Getting Real with Food

Getting Real with Food: 7.15.20

Dinner that has less than 10 steps but guarantees people will come back for seconds? Yes, this is it! We may not be going to as many barbecues and summer parties as we did last year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring a festive summer spirit to our own backyards. This simple, easy and delicious recipe has all the flavors of the season and lots of hands-off time. Get ready to kick your feet up on the patio or throw around a ball with the kids, because this is sure to be a recipe on repeat.

bbq chicken meatball sliders
Makes 12 meatball sliders
Prep + Cook Time: 65 minutes
Preheat Oven: 350°
Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free bun of choice and bread crumbs
Dairy Free: Use a dairy-free sliced cheese you love

1 ½ lbs. ground chicken thighs
1 tsp onion flakes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley
¾ c bread crumbs
2 eggs
12 mini slider buns
(preferably connected in an array)
7 large slices provolone cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
32 oz. barbecue sauce of choice
Sesame seeds


1. In a large bowl, add ground chicken thighs, onion flakes, salt, paprika, chili powder, pepper, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs and eggs. Using a spatula, fold until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

2. Spray a 9 x 12 baking sheet with olive oil. Using a large serrated knife, cut down the middle of the connected slider buns to separate the tops and bottoms, leaving the tops connected to one another and the bottoms as well. Place the bottom layer of the buns in the baking sheet.

3. In a 5-quart saute pan, add olive oil. Heat on stovetop over medium heat for 1 minute. Form the meat mixture into 12 meatballs (use an ice cream scooper to make this step so much easier! It is a game changer). Place them into the saute pan—they can be snug but should not be touching. Sear each side for 4 minutes.

4. Once the meatballs are seared on both sides, reduce the heat to low-medium. Add barbecue sauce so it covers the tops of the meatballs.  Let simmer on low for 30 minutes.

5. Using tongs, place 1 meatball in the middle of each of the mini sliders on the baking sheet. Take a spoon and drizzle more barbecue sauce from the pan over the meatballs. Top with provolone followed by the tops of the mini slider buns.

6. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes. Take out of the oven, remove the aluminum , spray the tops of the buns with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place back in the oven uncovered for an additional 10 minutes.

Enjoy with fresh fruit, your favorite chips or a delicious salad! I cannot wait to see all of you making these for your family this summer.

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