Healthier Sliders, Three Ways

Traditional, restaurant-style sliders can have 350 calories and 15 to 20 grams of fat per slider--one little patty on a roll. But sliders are cool, so I found a way to enjoy them guilt-free. With these slimmed-down gems, you can enjoy two sliders for the nutrient price of one restaurant slider, without sacrificing flavor.

In fact, there's more to these burgers than meat, cheese and a bun: The chicken version is embellished with feta cheese, fresh parsley, oregano and cumin; the pork sliders are brimming with Asian flavors, including soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic; and the beef burgers are smoky and spicy thanks to chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. The flavors work for all three slider varieties--meaning, you can use ground chicken for the Asian burgers, ground pork with the feta cheese, and so on.

And have fun with the rolls:  Select whole wheat, whole grain, flavored, or even the new pretzel rolls.

Chicken & Feta Sliders

If desired, spread Dijon mustard on the rolls before adding sliders.

Cooking spray
1 pound ground chicken breast
1/4 cup crumbled herbed feta or regular feta
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 dinner rolls
8 thin slices fresh tomato

Coat a stove-top grill pan or griddle with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, feta, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix well and shape the mixture into 8 sliders, each about 3/4-inch thick. Add the sliders to the hot pan and cook for 3 minutes per side for medium. Arrange the sliders on the rolls and top with tomato slices. Serves 4

Nutrition Info Per Serving (2 sliders)
Calories: 313
Total Fat: 13 grams
Saturated Fat: 4 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 29 grams
Sugars: 2 grams
Protein: 22 grams
Sodium: 592 milligrams
Cholesterol: 82 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams
Asian Pork Sliders

Note: If you can't find ground pork loin, ask the meat department to grind the loin for you.

Cooking spray
1 pound ground pork loin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 dinner rolls
8 teaspoons Chinese hot mustard
1 cup shredded red cabbage

Coat a stove-top grill pan or griddle with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine the pork, cilantro, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well and shape the mixture into 8 sliders, each about 3/4-inch thick. Add the sliders to the hot pan and cook for 3 minutes per side for medium. Spread 1 teaspoon of the mustard on the top half of each roll. Arrange the sliders on the rolls and top with red cabbage.

Serves 4
Nutrition Info Per Serving (2 sliders)
Calories: 322
Total Fat: 13 grams
Saturated Fat: 4 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 29 grams
Sugars: 2 grams
Protein: 20 grams
Sodium: 642 milligrams
Cholesterol: 50 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams
Spicy Chipotle Beef Sliders

If desired, spread the chile sauce on the rolls before adding sliders; or top the burgers with salsa before topping with lettuce.

Cooking spray
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 dinner rolls
4 Romaine lettuce leaves, thinly sliced

Coat a stove-top grill pan or griddle with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine the beef, chipotle chiles, chili powder, coriander, salt, and pepper. Mix well and shape the mixture into 8 sliders, each about 3/4-inch thick. Add the sliders to the hot pan and cook for 3 minutes per side for medium, adding the cheese to the top of the sliders for the last minute or so of cooking. Arrange the sliders on the rolls and top with the lettuce.

Serves 4
Nutrition Info Per Serving (2 sliders)
Calories: 381
Total Fat: 18 grams
Saturated Fat: 8 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 27 grams
Sugars: 2 grams
Protein: 28 grams
Sodium: 670 milligrams
Cholesterol: 75 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams
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