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

  • Author: Our Best Bites


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!)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Don’t forget the Crispy Shoestring Onions!


  1. 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!

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

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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:)

  7. 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 🙂

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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?

  11. 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! 😉

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

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

  15. 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!

  16. 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

  17. 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!

  18. 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!!

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

  20. I voted! I'll try to remember to vote everyday…but you gal's should remind us, at least on facebook 🙂 Good Luck!!!

  21. LOOOOOVVEEEEE anything with blue cheese 🙂 I'm an addict, what can I say?

    Not in any way biased, but I honestly think your guys' recipe is the most creative, lots of different aspects going into it. Good Luck!


  22. I live in Des Moines – holla! Here are a few restaurant suggestions while you're in town: Flying Mango (Cajun/BBQ); Django (French yumminess); Court Avenue Brewing Company (Microbrews & All-American classics) and THai Flavors (unassuming but DELISH Thai food). Enjoy your trip!

  23. Wahoo! This is pretty exciting. My first vote is cast and I'll return many times this month. You two deserve to win this for sure.

  24. Yummy…I may have to give these a try this weekend! I voted and you have quite a lead in the contest!!

  25. I voted again today. I love your blog and have tried a ton of the recipes. They are a huge hit here. I need to make the Natchitoches Meat Pies again soon. They are so good. I make it in one big pie plate with a double crust, still as delish with a little less work.

    Please do remind us on FB every day! I would hate to forget to vote one day.

  26. Just placed my vote, bookmarked the site, so that I can vote every day. Your recipe looks delish! Good luck with the contest. Happy to be a subscriber to your blog.

  27. Good luck! Hope you two win. I think people can vote once a day, by the way.

    Oh and this recipe sounds AMAZING. Shoe-string onions are amazing and the blue cheese and bacon are two of my all time favorite burger toppings. Can't wait to try it!

  28. WOW!!! you guys are in the lead..awesome! I hope everyone who leaves comments when there's blog candy available on here will take the time to vote for you! you both deserve it! Love all of your food! thank you so much 🙂 …I'll keep voting..

  29. Just voted and you deserve. Best food blog out there. Will be blogging about your awesome frosting recipe this weekend and will make sure my readers know about your BH&G contest. But hey, so far you're leading! Awesome!

  30. I voted AND we made this last night for dinner. My husband was in heaven. The blue cheese I was going to use was a little suspect, so I used Feta and I liked it a lot. Hamburgers and shoestring onions are so right together.

  31. Good luck! Your blog has been a lifesaver for me — you guys totally deserve to win in my humble opinion!

  32. LOVE You Girls!! Actually borderline obsessed with your blog … thanks for keeping your recipes and site real and do-able to those of us still learning the ropes of the kitchen!! Thanks You, Thank YOu!! Don't know where dinner would be today without you. YUM!! So happy for the success of your blog 🙂 VoTing!!!

  33. I love Bleu cheese on burgers (and anything else!) I voted and I will be making these yummy burgers this week! Hope y'all win!

  34. Mmmm, this looks so good! I can't wait for an excuse to make them. I love bleu cheese!

    And I voted for you guys! A couple times now. I hope you win – I'm sure you will!

  35. My sister in law Katie and I made these for our guys Sunday. We both don't like blue cheese but decided to use the spread anyways. Can I just say YUMMMY! It was a huge hit! My husband mentioned he couldn't wait for the next time around. Hope you all win.

  36. I voted! I agree with other readers – remind us on FB each day.

    I discovered your site about two weeks ago, and I think I'm on recipe #10 or so. I've even made some of them twice (like the apple streusel bars…Oh.My.Gosh!). I end up just reading your recipes for the entertainment value (I especially like the comment about eating the no-bake Reeses peanut butter filling while watching the Biggest Loser – that's exactly where I was headed after tasting that stuff!).

    LOVE your site – you girls are fantastic!!

  37. Still voting!!! You guys are so awesome and doing awesome in the competition. Good luck!

  38. Soooo tasty! Made these tonight and received rave reviews. I'm still voting for you ladies to win, you definitely deserve to!

  39. Made these this weekend! OMG!! They are wonderful!!! Even my husband, who only likes a basic hamburger (nothing fancy on it)haha, absolutely loved these! He ate 5! Thanks for such an awesome recipe!!!

  40. I've been voting, too! Not like you guys need the extra votes from me though…you guys are waaaay far ahead! Thanks for your recipes!

  41. OK, so I have made this 2 times this week and had it for about 4 days in a row (it makes so many!) but OMG, what a treat! The garlicky bleu cheese taste is heaven! YUM!!

  42. Just wanted to let you know…I ran out of slider patties so I made buffalo chicken sliders (I cut buffalo chicken fingers in half) with your Blue Cheese Spread. YUM-MY!!!!!! The BBQ bacon sliders and buffalo chicken sliders are definitely my new favorite football food!!!! Thank you!

  43. Hey, I made these for my family tonight they where so good. 🙂 I do a lot of recipes from your blog. I haven't found one that was a failure!! You are soo cool.


  44. We emailed out sis Juliin Des Moines who was in the test kitchen with you at Better Homes and Gardens. I needed something new and fresh and she gave me your blog. She said wonderful things about you both and that is saying a lot! I tried these little beauties out on the fam tonight and they were such a hit! Best burger in a LONG time! Thanks for your great site…
    Tomorrow the key lime tarts and chicken tostada roll ups.
    Thanks for a great resource!

  45. DO you think you could sub in gorgonzola cheese for the blue cheese in that sauce? Can’t wait to give them a try this weekend!

  46. Hi ladies! I’m finally going to make these this weekend! Where might I find cute, little buns? 😉

    1. Look for the King’s Hawaiian Rolls. They should have them in just about every grocery store (usually by the deli). Or you can use dinner rolls from the bakery as well, (that’s what I used) they make great buns!

  47. I received my July 2011 issue of Better Homes & Gardens directing me to the following website to get your recipe for the BBQ Bacon Sliders at
    Sorry, ladies the website says “No such item to be found”! I guess I should have been smart enough to go on your website in the first place where I found it.! Now, toooooooooooo bad I cannot print it out!
    Oh well, it was a good thought on my part; I think I can remember most all of the ingredients to come closer enough!



  48. I just got my copy of BHG! Congratulations on the big win! You looked fabulous and I’m sure this isn’t the last time you will grace the pages of BHG.

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