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Classic Patty Melt, With a Venison Twist

A classic patty melt is something I always look for on a restaurant menu, but am generally met with disappoint. If you’re like me, I am always looking to try new recipes especially when the main ingredient is ground venison.

I can only handle so many spaghetti nights before it gets a little old. This recipe allows for you to put a twist in your cooking and add something new / different to the ground venison menu in your household. While there are several ways to cook a great patty melt, this is just one way that we have found to be consistently good and easy to make without too much thought.

This one pan dish will surely be a favorite and is a great introductory meal to someone who may not be too keen on venison.. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

You Will Need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground venison (makes 8, 3 Oz patties)

  • 2 Tbsp Salt/Pepper

  • 2-3 Tbsp Garlic Powder

  • 1 White onion

  • Bread (We like to use Dave’s Killer Bread, Good Seed or Rye Bread)

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

  • 2 Tbsp Oil (I prefer using olive oil)

  • Swiss Cheese

  • Tomato (Optional)


  1. First, you will want to take your pan, I prefer using a cast iron if you have it and start pre-heating it on medium high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of your oil so that it can start heating up with the pan. Then you will want to cut your onion in an elongated fashion to make them into shoestrings. Once your pan is hot, add the onions to the pan and let them cook down for about 7 mins or until soft. Be sure to stir the onions every 30 to 60 seconds.

  2. Once your onions have cooked down add 1 Tbsp of butter and a pinch of salt into the pan and continue to stir for another 10-15 minutes. You want those onions to caramelize and take on a nice brown / black coloring.

  3. While your onions are caramelizing, take your ground venison and evenly distribute the meat into eight, 3 oz patties. Then take those patties and smash them until they are about ½ inch thick. These patties, unlike a traditional burger, will be thin and cook fast.

  4. Once your patties are smashed, season both sides with your salt, pepper, & garlic powder. Feel free to adjust these measurements to your liking. I personally like more garlic power.

  5. Once your onions are caramelized, take them off the pan and set aside.

  6. Reduce your heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Begin adding your patties. Cook each patty for approximately 3-5 minutes on each side. Everyone’s stovetop cooks a little different, so be sure to keep an eye on your cooking. I prefer to side on the error of caution and go for a smaller cook time as I like my patties more medium rare.

7. When you are done cooking your patties, set them aside. Keep your pan on medium heat as you are about to use it again. Take your bread, open face, and add 1 slice of cheese to each piece of bread. Then add your onions followed by two patties on each side. Optional add a slice of tomato because health. Bring both pieces of bread together and add your remaining butter to the pan.

8. Once the butter has heated up, place your patty melt into the pan and cook both side until golden brown. Once golden brown, take it out of the pan and onto the table.

Recipe by @cole_ried

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