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Happy Wednesday friends! The week is halfway over! Woohoo! It has been absolutely beautiful this past week here in Colorado. I hope everyone else has had similar weather! It has been a perfect 60 degrees F and sunny these past few days, and I think we are going to be reaching the mid 70s this weekend. Even though I adore winter, I am not sad about this change. I can literally sense that spring is right around the corner. The first thing that comes to mind when the temperatures start rising is being able to pull out the old grill! Well actually, who am I kidding…we grill all year long. It is definitely a more pleasant experience when it’s warm out though. ;) These smoky pepperoni turkey sliders with bacon jam and queso are just what you need to celebrate spring! Turkey patties are loaded with delicious pepperoni, and they’re topped with a bacon jam and queso that will have you going back for seconds and thirds, and you can totally do this with almost no guilt because these sliders are so itty bitty in the first place! Yay for miniature food … and seconds and thirds!
I may have mentioned this before, but Zach and I love to grill. We do it all the time. There is just something about those smoky, charcoal(y) smells and flavors that has me craving warmth and sunshine. As we embark on these last few weeks of winter, we’ve been utilizing our grill more and more often.
The latest creation to grace our dinner plates: these smoky pepperoni turkey sliders with bacon jam and queso. I know, right? Everything about these sliders sound amazing; and even though it may SOUND like it requires a lot of ingredients and takes a lot work, it’s honestly so simple.
The turkey slider patties are fairly straight forward. Ground turkey meat is combined with finely chopped Hormel Pepperoni, some essential seasonings and spices, an egg, bread crumbs and some finely chopped cilantro. This mixture of ingredients is just so heavenly.
Why stuff these turkey sliders with pepperoni do you ask? Well, why not! Zach and I adore pepperoni. It’s not a rare occasion that we eat cheese and pepperoni all by themselves in the middle of the day. We always have it on hand for easy snacking, but there are so many versatile ways to incorporate pepperoni into your recipes! I love the smokiness that it adds to these pepperoni turkey sliders. It sends their flavor into a whole new realm of deliciousness!
Do you guys use pepperoni in every day cooking? I’d love to hear some of your creative ideas! I hope you have a wonderful week friends! See ya tomorrow! xo
3/4 cup of your favorite store-bought jarred queso cheese, warmed through
1/2 cup bacon jam (see above recipe)
cilantro leaves, for garnish
Over medium-high heat, preheat a large dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a pair of tongs and transfer to a plate that has been lined with a paper towel. Set aside. Chop up the bacon once cool.
With the stove left on and the dutch oven still hot, add the onion and salt. Cook until the onions are brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped bacon, coffee, maple syrup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and black pepper. Give it a good stir and cook for about an hour, or until all of the liquid has cooked out and the jam is dark in color. Remove from heat and transfer the jam to an airtight container. Cool the jam at room temperature before refrigerating it, where it will keep for about a week.
Pepperoni Turkey Burgers
To a large bowl add the ground turkey, finely chopped Hormel Pepperoni, garlic, egg, bread crumbs, cilantro, onion powder, sea salt and black pepper. Using clean hands or a heavy wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Form the meat into 3 tablespoon-sized patties (forming approximately and transfer to a plate.
Preheat a grill, griddle pan or large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray both sides of the turkey patties with a non-stick spray and cook until brown on each side and cooked through completely, about 7-8 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to check for proper doneness. Remove from heat.
Assemble your sliders by placing each patty on a roll. Top with pepperoni slices, a drizzle of queso cheese and a dollop of bacon jam. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve immediately.