TURKEY SLIDERS ON YOUR TABLE IN 20 Minutes!
These Turkey Sliders are SO INCREDIBLE, I was eating the smothered turkey out of the pan! They are smothered in an intoxicating Chipotle Cranberry Barbecue Sauce then piled high with with crunchy Apple Poppy Seed Slaw and melty cheddar cheese. These turkey sliders are a wonderfully delicious way to devour your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers or SO good you will want to make them forever and ever with chicken!
I am writing this Turkey Sliders post the Monday before Thanksgiving because I’m already looking forward to turkey leftovers so we can all make these Turkey Sliders!! Their deliciousness will help soften the blow of saying goodbye to turkey day, food, friends and family while helping you feed your family and use up all that turkey!
These pulled Turkey Sliders eliminate stressful entertaining or hosting a large group because they literally take 20 minutes to make AND they can be made ahead of time. That way you can spend more time with family and less time worrying and preparing food.
These Turkey Sliders are light, fresh and comforting all at the same time. You can serve them as a main dish or appetizer, with turkey or chicken, with light or dark meat, with or without coleslaw, but one thing is for certain – they need to be smothered with the intoxicating Chipotle BBQ Cranberry Sauce!
I adapted my favorite ever (and readers favorite!) barbecue sauce from my Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs to make the heavenly Chipotle BBQ Cranberry Sauce that is sweet and smoky, layered with spices and absolutely lick the pan addicting. Once this sauce smothers your turkey or chicken you won’t be able to stop eating – for the second day in a row. The only thing you will be wishing for is more leftover turkey!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE TURKEY SLIDERS?
- Hawaiian rolls
- sharp cheddar cheese OR Havarti, Gruyere, Swiss or provolone
- whole cranberry sauce (canned or homemade)
- cider vinegar
WHAT BUNS ARE BEST?
You can use your favorite buns for these pulled Turkey Sliders such as Hawaiian rolls, small dinner rolls, or sweet rolls. I personally love Hawaiian rolls because they are tender, slightly sweet, soft and fluffy.
You can also use larger buns such as burger buns, Kaiser rolls, sesame seed buns, and even sturdy bread if you would like to make larger sandwiches.
How to Make Turkey Sliders
These Turkey Sliders are super simple to make! Here’s how:
- Whisk together your Chipotle BBQ Cranberry Sauce ingredients of canned whole cranberry sauce, ketchup, molasses, cider vinegar and a rainbow of spices.
- Simmer sauce for a couple minutes to warm through and for the flavors to build and meld.
- Add leftover turkey (or shredded chicken for non-Thanksgiving leftover versions) and heat through.
- Toast the buns by laying them on a baking sheet and topping with sliced cheddar and broiling until melted, approximately, 1-2 minutes.
- Pile your saucy turkey on your cheese covered slider buns and top with Apple Poppy Seed Slaw for a total of 20 minute prep – at the most.
What Toppings for Turkey Sliders?
My favorite topping for these Turkey Sliders is Apple Poppy Seed Slaw. The crunchy, sweet and tangy Apple Poppy Seed Slaw is delectable all on its own and the ideally delicious compliment to these saucy sliders! I was eating the leftover Slaw as a salad the next day because its just so undeniably delicious.
The light slaw is a tossing of angel hair coleslaw (love the texture), a little mayo, sugar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and poppy seeds. Its crunchy, tangy, refreshing and the perfect enlivening companion to the Chipotle BBQ Cranberry Turkey.
You can also pile on any toppings your heart desires such as bacon, pineapple, mushrooms, sprouts, cucumbers, caramelized onions, onion rings, etc.
HOW DO YOU SERVE TURKEY SLIDERS?
Turkey Sliders are best served warm, especially because the cheesy sliders will not stay warm and the cheese will harden. If you’re worried about timing, I suggest assembling the cheese on the buns (but not melting) and making your Chipotle Cranberry Barbecue Turkey and keeping warm. Once you’re ready to serve the turkey sliders, you can melt the cheese on the buns last minute.
How to Store Turkey Sliders?
Leftover Turkey Sliders should preferable be stored withe the buns, turkey and coleslaw separately otherwise the coleslaw can get soggy and the sliders are difficult to reheat to their former glory.
If you think you might have leftovers, then you can make a “turkey slider bar” so so everyone can make their own sandwiches and so you can keep the components separate. Store sliders for up to 5 days.
What Sides to Serve with Turkey Sliders?
These Turkey Sliders don’t have to complicated, you can make a meal with just a green salad or Wedge Salad and fruit, or you can blow your guests away with any of these sides:
- Classics: Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Beans with Brown Sugar and Bacon, Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Potatoes: Creamy Potato Salad, Company Mashed Potatoes, Twice Baked Potatoes, Baked Parmesan Fingerling Potato Fries
- Pasta Salad: Greek Pasta Salad, Italian Pasta Salad or Creamy Bacon Pea Pasta Salad
- Veggies: Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Asparagus, Roasted Root Vegetables or Roasted Carrots
- Fruit: Winter Fruit Salad or Tropical Fruit Salad
Tips for Turkey Sliders
- You can substitute turkey with rotisserie chicken or leftover shredded chicken. You can also substitute turkey with shredded beef.
- The apple slaw is optional but HIGHLY recommended. Alternatively, you can substitute with shredded red or green cabbage, broccoli slaw, lettuce or something else crunchy.
- I love sharp cheddar with barbecue sauce but you may also use Havarti, Gruyere, Swiss or provolone.
- Don’t broil the cheese with the sliders for too long or else the cheese isn’t as gooey.
- For extra cheesy turkey sliders, use thicker slices of cheese.
Chipotle BBQ Cranberry Turkey Sliders with Apple Poppy Seed Slaw. Possibly even more delicious than Thanksgiving itself….
Can I freeze Turkey Sliders?
Yes! You can freezer Turkey Sliders but I would not freeze them assembled. Instead, freeze the turkey and the buns separately. To freeze the buns, seal them in sealed freezer bags. To freeze the turkey:
- Prepare Chipotle Cranberry Barbecue Turkey according to directions.
- Cool to room temperature.
- Transfer turkey to a freezer size plastic bag OR portion into smaller size sandwich bags.
- Press bag flat, squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn.
- Seal, label and freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to use, defrost turkey in the refrigerator overnight.
- Remove turkey and reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through.
LOOKING FOR MORE SANDWICH AND BURGER RECIPES?
- BBQ Brisket Sandwich
- Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich
- Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
- French Dip Sandwiches
- Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Hawaiian Burgers
- Asian Burgers
- Korean Burger
- Best Burgers
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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com
Tools Used in This Recipe
Turkey Sliders (or chicken!) with Chipotle Cranberry Barbecue Sauce
- 3 cups shredded turkey or chicken
- 12 slices sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 pkg Hawaiian rolls
Chipotle Cranberry Barbecue Sauce
Apple Poppy Seed Slaw
- 16 oz. pkg. angel hair coleslaw
- 1 granny smith apple, cored, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup real mayonnaise (I use fat free)
- 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar (2 for more tangy)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- Apple Slaw: Add all Apple Slaw ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Taste and add additional sugar, vinegar, salt to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator while you prep other ingredients or make a day ahead. The lemon juice and vinegar will keep the apples from turning brown.
- Chipotle BBQ Cranberry Sauce: Whisk all the Sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Mix turkey or chicken with Chipotle Cranberry Sauce and heat through.
- Buns: When ready to serve, lay bottom of buns in a single layer on a baking sheet. Top with sliced cheddar and broil until melted, approximately, 1-2 minutes.
- Assemble: Top cheesy buns with approximately ¼ cup Cranberry turkey/chicken followed by Apple Poppy Seed Slaw.
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