BBQ Bacon Sliders for the Better Homes and Gardens Cook-Off!

If you missed the announcement, Kate and I will be traveling to Des Moines, IA this month (anyone from there??) to participate in a cook off at the Better Homes and Gardens test kitchens! We came up with this killer recipe which we hope will wow the judges.

Update:  We won the BH&G Cook-Off!  Take a look at our winning recipe!


BBQ Bacon Sliders with Blue Cheese and Crispy Onions.

Anything that begins with bacon is off to a good start, right??

We also combine it with a tangy Blue Cheese Spread (which is simply this dressing without the milk). And if you’re not a fan of blue cheese, the spread is still awesome without it! But give it a shot- it really just adds a tang that goes great with the bbq sauce.

While those mini burgers are on the grill we bathe them in an amazing bbq sauce (and you could totally take a short-cut and use a bottled sauce if you’d rather)

While those little guys are cooking, start assembling. First the bottom halves of the buns are spread with the sauce and topped with a crisp, cold lettuce leaf and a slice of bacon.

then put on a warm burger

and top with a little pile of shoestring onions.

Finally the top bun goes on with more sauce. Are you wondering how something could be both mouthwatering AND adorable?? I know, we’re awesome like that. 😉 Sliders are great because you can eat a whole burger and still have some room for sides to balance out the meal. They’re also great for parties or appetizers too.

BBQ Bacon Sliders with Blue Cheese and Crispy Onions


For the Burgers

  • 11/2 lbs high-quality 85/15 ground Angus
  • 1/2 C BBQ sauce or your favorite bottled BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 8-10 small white dinner rolls or Hawaiian sweet rolls, sliced in half and toasted if desired
  • 8-10 crisp lettuce leaves
  • 8-10 slices bacon cooked crisp

For the Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic pressed or finely minced
  • 1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese not a blue cheese fan? Leave it out!


  • Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread: Combine mayonnaise, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and garlic. Mix well and stir in crumbled blue cheese. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Burgers: Heat a grill pan on the stove top, or an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Combine beef, 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, salt and pepper. Divide and shape mixture into 8-10 3/4"-thick patties (keep the size of your buns in mind as wells the fact that the burgers will shrink quite a bit while cooking when shaping the patties). Grill for 2-3 minutes and then flip. Brush the top side of each burger with remaining sauce. Continue grilling for another 2 minutes and flip burgers again, brushing the other side with additional sauce. Continue to cook and baste until the internal temperature of the burgers reach 160-165 degrees.
  • To assemble: Lightly spread the bottom half of each bun with Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread and top with a lettuce leaf. Break each bacon piece in half and place on top of lettuce leaves. Place burger on top and drizzle with additional barbecue sauce if desired. Top with a small handful of Crispy Shoestring Onions. Spread remaining Garlicky Blue Cheese Spread on top halves of buns.
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!

Don’t forget the Crispy Shoestring Onions!

Ultimate Grill Guide

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Hi I voted, looked like you are in the lead, yeah ! Also I live near Des Moines. Hope you enjoy your time here.

  2. Good luck! I voted for ya 🙂 And when I voted you had 56% of the votes!! Woot!!

  3. So, I made sliders a few weeks ago with your homemade dinner rolls (mini size) and they were THE BOMB!! So, I think you should attach that recipe within your new killer slider reciper as a link to your diner rolls, … just sayin, might be the "push-over" you need for the contest winning vote!!
    And you can bet I'm gonna be making this kicked-up version real soon!! I voted and made myself a note to vote daily and taped it to the top of my laptop!! Go Sarah and Kate!!

  4. I voted! I've loved all the recipes I've tried from you, so I'm sure this one is no different–can't wait to try it! 🙂 Best of luck in the competition!

  5. It's 9:30 am on Oct 1st and you guys are already kicking some MAJOR food blogger butt in that competition.
    No big deal

  6. I just voted and I'm not suprised at all by the HUGE lead you already have. You recipe seriously sounds AMAZING!!! I'll keep voting for you guys till you win. Good Luck!

  7. Just voted! I've been a silent reader for some time now..I know…shameful right? Good luck!

  8. kandi- we always worry about annoying people when we ask every day for you to vote for us! So thanks for saying you're okay with it 🙂

    Sherry- good tip on the mayo!

  9. I'm up in northwest Iowa rooting for you!

    You may want to use Maytag Blue Cheese. It is made in Iowa and may earn you some brownie points!

  10. I don't know what you ladies are talking about, cause you are kicking their TRASH this morning! 53% of the votes so far! Woot! I voted!

    PS: I think you should put a reminder on Facebook EVERYDAY so I ( and everyone) can remember to vote every day! 😉

  11. Aime- that's weird, after you click our names it should take you to a window that shows results. It's a little bar graph, did it not go there? Maybe try to vote again?

  12. Thank you thank you thank you everyone! You guys are so awesome!

    Ianswertomom- I actually *hope* the weather cools off because I would love an excuse to go buy a new fall coat just for the trip, haha!

  13. I live in DSM! Have a great time! The weather is PERFECT here right now..but is expected to be cold soon. Good luck!

  14. Definitely voting! Im actually making pulled pork sliders for a baby shower tomorrow and am inspired by ur ideas to go beyond pork and bbq sauce 🙂

  15. Just voted for you guys and plan on voting for you everyday until the end of the month!

    Thankfully, you are off to a great start and are currently in the lead! Love you guys and love you recipes, keep it up:)

  16. Just so you know, I checked out the competition and you for sure should win. I couldn't even find the contest recipe on one of the other blogs. Your blog is definitely the best! Oh, and obviously, I voted for you!

  17. I voted! Looks like you have a good lead so far. I hope you win. Those hamburgers look so good I want one for breakfast right now!

  18. I voted! Looks like you girls have a good start! GOOD LUCK! You are gonna rock it! Your recipe really does sound the yummiest. 🙂

  19. I voted! This recipe sounds so yummy (minus some blue cheese)! Thanks for all the recipes I have tried…love them!

  20. You gals are awesome! I hope you win! And I'm not just saying that because of any nepotism or favoritism. Or because I really want to win those pots and pans. Okay, so those things are all great, but I really DO hope you win! I love your blog and I'm so impressed with how far you've come. Impressed, but not surprised! Holla!