Slider Buffet Menu

Beef and Chicken Mini-Burgers

Burger sliders
Burger sliders Westend61 / Getty Images

For summer entertaining, put together a slider buffet! Sliders are mini burgers, and can be made with any ground meat and in any flavor combination. For this buffet, we're making beef sliders and chicken sliders and dressing them up with lots of different toppings.

Form all the slider burgers ahead of time and chill them. Get all the condiments and the bread ready too. Then when you're ready to eat, just grill (or pan fry) the sliders and stand back! Any type of buffets is wonderful for entertaining. And this menu, for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or any summer party, is super fun.

If you don't want to make the burgers yourself, you can just buy precooked frozen meatballs and use those. Here's a tip: if you're using meatballs, cut the mini buns in half and pull out a little bit of the bread inside to make a nice little space to hold the meatballs. That makes them easier to eat. And here's a great idea to make sliders more stable: cut the buns in half from the tops, like for lobster rolls. This keeps the little burgers (or meatballs) in place and lets you add more condiments.

There are some special tools you can buy for grilling mini burgers. Grill baskets for mini burgers are available at most kitchen supply stores and online. And if you choose to grill meatballs instead of making the mini burgers by hand, I just found a fabulous Meatball Grill Basket to cook them over flames. You can also use a smaller rack or a stir-fry grill mat to cook the tiny burgers so they don't slip through the grate as they're grilling.

Keep the meatballs warm on a warming tray, or grill them in batches. Make sure that you throw away the food after it's been sitting out for two hours (one hour if it's more than 80 degrees F.). Serve these little burgers with a selection of tiny dinner rolls, small pita breads, mini croissants, and little tortillas for wraps. I've found that white silver dollar buns make the most stable sliders; and they don't compete with the filling. But whole-wheat mini buns work well too. You can make this party easier by making plain little ground beef burgers, then put out all the different toppings from these recipes to let everybody mix and match.

Add some delicious make-ahead salads and fabulous desserts for the perfect Memorial Day party. Enjoy!