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Corned Beef Melts

These Corned Beef Melts are the perfect solution to your St. Patrick’s Day leftovers. But they’re so delicious, they’ll have you making corned beef just so you can enjoy these sandwiches!

(This recipe for Corned Beef Melts was originally posted in March 2010, but has been updated with new photos and content in 2019).

Head-on view of three halves of corned beef melts sandwiches stacked on top of each other on a white plate with the recipe title at top

What’s your favorite part of St. Patrick’s Day? (please, please don’t say green beer!!) For me, it’s a tie between corned beef and Lucky Charms. And when I say corned beef, I think I actually mean leftover corned beef. Because my favorite thing is really these corned beef melts that are just the best in the world. Kind of like Thanksgiving dinner sandwiches (which are my other favorite thing in the world), these sandwiches are chock full of St. Patrick’s Day dinner leftovers. But you should know that I didn’t put cabbage in them. Though I actually think that may be delicious, I fear it would turn many of you away. And as is, these corned beef melts are perfection.

Though my family is just a little bit Irish (just a wee bit, if you will), we do have one major St. Patrick’s Day tradition… And that’s always eating corned beef with cabbage, carrots, and potatoes at some point around the holiday. I’ve always really loved corned beef, but I don’t think I’ve met anyone who loves corned beef quite as much as my husband! Now, we usually have corned beef twice a year: at St. Patrick’s Day and on Chris’s birthday. But every time I make these corned beef melts with the leftovers, I say we need to have corned beef more often throughout the year. It’s such an underrated dinner.

CORNED BEEF MELTS RECIPE

These corned beef melts are pretty simple and consist of just your leftover corned beef, provolone cheese, caramelized onions, and grainy mustard… All on rye bread slathered with some butter. It’s hard not to fall in love with them and I have to admit I enjoy them more than I enjoy the actual corned beef dinner itself. Corned beef is generally on sale around St. Patrick’s Day, so get some for the holiday… or just for these corned beef sandwiches!

If you’re making these sandwiches from scratch and don’t yet have leftover corned beef waiting for you, don’t worry… Corned beef is easy to make! Basically, all you need in order to make it is 1) corned beef and 2) time. It will take about 3 hours to boil, so make sure you leave time. And also read the instructions on the package. All I did was bring the water to a boil with the corned beef in it. Then reduce to a simmer and leave for about 3 hours (or until tender). Then I turned the flame off and left the beef in the water for 15 more minutes. And that’s ALL!! Though it’s also delicious to rub some brown sugar on it and broil it for a few minutes, too. Make sure to trim off as much fat as you can. And then slice it up for these corned beef sandwiches.

In the meantime, you’ll want to caramelize the onions the onions. Easiest thing ever. All you do is add a couple tablespoons of butter and some brown sugar in a medium skillet with the sliced onions. Cook on medium heat for about 20-30 minutes until the onions are deep brown and caramelized.

Collage showing process for making caramelized onions, including sliced onions in a skillet and onions in skillet starting to get caramelized

Now it’s time to construct the sandwiches! Butter one side of all your bread slices. And put one from each sandwich on a skillet over medium heat. I’m making 2 sandwiches below.

Spread a thin layer of mustard on the bread slices. Place a slice of provolone cheese on top of the mustard. And top with caramelized onions. And some of that beautiful corned beef.

Collage showing process for making corned beef melts, including rye bread spread with mustard, bread topped with cheese and onions, and bread with corned beef layered on top

Top with the other slice of buttered bread. And after cooking a few minutes on one side, carefully flip the sandwich over. Cut in half. And enjoy.

Head-on view of corned beef melts stacked on a white plate

With a beer or something. But hopefully not a green one. Maybe even some whisky or some Baileys. Actually, save those for dessert. You need to focus on these corned beef melts and they go perfectly with a nice cold beer.

Landscape view of a close-up of a sliced half of a corned beef melt sandwich

Anyway, let’s talk these corned beef sandwiches. They are seriously awesome. I love pretty much any kind of melt (tuna, grilled ham and cheese, etc.), but this is no lie, one of the best I’ve ever had. I always think I’m not the biggest rye bread fan, but then I realize that when it’s all buttery and toasted, it’s so, so good!

Aside from the corned beef, the caramelized onions totally MAKE this sandwich, but everything about it is totally perfect. I do kind of wish I had added cabbage to it, because that would have been fun. Next time.

Head-on view of three halves of corned beef melts sandwiches stacked on top of each other on a white plate

I’m legit about to run out to the store to buy more corned beef just so I can make these again.  There are still a few more weeks before St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s certainly not too early to wear your green, pour yourself a beer, and salute the Irish with this sandwich. But really, I’d eat this absolutely any time of the year, leprechauns or not!

Do you have any St. Patrick’s Day food traditions?

If you’re looking for more St. Patrick’s Day recipes, check out my Guinness Doughnuts with Irish Whiskey Frosting or my Lucky Charms Martini (better than green beer!). And if you still have corned beef leftover, make this Corned Beef Hash from Bowl of Delicious.

5 from 2 votes
These Corned Beef Melts are the perfect solution to your St. Patrick's Day leftovers. But they're so delicious, they'll have you making corned beef just so you can enjoy these sandwiches!
Corned Beef Melts
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

These Corned Beef Melts are the perfect solution to your St. Patrick's Day leftovers. But they're so delicious, they'll have you making corned beef just so you can enjoy these sandwiches!

Course: Appetizer or Entree, lunch
Cuisine: American, Eclectic, Irish
Keyword: Corned Beef, Leftovers, St. Patrick's Day
Servings: 2 sandwiches
Author: Sues
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divded
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 slices rye bread
  • 3 Tbsp grainy mustard
  • 4 slices provolone or Swiss cheese
  • 4 slices leftover corned beef
Instructions
  1. Add 1 Tbsp butter to a large skillet over medium low heat. When melted, add onions and stir until well coated in butter.

  2. When onions are turning transparent, after about 10 minutes of cooking, stir in brown sugar. Continue cooking for 20-40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until onions are well caramelized. Stir in salt and pepper.

  3. Spread remaining 2 Tbsp butter on one side of all four slices of bread. Spread a thin layer of dijon on the other side of the bread slices. Place two slices of bread bread butter-side-down on skillet over medium-low heat.

  4. Place 2 slices cheese on each slice of bread. Top with  corned beef slices and caramelized onions.

  5. Top with the other slice of buttered bread. And after cooking a few minutes on one side, carefully flip the sandwich over. Cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melty.

Corned Beef Melts -- These Corned Beef Melts are the perfect solution to your St. Patrick's Day leftovers. But they're so delicious, they'll have you making corned beef just so you can enjoy these sandwiches! | wearenotmartha.com #cornedbeef #sandwiches #stpatricksday #melts #leftovers

10 Responses to "Corned Beef Melts"

  1. Katie says:

    i don’t think i’ve ever actually eaten corned beef, but anything with provolone cheese and caramelized onions has to be delicious!

  2. Chris Williams says:

    This really hit the spot. I’ve been having a craving for Corned Beef for a while. Thank god for We are not Martha and St. Patrick’s Day.

  3. Nicole says:

    Drooooolinnngggg…! I was just talking about boiled dinner and then all of the sudden, I went to your site and I saw this amazing recipe! It looks so dang good! YUMMY! And the fact that it’s a melt makes it even better. Thanks for this recipe! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  4. katelin says:

    seriously these look amazing and i definitely need to try these, YUM!

  5. Sophie @ yumventures says:

    This is definitely one of the best St Patty’s recipes I have seen yet! YUMMMMM!! Anything with melty cheese is awesome, and I’ve never seen corned beef cooked before! The caramelized onions looks awesome too, I can see how they would make the meal. Happy St Patty’s Day, I hope you will enjoy some green beer 🙂

  6. Megan says:

    Looks delicious!! I love leftover corned beef on rye… and with melty gooey cheese! I’ve never added carmaelized onions — those would take it over the top, I’m sure. Corned beef hash is also a great way to use up leftovers. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  7. Shannon says:

    ooh, i have corned beef once a year, but this looks absolutely phenomenal!!! perfect 🙂 happy st. patty’s day!

  8. Culinary Cory says:

    I like corned beef sandwiches because they are so hearty. A great comfort food to soak up all that green beer. 🙂

  9. Suzy says:

    This looks so hearty and satisfying. Trying it for sure!

  10. Allison says:

    Fantastic combination of flavors! I love these!

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