Copycat McDonald’s Cheddar Melt

“Bring it back!” “Bring it back!” That’s what a lot of folks are saying when they think about McDonald’s Cheddar Melt, which first came out around 2000, but it wasn’t available for long. But, so far, no luck. That’s when you have to step up and make it at home. And hey, to be honest.. it’s even better than I rememeber!

The real winning flavor on these McDonald’s Cheddar Melts is the onion and teriyaki mixture. It compliments the meaty burger and creamy cheddar sauce perfectly. I grilled my burgers because, well, that’s what I do, but you can also cook the burgers in the same pan that you cook the onions.
The cheese and onions are also perfect on hot dogs, so don’t be afraid to double or even triple the recipe. And hey, a dash or two of hot sauce isn’t a bad idea either. But don’t go crazy with it. You definitely do not want to hide the wonderful flavor of the toppings on these McDonald’s Cheddar Melts. Heck, you could just eat the cheese and onion with a spoon!

After enjoying a McDonald’s Cheddar Melt try a homemade Arch Deluxe. It’s crazy good too!

McDonald's Cheddar Melt
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
For the cheese sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted. butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Pinch each Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the onions
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon teriyaki sauce (store-bought or use my homemade version, below)
For the burgers
  • 4 burger patties
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
For the teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
For the cheese sauce
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
  2. Whisk in the flour until combined. Cook for 1-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Whisk in the milk and continue whisking for 3 minutes to thicken.
  4. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to low until ready to use.
For the onions
  1. Add oil to a medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender.
  3. Stir in the teriyaki sauce.
  4. Reduce heat to low until ready to use.
For the burger
  1. Season burgers well with salt and pepper. Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking. Optionally, you can cook the burgers in the same skillet as you cook the onions.
  2. Grill burgers to desired doneness.
  3. Toast buns if desired.
  4. Assemble burgers by placing patties on buns. Top with cheese sauce and onion mixture.
For the teriyaki sauce.(makes more than you'll need for the burgers)
  1. Place 3/4 cup water, ginger, garlic powder, brown sugar, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. In a small cup or bowl combine 1/4 cup of water and the cornstarch. Whisk the mixture into the saucepan.
  3. Heat until sauce is the desired thickness, about 3 minutes. If too thick whisk in a bit more water.

Copycat McDonald’s Hamburger

Just because I don’t eat fast food doesn’t mean I can’t make it at home. The last time I had an original McDonald’s hamburger, I believe Star Wars was just out in the movie theaters. Yep it’s been a while. But you know, this copycat version really brought back memories. It takes just like I remember the original burger to be. Now mine might be a tad larger, but then, so am I. The key to this burger is the seasoning. Make a batch and keep it on hand for any burger, not just this McDonald’s burger.
To make the burger feel even more like the original McDonald’s burger I served it with a copycat of McDonald’s French fries. The fries definitely make you think you just pulled out of the drive-thru at your local McDonald’s, opened the bag, and grabbed and ate a handful of hot fries. Admit it, when they’re hot and crunchy, they’re good. Really good. And a great pairing with this hamburger. Top them all with a copycat of Heinz’s ketchup and you’re set for some good eats!

Copycat McDonald's Hamburger
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
Note: Just like the original, these hamburgers will be very thin which can be a bit challenging to make and cook. Don't be afraid to double the size of the patties.
For the burgers
  • 1 pound ground chuck (use 80/20 for the best results)
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onions
  • 10 small hamburger buns
  • 10 hamburger dill pickle slices
  • Ketchup and prepared mustard
  • Wax paper
For the seasoning (makes more than you'll need)
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons Accent
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  1. Divide the beef into 10 equally-sized balls. Form into thin patties 4" in diameter and 1/4" thick. Place onto wax paper and freeze for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place the dried minced onions into a small resealable container. Add enough water to cover by 1". Seal and refrigerate until time to make the hamburgers.
  3. When ready to make the burgers, fire up a grill or heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Working in batches, season the patties liberally on both sides and cook until done.
  5. Toast buns.
  6. Assemble burgers by placing cooked patties on bun bottoms. Add a squirt each of ketchup and mustard, along with a slice of dill pickle and a teaspoon of the re-hydrated onions.
  7. Add the top bun and serve.
For the seasoning
  1. Combine all ingredients.

Smoked Hamburgers

One of my favorite things to make on my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker are smoked hamburgers. After a long smoke session (some lasting through the night), there’s usually still a good bit of charcoal burning in the smoker. No point in wasting all that fuel I say, so I toss a few burgers and a little more smoking wood into the cooker. I let the patties smoke a bit, then transfer them to a super hot grill to get a nice char on them. The end result are great, super moist, tasty burgers.

You can skip the step of finishing the burgers on a grill, but I’d suggest that you don’t. Smoked hamburgers have a different texture than burgers that have been cooked over high heat for a short amount of time. It’s not a bad texture by any means, but if you and your guests are expecting that great grill char, you’ll want to let them (the burgers) to spend a little time over high heat.
Smoked HamburgersSmoked burgers also freeze well. If your smoker is already going, why not load it up with a bunch of patties so you’ll have plenty to enjoy later?

Smoked Hamburgers
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • Ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Fire up your smoker for cooking 225 F- 250 F. Use a light smoking wood, such as apple.
  2. Form beef into patties and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. Place burgers on smoker and cook 60-990 minutes or until beef reaches desired doneness (at least 150 F).
  4. Note: Burgers will not have a char on them like you get when cooked over high heat. To get that great char, remove the burgers from the smoker when they reach 120 F and transfer to a hot grill to finish cooking.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

I was really happy with how these homemade hamburger buns came out. They weren’t as thick as store-bought buns, but they were very soft and tasty. And they made the house smell great!

Homemade Hamburger BunsYou can use this same recipe to make excellent slider buns. If you want to make your buns using dough made in a bread machine, try my recipe here.

Homemade Hamburger Buns
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 buns
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame seeds or poppy seeds
  1. Place the milk and butter in a small pan. Heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool to 110° F.
  2. Stir in the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook.
  4. With the mixer running on low, pour in the milk mixture. Knead until the dough forms a ball. Add more flour if the mixture is too moist.
  5. Increase mixer speed to medium-low and let the dough knead for 5 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in a warm place.
  6. Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough until it is a 10" x 7 1/2 " rectangle. Cut into 2 1/2" squares if making full-sized buns, or 1 1/2" squares for sliders.
  7. Transfer dough squares (you can actually form them into rounds if you want) to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  9. Whisk egg together with 1 teaspoon warm water and brush on top of the dough squares. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and poppy seeds, if desired.
  10. Bake until buns are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely then cut in half.