I had no idea what I was making for supper the other day. I scrounged through the freezer and grabbed a pound of ground turkey and set it to thaw, but what I was going to make with it? No clue. I hate when that happens.
I thought about stuffed burgers, but I find sometimes that by the time a burger gets fully cooked the inside, particularly if it’s cheese has oozed out completely and there is only a memory of what the burger was stuffed with. Seems like a waste. Also thought that because I didn’t want to barbeque this limited me, burger-wise.
Then “sliders” popped into my head. I still had 2 dozen ciabatta buns in the freezer – take a dozen of those out. They’re a little bigger than slider buns but I could cut them in half if I was so inclined.
Now, what to do with these sliders?
- 1 lb ground turkey, chicken or beef
- 3 TB pesto (more if you really like pesto)
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs or panko (guess which one I used)
- 4 oz cheddar cheese (approximately) cut into 12 slices or grated and divided into 12
- 12 buns
Put the turkey in a bowl big enough for it to be mixed. Add the pesto and the breadcrumbs. The reasoning for the breadcrumbs is that ground turkey is quite ‘wet’ for lack of a better word and adding in the pesto makes it moreso. If you don’t add something in to absorb some of the moisture, they don’t hold their shapes very well….or at all. It’s quite frustrating to try and move them around when they just disintegrate when you touch them. 🙂
Use a fork and gently mix the pesto and breadcrumbs in thoroughly. The harder you mix it, the tougher your burgers, so be gentle and only mix as much as you have to. The beautiful thing about mixing in pesto is you can tell where it is….the green shows you.
Divide your ground meat into 12 approximately even piles. I evened the meat out across the top and marked the top into 12 pie shaped pieces. It wasn’t perfect but it worked pretty well.
Scoop out a section or a pile onto your hand. Roll it together, again gently, then flatten out into a circle/square larger than your cheese pieces.
Grab a cheese piece and set it on the turkey and push it down into the meat a little. Now pull the edges up and over the cheese. Smooth it all down and close any holes. Set on a plate or rack with parchment paper on it (if you don’t they will stick and you will be mad). Make the rest the same way.
I put mine in the freezer for about 45 minutes before I cooked them, simply because I was waiting for the rest of my supper crew to get home. I do recommend doing that though, if you have time. It helped solidify the meat again because it got warmish from being mixed and manipulated. It also helped the outside not cook so quickly.
When ready to cook, pop your sliders into/onto your air fryer rack that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or oil spray.
Get them into your air fryer at 350F for 15 minutes (I flipped them about 10 minutes in) and they were perfectly cooked. I only lost a little cheese, so I consider that a major win.
I did cut one of them open, to make sure they were done, and it erupted cheese like a little turkey volcano. There was cheese all over the door of my air fryer….I took that one.
Take them out, get your buns cut and loaded with whatever you enjoy a turkey burger with, and by then the little guys won’t be so volatile and hot. Perfect for eating, in fact.
If you use ground up pork rinds to replace the breadcrumbs and skip the bun, this is low carb and keto friendly.
You could stuff these with spinach and cheese, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and cream cheese, bacon and cheese – whatever your little heart desires. Oooh, pickles and cream cheese!