Italian Cheeseburger Sliders – Ground beef is mixed with Italian seasonings, cooked through and then topped with shredded mozzarella cheese, balsamic caramelized onions, and peppery arugula and placed into a mini ciabatta roll.
Sliders are becoming my go-to burger because of their adorable size and smaller portion. Normal burgers just seem to large and messy so, more often than not, I am all about the slider. Plus, if I’m super hungry, I can eat two and not feel gross.
It’s been way too long since I posted a slider recipe for you guys. It was all the way back in 2017. Do you remember these bacon gruyere sliders? They were such a hit so I know you guys are craving a new slider recipe. Well get ready because here it comes…
Say hello to my Italian Cheeseburger Sliders!
How to make these sliders
These sliders are incredibly simple to make. Since they’re smaller than regular burgers, they cook much faster so they’ll be ready in no time. Let’s talk through the recipe, starting with the ingredients.
What makes these sliders “Italian”? Initially, it was the flavors: Italian seasoning, mozzarella cheese, balsamic caramelized onions, arugula, and the ciabatta buns. However, as I photographed them, I realized that the ingredients resembled the three colors of the Italian flag: “red” from the red onion, green from the arugula, and white from the mozzarella cheese. How cute is that?!
Of all the ingredients, my favorite are the balsamic caramelized onions. No matter how many times I make caramelized onions, I still get shocked at how simple they are yet pack so much flavor and texture. With only two ingredients required to make them, you’ll be shocked too!
Making the sliders
We swear by the smash burger technique in our house rather than grilling. This technique produces a crispy, juicy patty with tons of flavor. And the patties are done in no time at all!
So what exactly does this method entail? First, you roll the meat into balls with the Italian seasoning – do not patty them! Then, you add salt and pepper on top. Next, add butter to a super hot skillet. Finally, you add the balls of meat to the hot pan and smash them into patties. Since the pan is super hot, the patties will turn super crispy without overcooking them. Finish off the patties by adding shredded mozzarella cheese so it can melt over the hot patties.
Once the patties are made, it’s time to assemble the sliders. First, you split the ciabatta buns into two halves. You can toast them if you like. I recommend brushing olive oil on the cut sides before toasting so they get nice and crispy. Then, top the buns with the patties, onions, arugula, and a little ketchup for some tang.
Tips & Tricks
- I used a very large red onion to create enough caramelized onions for this recipe. If you don’t have very large onions available, use two medium ones.
- I located ciabatta rolls in the bakery section of my local grocery store. I have also seen them in the freezer section. If you still cannot find any, feel free to use brioche buns or french rolls. Focaccia would also work so great with these burgers!
- If you really want the flavor and texture of a great burger, do not use lean beef. The fat in the meat is what gives the patties their crispy, yet juicy texture. Lean beef will make them too dry.
Italian Cheeseburger Sliders
- 1 large red onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 40 ounces ground beef (80/20 for best texture)
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 12 small ciabatta rolls sliced in half
- Slice red onion into thin strips. Heat oil over medium-high heat. An onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and continue cooking until onions are really soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes.
- While the onions cook, prepare the patties. Add ground beef and Italian seasoning to a medium bowl and combine with your hands. Once combined, form the meat into 12 evenly-sized balls. Season the tops of the balls with salt and pepper.
- Place butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is super hot, add one 3 to 4 patties to the pan, leaving enough room for them to be flattened. Using a spatula, flatten the balls into patties. Cook until edges turn super crispy, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 more minute. Add 1 tablespoon of cheese to the tops of the burgers while they finish cooking. Remove from heat and place onto bottom halves of ciabatta buns.
- Once burgers and onions are done, it's time to assemble the sliders. Top each burger with a spoonful of onions and a few leaves of arugula. Add a drizzle of ketchup to the cut side top burger bun. Place top bun on top of arugula. Repeat with the other sliders Serve sliders immediately.
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