Sometimes, good things really do come in small packages. Take sliders. It doesn’t seem like a diminutive version of a full-size burger would be anything to get excited about, but for some reason, people can’t get enough of these miniaturized snacks. Whether you’re looking for the perfect party appetizer or are searching for an alternative to the same old boring burger, these bite-size sandwiches are sure to please whoever you’re serving. And while you could just slap some meat and cheese on a bun, the best sliders often involve a little more creativity, as in these five recipes for tiny burgers packed with big flavor.
1. Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Sliders
Sliders are tasty and easy to eat, but piling a lot of ingredients on a tiny patty can quickly result in an unwieldy sandwich. You can simplify things by stuffing the most of the toppings inside the burger, as in this recipe for blue cheese and bacon stuffed sliders from A Bachelor and His Grill.
- 8 to 10 strips hardwood smoked bacon
- 1½ pounds 80/20 ground chuck
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Fresh arugula and Roma tomatoes, to garnish
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place bacon on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Place cooked bacon in a food processor and process for a few seconds. Set crumbled bacon aside.
Combine the ground chuck, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until just combined. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Remove meat from refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Shape into 12 to 14 thin patties.
Preheat grill to high. As you wait for the grill to heat, spoon 1 tablespoon of blue cheese and 1 tablespoon of bacon bits onto half of the patties. Cover with the remaining patties and press together to seal the ingredients inside, forming into a burger shape as you do so.
Brush each patty with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill and cook over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 6 minutes more (for medium) or 8 minutes (medium well). Remove burgers from heat and let rest under a tent of tinfoil for 3 to 5 minutes.
Place each slider on a bun and garnish with arugula and tomato.
2. Kofta Burgers with Yogurt, Feta, and Mint Sauce
Kofta – a type of spiced meatball or meat patty – are the perfect base for delicious sliders. You’ll use ground lamb to make these mini burgers, which are then topped with a cool, creamy sauce made with yogurt, feta, and mint. Recipe from the cookbook Modern Flavors of Arabia, via the Arizona Republic.
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Salt and pepper
- 2 medium cucumbers
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup labneh (yogurt cheese)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Mini pita breads or mini burger buns or rolls
- Tomatoes, onions, and pickles, sliced, for garnish
Directions: Combine all the ingredients for the kofta in a bowl. Form into small patties about the size of a plum and place on a tray (you should have about 16). Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to grill them.
To make the sauce, first seed and grate the cucumbers. Place in a tea towel and squeeze out all of the water. Place in a bowl and add the yogurt, labneh, garlic, mints, and feta. Stir. Taste and add salt, if needed.
Grill the patties on a barbecue (preferable) or griddle pan for about 3 minutes per side. To serve, place the kofta in a mini pita or bun and top with the yogurt sauce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles.
3. Chicken Parmesan Sliders with Pesto Mayonnaise
Ground chicken is the perfect meat when you’re looking for a lighter alternative to the traditional ground beef slider. Garnished with fresh arugula or spinach, pesto sauce, tomato, and red onion, this is a snack that is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Recipe from Traeger Grills.
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons prepared pesto sauce
- 12 slider buns, split
- 3 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Fresh spinach or arugula, for garnish
Directions: Cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap.
Combine the ground chicken, Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, and a few grinds of black pepper in a large bowl. Wet your hands with cold water, and use them to gently mix the ingredients.
Divide the meat in half, then form six 2-inch patties out of each half. Place the patties on the baking sheet, cover with more plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Add the mayonnaise and pesto to a small bowl and whisk until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to cook the sliders, preheat grill to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the chicken patties on the grill and cook, turning once, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about 30 minutes.
To serve, put a chicken patty on the bottom of a slider bun and top with a spoonful of the pesto mayonnaise. Add tomato, onion, and spinach as desired. Cover with the other half of the bun and serve.
4. BBQ Turkey Sliders
Dull ground turkey gets a flavor upgrade when it’s topped with caramelized onions cooked in tangy barbecue sauce. Even better, you only need a handful of ingredients to prepare this tasty recipe from the Food Network’s Claire Robinson.
- 2 pounds ground turkey (not extra lean)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- 16 potato rolls, split in half
Directions: Add the turkey to a large bowl along with ¼ cup water. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and mix to combine. Mold the turkey into 16 slider patties of equal size.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large griddle pan over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Do not move them until they are ready to flip, when brown on the first side.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and caramelize over medium heat, adding water as needed, to deglaze the pan. Add the barbecue sauce to the onions when they are mostly caramelized and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Top each potato roll bottom with a turkey patty and spoon some of the barbecue caramelized onions over the top. Top with other half of the roll and serve.
5. Burger Potato Bites
Bored with buns? Try replacing the traditional roll with crispy waffle fries. Each miniature patty sits on a fried potato base, so you can get your burger-and-fry fix in one bite. Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.
- 16 large frozen French-fried waffle-cut potatoes
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 2 teaspoons grilling seasoning blend
- 4 slices cheddar cheese, cut into quarters (about 4 ounces)
- 4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- Mustard, ketchup, dairy sour cream, and/or dill pickle slices
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil. Evenly space potatoes on baking sheet. Bake potatoes for 18 to 20 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Remove from oven. Adjust oven racks and preheat broiler.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine meat and seasoning. Form into 16, 1-ounce mini burgers (about 2 tablespoons each). In a 12-inch skillet cook burgers, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until temperature registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer, turning burgers once halfway through cooking. Drain fat.
Top each potato with a burger, cheese quarter, and tomato slice. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and tomato begins to brown. Serve with mustard, ketchup, sour cream, and/or pickles.
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