Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders

I’ve partnered with Cheez-It and Collective Bias to create these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders.
These miniature burgers are the perfect snack for watching the college basketball tourney!
#BigGameSnacks #CollectiveBias

Stuffed with cheese and then topped with more cheese, these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders are the perfect snack to serve during the big game!Back in 2002, I was named Most Enthusiastic College Basketball Fan in the country. Yes, that’s right.  The whole country.  I was crowned on national television at halftime of the championship game.  I guess I should explain, huh?  Well, I’ve always loved college sports.  From the basketball tournament in March to the baseball tournament in June to the bowl games every December and January, I’m pretty sure my life revolves around college sports.  Most of the time, the season ends with, “Well, there’s always next year…,” but every once in a while the stars align and your team brings home the trophy at the end of the season.

Stuffed with cheese and then topped with more cheese, these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders are the perfect snack to serve during the big game!I went to Duke for undergrad, and if you follow college basketball, then you know that Duke is a great place for a crazed college sports fan like me.  The stadium there on campus is small, and the student section is known for it’s general rowdiness and shenanigans.  (Once again, perfect for me!)  But here’s the thing…there are no actual tickets for Duke students.  You just swipe your student ID card to get into the game. But there are more students than seats.  That means that students line up early to get into games.  How early?  Early.  Like weeks early.  Sometimes even months early.  And that’s one of the reasons that I became the Most Enthusiastic College Basketball Fan in the country.

Stuffed with cheese and then topped with more cheese, these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders are the perfect snack to serve during the big game!

Freshman year of college is so different.  You’ve spent the past 4 months learning how to survive on your own…and then Christmas break comes.  You head back home for some much anticipated sleep and home-cooked food.  But after a few days, you get bored.  You don’t have roommates to play video games with.  There are no hallmates to talk to at 2:30am when you don’t want to go to bed yet.  It’s kinda lonely.

So that year, one of my best friends and I decided that we’d head out early and get in line for the famed Duke-North Carolina matchup.  (Remember how I mentioned that you just get in line early?)  The only catch was we lined up on December 30…and the rivalry game was on February 2.  Yup, we lived in a tent in the parking lot for many, many cold days.  (Granted, this was in Durham, NC which is significantly warmer than my current home in upstate New York…but it was still cold!)

Photo1

So before you deem me to be crazy (which I am), you have to at least ask if all that time in a tent was worth it.  It was.  No debate.  We sat front-row, center-court for the greatest college basketball rivalry ever.  (Indeed, some folks call it the greatest sports rivalry ever.)  And the good guys won.  That made it all worth it.

Fast forward to my senior year.  I got an email asking if I was the most enthusiastic college basketball fan in the country.  To enter the contest, you had to submit (in 100 words or less) what made you the most enthusiastic fan.  Well, we had slept in the snow outside the stadium for days…nay, weeks.  I put that into 100 words, submitted it and forgot about it.

Stuffed with cheese and then topped with more cheese, these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders are the perfect snack to serve during the big game!But then a couple of weeks later, my phone rang.  Turns out that I had been selected as 1 of 10 finalists.  They sent us all down to Atlanta for the championship game that year.  We had a whole lineup of activities while we were there…including meeting some pretty famous basketball folks.  As a die-hard college basketball fan, this weekend alone was pretty amazing!  But then the sponsor called me to the side and showed me the online voting poll of the top 10 finalists.  I was in the lead.  By a wide margin.  Sure enough, I ended up winning…and I now have a trophy to prove it!

The yearly college basketball tournament is a special time in our house.  I mean, there are 32 games over the first 2 days, and every single game is win-or-go-home.  That means teams are playing their hearts out.  That means there is a lot of excitement.  This is one of my favorite times of the college sports year!  I make a home on the couch in front of the big-screen tv, and I do my best to watch every minute of every game.  (I’ve been known to hook up an extra tv so that I can watch 2 games simultaneously.)

Stuffed with cheese and then topped with more cheese, these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders are the perfect snack to serve during the big game!

Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders

This epic marathon of college bball games requires yummy food.  This year, I whipped up a bunch of mini-burgers.  However, instead of using saltine crackers in my burgers, I crumbled up some Cheez-It Grooves that I had picked up on a recent trip to Walmart.  I went with the Sharp White Cheddar flavor, and I also added some more shredded cheddar into the burgers.  Top these bad boys with a slice of bacon and a bit more cheddar, and *boom* you’ve got these fun Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders.  I served them up along with some of the new Hot and Spicy Cheez-It Crunch’d.  Cheez-Its use 100% real cheese baked into their crackers…so they’re the perfect snack to keep me going during all 67 games.  That’s right–67 games.  That’s a lot of Cheez-Its!

Did you make a batch of these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!  Cheers!

Stuffed with cheese and then topped with more cheese, these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders are the perfect snack to serve during the big game!

Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders

Stuffed with cheese and then topped with more cheese, these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders are the perfect snack to serve during the big game!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 sliders
Calories: 408kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 thick-cut slices of bacon
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp white onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic diced
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup Sharp White Cheddar Cheez-It Grooves crumbled finely
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8 slider buns halved
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese halved
  • favorite burger toppings tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, pickled jalapenos, mayo, mustard, etc.

Instructions

  • Using a large fry pan or skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towels and pat dry. Break each piece into two halves; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, crumbled Cheez-Its, shredded cheddar cheese, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper. Mix until well combined.
  • Shape mixture into 8 small patties. (Tip: Make the patties slightly thinner in the center. This will keep the sliders from puffing up into a ball when cooked!)
  • Grill burgers on medium-high heat until cooked. (Note: These sliders can also be cooked indoors on a grill pan.)
  • Assemble the sliders with bacon, cheese and favorite burger toppings.

Stuffed with cheese and then topped with more cheese, these Triple Cheddar Bacon Sliders are the perfect snack to serve during the big game!

 

Looking for more tasty gameday snacks?  Check out these other favorites, too:

These Cheddar Pretzel Hot Dogs are wrapped with soft pretzel dough and covered with shredded cheese.  Talk about a tasty way to bake up a hot dog!Cheddar Pretzel Hot Dogs

Caught in a summer rainstorm?  Move the party inside with a batch of these Pull Apart Cheeseburger Sliders!Pull-Apart Cheeseburger Sliders

Turn up the flavor on dinner with these Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas!  (And since the grill is hot, go ahead and grill the 'dillas, too!)Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas

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26 Comments

  1. OK, Dude… Living for 2 months in a tent for a basketball game?? That’s seriously the funniest and craziest sports related story that I’ve ever heard! Granted, you know if it was free tickets to a Packers game, I would totally do the same thing! 😀
    Having your delicious sliders to give me sustenance during the wait would be a must!

    1. Thanks, Becca! You know what? I’d do it all over again, too. Those were the days! Sure, I was living on the streets of Durham, NC for like 5 weeks…but the memories will last a lifetime. 🙂 Oh, and a tent full of these sliders is pretty much my dream! Haha!

  2. I have a few friends who went to Duke undergrad and they were all sports fanatics! My husband loves basketball. . college and professional . . these are the perfect eats for while watching the game!!! love these cheddar bacon sliders, David!!!

    1. Haha…it must be part of the Duke application or something! “Do you like sports? If no, please do not apply.” Just kidding, of course! But you can’t help but be a college bball fan in the Carolinas. There are 4 major colleges all within 1.5 hours of each other…that sets the stage for awesome rivalries!

  3. YOU.ARE.LEGEND.
    You are probably the most dope and awesome human being that ever lived.
    Can we be best-buddies? No, BFFs? No, actually can we have a bromance? But like a serious one, not just a fling. 😉
    I mean, living one month in a tent just to get seats at a college basketball game shows some real commitment. I am beyond impressed
    #WolfpackBromance #WolfpackBFF

    PS the sliders are dope too 😉

    1. Wow! The most dope and awesome human being that ever lived? That’s a little much, don’t ya think, Mike? I mean what about Mickey Mantle, Buddy Holly or Lady Gaga? But, yes, we can totally have a bromance. I’ll bring the sliders! I’m not sure whether living in a tent to get into a college basketball game proves my commitment…or proves my insanity. But we’ll go with it!

    1. Thanks, Bianca! I mean how can you go wrong with Cheez-Its and burgers…especially when you add in all of the college basketball excitement that’s coming up in the next few weeks! 🙂

  4. Man, you are one crazy basketball fan for sure. I wouldn’t wait in a tent covered with snow for anything. That’s dedication! 🙂 These sliders look pretty damn good and I myself love to crush Cheez-Its on my sandwiches so crushing them in with the meat for these sounds like a great idea.
    I’m still blown away how long you stayed in that tent. WOW. Color me majorly impressed Dave!

    1. Heh…well, to be fair, we didn’t have to stay in the tent the WHOLE time. We just had to have someone from our group be there all the time. I mean, we had to get to class somehow, right? Isn’t that what college is about? Classes? 🙂

  5. I love that story!! I didn’t know you were a Duke alum. I love Coach K! Being from the Pee Dee most people I knew growing up were Carolina fans. I went to Clemson for college and as you know it’s not known as a basketball school. I still have love for Duke basketball, although I don’t watch college basketball as much as I do football. So where is the trophy? I think we need to see a picture of it! 🙂

    And I love these sliders. They make you feel less guilty about eating a burger! 🙂

    1. Haha! I totally should have put a picture of the trophy on here. It’s sitting in my basement right now. Granted, it’s in a nice big case…but it’s still in my basement. Solid crystal trophy. Crazy!! So yes, upstate South Carolina is heavy on Carolina fans…boo on that. I’m obviously a big Coach K fan. It’s awesome to see a coach do what he’s done, and do it the right way of course. He’s a class act! I actually gave my groomsmen at my wedding signed copies of one of his books. 🙂 Nice to know that you are a fellow ACC’er, Tamara!

      And yes, these sliders are mini. So you can either feel better about eating one, or you can be like me and eat more. 😉

    1. Thanks so much, Christina! These sliders were straight up delicious. I can’t believe it took me so long to realize that crumbled Cheez-Its are a great replacement for the usual breadcrumbs or saltine crackers! 🙂

  6. If only you could see my face right now….No way. Mate, that is intense- Of course you should have won the prize! When I studied upstate it was all about Hockey I think!

    I just finished photographing burgers and mine look terrible. I need solace and these burgers with my favourite artificial flavouring sounds epic 😉

    1. Yes, upstate NY is all about hockey. I mean, hockey is cool and all….but I seriously miss the Carolinas and Louisiana where it’s all about college basketball and college football. I think I spent the first 3 years up here just trying to find someone to talk college sports with!!

      And yes, these sliders are epic. Actually, they’re just mini-burgers…but we all know that everything is better when it’s mini. 🙂

  7. First – CONGRATS on your “most enthusiastic college basketball fan in the country” trophy! Camping out from December to Feb deserves a trophy in my books! What a story – I was half expecting you to say they gave you a lifetime of free seats to the final college basketball games – or at least to the ones your “good guys” played in!
    Second – I gotta say adding Cheez-its to burgers is brilliant! Those Cheez-It Groves are delicious – but in burgers – yum!

    1. To be fair, it was late December to early February. 🙂 Dude…lifetime seats to the final games. Umm, that would be EPIC! I’m hoping the ‘good guys’ can make it back this year. They certainly look good so far. Lil Shashi can probably keep you updated as the tourney gets underway…haha!

  8. More Dude Food and college basketball! I turn my back for one minute and I miss all the good stuff!
    I cannot support your unnatural love of Duke (cough, cough Wake is better) but I can support your love of college basketball! So you didn’t really say how you actually become the best fan in the country….or is that another story for another time? 🙂

    1. Haha. I’ll have to save that story, Lindsey! I actually had some pics lined up for this post from the Final Four (which interestingly enough was in Atlanta that year), but I decided to put them on hold. They’ll show up eventually I’m sure. 🙂 My love of all college sports is a bit unnatural. I even worked in college sports before walking away from it all and starting a food blog instead. Perhaps if I had only worked in college sports at Wake rather than GaTech…things might have turned out differently!

  9. Wow! I cannot imagine anything that I would camp in the snow for but I love your passion! These sliders look amazing! I am more of a football fan than basketball, but I still end up seeing a lot of games! Congrats on being a top fan too!

    1. Haha! Thanks, Raquel. I bet there has to be something you’d camp in the snow for…maybe not sports, but something! Chocolate cake, maybe? 😉

  10. Oh David. This is the funniest thing ever and I could never imagine doing such craziness, but in college and as a sports fan, I am sure it really was worth it and it did paid off!! (And those sliders look amazingly delicious!!) #client

    1. Oh, it was totally worth it, Samantha! Would I do it again? If I was in college, heck yes! Now? Eh…maybe not so much. I love going to college games, but I’ve realized that sitting in home in front of the big screen with tasty snacks is almost as much fun, too! 🙂

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