Barbecue Bacon Sliders with Crispy Shoestring Onions

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This was the recipe we used to win the Better Homes and Gardens cook-off in 2010, and it never disappoints! Juicy, seasoned ground beef on a soft bun with a leaf of cool lettuce, crisp bacon, garlicky blue cheese mayonnaise, and crunchy fried onions? Yeah, you can’t go wrong there.


Barbecue Bacon Sliders with Crispy Shoestring Onions

1½ pounds high-quality 85% lean ground beef
½ cup Spiced Barbecue Sauce (Savoring the Seasons, p. 109) or your favorite bottled barbecue sauce, divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8–10 small white dinner rolls or sweet Hawaiian rolls, sliced in half, and toasted, if desired
Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread (see recipe below)
8–10 crisp lettuce leaves
8–10 slices bacon, cooked crisp
Crispy Shoestring Onions (Savoring the Seasons, p. 108)


Heat a grill pan on the stove top or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Combine beef, 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper. Divide and shape mixture into 8–10 3⁄4-inch-thick patties. (When shaping the patties, keep the size of your bun in mind, as well as the fact that the burgers will shrink quite a bit while cooking.)

Grill 2–3 minutes and then flip. Brush the top side of each burger with some of remaining sauce. Continue grilling another 2 minutes and flip burgers again, brushing the other side with additional sauce. Continue to cook and brush with more sauce until internal temperature of the burgers reaches 160–165 degrees F.

To assemble, lightly spread the bottom half of each bun with Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread and top with a lettuce leaf. Break each bacon piece in half and place on top of lettuce leaves. Place burger on top and drizzle with additional barbecue sauce, if desired. Top with a small handful of Crispy Shoestring Onions. Spread remaining Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread on top halves of buns.


Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread

½ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese (you can use feta if you don’t love blue cheese)

Whisk together mayonnaise, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and garlic. Stir in crumbled blue cheese. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Tip: The Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread can be made 2–3 days ahead of time, which helps reduce actual meal preparation time.

Makes 8–10 sliders

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