Finger food is already great, but finger food when tailgating on a game day is even better. We are head over heels in love with the combination of juicy beef sliders topped with melted Gruyere cheese and lots of caramelized onions. We think you will be too!
Here’s why this recipe works!
- The beef is SO juicy!
- Caramelized onions add sweetness that perfectly balances out the nutty taste of Gruyere cheese!
- Melty cheese, need we say more?
- Potato buns! A slider just ain’t a slider unless it’s on a pillowy, squishy, soft potato bun. If you can’t find slider buns, feel free to substitute with dinner rolls.
- These can be cooked inside on a griddle! No turning on a grill, no baking in an oven. Completely made on a stove top!
Don’t delay on making this easy cheeseburger sliders recipe! They are such a crowd pleaser!
We are purists when it comes to seasoning sliders and burgers, more generally. High quality ground meat, Kosher salt, and black pepper. That’s it.
You can have fun with the toppings and go crazy, but when you’re using high quality ground beef, you don’t need much else. We’re using 80/20 ground sirloin to get the patties just right.
Unlike a steak which should get seasoned well in advance of cooking, you can leave the seasoning of the beef patties until just before cooking. In fact, we like to season one side with Kosher salt and black pepper, then place the slider patties seasoned side down on a grill or griddle, then season the second side while the first cooks.
Trust us, it works!
For toppings, we’re going with Gruyere cheese and making a double batch of caramelized onions — you’ll use the leftovers in everything! For added flavor to the patty, try squeezing a bit of yellow mustard on one side. It’ll sizzle and cook into the meat, giving it a really delicious flavor!
Form The Burger Patties
Whether we’re making traditional hamburgers or smaller sliders, we always recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh out the beef patties. For sliders, we recommend 3.5 oz of ground beef. Here, we’re using 80/20 ground sirloin.
You don’t want to mess with the patties too much. If you look below, you’ll see that the sliders are very loosely formed. Once you’ve weighed everything out, use your hands to gently form into round discs. Season with Kosher salt just before cooking!
The Easy Way To Cook Cheeseburger Sliders
You can certainly cook sliders on a grill, but we often pull out our large ceramic griddle so we can make these smash burger-style.
Preheat a large griddle (or cast iron pan) over medium high to high heat. Coat with nonstick cooking spray or Melt butter. When hot, add the seasoned ground beef patties. Immediately season the top with a sprinkle of Kosher salt, then drizzle a little yellow mustard onto each patty. You can brush it on to cover the entire surface, or simply leave it alone.
Cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip. Immediately add caramelized onions, gruyere (or other cheese — American cheese melts beautifully!), if using, then top with the top half of a slider bun. Place the bottom half of the bun on top. We’re using plain potato buns, but we love the ones with sesame seeds, too!
After 1 minute, remove the sliders. You can layer them with ketchup, pickles, or any other condiments and toppings you want, but the cheese should be nice and melted. Carefully transfer the bottom bun underneath the cooked cheeseburger sliders. Et voila! Your perfect little game day appetizer is ready to go!
Make Those Sweet, Sweet Caramelized Onions
If we’re eating burgers, there is a 100% chance that we’re piling them high with caramelized onions. We recommend cooking these in a large skillet (cast iron is great!). You’ll start out with a giant pile of sliced onions, but they cook down a lot. Grab the full recipe here.
Don’t Forget The Special Sauce!
AKA the liquid gold of these perfect little sliders! It’s a simple combination of mayo, ketchup, Dijon mustard, and pickle juice. Truly the best burger sauce, so be sure to make double if you like to go heavy on the sauce!
You can, but these hamburger sliders will have more flavor if you use ground beef with a higher fat content (such as 80/20)
Swiss and Gruyere cheese give a nutty taste, but American or cheddar cheese are classics. If you like blue cheese, blue or gorgonzola work great too!
Caramelized onions or sliced white onion, a slice or two of tomato, crispy bacon, pickles, and special sauce. Certainly, the options are endless and you can add whatever burger toppings you like best!
It just wouldn’t be tailgating season without these delicious, juicy mini burgers!
If you make these Cheeseburger Sliders, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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More Game Day Recipes To Try!
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
- Mini Grilled Cheese with Brie and Caramelized Onions
- Loaded Greek Fries
- Arancini (Italian Rice Balls)
- Garlic Parmesan Wings
- Tacos De Carnitas
25-Minute Cheeseburger Sliders with Gruyere
For the burger sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp Ketchup
- 1 tsp pickle juice
For the sliders
- 2 lbs 80/20 ground beef
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper optional
- Yellow mustard about ¼ cup, divided
- Caramelized onions optional
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese grated or thinly sliced
- 16 slider buns or Hawaiian rolls
- Make the burger sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup mayo, 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp Ketchup, and 1 tsp pickle brine. Set aside.
- Form the slider patties. We recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh equal portions of ground beef. Place plastic wrap on top of the scale for easy clean up, then portion into 2oz patties. Use your hands to gently form into round discs about ¼-½" thick.
- Cook the sliders. Preheat a large griddle or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for at least 5 minutes, until very hot. Working in batches, place burger patties on the griddle, leaving about 2 inches between each. Immediately smash each patty with a flat spatula, then season each with about ½ tsp Kosher salt and black pepper to taste, if wanted. Squeeze (or brush on) about 1 tsp of yellow mustard to each burger patty. The patties should cook for about 1 minute on the first side before flipping.
- Flip the sliders. Once you've flipped each patty, place a heaping tablespoon of caramelized onions on top. Add a few thin slices of Gruyere (or other cheese), or about 2 tsp of grated, if using. Immediately place the top half of the slider bun on each patty. Next, add the bottom half, cut side down, right on top. Sliders should cook for 2 minutes on the second side for medium rare. Cook further if you'd like medium or medium-well.
- Assemble, then serve. Use the spatula to remove each slider, being sure to spoon on some sauce to the bottom bun before assembling. Serve immediately with any additional burger toppings you like!
- Slider sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance.
- Unlike a steak, burgers and sliders should not be seasoned until just before cooking.
- Grab our foolproof method for how to caramelize onions here!