Copycat Steak ‘n’ Shake Frisco Melts

A delicious sourdough and beef patty melt topped with two types of cheese, tangy sauce and optional caramelized onions.

If you are lucky enough to have a Steak ‘n Shake nearby, you may have tried their delicious Frisco Melt. They are addicting and delicious. If the craving strikes you and you’d like to feed your family for much cheaper than ordering these from the store, try my adapted recipe for Frisco Melts. I love them.

ingredients needed

  • ground beef
  • sourdough bread
  • butter
  • onion
  • American cheese
  • Swiss cheese
  • Thousand Island
  • Russian dressing
Copycat Steak 'n' Shake Frisco Melts

Steak ‘n’ Shake Frisco Melts Notes

  • As a few comments pointed out, Frisco Melts don’t always have onions on them. This varies from location to location. I love caramelized onions so I always add them.
  • While two patties per sandwich are delicious, for most appetites it is a lot of food. I only use one patty per sandwich. It stretches the meal a little longer anyhow. If you do this, when you add the cheese in step 2, add both slices of cheese to one patty. 
  • Also, in a pinch I have used only Russian dressing for the Frisco sauce. If I had to choose either Thousand Island or Russian, I’d recommend the Russian dressing.

Looking for more copycat recipes? Check these out!

Steak ‘n’ Shake Frisco Melts

Copycat Steak ‘n’ Shake Frisco Melts

A delicious sourdough and beef patty melt topped with two types of cheese, tangy sauce and optional caramelized onions.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 687 kcal


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 onion sliced thin and caramelized (optional)
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese

Frisco Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. Thousand Island
  • 1 Tbsp. Russian dressing


  • If you haven’t already prepared the caramelized onions, do so first and set aside. Prepare the Frisco sauce and store in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Roll ground beef into 8 golf ball sized balls. Heat a sauté pan to medium high. Add ground beef balls, about 2-4 to a pan, 2 if you have a medium sized pan, or 4 if you have a large pan. The meat should sizzle when you add it, if not, your pan is not hot enough. Let cook for one minute, then flip over and using the back of your spatula, smash the burger flat into a thin patty. After a short time and the ground beef is mostly cooked through, flip once more, and add Swiss to one patty, and one American slice to another. Cover sauté pan to help melt the cheese. Place on a paper towel to drain fat.
  • Spread butter on bread, toast in a toaster oven or in a clean sauté pan until golden. Spread Frisco sauce to each piece of bread. Add warmed caramelized onions to one slice of bread. Add the patties and serve.


Calories: 687kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 36gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 909mgPotassium: 462mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 451IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 408mgIron: 5mg
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Copycat Steak 'n' Shake Frisco Melts


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Recipe Rating


  1. I'm sure its tasty but as a former SnS server….there are not onions on a Frisco melt….at least not in central Illinois

    1. Because it was updated by the author after comments pointed it out. Pay attention to dates. You commented almost 5 years later.

  2. I tried the Russian dressing and it didn't taste like the sauce so I researched further. I read that French dressing is closer to the real thing but I just spent my weekly food budget on these ingredients so I decided I would try the Thousand Island with ketchup and it was pretty darn close to the real thing! Also I bought the amount of meat you stated too and thought I would have melts looking like the one pictured but I needed to go back to the store for more meat if I wanted mine to look like the picture. Thank you though for getting me inspired to make these, when I presented my completed melt..my husband about died and was so sad when I said it wasn't healthy so I don't want to make it too often:p We are working out a compromise right now:D

  3. As a former Steak N Shake employee who actually made the Frisco sauce, I can tell you it is four parts 1000 Island dressing and three parts French dressing. So for a small batch of dressing you could use four Tbsp 1000 Island and three Tbsp French.

  4. As a former sns employee of doing everything, a frisco has no onions and 'frisco sauce' is just 1000 island dressing

  5. This was really good. I did make it with ketchup and thousand island dressing and a second batch with russian dressing and thousand island dressing…both were comparable…didn't taste too different. Either way my boyfriend really enjoyed it and wanted me to make him another! definitely a keeper! onions were a nice touch. very good.

  6. This looks great! Just one thing, though. Steak N Shake doesn't put onion on the Frisco Melt. Minor detail — just thought I'd mention it. 🙂

  7. Can't wait to try these. We are going to Steak and Shake tonight. It's a 40 mile drive one way so you can tell we love the place. We prefer this rather than going out for a nice steak sometimes.

  8. we dont have a steak and shake where i live but i thought i would try this recipe anyway (cause it looked delicious) my family and i love them. the recipe was easy to follow and the flavors were great. i will definitely make them again!!

  9. As I was commenting on the biscuits and gravy I saw this recipe – oh MY!! I love – what we call a patty melt – this burger! We have a steak and shake but who cares? Yours looks WAY better and I can't wait to make it!

  10. This recipe is seriously the bomb!! My husband and I just love Steak n Shake! I just started my own food blog and featured it tonight 🙂 So thank you so much for sharing in the yummyness.

  11. There are no onions on a frisco melt! It's just buttered sourdough, american and swiss cheese, and frisco (1000 island) sauce. We haven't had grilled onions on our frisco since I've worked there (about two years now).

  12. For all of you that commented that sns doesn't use onions please read the post again as it was said that it was a preference. Just sayin!

  13. Following in the footsteps of five of my sisters (one whose name was also Debbie :)), I too worked at Steak N Shake and it was for 2 years (in IL). I actually held the special title as the Master of the Grill for my district. To be fair, it's been twenty years and their recipes may have changed since then, but I doubt it. I've heard people use all sorts of crazy things in their recipes to mimic the Frisco sauce. They did not use Russian dressing (or ketchup as some suppose). They used Thousand Island and French dressings measured in equal parts. The grilled (or caramelized) onion was on the Patty melt which was on Rye bread with American cheese, but not the Frisco (unless specially requested, as Debe clarifies above). The Frisco Melt recipe calls for two fresh slices of tomato. We also grilled our bread rather than toasting it. That makes a big big difference in the taste experience. If you want to get technical, we would butter it with real butter, melted in a roller. Just in case you were wondering, we did not butter the buns that were toasted on the grill to use for steak burgers. Hope this helps everyone!

  14. We would also put the slice of Swiss on one of the sourdough slices, probably because it was too big for the steak-burger patty. The American would go on the bottom patty.

    The SNS Frisco definitely stands apart from all other burgers.

  15. Isn't there also parmesan cheese grilled to the top and bottom of the bread or is that just what I remember? If I am correct, then how do I go about doing that? Using butter on the slices or something else?

  16. Not if it is available everywhere but here in Michigan at our local Kroger store we can buy a bottle of Steak n Shake frisco sauce.