When it comes to game night munchies, sliders are an undeniable crowd-pleaser, and not just because the handheld meat sandwiches are so dang adorable. Sliders also scratch one’s snacking itch because they can individualized with so many different types of patties and toppings.
These might look like tiny burgers but they actually are miniature meatloaves shaped to fit inside a slider bun. They’re baked in a cupcake pan or in 1/4-cup mounds on a cookie sheet and are so much juicer than all-beef burgers, thanks to the addition of ground pork.
I used a zesty, mustard-based Carolina Gold barbecue sauce and fresh breadcrumbs, but you could easily substitute panko or rolled oats. For accompaniments, add crispy bacon, shredded lettuce and chopped dill pickles for a nice crunch.
SPICY MEATLOAF SLIDERS WITH BACON
1 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix, or mix of ground beef and ground pork
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup spicy barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
1 1/2 cups soft breadcrumbs (from about 5 slices)
12 slider rolls, toasted
Sliced dill pickle, fried bacon and shredded lettuce, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 12 muffin/cupcake cups with nonstick cooking spray. You also can line a large rimmed cookie sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray, or line the pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, onion, black pepper, salt, egg, Worcestershire and barbecue sauce. Mix well with wooden spoon until ingredients are thoroughly blended. Add breadcrumbs and stir gently to combine (I used my hands).
Using a 1/4-cup measure, pack meat mix in each muffin cup, or unmold onto the prepared pan at least 2 inches apart, flattening each slightly on top to a burger shape.
Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. (An instant-read thermometer should read 160 degrees.) Remove pan from oven, and brush the tops with a little barbecue sauce. Allow mini meatloves to rest for about 10 minutes to lock in the juices.
Split the slider buns and toast if desired. Assemble the sliders with a mini meatloaf, dill pickle, a slice or two of bacon, lettuce and a drizzle of barbecue sauce.
Makes 12 meatloaf sliders.