt recipe at home!!

Two cheesy burger patties are topped with caramelized onions and signature sauce, served on crunchy Texas toast. Wow your friends with this copycat recipe.

closeup of whataburger patty melt


Another copycat fast food recipe coming your way! This time, I’ve mastered the Whataburger patty melt, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

I don’t have to tell you that the biggest reason why people rave about this sandwich is their creamy pepper sauce. Well, I’ve copied it perfectly! And the best part about making it at home? You can use as much as you want!

Whataburger Patty Melt

While this recipe is a true copy of the original and includes two patties, it’s just as delicious with just one! Don’t be shy about adjusting the patties and amount of cheese, onions, and sauce to make your sandwich exactly the way you like it.

overhead: ingredients to make a Whataburger patty melt

Did I catch you in a burgers mood? I have so many recipes listed on my site, from bacon cheeseburgers to veggie burgers! Check them out and let me know what you think.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Skip the lean blends. A higher fat percentage in your ground beef (I used an 80/20 ratio) gets you the best flavor without having to season the meat, and it’s closest to the original!
  • Add some salt. Speed up the time needed to caramelize the onions by sprinkling them with salt. It helps the veggie “sweat” and really helps them get that golden brown color! Avoid burnt onions by stirring regularly and keeping the temperature at medium low.
  • Want more sauce? This recipe makes about ½ cup, enough for 6 sandwiches. Feel free to double the amounts for extra to spread — or for dipping fries!
  • Toast the bread first. These should go in before the patties to keep the meat warm and warm the cheese to ooey gooey perfection. Of course, if you have a large enough skillet, you can toast the bread and cook the meat at the same time! This would be ideal.

overhead: caramelized onions and cheese on toasted bread in skillet

Whataburger Patty Melt FAQ

What is Whataburger patty melt sauce made of? 

The delicious creamy pepper sauce is a combination of mayo, mustard, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Seasoned with onion and garlic powder, black pepper, and just a bit of sugar, its mouthwatering tanginess is intoxicating!

Whataburger sandwich and french fries

Is a patty melt the same thing as a hamburger? 

Nope, but there’s only a minor difference between the two! Melts are served on toasted bread, whereas burgers are most often served on a bun.

What is the best way to store Whataburger patty melts?

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to 1 month.

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

ground beef patties, caramelized onions and melted cheese on Texas toast

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patty melt sandwich, close up

Whataburger Patty Melt

Donna Elick
A Whataburger Patty Melt is beyond delicious, from the juicy beef to the zesty sauce. Learn to make this popular patty melt recipe at home!
4.41 stars from 5 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 4 sandwiches


  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 20 ounces lean ground beef patties, 4 patties, 5 ounces each
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices Texas toast
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese

Creamy Pepper Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


  • Melt butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
    Add sliced onions and sprinkle with salt. Heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes, or until onions are caramelized and golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, cook beef patties in a skillet over medium high heat – cooking for 2-3 minutes on each side (or to desired doneness).
    When you flip the patty, add slices of cheese to cover the top of the patty – they will melt while the other side is cooking.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the creamy pepper sauce. Set aside
  • Spread both sides of the texas toast liberally with butter.
  • For each patty melt – add texas toast to the pan to toast one side. Flip the toast over and while the other side is browning, add two beef patties (each topped with melted cheese). Mound the top patty with caramelized onions.
  • Toast the second piece of bread on both sides. Liberally spread creamy pepper sauce on one side of the toasted bread and place it, sauce side down, on the patty melt.
  • Place bun top onto patties and serve.

Donna’s Notes

Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
We used a fattier ground beef (80%lean 20%fat) for these patty melts – the fat in this meat has more flavor, does not require any add-ins, and is great for a true fast food copycat.
We made these with double patties; single patty melts are also delicious. Estimate a quarter pound of meat per patty – adjust toast and cheese for however many patty melts you wish to make.
The sauce recipe makes about 1/2 cup of sauce – this should be enough to make at least 6 patty melts.
We sprinkle salt over the onions to make them sweat a bit and draw out the moisture – caramelizing them a little faster to a nice deep golden brown. Caramelizing onions still takes a bit of time – keep them over medium low heat and stir regularly so they do not burn.
If you have a large, square skillet, you will have the maximum amount of room to cook the beef patties and toast the bread at the same time. If not, toast the bread first and set aside. Then, cook your beef patties so that they stay warm and the cheese stays melty when you build the patty melt.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 1058cal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 91g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 1032mg | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 377mg | Iron: 9mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published February 2022

titled collage for patty melt recipe

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  1. What is "Whataburger"? I presume it is a burger place, but I live in the Pacific Northwest and have never heard of it. You do mention it is a copycat. Don't assume we all know things like this.

  2. 5 stars
    I have never had whattaburger, but I can’t imagine it compares to how delicious this was to make at home. I loved it, but my husband especially did. This will be something I have to make again!

  3. 4 stars
    I made these last weekend. They are very good. However, I have a couple questions. I have read, reread and read again this recipe. The recipe says it makes 4 sandwiches but by my calculations it only makes 2 sandwiches. What am I missing? Also, the first ingredient is 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided. I did not see where it is divided. Thanks.

    1. Hopefully I can clear up your questions. First of all, if you divide the butter and half you can use half of it for the onions and the other half of it to butter the Texas toast. Secondly, your question about quantity… I believe there is an error because the first version is for two burgers, but there is a multiplier (that doesn’t work correctly) so that you can make 2, 4 or 6 burgers. I hope this clears up your questions.

  4. The Whataburger Patty melt only has grilled onions and pepper jack cheese. The sauce you can now buy at Walmart, even in the states that don’t have Whataburgers. With that said, I make these and their Monterey Melt with their Jalapeno Ranch sauce. Since I am no longer in Texas. They are great.

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