Hamburger Sliders with a spicy Bourbon BBQ sauce are just the right size for game day and more than enough flavor to feed your guests. A spicy and slightly sweet sauce coats these scrumptious burgers. Mini hamburger sliders are a quick and easy alternative to burger night.
Sliders seem so much better for you than a huge hamburger. However, when they’re so good that you eat three of them, I think it ends up being about the same. If not healthier they are at least more fun. If you’re looking for something healthier, BBQ Chicken Sliders are pretty awesome.
If you haven’t had sliders before, you’re missing out. A slider is just a miniature sandwich, and we love anything that’s mini!
When you have a juicy slider, you want the bread to be sturdy enough to hold the burger and the yummy sauce without it falling apart in your hand. I find that my challah rolls work perfectly. They are sturdy enough to keep everything together but soft and fluffy at the same time, Hawaiian rolls will also work with sliders and add a little sweetness to the mix.
Not sure how much meat you will need per person, I’ve created a planning guide so that no one goes hungry!
Why you’ll love sliders
- Everybody loves a good slider. They’re a hearty finger food!
- You get all the great taste in a smaller portion.
- Sliders are great for serving at a game day party or just changing up dinner for the family.
- You can make them with hamburger, chicken or pork.
- Bourbon gives the sauce even more flavor.
What you’ll need
- Ground chuck – a little fat will add more flavor.
- Onion – any variety will work.
- Bourbon – see my recommendations below if you don’t have a favorite on hand.
- PIckled Jalapeno slices – these are what gives the sauce a spicy kick.
- BBQ Sauce – I like Rufus Teague Honey BBQ but there are a lot of great sauce options.
- Pantry items – Butter, Worcestershire, salt and pepper
How do you make BBQ hamburger sliders
Add seasoning to ground chuck and form into mini burgers. Press your thumb in the center. This will give them a flatter shape when they cook.
Remove the cooked mini burgers to a plate and add onions to the pan. Sauté onions and then and add bourbon. You might have flames, so make sure you have turned off your gas stove if cooking on one.
Add barbecue sauce and cooked burgers back to the skillet and let them simmer for a few minutes.
Serve on Challah Rolls or your favorite slider rolls with some cheddar cheese.
I especially love the slightly sweet, bourbon infused, spicy sauce. I used Rufus Teague Honey BBQ sauce which is one of my favorites. A little cheddar was just what they needed to absorb some of the heat from the jalepenos. Since the sauce is slightly sweet, I think that Challah Rolls work best to hold everything together and don’t detract from the sauce.
- If you wanted to use chicken, you could use ground chicken and follow the steps. Or you can use leftover rotisserie chicken and enjoy the sauted onions and sauce with it. You’ll just scoop up a portion for your buns.
- Melt a ¼ cup butter and add half a teaspoon of garlic powder to the butter and then brush it over the inside of the buns, toast them lightly over a hot skillet. It’ll taste great!
Pro tip: I would suggest turning off the heat and slowly adding the bourbon to the skillet. I did have flames coming from the pan after I added the bourbon the first time I made them. (I wish I had a photo of that, but didn’t want the house to burn down)
What kind of bread do you use for sliders
- For Smash Burgers, try a sweeter bread like Hawaiian Rolls
- For a juicier sliders like these Bourbon Sliders or Slow Cooker Chicken Sliders, try a sturdier Challah Roll
- Buttermilk Biscuits work great for Pulled Pork Carnitas
If you’re not making your own bread, you can use Hawaiian rolls or dinner rolls from the grocery.
If I haven’t convinced you yet to make sliders, you can also make these into meatballs.
What should you serve with hamburger sliders
There’s nothing better than creamy Macaroni & Cheese to go with the spicy barbecue sauce. Oven roasted Crispy New Potatoes and Onions are also a favorite. In a hurry, make some grilled potato wedges. Or pair them with a Fruit Salad with Lime Dressing to offset the spicy bbq sauce. If you need even more ideas on what to serve with sliders, I’ve compiled some of my favorites.
FAQs & tips
The best ground beef for burgers is 80/20 ground chuck. That leaves enough fat to give them a great flavor.
You need fat to make a juicy burger, so use ground chuck with at least 20% fat.
If you’re not sure what type of bourbon to use when cooking you can check out Vinepair for a complete bourbon guide. I generally choose a mild variety like Hibiki or Bowman Brothers.
Most of the alcohol will be burned off in this sauce. However, it takes about 3 hours for all traces of alcohol to be removed from food.
Looking for more BOURBON recipes
- Bacon Peach Jam seasoned with bourbon is great on burgers or with goat cheese
- Bourbon adds some extra flavor to Boubon Glazed Carrots
- Bourbon is great with sweet potatoes in Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole
Great sides to bring to a potluck
Inspired by The Pioneer Woman Cooks A Year of Holiday
Hamburger Sliders Recipe
- 2 lbs Ground chuck
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion diced
- ½ cup bourbon
- ½ cup jalapeno slices drained
- 1 ½ cup BBQ Sauce
- Add Worcestershire sauce to hamburger and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 12 small patties. Make a well with your thumb in the center of each to keep them from being too plump when cooking.
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook on both sides until almost done. If there is a lot of grease in the pan, drain all but about 1 tablespoon. Remove to a plate and add onions to the skillet. Cook until softened about 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and slowly add bourbon. Since the pan is hot it will flame and burn off fairly quickly. Once the alcohol has burned off return to burner and cook until reduced by half. Reduce to low and add barbecue sauce, jalapeños and a little juice from the jar if desired.
- Add the patties back to the skillet and spoon sauce over the patties. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Try serving with Challah Rolls or Hawaiian Rolls
- If not making your own buns, try dinner rolls or Hawaiian Rolls from the grocery.
- Be careful when adding the Bourbon to the hot skillet. Add it slowly to prevent flames.
- Don’t handle the beef any more than you have to.
- Make sure to use ground chuck that is 20% fat to keep from having dry burgers.
Melissa Torres says
My burgers ended up being full burgers when I was shooting for sliders but these were good! I enjoyed the onions mixed into the bbq sauce. I caramelized my onions for about 30 minutes before adding the BBQ sauce so they were naturally sweet with the sauce. Thanks!