Goodness gracious. These Chicken Parmesan Sliders are delicious. DELICIOUS. I don’t know if I can put into words how I truly feel about this meal. But I have to try, since I um, write about food. Because, you know, food blog.
OK. Here I go.
They are juicy. They are bursting with delicious Italian flavors. They are healthy (inspired by my favorite cooking magazine: Cooking Light. They really have the BEST recipes!). And they are easy to make in bulk and freeze for later, or feed a crowd easily!
I hope you already know how delicious chicken parmesan is. Traditionally, it’s a fried cutlet of chicken smothered in marinara sauce and mozzarella/parmesan cheese, topped with fresh basil and served with a side of pasta. It’s hard for me to order anything else at an Italian restaurant, since it’s almost always guaranteed to be yummy!
These sliders take the same idea of chicken Parmesan but make small burgers out of it. Here’s the basic gist: you make small burger patties out of ground chicken, coat them in bread crumbs, bake them, and broil them with marinara and fresh mozzarella. Top with fresh basil and put on a slider bun, and you have the best of two amazing worlds: burgers, and chicken parmesan. It’s heavenly.
And here’s the thing: these are healthier than both traditional chicken parmesan and traditional burgers.
First, chicken is a much leaner meat than beef. Second, they are baked, rather than fried. Third, there is very little additional fat added to them- instead, the patties are infused with tons of delicious flavors from onions, garlic, parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper, and maintain their juiciness by adding a small amount of marinara sauce directly to the mixture! Genius! (That was Cooking Light’s idea- not mine) :-)
I’ve made quite a few changes to the original recipe (which appeared on page 54 of the August 2015 issue of Cooking Light) to make it a bit faster, use fewer pots and pans, and make a bulk recipe so I could freeze half of it for later.
Oh gosh, that reminds me! I have these in my freezer!! I can literally have them whenever I want to! It’s like when you leave money in a winter coat and don’t realize it’s there until the next winter. Surprise money; surprise chicken parmesan sliders. I should really try and resist the temptation to eat these within the next month so that I have a nice surprise later on.
Recipe below- enjoy!
Chicken Parmesan Sliders
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1/2 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or more, depending on spice preference
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup marinara sauce divided
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese divided
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese or about 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 slider buns
- fresh basil leaves sliced or roughly chopped
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Mix together chicken, onion, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup marinara sauce, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a bowl (for best results, mix with hands).
- Place bread crumbs in a shallow bowl.
- Form eight patties from the chicken mixture, and coat each in bread crumbs. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Drizzle the patties evenly with the olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and turn broiler on high.
- Spoon the remaining marinara sauce on each patty and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and top each with fresh cracked pepper.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and melted.
- Serve on slider buns topped with fresh basil
To freeze for later: lay formed and bread crumb coated patties on a parchment covered baking sheet and place in freezer for at least 20 minutes to flash freeze. Once hardened, transfer to an airtight container or plastic bag and store in the freezer for up to six months. When you are ready to eat, arrange on a parchment covered baking sheet and defrost in the fridge for 24 hours before baking.
You can make these into normal "burger-size" patties as well- make four, instead of eight, and purchase larger buns.