Cuteness aside, sliders are a great addition to any party or dinner. The small size makes them perfect for any appetite since you can eat just a few or a whole pile. They also cook a lot faster than a standard burger, with the exception of the braised ginger chicken. You can even make things super easy by setting up a bar for guests to assemble their own. Just set out buns, toppings, and the cooked meat or patties. You’ll have a feast without feeling chained to the kitchen.
1. Cheddar-Bacon-Onion Sliders
Bacon cheeseburgers get even better when you add some seared onions to the equation. Try the method with these mini burgers from The Little Kitchen. Because the star players have so much flavor, you only need a few other ingredients to pull off this recipe. When purchasing your beef, go for chuck labeled 80% lean to ensure the juiciest patties.
- 1 pound ground chuck, divided into 8 equal patties
- Salt and pepper
- 2 small onions, ½ diced, and 1½ sliced
- ½ to ¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 slices bacon, cooked
- 8 dinner or slider rolls, split
- 1 tomato, sliced
- Lettuce leaves
Directions: Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Season both sides of all beef patties, and add to the hot skillet. Add half of the patties and half of the sliced onions to the pan. Patties will take about 2 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Occasionally stir onions to ensure even cooking. Once burgers are cooked and onions are golden, remove to a plate, and keep warm. Repeat with remaining burgers and onions.
Working in batches, toast buns, cut-side down, in the same skillet until golden, about 1 to 1½ minutes. Top bottom halves of buns with burgers, cheese, bacon, cooked onions, raw onion, sliced tomato, and a few lettuce leaves. Serve.
2. Cuban Sliders
Most Cuban sandwiches use a fancy press to achieve a hot interior and crisp exterior. Instead of running out to buy a whole new piece of kitchen equipment, use Southern Living’s smart method to make these Cuban Sliders. You leave all the sandwich rolls attached, and remove the top in a single piece. Add your fillings, close with the top halves of the rolls, then press the whole thing like one giant sandwich in the oven with a preheated sheet tray and a heavy skillet. Once the sandwiches are done, you can easily cut them into individual portions.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 (12-ounce) package Hawaiian sweet rolls
- 4 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
- 4 ounces thinly sliced deli-roasted pork
- 6 (1-ounce) Swiss cheese slices
- ½ cup chopped dill pickles
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread olive oil on a jelly-roll pan, and place in oven to heat.
Remove rolls from package, making sure not to separate. Cut in half to create one top and one bottom layer. Top bottom half with ham, pork, and cheese. Spread chopped pickles over cheese. Spread mustard on cut sides of top half, and place on top of bottom layers to make one large sandwich.
Remove jelly-roll pan from oven, and carefully transfer sandwich to the pan. Place a cast-iron skillet or other large, heavy pan directly on top.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into 12 sliders. Serve.
3. Sausage and Peppers Sliders
It doesn’t get much better than a satisfying roll piled with sausage and peppers. The only problem is the massive meal often leads to a bout of sleepiness as soon as you’ve finished eating, which is not good for any gathering. Keep things a little more manageable with these Italian sausage sliders from Rachael Ray. If you get hungry later, you can always grab a few more.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- ½ small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound bulk sweet or spicy Italian sausage
- 8 (½-inch-thick, 1-inch square) cubes of provolone cheese
- 8 small dinner rolls
Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring, until veggies are tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add Worcestershire, and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a second skillet set over medium-high heat. Shape sausage into thin patties, and wrap each patty around a cube of cheese. Cook patties 4 minutes per side, or until deeply browned and firm to the touch.
Serve patties on rolls, and top with peppers and onions. Set roll tops in place. Serve.
4. Pulled Ginger Chicken Sliders with Cilantro Slaw
Burgers aren’t the only sandwiches that make great sliders. Try something a bit different by making Cooking with Ruthie’s Asian-inspired, braised chicken sandwiches. Ease is the name of the game with this recipe because the meat cooks in the slow cooker. You can even serve straight out of the insert once you’ve shredded the chicken. And don’t skip the slaw. It adds great crunch and acidity.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup lime juice, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- ½ cup finely sliced red onion
- 16 whole-wheat slider buns
Directions: Combine chicken, onion, ginger, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice in a slow cooker. Set lid in place, and cook chicken for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred using two forks, then transfer back to the slow cooker. Mix to coat with sauce, and keep warm.
In a medium bowl, whisk remaining lime juice, olive oil, and cilantro to form a dressing. Add cabbage and onion. Toss to coat.
Serve chicken on buns, and top with slaw.
5. Spicy Whiskey Barbecue Sliders
A lot of people have an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to preparing meals, meaning everything is made from scratch or it’s all purchased. It’s time to break the habit because using a few shortcuts from the grocery store allows you to put your stamp on something without having to spend hours in the kitchen. Give it a try with The Pioneer Woman’s sliders smothered in whiskey sauce. This recipe takes a little bit of help from purchased barbecue sauce, but makes it more special with a little bit of booze and some pickled jalapeños. Your pals will never suspect you cheated.
- 2 pounds ground beef, bison, or turkey
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- ½ cup whiskey
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- ¼ cup pickled jalapeño slices
- 12 slider buns or dinner rolls, split
Directions: Form meat into 12 equal patties, and season both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add patties, and cook until just a bit pink in the center, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove patties, and set aside.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons of grease from skillet, and then return to the burner. Add onions and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, add whiskey, then transfer back to the burner. Let simmer while stirring. Reduce by half, about 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in jalapeños and barbecue sauce. Return patties to the skillet, and turn to coat in the sauce.
Serve burgers on buns, spooning additional sauce over the top of each.
6. Lamb Sliders with Feta Cheese, Red Onions, and Cumin Mayonnaise
Lamb has a tendency to sound fancy, which scares a lot of people away from eating it very often. Fancy implies fussy and time consuming. Fortunately, Food52’s shrunken lamb burgers are a complete breeze to cook. This recipe only serves 6, so be sure to scale up if you’re entertaining a crowd.
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 pound ground lamb
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil
- 6 thick slices of Greek feta cheese
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- 6 slider buns, split
Directions: Preheat a cast-iron pan or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, stir together mayonnaise and cumin. If desired, add more cumin.
Season lamb with salt and pepper. Shape into six even patties, and brush each with olive oil. Place patties in preheated pan, and cook to desired doneness, about 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.
In the same skillet, toast buns until golden.
Build sliders by spreading cumin mayo on the bottom halves of buns. Top each bottom bun with a patty, a slice of feta, red onion, then close with bun tops. Serve.
7. Chorizo Sliders with Spicy Avocado Spread
Chorizo tastes just as good in a burger as it does any taco, so try this slider recipe from Daphne Brogdon, featured on Food Network. Adding ground pork to the seasoned sausage helps keep the patties from tasting too spicy and also works as a binder to hold the burgers together. Some melted cheese and a zesty avocado spread are the perfect finishing touches.
Manchego cheese has a nutty quality that tastes wonderful on these sliders, but we’re partial to smoked cheddar. If you’re having trouble finding ripe avocados at your store, just buy a container of premade guacamole and stir in a bit of sour cream and chili powder.
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- Juice of 1 lime
Sliders and assembly
- 1½ pounds ground pork
- 8 ounces fresh chorizo, removed from casing
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ onion, diced
- 8 ounces Manchego cheese, cut into think slices
- 12 slider buns
- 12 iceberg lettuce leaves
Directions: Add avocado, sour cream, 1 teaspoon salt, coriander, chili powder, cayenne, and lime juice to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. If needed, season with additional salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large bowl, combine pork, chorizo, cumin, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic, and onions. Mix thoroughly, but gently. Form into 12 equal patties, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Grill patties until fully cooked, 3 to 4 minutes per side. In the last few minutes of cooking, top each with cheese, and cover grill with lid to let melt.
Spread each roll bottom with avocado mixture. Top with burgers, lettuce, and bun tops. Serve.