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Sliders became all the rage years ago. And they never wavered. Sliders are an easy food for entertaining, especially when there’s sports-watching going — like March Madness.

But don’t settle for serving plain small burgers on a bun. Serving a sliders with a variety of toppings and condiments is a cool way to mix up your burger offerings. It’s also a way to feed a crowd, especially if you engage in the all the March Madness games.

Sliders alone without any toppings can be boring sometimes. To kick them up a few notches, think beyond the traditional condiments of mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato and onion.

You can create your own burger bar with a variety of toppings and condiments. Most can be made ahead and just rewarmed if need be. This recipe has three topping options for sliders: guacamole and a dollop of salsa, grilled baby portobello mushroom and Swiss cheese, and grilled red onions and tangy horseradish mayonnaise. The recipe easily doubles for a larger crowd.

Many stores sell pre-made sliders that are about 2 ounces each and about 1-inch thick. Pre-made patties are uniform in size and shape, making them easier to work with. But you can also make and shape your own. You can use ground beef or ground chicken or turkey. All of today’s toppings will work with any ground meat you choose.

Grill the sliders the way you would a regular burger — keeping in mind that they will shrink some. They will also cook a lot faster.

For buns, some stores sell ones just for sliders. Buy the bun size that will fit the size sliders you make.

Once grilled, top with desired toppings, or set out the toppings for your guests to add themselves.


Ketchup, mustard and pickles aren’t your only options for sliders.

Beef sliders 3 ways

Makes: 12

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

You can make three varieties of sliders or make them all the same. Adjust the topping amounts to taste. The amounts for each topping below are for 4 sliders.



1/2 cup prepared guacamole

4 tablespoons salsa

4 tablespoons shredded Mexican cheese blend


4 baby bella mushrooms, about 2 inches in diameter

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 slices reduced-fat Swiss cheese

Small torn pieces of lettuce

Horseradish mayo

1 small red onion, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 teaspoons prepared horseradish or to taste

Small torn pieces of lettuce

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Makes: 12 beef sliders, 2 to 2 1/2 ounces each


Salt and black pepper to taste

12 slider buns


Preheat the grill to medium-high or turn on the broiler.

Assemble all the slider ingredients. Set aside the guacamole and salsa. Wipe the mushrooms clean, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms until soft, about 3 minutes per side. Cut each Swiss cheese slice into quarters. Brush the red onion slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the onion slices at the same time you grill the mushrooms until they are tender.

Mix the mayonnaise with the horseradish.

Season the sliders on each side with some salt and pepper. When the grill is hot, oil the grates. Grill the sliders about 3 minutes on each side. Grill the slider buns if desired.

Remove sliders from the grill.

For the guacamole sliders: On the bottoms of four slider buns, spread some guacamole. Place a slider on top and top with some salsa and shredded Mexican cheese blend.

For the mushroom sliders: Place some lettuce on the bottom bun and top with a slider. Add a quarter piece of Swiss cheese and top with a grilled mushroom.

For the horseradish mayo: Place some lettuce leaves on a bottom bun. Top with the grilled red onion and a slider. Place a dollop of the horseradish mayonnaise on the slider.

Nutrition information not available.

— From and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen


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