These sliders are some of the best things I've had lately. Remember when you used to fix yourself a sandwich with leftover meatloaf (on Wonder bread)? These are even better, because you get the baked-on sauce in every bite, not just on the top. Plus, they bake faster than a regular-size meatloaf does, so there's not as much waiting. There's a great balance of meatloaf and cheese burger flavors.
Besides, meatloaf sliders are just fun. :)
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Sliders
* 1 pound ground chuck (I used 96% lean)
* 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I substituted Hormel's Real Bacon Bits, 1/3 cup)
* 1 (8-ounce) package sharp Cheddar, grated (I used 4 oz. of lowfat 2% Mexican Blend shredded cheese)
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted (I think 1/4 cup would work if you used commercial bread crumbs- they are very fine. I used day-old french bread, toasted, then crumbled, 1/2 cup)
* 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used 1 tablespoon)
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 (3-ounce) can French fried onions (divided use- I put 1/2 in the burger mixture and half on top)
* 1/3 cup ketchup (I used 1/2 cup)
* 2 tablespoons prepared mustard (I used 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard- we don't tend to use much mustard)
* Optional: I also added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the ketchup mixture before dividing it- I like a sweeter meatloaf topping. If you like a more savory topping, just leave this out.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a half-sheet size cookie pan with sides in heavy duty foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the bacon bits, and the next 7 ingredients through the black pepper, mixing well. Stir in a little less than half of the french fried onions (I broke up the larger pieces). Crumble the ground beef into this mixture and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 2 tablespoons ketchup mixture into meat mixture. Reserve remaining ketchup mixture for topping.
Combine the meat mixture thoroughly. Shape the meat mixture into small patties, just slightly larger in diameter than the buns you will be using. The 96% lean beef doesn't shrink much. I made indentations in the center of each burger so that they would bake evenly and not puff up in the middle. I ended up with 9 sliders.