Upgrade Sliders Into Burger Kebabs For A Fun Take On The Classic Appetizer

Burgers are typically a main dish loaded with cheese and toppings on a bun, whereas their smaller counterparts known as sliders function as both starters and entrees (if you eat a couple). To switch things up for your next cookout or casual dinner party, take inspiration from both of these classic dishes to make burger kebabs. Kebabs, which you might typically make with grilled meats and vegetables, make great handheld appetizers that are easily customizable for your family and other guests.

There are a few reasons why it's worth the effort to scale down the size of burgers and toppings to bite-sized proportions layered on skewers. First, it's an easy technique to get all of the flavors from a classic burger without a bun if you want to minimize carbs or maintain a gluten-free diet, or if you prefer to try different small portions rather than commit to an entire sandwich. It's also an easy option for a picnic or pool party when you don't want to deal with plates and forks (less clean-up for you as host). The burger kebabs can even use up leftover ingredients like the jar of pickles that's been in the back of the fridge for too long or those cherry tomatoes that will spoil soon. And, really, it's just a fun way to serve the staple burger ingredients as appetizers that will impress the eyes and stomachs of your guests. Who needs a bun anyway, right?

Tips for assembling next-level burger kebabs

To start, prepare your burgers separately because certain ingredients like pickles are probably best left off of the grill. Of course, if you don't mind grilled pickles or lettuce, assemble the skewers and grill everything together. For something like smoky chipotle burgers, follow the recipe and just make smaller patties, similar to how you'd make meatballs. Poultry also works for burger skewers, like with our garlic chicken burger recipe. To make it easier, use leftover or store-bought meatballs for a similar effect.

For any foodie who simply cannot have a burger without the cheese, add your cheese of choice while cooking the burgers on the grill (or in the pan) to melt it. Alternatively, cut cheese into small pieces and add it to the skewers with the other toppings later. As for the rest of the ingredients, obvious choices are pickles, cherry or grape tomatoes, and lettuce cut into square pieces. To step it up, add cubed avocado, chunks of red onion, pearl onions, pieces of crispy bacon, or grilled pineapple slices. You can even add tater tots or roasted potatoes to each skewer for a fusion of the entree and side dish. And don't forget to serve the burger kebabs with condiments like chipotle mayo, ketchup, or store-bought burger sauce on the side for dipping.