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Cheeseburger Sliders with Hawaiian Rolls (30 Min)

Our easy-to-follow recipe for juicy cheeseburger sliders with Hawaiian rolls brings you classic flavors without the fuss. Perfect for a game day crowd, appetizer, snack, or simple weeknight dinner.

You can skip making patties, flipping mini burgers, and individual assembly. This easy recipe is ready in about 30 minutes and wildly popular (so make lots!).

cheeseburger slider held in a hand.

What to expect

12 moist, juicy, cheesy, beefy sliders, perfect for a crowd on game day or a simple meal for busy weeknights. The top and bottom of the buns will be slightly crispy.

Easy, time-saving, make-ahead recipe in about 30 minutes. You will love not having to make and cook individual patties or assemble them one by one.

Ingredients – tailored to your taste

ground beef, chopped onions, Hawaiian rolls, butter, Dijon, brown sugar, sesame seeds, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, garlic powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, cheddar cheese.
Ingredients shown above are for half the recipe.

Slider rolls: We are using the small fluffy, slightly sweet Hawaiian rolls, about 2 inches/5 cm square. I buy them at Walmart. Substitutes: slider buns, mini brioche buns, potato rolls, mini hamburger buns, or dinner rolls. If your rolls are larger, increase the amount of hamburger filling you make or make fewer sliders.

Ground beef: Use lean beef (10% fat) or medium ground beef (20% fat). You will be spooning off the excess grease. Extra-lean beef may be a bit too dry. Substitutes: Feel free to use ground turkey, ground chicken or plant-based beef.

Cheese options: You want melty cheeses such as cheddar cheese slices, provolone, gruyere, fontina, pepper jack and American cheese. Shredded or sliced cheese are both fine, but note that pre-shredded cheese made with anti-caking preservatives may not melt as well.

Beef seasonings: We flavor the ground beef mixture with browned onions, a bit of BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Variations: Montreal steak seasoning, a couple of teaspoons of dry onion soup mix, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce for a kick of heat, and/or crispy cooked bacon bits.

Topping glaze: This is a mixture of butter, Dijon and brown sugar. A splash of Worcestershire sauce is a great optional addition. Sesame seeds are the finishing touch. Variations: Keep it simple with just butter and a pinch of garlic powder. Or spray the top of the rolls with oil. You can substitute the sesame seeds with Everything Bagel Seasoning.

Step-by-step instructions

Sauté onions until browned.
Add ground beef and cook through.
Spoon off excess grease.
Stir in mayo and seasonings.

slider rolls cut in half horizontally and still connected.
Slice rolls horizontally in half.
cheese on top of bottom layer of rolls.
Add a layer of cheese to the bottom half.
ground beef mixture on top of cheese layer on lower half of rolls.
Place meat mixture on top of cheese.
cheese laid on top of ground beef mixture on lower half of rolls.
Add another layer of cheese.
glaze mixture being brushed over top of sliders on cutting board.
Make butter glaze and brush on tops of the buns. Sprinkle on sesame seeds.
assembled glazed sliders on buttered baking sheet.
Place sliders on a buttered pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes.
6 cheeseburger sliders on cutting board.
Cut the ‘block’ of sliders into individual sliders.
cheeseburger slider held in a hand.
Serve the mini cheeseburgers with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
6 cheeseburger sliders on cutting board.

4 Tips to Avoid Soggy Rolls

1. Spoon out excess grease from the beef mixture.
2. Place the beef mixture between two layers of cheese.
3. Bake uncovered.
4. Prep the beef mixture a day ahead if you need to, but assemble the sliders the day of.

Shortcuts

  1. Cheese: Use pre-sliced or pre-shredded cheese (without a lot of anti-caking preservatives).
  2. Onions: Instead of browning the onions, just sauté them for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Or skip the onions altogether and use dried flaked onions or a couple of teaspoons of dried onion soup mix.
  3. Bun glaze: Instead of the glaze in the recipe, just brush on melted butter or spray the buns with oil.

Make Ahead

Store leftovers for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Make the sliders a few hours, or a day or two ahead. Or even freeze them. Instructions (including reheating) are in the recipe card.

What to serve with cheeseburger sliders

You don’t need anything else if you’re serving the ground beef sliders as an appetizer or snack. Well, maybe a napkin!

You can, however, bump up the flavors with your favorite condiments like ketchup, mustard, relish or mayonnaise. Or get a little fancier with sriracha aioli, chipotle sauce, ranch dressing, Thousand Island dressing, BBQ sauce, horseradish sauce, or pesto.

As a lunch or dinner, I serve the sliders with side dishes like tomato soup, French fries, sweet potato fries, chips, pickles, easy fried potatoes & onions, baked beans, or coleslaw.

Recipe FAQs

How many cheeseburger sliders do I need per serving?

For an appetizer, figure one slider per person (maybe two). For dinner, serve 2-3 sliders per serving, depending on appetites and side dishes. Hawaiian rolls are quite small, so teens will often eat 4 sliders in my experience.

What other kinds of sliders are there?

A few great slider ideas are breakfast sliders, chicken parmesan sliders, ham and cheese sliders, French dip sliders, Philly cheesesteak sliders, pulled pork sliders, brisket sliders, eggplant parm sliders, and Reuben sliders.

cheeseburger slider held in a hand.

More recipes with ground beef

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks very much!

cheeseburger slider held in a hand.
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Cheeseburger Sliders with Hawaiian Rolls (30 Min)

Our easy-to-follow recipe for juicy cheeseburger sliders with Hawaiian rolls brings you classic flavors without the fuss. Perfect for a game day crowd, appetizer, snack, or simple weeknight dinner. Delish! The recipe can be doubled, tripled or halved.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 sliders

Ingredients

Beef mixture, Note 1

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (10% fat) or medium ground beef (20% fat)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (regular or light)
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce (or ketchup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Topping for rolls, Note 2

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (or Everything Bagel Seasoning)

Rolls and cheese

  • 12 Hawaiian rolls (1 package), Note 3
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese, Note 4 or 6-8 ounces shredded cheese
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter (to spread on pan)

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN TO 350F/177C. Line a baking dish or sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil (sprayed with oil). TIP: If you want the sliders to have buttery slightly crispy bottoms, spread a thin layer of soft butter directly on the pan surface.
  • MAKE GOUND BEEF MIXTURE: Heat oil in a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add ground beef, chop it up with a spatula and cook until most or all of the pink disappears, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat. TIP: Move mixture to one side of skillet, tip skillet toward you and spoon off the excess grease to prevent soggy sliders (or mop grease with paper towel). Mix in mayo, BBQ sauce and seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • PREPARE AND ASSEMBLE SLIDERS: Cut rolls in half horizontally, keeping rolls intact (don't separate them). On the bottom half, lay slices of cheese to cover rolls, add beef mixture on top, then another layer of cheese slices. Place top half of the rolls back over the top. To summarize, the layers from bottom up are: bottom half of rolls…cheese…beef…cheese…top half of rolls.
  • GLAZE, BAKE, SERVE: In a small microwaveable bowl, add butter, Dijon and brown sugar. Microwave for 25 seconds and stir well to combine. Brush glaze on tops of the rolls. Immediately sprinkle on sesame seeds so they will stick. Place on buttered or lined pan. Bake in preheated oven, uncovered for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven, cut into individual sliders along roll lines with serrated knife, and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  1. Beef mixture variations:
    1. Substitute ground beef with ground turkey, ground chicken or plant-based ground beef.
    2. Instead of chopped onion, use 2-3 teaspoons of dried onion soup mix (or dried onion flakes). 
    3. Substitute Montreal Steak Seasoning for garlic, salt, pepper.
    4. Add a splash of hot sauce or Worcestershire sauce
    5. Add cooked crispy bacon bits. 
  2. Variations for topping: Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce for a little extra zip. Or keep it simple and just brush on melted butter mixed with a pinch of garlic powder. Or spray with oil.
  3. Roll/bun substitutes: Instead of King’s Hawaiian rolls, use slider buns, mini brioche buns, potato rolls, mini hamburger buns, or dinner rolls. If your rolls are larger, increase the amount of hamburger filling you make or, instead, make fewer sliders. 
  4. Cheese options: Use melty cheese such as cheddar cheese, provolone, gruyere, fontina, pepper jack and American cheese slices. Shredded or sliced cheese are both fine, but note that some pre-shredded cheese made with anti-caking preservatives may not melt as well.
  5. Condiments and dipping sauces: ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, sriracha aioli, chipotle sauce, ranch dressing, Thousand Island dressing, BBQ sauce, horseradish sauce, or pesto.
  6. Make ahead
    • Leftover sliders can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. 
    • Make 1-2 days ahead: cook meat mixture, cool and place in fridge in a ziploc bag or container. The glaze ingredients can be placed in a small cup, ready to be microwaved when needed. If using grated cheese, you can grate that ahead as well. Assemble sliders the day of serving and bake. 
    • Make several hours ahead: Prepare and assemble sliders. Cover and place in fridge until ready to use. Bake uncovered for 15-16 minutes or until heated through. 
    • To freeze, make and assemble sliders. Freeze, well wrapped in a sealed bag for up to 3 months. 
    • To heat/reheat: Place frozen sliders on buttered baking sheet. Bake at 350F/177C for 15-18 minutes or until heated through. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates for one cheeseburger slider on a Hawaiian roll.

Nutrition

Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 610mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 224IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 3mg
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