It’s easy to dismiss a sandwich as a ho-hum convenience food, and there’s certainly no shortage of sad meals-between-bread-slices in this world. But composed with good ingredients and a little care, sandwiches are among the most perfect creations in existence. Warm, crisp, cheesy pull-apart sliders are all the proof you need.
These party-perfect pull-apart sandwiches are also an incredibly easy way to feed a crowd without much fuss, whether you need to complement a tailgating spread of dips and appetizers, feed a hungry bunch of people post-pumpkin patch or après apple picking—or just need a large-format family dinner you can put together in a hurry.
The key component is the bread, which, ideally, is a package of pull-apart dinner rolls, King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls, or Martin’s “party” potato rolls that are all fused together in one piece, so you can slice it into two big rafts of bread. This is what makes the meal so quick to assemble, and what makes it so fun to literally tear apart. (That said, if you can only find already-separated dinner rolls, you can still compose individual mini sandwiches and nestle them snugly in the pan; enough cheese will make them stick together a bit as it melts.)
Use a serrated knife to slice your block of rolls into two slabs, the bottom one being a little thicker to support the filling. Place that bottom piece in a casserole dish or baking pan (lined with parchment or foil for easier cleanup if you like, and sprayed with a bit of cooking spray if you’re afraid it might stick); a 9-by-13-inch casserole will hold 24 rolls, while 12 fit snugly in an 8-inch-square pan.
Spread your condiments on the bread, then layer on the other ingredients, like sliced deli meat, leftover pulled pork, chicken, meatballs, steak, or even jackfruit, plus plenty of sliced or shredded cheese (you can also just use cheese and keep it vegetarian, like in these caprese sliders). Any other toppings should be able to withstand the heat of the oven—so no lettuce, but sauerkraut, pickles, and such will work.
Put the top slab of bread back in place and brush it with a slightly horrifying amount of melted butter (which can be mixed with all manner of flavorings, from garlic and herbs to mustard, honey, and various seeds, like caraway or sesame). Bake on the middle rack of your oven at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden, the edges are crunchy, and the cheese is melted. Let the slider slab cool just enough to handle before pulling it all apart.
Another fantastic feature of these sliders? You can assemble most of them up to a day ahead of time, as long as you have room in your fridge for the pan. So try one of these pull-apart slider recipes for your next game day party, frazzled weeknight, or any other occasion when you need to make a crowd happy, stat.
It’s never too early to enjoy Thanksgiving flavors, so slather cranberry sauce over deli turkey and pile on cheddar cheese before brushing a sweet poppy glaze on top and baking. Some herbed mayo with sage and rosemary would not be amiss either. Get the recipe.
Everything you love about chicken parm—juicy, crunchy meat, warm red sauce, and gooey mozzarella—is even better in fun-size packages with garlic butter brushed on top. You can fry your own chicken if you prefer, but using frozen breaded tenders makes this quicker. Get the recipe.
These are basically mini French onion soup-inspired burgers, smothered in sweet caramelized onions and nutty gruyere, with a savory Worcestershire-enhanced butter brushed on the buns. (If you don’t like onions, “party burgers” with cheddar, tomato, and sesame seeds are a great bet too.) Get the recipe.
You are just one store-bought rotisserie chicken away from all kinds of smashing sliders, including pesto chicken pull-apart sliders, chicken enchilada sliders, and cheesy BBQ chicken pull-apart sliders. But buffalo chicken sliders are the optimal choice for football season, and if you’re a blue cheese fan, you can use that instead of ranch. Get the recipe.
Corned beef (or pastrami), sauerkraut, and swiss make for great Reuben-inspired sliders, but the honey-Dijon-garlic butter glaze is a delicious update. Sticklers could use caraway seed butter to mimic rye bread instead, and there’s no shame in dressing on the side for dipping. Get the recipe.
If you love Hawaiian pizza, these sliders are way easier than making a pie from scratch, and arguably more fun than ordering in. If you think pineapple does not belong on pizza, though, you can make pepperoni and sausage pizza sliders, or any other kind you like. And if you’re worried about sauce-induced sogginess, you can toast the cut sides of the rolls before spreading it on. Get the recipe.
Thin-sliced steak, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and plenty of provolone are already fantastic, but add an Italian seasoned butter to brush on top and you might be inspired to throw away the takeout menu for your local sub shop. Feel free to add hots, and/or swap the provolone with ‘Whiz if that’s your wont. Get the recipe.
More great news: you can make pull-apart sliders for breakfast and brunch too (or when you want breakfast for dinner). Try them with any of your favorite morning meats, like bacon or sausage, but don’t skimp on the scrambled eggs or cheese. These include a sweet brown sugar butter to complement the savory, salty flavors underneath, but you could try a maple syrup butter too. Get the recipe.
Related Video: Is the Sandwich the Best Invention Ever?
Header image courtesy of Bake. Eat. Repeat.