Sloppy Joe Sliders are a fun, easy and festive party snack or appetizer. You can make them in the traditional slider size for a heartier dinner or snack, or make them using mini party rolls for a cute, two bite appetizer!
The classic sloppy Joe dinner transformed! These Sloppy Joe Sliders are now a fun party snack or appetizer, made in either the traditional slider size or as mini sliders! The sloppy Joe filling is tangy and sweet, and not too wet so the sliders still hold together well. Plus, a slice of melty American cheese on top adds some extra indulgence.
These sliders are assembled in a pan and brushed with melted butter, then baked in the oven for a short time. This browns the tops of the buns and melts the cheese into the filling. These sliders are so easy to make and super delicious, they will be the hit of your next game day party!
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Here’s what you’ll need:
- Lean ground beef: I used 93% lean beef, which leaves very little extra grease in the pan after it’s browned. So, there’s no need to drain the beef before adding extra ingredients. If you have 85% lean beef on hand though, go ahead and use it, just drain it after browning.
- Oil: just a bit to help the beef brown
- Onion: I love using sweet onion, but if you don’t have it you can use white or yellow onion instead.
- Salt and pepper: to taste
- Worcestershire sauce: a classic sloppy Joe ingredient
- Ketchup: also a must-have in sloppy Joes!
- Tomato paste: this adds a rich tomato flavor and helps thicken the sauce
- Water: to help the tomato paste and ketchup dissolve and turn saucy
- Butter: melted and brushed on the bottom of the pan and on the tops of the buns to help them brown in the oven. Salted or unsalted is ok.
- American cheese slices: sloppy Joes seem very “American” to me, so American cheese seemed like a natural fit. But feel free to substitute your favorite sliced cheese, since I know American cheese is not for everyone!
- Poppy seeds: these are optional and are just used to garnish the tops of the buns. You could use sesame seeds instead, or even a sprinkle of coarse salt and pepper. Or just leave the tops bare, they will still look beautiful and brown and shiny thanks to the melted butter!
Slider Buns or Mini Party Rolls
- For this recipe, you have some options when it comes to the buns you want to use. You can either make regular sized sliders or cute mini sliders! You can find slider buns in packs of 12. Or, if you want to make mini sliders, look for small rolls in packs of 24 about 2 inches across, usually labeled “party rolls”. Martin’s and King’s Hawaiian both make a version, the King’s Hawaiian are labeled “Hawaiian Sweet Rolls Party Pack.” Here is a side-by-side of the two sizes of bread you can use, in a 9 x 13 inch pan for scale:
Here are a couple quick tips on how to execute this Sloppy Joe Sliders recipe perfectly the first time!
- This recipe calls for lean beef; I used 93% lean. This is lean enough that there isn’t an excess of grease in the pan after it’s browned. I’m lazy, so I did it this way so you don’t have to drain any grease!
- As you can see in the above picture, the meat is fully browned. But, there is very little excess grease. I mentioned this in the Ingredients section above, but if you don’t have lean beef, you can still make this recipe! Just fully brown the beef and drain the excess grease. Then complete the rest of the recipe as written.
- If you are using regular slider buns, you don’t need to separate them before adding them into the pan. I thought it was easier to just spread the Sloppy Joe filling across the joined buns, as you can see here:
- Then, when you are ready to serve the sliders, you can just pull them apart (or cut them apart with the side of a spatula or butter knife if they need a little extra help).
- To get the best cheese coverage for the sliders, break the slices in half and lay them across two sliders, as pictured below. (And if you are using party rolls for mini sliders, you can just tile the cheese slices across the entire surface, super easy!)
How to Make Mini Sloppy Joe Sliders
For the most part, you can follow the same procedure to make mini sliders as regular-sized sliders. However, there are a couple extra steps because there are some differences between the buns.
- These mini/party rolls are usually baked together and tightly joined on the sides. Make sure you don’t separate the rolls during cooking, aside from the horizontal slicing described below. Assembly is much easier if the rolls are kept together since they are so small.
- The rolls will most likely not be pre-cut like the slider buns. So you will need to make a horizontal cut across the middle:
- A sharp, long bread knife comes in handy here, this bread knife by Wusthof is my favorite (affiliate link).
Cutting Mini Sloppy Joe Sliders For Serving
- You will need to cut the rolls apart before serving. (Unlike the slider buns, which are easier to just pull apart since there is less of the bun touching together). To facilitate this, line the baking pan with parchment paper or tin foil before adding the buns, leaving some overhang on the sides. You can use the edges to easily lift the entire block out to move onto a cutting board.
- When cutting the mini sloppy Joe sliders apart, don’t worry about following the line of the top buns exactly since they probably won’t be in perfect 90 angles. Just cut straight across, following the divisions in the buns as closely as you can. You won’t be able to really notice after they are all cut!
If you’ve tried this recipe for Sloppy Joe Sliders, please let me know what you thought about it in the comments down below, I would love to hear from you! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious recipes from Nibble and Dine!Print
Sloppy Joe Sliders are an easy to make, quick and tasty game day snack or casual party appetizer!
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 tsp. neutral oil (canola, vegetable, etc.)
- 1 lb. 93% lean beef
- 1 sweet onion, finely diced
- 1/2 c. ketchup
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 c. water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 12 slider buns or 24 mini “party” rolls (for mini sliders)
- 6 slices American cheese (can substitute other types of cheese)
- 1 tsp. poppy seeds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- For mini sliders using party rolls: Place the party rolls on a cutting board, leaving them attached. Using a large serrated knife, cut the party rolls in half horizontally. Set aside. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper or tin foil, leaving some to overhang on the sides. (See note.)
- Brush bottom of the (lined, for mini sliders) 9 x 13 inch pan with a thin layer of melted butter, reserve the remaining melted butter for the top of the buns. Set pan and remaining butter aside.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until beginning to brown, breaking up into small chunks with a wooden spoon. Season beef with salt and pepper.
- Add the finely diced sweet onion and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 3 – 4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Season again with salt and pepper.
- Turn heat down to medium-low. Add the ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Stir to combine and simmer for 3 – 4 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Taste the sloppy Joe filling and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.
- Place the bottom half of the slider buns or party rolls on the butter-brushed pan. Do not separate the bottom rolls from each other.
- Distribute the sloppy Joe filling across the bottom buns. Top with sliced cheese and then the slider bun/party roll tops (do not separate tops from each other).
- Brush the tops with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with poppy seeds (optional).
- Bake in the preheated oven until buns are browned and cheese is melted, 9 – 11 minutes.
- For mini sliders: Use the overhanging parchment paper/tin foil to lift the mini sloppy Joe sliders out of the pan, remove them to a cutting board. Cut the mini sloppy Joe sliders apart using the large serrated knife. For regular sliders: remove from the pan individually by hand or using a spatula. If needed, cut apart with the edge of a spatula or small knife.
- Serve immediately.
Lining the pan with parchment paper or tin foil with some overhang on the sides makes it very easy to lift out the mini sliders from the pan so they can be cut apart before serving. If you are using regular-sized slider buns, feel free to line the pan in the same manner, but it’s not necessary since the buns are larger and can be removed more easily from the pan one-by-one.
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