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Ranch Burger Sliders | styleberryKITCHEN Pt. 3

A few years ago I decided I was going to be a vegetarian. I came to this conclusion after one of my many 400 mile commute days…where I cruised from Nebraska through South Dakota…had my company-paid-for vegetarian dinner, then made my way back home to Nebraska. Then I told my husband about my plan. If any of you know the good ol’ Nebraska boy’s mentality…you know he might send you out the front door if you tell him you are giving up meat. But then my dear husband reminded me of all the things I would be missing…& I think it was the loss of the IN-N-OUT Burger that put me back over the edge. I do love a good burger. Especially if I am making a trip home to California & can order one animal style. [droooooling] So…I decided not to follow through with my genius plan. Driving 70,000 miles a year can make you a little crazy, I decided.

But…to the meat of things, who doesn’t love a good burger? Especially a mini-burger! YUMMMM! I was inspired to make sliders by a recipe in the recent Everyday Food Mag, but the burger recipe they provided was a bit lackluster. I used my favorite red meat burger recipe & it was a dinner enjoyed by all–even caroline gobbled up her “mee” (meat) and fries…and broccoli & cauliflower & grapes of course. ;)

RANCH BURGER SLIDERS

Recipe originally found HERE.

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (I only used 1lb for this meal)
  • 1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers (I always use two slices of whole wheat bread, crumbled, instead)
  • 1 onion, chopped (I used about half, for 1lb of meat this time)

Preparation

  • Preheat the grill for high heat.
  • In a bowl, mix the ground beef, ranch dressing mix, egg, crushed crackers, and onion. Form into hamburger patties.
  • Lightly oil the grill grate. Place patties on the grill, and cook 5 minutes per side, or until well done.

All ingredients on the left, including the left over onion from yesterday’s tacos. We love Alexia Fries. These counted as our veggie for dinner.  For the sliders, I bought whole wheat dinner rolls from the bakery at Target. I whisked the egg & ranch together before adding the meat & onion. I used my beaba babycook as a food processor for the bread crumbs. :) That little thing is starting to get more & more useful over time.

Don’t over mix the meat, but form into flat patties, size of your choice. You can always make these big, or small. I did small just for fun this time.

I am a big fan of PAM Grilling spray to grease the grates. My burgers always seemed to stick & this does the trick. They slide right off. Be sure to spray BEFORE you heat up the grill. Shot on the right is what was left to clean up as I put the burgers on the grill. Trash square & all. ;)

I don’t like super melted cheese on my burgers, so I sprinkle it on after I pull them off the grill. It melts to the perfect texture, even away from heat!

FREEZING & BIG BATCH COOKING TIPS

Burgers are one of my favorite items to assemble in big batches & freeze. I usually freeze them raw, but I have also cooked & frozen with some really great success. Here are a few pointers:

  • Glad Press’n Seal is a great product for freezing burgers. I individually wrap each burger, then put them in a gallon sized Ziploc Freezer Bag. We typically go through them all before I encounter any problems with frostbite.
  • Expand your Burger Palette. There are so many lean burger options that are SO tasty. Turkey Burgers, Salmon Burgers & Beef Burgers all taste SO much better when you make & mold them yourself. I have made & frozen all different kinds of burgers. Some we eat open faced. Some we eat without buns. Some are big & some small. I have never met a burger caroline would not eat right along with us.
  • Make BIG batches. Why not buy your meat in bulk at the store & make three pounds of burgers at once? You will, overall, have less work chopping the veggies & packaging if you do more at once. 3lbs of burgers could feed you for quite a number of meals, depending on your family’s size! Costco’s organic beef comes in packs of three lbs total–& is not frozen. ;) It is NOT grass fed though. :(
  • Cook Organic. It is very difficult to find organic burgers. It is even more difficult to find organic, grass fed burgers. When making them yourself, you can be as discriminating as you like with ingredients & once frozen, they are super easy to defrost & heat up for a quick meal–especially useful if you only need to feed yourself.
  • Cook for Baby. When caroline was little, I would hand press her 1 oz patties made from the grass fed beef I bought at the farmer’s market. I cooked them & froze them. When she was ready for a meal, I popped them in the microwave for 10 seconds & they were ready to eat. She got one patty a day for a really long time.
  • Freeze the BUNS too! I try and make my husband’s lunch sandwiches with any left over buns from the week’s meals, but sometimes I freeze them too. If they don’t stay too long in the freezer, they come out even moister than they went in! I hate throwing away moldy bread, so freezing is a great option if you know your family will not go through all the buns you bought.

Got a link to an awesome burger recipe? Please share! I am always looking for new ones to add to our rotation! :):):)

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  • annie - sounds so yummy! thanks shawna! that is funny, i went through a vegetarian “phase” too, but i too need my burger once in a while! and i don’t think i could live without chicken or fish. we love those sweet potato fries too. thanks for the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Yummy! I am not a vegetarian either but enjoy a good veggie burger every now and then. Beleive it or not… Guy Fieri’s “Morgan’s Vegggie Patties” is the best recipe ever! They have A LOT of ingredients, so I make up a huge batch and freeze them. Instant veggie burger whenever I want and they taste so much better then the packaged ones (which are alarmingly high in Sodium).ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - I’ve really enjoyed your latest blog posts! All the food looks so good. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Funny — I went through a brief stint in high school as a semi-vegetarian myself; a couple of years of eating no red meat (chicken and fish were OK). Then of course after I started dating Chris, I slowly added red meat back into my diet. Ah, we can both thank our husbands for not letting us give up on enjoying a good burger or steak nowadays! ;)

    Quick question — To measure Caroline’s hamburger patties, did you eyeball it or do you have a kitchen scale? I don’t have one yet and am thinking it would probably be a handy tool to have!ReplyCancel

    • -shawna- - @Jennifer–I never used a scale. Once you start working with the “cubes” you get a really good handle of what 1oz looks like. :) I am anal…but not THAT anal! HA!ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea McCown - yumm!!! thanks for sharing! I could never be a vegetarian, and my hubby thinks a meal isn’t complete unless it has meat (pasta chock full of veggies- still not good enough unless I add chicken! haha!)ReplyCancel

  • Colleen Sheehy - These look awesome. I can’t wait to try them. :)ReplyCancel

  • Tori @ FIToriBLOG.com - I love that your husband and I can identify w/ the need for protein! :) And, I loved when you were preggo w/ Caroline and were salivating over meat which never happens! I’m sure that’s when this recipe was invented by you! :) And, is now a staple b/c someone else in your house (maybe both) LOVE meat!
    I will be making these ma’am! Thanks for the great idea! I also need to post my Abs Diet Burger recipe again w/ better pics! As always, thanks for the inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Tori @ FIToriBLOG.com - btw, are these ingredients (i.e. large bag of cheese and the “rolls”) from Costco?ReplyCancel

  • goodeatsbykmuir - The Air Force moved me and my husband to the East Coast where we often get into feuds with friends over the best American burger joint. I’ve heard Five Guys, Sonic, Whataburger, yada yada yada. When it comes down to it, anyone that’s had In’n’Out burger will forever be a carnivore. This California born girl thanks you :)ReplyCancel

  • -shawna- - @Tori–right?! caroline LOVES meat too. father’s daughter. ;) rolls are target, cheese is costco.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Hooray!!! Trying these with my mamma this week. I can already promise that Dane will request these :) YummmyyyReplyCancel

  • Lauren - Mmmm. Looks good. I may have to make a big batch of these before baby comes. Thanks for adding in the freezing tips.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - I made these tonight, and they were DE-lish! Thank you for the recipe. They will definitely be on the menu from now on.ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline - Can you share the type of grill pan you used? Using the outside grill during the winter isn’t an option here and I’ve yet to find one I liked. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • -shawna- - @Jacqueline–I do not own a grill pan–I am stuck in the south where it is so hot we run the a/c in february! :( sorry I can’t be of more help!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline - No problem! Thank you again for this wonderful kitchen series. We’ve tried every recipe you’ve shared and they’ve all been added to our permanent rotation!ReplyCancel

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