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46 slider recipes for game day and beyond

Score a touchdown with these recipes.
Laura Vitale

When it comes to pastimes, there’s nothing more American than football. One of the highlights of game day — aside from the actual game — is the spread of food that parades alongside it. From burgers and wings to nachos and chili, Americans have strong opinions on what’s to pair with the big game. The unofficial criteria requires food that can be easily eaten with your fingers, that’s relatively low lift and has an air of decadence. Think cheesy, saucy and meaty. 

Enter: the slider, the perfect companion for easy watching, which just might be our favorite football food. While we love sitting down with a big ol’ burger, it’s not always the most conducive for game day viewing. Sliders are the answer when you want all the joy of a burger, with less mess. Because of their miniature size, it also leaves room for other game day favorites, like pigs in a blanket and buffalo wings. Or, do what we do and whip up a few different slider options to suit a variety of flavor preferences. 

Now, sliders aren’t just shrunken down hamburgers — they can be any smaller sized sandwich. To constitute as a slider all a recipe needs is to serve something between two buns. We’ve rounded up 45 recipes that cover every potential filling, topping and bun. From the classic cheeseburger to barbecue, cheesesteaks, vegan options and even a lobster roll, we’ve got you covered with every slider you could dream of. 

Cheeseburger Sliders

If you’re serving a crowd that loves the classics, you can’t go wrong with a cheeseburger slider. The secret to success is adding a bit of cream cheese to the ground beef mixture, which keeps it moist and tender, while also giving the beef necessary structure. While you could use any sliced cheese on top, American works particularly well here. 

Beef and Cheese Sliders

These sliders pay homage to Detroit. The beef gets browned first before it’s mixed with cooked onions, peppers and mushrooms, which add more body to the base of the sliders. This recipe amps up the flavor with not one, but two, types of cheeses. Start by layering provolone on the buns, top with the beef mixture and then add a generous amount of cheese whiz before finishing them in the oven.

Pork Sliders with Peperonata

Pork sliders might not be traditional, but they sure are delicious. What makes this recipe a standout is incorporating cubes of provolone into the pork patties. As the pork cooks, the provolone starts to melt, giving that classic cheese pull look. Don’t skimp on the peperonata, which amps up the flavor in every bite.

For a real crowd-pleaser, turn to these smokeshow sliders, which are all about turning the flavor up to the max. The secret sauce adds tanginess to cut the fattiness of the beef and cheese. Meanwhile, a dollop of homemade bacon-onion jam adds umami to every bite — and the best part is you can make it in advance.

Mexican Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

You may not think that Philly cheesesteak and Mexican-inspired flavors are a natural pairing, but trust us, this really works. Thinly sliced ribeyes are cooked along with onions, jalapeños and bell peppers before softrito and beef stock are added. Rather than American cheese or provolone, this recipe opts for incorporating two types of Mexican cheese, which get folded directly into the steak mixture, ensuring the optimal cheesiness. 

Give anything the French onion soup treatment and it’s sure to be a standout. Here, beef patties are topped with Gruyere cheese and onions before they’re baked. Caramelized onions are an umami bomb of flavor that make anything they touch craveable, and this just might be the best mashup yet. 

If you’ve ever spent time on the West coast, you’ve surely come across In-N-Out. While their regular burgers are great in their own right, ordering them animal-style is always the move. This recipe riffs on the classic by pairing homemade special sauce with sweet and tangy bacon jam for a drive-thru-inspired bite. 

In the last few years, hot chicken has taken the nation by storm — and for good reason. This style of super spiced, crispy chicken is a real crowd-pleaser. Don’t skip out on the Gochuchang-infused barbecue sauce, which adds an extra kick of heat to the sliders.  

Siri Daly's Sticky Ham Sandwiches

Inspired by a beloved family friend, Siri Daly recreates a hometown favorite. Sliced ham is layered with Swiss cheese and baked on sweet buns. The final result is the perfect combination of meaty, cheesy and addictive. Pro tip: this is a great opportunity  to use up leftover ham. 

Anything pizza-inspired is sure to be a hit come game day. This recipe takes all the elements of Hawaiian pizza and turns them into a slider. Layer pizza sauce, sliced ham, mozzarella and of course, pineapple, and bake until the cheese has melted and the ham is warmed through. 

Baked Sliders with Queso and Cabbage Slaw

This recipe is the ideal balance between delivering on delicious flavor while cutting down on prep time in the kitchen. The beef patty gets baked in a slab before it’s cut into individual portions. Top each slider with creamy homemade queso and crunchy red cabbage slaw. 

When you think of edible game day essentials, wings and sliders probably come to mind. Here, you don’t have to choose one over the other, thanks to this dreamy mashup. Crispy buttermilk-brined chicken is tossed in buffalo sauce before getting placed on a bun and slathered with blue cheese sauce. 

Pastrami shouldn’t just be relegated to deli food or barbecue — this spiced brisket is the perfect pairing centerpiece for a slider. Homemade pastrami is hard to beat, but if you’re short on time, store-bought is fine. The sweet and spicy slaw is the ideal companion to the pastrami and is not to be missed. 

Baked Sliders with Queso and Cabbage Slaw

Cheese lovers, this one’s for you. This slider recipe riffs on the classic cheeseburger while cutting down on prep time. The beef is baked all in an even layer in a baking dish to ensure an even cook  before it’s  divided into patties. Once you’re ready to assemble, drape the patties in homemade queso. 

Rib-eye Cheesesteak Sliders

When it comes to meat, Rodney Scott knows his stuff. This slider is inspired by the sandwiches he added to his menu after family meals. Ribeyes are rubbed in a signature spice blend including MSG, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika and chile powder before it’s grill and sliced. Top it with American cheese, lettuce and tomatoes just before serving. 

Baked Bologna Sliders

If you’re trying to keep the cooking to a minimum, these simple sliders are just the recipe you need. The ultimate condiment mixture of mustard, mayonnaise, relish and hot sauce gets spread on buns to bring the flavor. Then, layer bologna and slices of American cheese before baking until it becomes ooey gooey. 

Patrick Mahomes, this one’s for you. Inspired by Mahomes’s love of slathering ketchup on steak, this recipe serves thinly sliced steak with ketchup on slider rolls. Rather than a predictable side of fries, try crispy potatoes sprinkled with truffle salt. 

Jerk chicken is a forever crowd-pleaser. While the chicken cooks quickly, the key here is to let it marinate for a few days to soak in all those spices. Similarly, the mango slaw is best once it marinates for at least three hours. By making the main components ahead of time, you’ll be sitting pretty come show time. 

Baltimore Pit Beef Sliders

Pitmaster Rodney Scott takes a Charm City favorite and turns it into sliders with this recipe. Baltimore pit beef is prepared over charcoal, just like the ribeye is here. The horseradish mayonnaise mixed with the homemade barbecue sauce elevates these sliders to another level.

If you’re looking for an alternative to beef, these turkey sliders are a great option. Ground turkey patties are topped with caramelized onions along with a Southwestern-inspired slaw and sauce. Ingredients like chipotle powder, cayenne, cilantro and two types of vinegar really bring the flavor here. 

Kansas City Burnt-End Sliders

These smoky sliders are well worth the wait. Dry rubbed brisket gets smoked low and slow until the meat has transformed into succulent hunks. Be sure to toss it in a Kansas City-style barbecue sauce before serving them on slider buns for a sweet, saucy bite. 

Chicken-Fried Steak Sliders

Chicken-fried steak is always a bit of a tongue twister, but the recipe couldn’t be simpler. Tenderized pieces of sirloin are dredged and fried until crispy, just like you would with chicken. For a spicy twist on the classic, this gravy gets spiked with hatch green chilies. 

Feeding a crowd and can’t decide what to serve? This three-in-one recipe features breaded chicken tenders topped with  different combinations for any preference. From a classic chicken Parmesan-inspired sandwich to a Chick-fil-A dupe, this party-ready slider recipe will be a hit.  

Smashed Meatloaf Sliders

You’ve heard of smash burgers, but how about smashed meatloaf? This recipe applies the same technique to the old-fashioned recipe. Take balls of the meatloaf mixture and use a griddle to smash them flat until they’re browned, crispy and craggy. Melted Pepper Jack cheese and whiskey barbecue sauce ensures that this is nothing like Grandma’s.

Beer Brat Reuben Sliders

For a hearty slider option that’s perfect for cold weather, turn to these beer-infused brat sliders. After the brats are boiled in beer, they get griddled until golden and placed on a pretzel bun. To finish it off, add Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and thousand island dressing. 

Pesto Parm Sliders

This recipe skips the animal protein for a vegan alternative. Marinated seitan gets deep fried until crispy, as if it were breaded chicken. The mozzarella, pesto and Parmesan are all made using vegan-friendly ingredients ,  delivering authentic Italian flavor with all the indulgence of the original. 

Whether you’re planning a game day breakfast for a crowd, or are just into breakfast for dinner, these sliders are sure to hit the spot. Jesse James Decker swears by the sweet-meets-salty combination of Hawaiian rolls paired with bacon and scrambled eggs. We think this would be great with cheese too!

This recipe pays homage to Al Roker’s mother-in-law recipe. Smoky grilled chicken is dressed with barbecue sauce, crispy onions and lettuce. The best part? They’re served on homemade biscuits. It’s like you’re tasting the South with every bite. 

Pepperoni Meatball Sliders

These are not your average sliders. Here, homemade meatballs take center stage between the buns. While any meatball recipe would work here, this one has a secret ingredient — spicy pepperoni — which adds an unexpected boost of flavor. 

Mini Chimichurri Steak Sliders

For sliders that are all about flavor with little effort, look no further than this recipe. By using deli roast beef, there’s no need to turn on the oven. The real star here is chimichurri, a South American condiment made with tender herbs, garlic, and spices, which really elevates the flavor profile. 

If you can’t get enough of all things Southern-themed, this slider recipe is made for you. Chicken thighs are marinated in buttermilk before getting fried until golden brown. Meanwhile, you’ll work on a pot of collard greens that get infused with bacon and garlic. Layer them together on a bun with Swiss cheese for a bite that’s 100% Southern. 

Lobster Roll Sliders

Lobster rolls aren’t just for summer. If your crowd favors seafood over meat, or if you just want to serve something a little different, lobster rolls in slider form are just the thing. The best part is the mayo-based lobster mixture can be made ahead of time, making assembly a breeze. 

This recipe pays homage to Kansas City-style barbecue. Heavily spiced pork shoulder gets cooked low and slow until the meat is easily shreddable. Top the pork with coleslaw and pickled onions to balance the fat with acidity. Save any leftover pulled pork for nachos, stews or more sandwiches. 

Spicy Whiskey Barbecue Sliders

When Ree Drummond shares a recipe, our eyes and ears perk up. Whiskey is the not-so-secret ingredient that makes these sliders sing. After cooking the sliders, whiskey is added to the pan and then reduced to create a sticky glaze along with barbecue sauce. 

Falafel Sliders with Avocado Hummus

These vegan sliders are a crowd-pleaser, no matter your dietary preference. The joy of falafel is that every bite offers a great, crunchy exterior. Paired with avocado hummus and tahini sauce, it’s an absolute explosion of flavor. 

While these might not look like traditional sliders, they’re every bit as delicious. Juicy slices of roast lamb are tucked into a pita (although slider buns work too) along with a dollop of tzatziki, tomatoes, sliced onions and spinach. If you don’t have roast lamb on hand, you can use another meat of choice. 

Vegan Meatball Sliders

While game day tends to skew meat-centric, don’t let you vegan friends miss out on all the fun. These meatballs are made with mushrooms, brown rice, breadcrumbs and aromatics — you won’t miss the real deal. Top with tomato sauce and pesto for a bit of Italian flair. 

Crispy Pork Sliders with Quick Spicy Slaw

Whether you call it schnitzel, milanese or breaded pork, we can all stand in agreement that any meat pounded thin, breaded and fried is impossible to turn down. For this recipe, pound pork tenderloin into thin medallions before breading them in panko for the optimal crispiness. A simple slaw of tomatoes and red cabbage adds a welcome bit of brightness and acidity. 

These sliders are all about delivering maximum flavor with minimum effort come game day. By pre-cooking the meatloaf and slicing it into slider-size portions, it’ll allow the host (that’s you) more time to hang with your friends and less time spent in the kitchen. The meatloaf slices get broiled with barbecue sauce and served hot — it’s a win win for everyone. 

Roast Beef Burger Sliders

This slider takes a cue from the Boston classic — a roast beef 3-way. If you’re unfamiliar, roast beef is layered with barbecue sauce, mayonnaise and cheese. Top everything on a beef patty for the best  flavor. 

Thanksgiving Turkey Sliders

If you’ve ever been plagued with too much leftover turkey, you’ll appreciate this recipe. With a nod to Thanksgiving, these sliders marry turkey with cranberry sauce and Swiss cheese for a sweet-meets-savory slider. 

Cape Cod Spiced Chicken Sliders

If you’re unfamiliar with Cape Cod seasoning, now’s the time to try it. Most often served with seafood boils, this aromatic seasoning works equally well with chicken. Use it to toss the chicken in before frying to get a ton of flavor in every bite. Pickled onions, spicy mayonnaise and Pepper Jack cheese all take part in dressing up the chicken to create the perfect slider. 

While typically served in a baguette, here, bahn mi gets the slider treatment. Beef patties are flavored with red curry paste, fish sauce and curry powder, which create an intense depth of flavor. Finish it off by topping the patties with pickled slaw, spicy mayonnaise and cilantro. 

Siri's Fried Chicken Sliders

These sliders are all about the crispy chicken. What makes this chicken a standout is marinating it in buttermilk before frying. The buttermilk acts as a meat tenderizer and ensures tender, juicy chicken. Keep it classic by serving them with a swipe of mayonnaise and pickles on a bun. 

These sliders are inspired by the ones Al Roker’s mother used to make. Chicken gets fried until golden brown and crisp, then is topped with barbecue sauce and pickles before serving. The key to keeping these crispy is to only assemble them when ready to serve.