Smoky Chipotle Sliders


When I was a kid, as soon as the Winter melted into Spring each year, my family would take every opportunity possible to have a big, backyard, family barbecue. Dad's grill was lit from Memorial Day right on through Labor Day. Each holiday, birthday, graduation and anniversary was celebrated in style under our lilac and cherry trees. The folding chairs and card tables were dusted off and set up outside. The coolers were hauled out and filled to the brim with icy cold beer and soft drinks. Everybody brought some kind of "picnic-y" dish to share. Everyone except my Aunt Giuseppina, that is. She always brought a huge tray of eggplant parmigiana. But, that's a story for another day.

As the "women" draped brightly covered plastic tablecloths over everything and set up the buffet, the "men" got down to the business of grilling the meat. I don't know how it is in most families, but in Italian families, hot dogs and burgers alone just don't cut it. No, no, no! There also needs to be chicken, sausage, ribs and a few nice ribeyes thrown in for good measure. Italians are always terrified that there won't be enough food when guests are over. It isn't actually one of the Ten Commandments, but it might as well be. Thou shalt never run out of food at a party. What scumbari!


I can remember looking at those huge mountains of meat and wondering how in the world anyone could eat all of that food! Of course, no one could. I'm half convinced that part of the reason for the food overkill was so that there would be enough leftovers for everyone to take home! Anyway, from an early age, my solution to this problem was to just take a few small bites of each thing. That way, I could try everything without exploding. The only problem with that rationale was that after taking bites off of various pieces of meat, those remaining pieces didn't look so appetizing for the next guy. But hey, it seemed logical to a six year-old!

We don't have many of those big backyard bashes anymore since my father passed away. Somehow, it just doesn't feel the same. But, a few weeks ago, over Memorial Day weekend, we decided to give it another try.

As I was shopping for hot dog and hamburger buns, I saw these packages of cute little slider buns in the bread aisle.


That's when it hit me. Instead of making big old hamburgers, why not make tiny little sliders. That way, everyone could still have a burger (or two or three), and still be able to enjoy some of the other stuff as well. (Don't I just dazzle you with my brilliance, sometimes?) So, I bought some of those buns and went home to make Smoky Chipotle Sliders!

These Smoky Chipotle Sliders are made just like regular burgers, except that I add some pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to them. The peppers are dried and smoked red jalapenos and come canned in a sweet and spicy red sauce that typically contains tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, salt, and spices. They can be added to all kinds of different foods, and in these sliders they provide a distinctive warm heat and delicious smoky flavor.


I made an easy peasy Smoky Chipotle Mayo to spread on top of them and served them on the toasted slider buns. I also cut slices of cheese into quarters and put one on each slider.


These Smoky Chipotle Sliders were a huge hit with my guests, especially the four teenagers that were there. They were the perfect size for a barbecue buffet. And, the addition of the chipotles in adobo not only added tons of flavor, but also just enough extra moistness to keep those little guys nice and juicy. I hope you'll give them a try for your next barbecue bash. I think your guest will love them too!

Smoky Chipotle Sliders with Smoky Chipotle Mayo
(Printable Recipe)


1 lb ground chuck
1 lb ground sirloin
1 medium-sized sweet onion, grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed with 2 tablespoons of sauce (depending on how spicy you
want it)
Salt and pepper to taste
Slider buns (Pepperidge Farm) or small potato rolls
Smoky Chipotle Mayo (recipe follows) and sliced American cheese, cut into quarters


Mix first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl. Form into small patties about 2-2 1/2 inches in diameter. Using an ice cream or meatball scoop for this makes the perfect sized sliders.

Grill or fry until sliders reach your desired level of doneness.

Top with a piece of cheese and Smoky Chipotle Mayo and serve on toasted slider buns.

Smoky Chipotle Mayo

1 cup Mayonnaise
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with 1 tablespoon of sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and whiz until well blended.

Makes about 24 sliders.

From the Archives

Ribeye Steaks with a Spicy, Smoky, Cacao Nibs Rub

Bistec a lo Pobre

Churrasco with Chimichurri Sauce

Pacific Rim Burgers with Ginger Mayonnaise

Seen around the Blogs

Meatball Sliders from Smitten Kitchen

Slider Buns from Use Real Butter

Turkey Sausage Sliders with Tomato Basil Relish from Cooking by the Seat of My Pants

Honey Scallion Sliders from Not Eating Out in New York

Mini Lamb Sliders with Harissa Sauce from Ms. Glaze's Pommes d'Amour

Barbecued Spiced Lamb Sliders from More Than Burnt Toast

Carolina Pulled Pork Sliders from The Daily Loaf


Manggy said…
Yes please! Just thinking of that spicy, sweet tanginess gets me drooling... At 2:30AM. Thank you Susan! grrr. Ha ha ha :) Stomach grumbling!
I hope you guys enjoyed yourselves-- I'm sure your dad wouldn't have wanted it any other way :)
You've made me drool all over my keaboard ;-P! OMG, those look sooooooooo good!!! I love anything that has a smoky flavor...


Sarah said…
Sounds delicious! There is nothing like the smell of the barbecue to know summer is truly here!
Cathy said…
Sliders are my all time favourite way to make a burger...I'm going to have to see if I can find those buns here.
I love chipotle! I love chipotle in burgers! I do a similar burger but I use turkey (my husband and his darn food intolerances) and chipotle powder and then add a little cilantro too.

I wish I had been invited to one of your family barbecues! I'd love all of that meat.

Very true. Italians never know when to stop feeding people. I always cook way too much food for big family parties!
Looks so good and perfect. Nice for summer parties.
Karen said…
Sounds great! I make a similar mayo to make a chipotle tuna salad!
Jen said…
These look amazing! I love sliders and grilling. My post tomorrow will be about an uber-simple grilled chicken recipe. My grill has been going more nights than not, since the weather changed.
The Duo Dishes said…
That chipotle mayo will be used this summer!
Ciao Chow Linda said…
What a great idea. I'll bet that chipotle topping just makes the burger sing. I've never made little sliders but I'll bet it's a big hit with everybody. Will look for those little buns too.
Kalyn Denny said…
Your sliders look amazing. Love the idea of chipotle mayo on burgers. Yes, you do dazzle me with your brilliance!
These sound awesome! I will definitely try that chipotle mayo!
Sliders are the perfect solution for everyone to get a taste of their barbequed goodness and still be able to move on without waddling around the buffet table:D I like the way you think girl:D
Chipotles in adobo are one of the secret ingredients in my pantry -- a bit of the adobo sauce added to anything really kicks up the flavor with just a moderate bit of heat. How great that you can buy slider buns in the supermarket now!
grace said…
"chipotle" is always a red-flag word for me, and i have to applaud your creation here! i'm not usually a fan of mayo, but i do believe i'd like this one--the chipotle would certainly take over the regular flavor and make it utterly enjoyable, especially on your yummy burgers. :)
Marta said…
Hahahaha I loved your intro! Certainly, an Iatalian grill party is quite the feast. I don't actually recall there ever being hotdogs and burgers at our parties, but plenty of rabbit, duck, agnello, sea food and tons of veggies!The veg was always my favourite!
These looks delicious and smokey!
Maris said…
This recipe looks exactly like one that I found on the Food Network and made for my brother's graduation party. Sadly, his friends devoured them before I had a chance to take photos!
Ingrid_3Bs said…
Hispanics are the same and it doesn't need to be an occasion for tons of food to be served.

Your burgers sound and look good especially the sauce!
Lucy said…
Your big barbecue bashes sound wonderful - I am envious my family does not have such a tradition! The burgers look absolutely FABulous and I can only agree with the other commenters that the pictures have me drooling :D
Anonymous said…
The sliders are great, and these look so good with smoky chipotle mayo! Love this!
MaryBeth said…
These look wonderful, we just something similar last night at Red Robins and they were great!!
Peter M said…
Us greeks are the same way...we always cook too much...but you never know who's going to show up!

I'm a big fan of Chipotle and all things smoked...bring'er on.
LilSis said…
Wow! Now that is a "full blown" barbecue! I've never made sliders, but I'm definitely going to make your recipe. (I didn't even know they made special buns.)

I know what you mean about barbecues not being the same without your dad. It's been two years since I lost my dad. We used to have cookouts together all the time. I still think of him every single time I fire up the grill.
emiglia said…
I love chipotle mayo! And I hear you loud and clear on the Italians making too much food thing. I used to think it was perfectly normal to have three MASSIVE bowls of spaghetti for a small family get together... not to mention enough breaded chicken cutlets to feed the whole school district.
Peabody said…
Those look stuffed with goodness.
Deeba PAB said…
I'm head over heels with chipotle ever since Nic mailed me some from the UK! Your post is sweet & tangy torture!! YUM!!
onno david said…
Very different innovative dish! Yummy blog. This is a great idea. I love smoky chipotle sliders. We are making this for the fourth time, so needless to say, it's a great recipe. Your picture med me hungry. I am going to ask my mom to do it. thank you for posting and sharing it.

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