I received a gift card to facilitate the creation of this Grilled Caprese Pesto Sliders recipe from Cost Plus World Market®; all opinions are my own.
When I was trying to figure out what to have as an appetizer for our backyard party, sliders came to mind immediately. Likely because I’d been surfing the World Market website a few minutes earlier and had noticed their Deluxe Mini-Hamburger Slider Set. It seemed like a great way to make a lot of tiny burgers in no time.
Summer Outdoor Party Recipes: Grilled Caprese Pesto Sliders Appetizers, Roasted Bell Pepper and Chipotle Sliders, Easy and Creamy Shrimp Dip Appetizer, Spinach Strawberry and Feta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, Sparkling Lemonade, barbecue chicken, grilled asparagus, and Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Grilled Pineapple and Toasted Coconut – also view our Outdoor Entertaining Ideas: Relaxing Coastal Theme party post
Sliders Recipe: Easy Grilled Caprese Pesto Slider
On my next shopping trip I picked one up along with some Cucina & Amore Genovese Basil Pesto Sauce, and Bamboo Skewers. When I saw the pesto I realized I could make Caprese sliders for everyone else and I could enjoy the same thing without the burger – win/win! I love being able to create an appetizer both the meat-eaters and this vegetarian can enjoy – and enjoy we did!
I could have made foccacia bread, it’s really very easy, but I purchased two loaves from my local grocery store instead. I asked my son to help me out by slicing it up while I was busy pressing burgers, boy was that was a mistake. He didn’t keep the halves together so I spent a lot of time trying to match up the tops and bottoms when it came time to put them back together. Foccacia is known for its random asymmetrical shape so it was a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle, I don’t know what he was thinking!
While my son messed with the bread, I created the mini patties. The Mini-Hamburger Slider press worked great. I did find that I needed to rinse it in hot water every 4-5 uses to keep the fat of the beef from making it stick in the grooves. When I did that I was rewarded with perfectly shaped mini beef patties that retained their shape. I made them early in the day so I separated them by bits of waxed paper I’d cut into squares and put them in the refrigerator until it was time to grill them. That was such a smart move on my part, it made grilling so much faster and easier.
- 2 cups basil pesto, divided
- 2-1/2 lbs ground beef chuck or sirloin (10-12% fat)
- Salt and Pepper
- olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices
- 2 Foccaia loaves (about 10" each) or mini buns of your choice
- 1 jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained OR 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
- bamboo picks
- Add 1 cup of pesto to the ground beef and mix until incorporated. Add salt and pepper.
- Using a slider maker, form the mixture into 24 patties. Make them ahead of time and use squares of waxed paper to separate them. Keep them refrigerated until ready to grill.
- Cut the foccacia bread into 3" x 3" squares and then in half. Keep the mates together or you'll be playing a match up game after grilling.
- Brush the split sides with olive oil.
- Grill until lightly toasted, about 4-5 minutes
- Removed the browned buns and place one slice of cheese, basil, and tomato on the top halves. Spread the bottom with the reserved pesto.
- Grill the sliders 2-4 minutes on each side or until you reach your desired doneness (ground meat should reach an internal temperature of 160 F)
- Remove the sliders and place them on the prepared slider buns.
- Put the tops and bottoms together adding a pick and serve immediately.
Sliders Recipe: Caprese Pesto Sliders – Delicious Appetizer or Main Dish
These mini grilled caprese pesto sliders were a hit! They’re one of two sliders I served on an amazing pale blue glass serving tray (Small Lagoon Platter) along with a shrimp dip for appetizers. Our guests each ate 3-4 sliders which was more than enough considering they didn’t remember we were serving BBQ chicken for the main course! These could easily replace a main or serve center stage in a cocktail and appetizer party. They were super juicy and delicious.