Sliders have been popular for decades! The cheeseburger version can be made with pasteurized process cheese food, sometimes known as American singles. It’s unfortunate since this type of “cheese” is only required to contain 51% real cheese. Many fast-casual restaurants offer cheeseburger sliders on their menus today; however, they often come three per serving and typically include a mini white bun, beef patty, American singles, onions, and some sort of slider sauce. Of course, fries usually automatically arrive with your order to put your meal into calorie overdrive!
So here’s my updated and upgraded version of the slider, made with quickly caramelized red onion, fresh baby arugula, pan-seared portabella mushrooms, and Sargento® Sliced Cheese. The highlight is the Sargento® Deli Style Sliced Swiss Cheese because it’s 100% real, natural cheese.
These sliders are tasty as is. But if you like, pair them with your favorite condiment, such as Dijon mustard or an avocado-based mayonnaise.
Calories saved: varies—but potentially over 1000 calories saved as an entrée!
Why it’s better for you? You use natural cheese instead of process cheese food; whole grain instead of white bread; plus plenty of vegetable goodness.
Disclosure Note: I teamed up as a paid spokesperson with Sargento Foods to provide you this blog post. The recipe and opinions expressed in this post are my own.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups packed fresh baby arugula or spinach
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 (3-inch) whole grain rolls, split
- 6 (4-inch) portabella mushroom caps
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 slices Sargento® Deli Style Sliced Swiss Natural Cheese or Aged Swiss Natural Cheese, folded in half on diagonal
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large (PFOA-free) nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook while stirring for 1 minute, then increase heat to medium-high and sauté until the onions are lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
- Toss the fresh arugula with the lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Rub or brush the rounded side of the mushroom caps with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, then sprinkle the gill side with the nutmeg and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat the large skillet over medium-high heat. In batches, if necessary, cook the mushroom caps, gill side up, covered for 3 minutes; reduce to medium heat and cook the mushroom cap gill side down, covered, until fully cooked, about 4 more minutes. Remove the lid and immediately place the cheese triangles on top of each mushroom cap. (Note: If you’re having a cookout, grill the mushrooms instead of pan searing for a smokier flavor!)
- Place the cheesy portabella caps on the bottom portion of each roll. Top with the caramelized onions, dressed arugula, and roll tops. Serve while warm.
Per slider: 280 calories, 12 total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 15mg cholesterol, 540mg sodium, 31g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 6g sugars, 13g protein
The “Before” Version
Inspired by cheeseburger sliders at a popular fast-casual chain restaurant
Per 3-slider serving: 1690 calories, 103 total fat, 32g saturated fat, 3.5g trans fat, 180mg cholesterol, 3070mg sodium, 138g total carbohydrate, 9g dietary fiber, 22g sugars, 53g protein
- Skip pasteurized process cheese food; always use natural cheese for great taste and quality nutrition
- For bonus flavor and flair in a slider, pump up the onions—when caramelized you can use more than double what you might otherwise use when raw
- For a delicious vegetable boost and a pop of freshness, try well-seasoned pan-seared (or grilled) portabella mushroom caps in place of meat, add greens, such as baby arugula