Festive Summer Appetizer: Itty Bitty Mini Cheeseburgers


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Itty Bitty Mini Cheeseburgers: The Perfect Summer Appetizer by popular Missouri blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante, 4th of July mini cheeseburger appetizer, Missouri beef appetizer, simple 4th of July appetizers, red white and blue party picks

One of the things I love most about our little Columbia cottage is that it’s practically made for entertaining. The house itself is super tiny, but what it lacks in square footage it makes up for in outdoor living space. Y’all already know how much I love the front porch, but our back patio is equally awesome and perfect for hosting summer parties and barbecues. We don’t have a super large kitchen, though, so when we host, I try to stick to quick and easy summer appetizers, like these fully loaded mini cheeseburgers. I make them with ground beef sourced from Missouri farms, and they’re to die for!

If you’re looking for easy summer appetizers for a crowd, keep reading for the step-by-step mini cheeseburger recipe. You’ll also find a printable/shareable recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Mini Cheeseburger Recipe

Itty Bitty Mini Cheeseburgers: The Perfect Summer Appetizer by popular Missouri blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante, 4th of July mini cheeseburger appetizer, Missouri beef appetizer, simple 4th of July appetizers, red white and blue party picks

You’re probably thinking, “Cool, so basically she made sliders.” Wrong. These are itty bitty– as in way too itty bitty to be considered sliders, and they’re adorable. For reference, they’re probably 1/3-1/4 of a regular-sized slider. I found this idea on Pinterest last summer and have been making these cute little mini cheeseburgers with Missouri beef ever since! They’re perfect for summer barbecues, 4th of July parties, tailgating, and pretty much every occasion in between. Here’s everything you’ll need to make 20 mini cheeseburgers:

  • 5 frozen Parker House rolls (per Pizzazzerie’s recommendation, I use Rhodes brand rolls), thawed
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 pound Missouri ground beef
  • 4-5 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes (sliced into quarters)
  • 5 green lettuce leaves (ripped into quarters)
  • 5 deli slices sharp cheddar cheese (cut into quarters)
  • Party picks (I used these— had to cut them a little shorter, though)

For the buns:

Don’t forget to thaw out the rolls beforehand! From experience, this can mess you up if you’re in a time crunch. Once thawed, divide each roll into 4 and form into balls. Place each mini roll on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Then, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for at least 30 minutes. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

After 30 minutes, remove the plastic wrap and brush each dough ball with melted butter. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Finally, bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing in half to form burger buns. 

For the mini cheeseburgers:

Combine ground beef, barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Divide and shape into 20 equal-sized patties. Then, grill or cook for 2-3 minutes per side on medium high heat or until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Top each mini burger patty with cheese, tomato, and lettuce and sandwich in between mini cheeseburger buns. If you’re looking to spice these up even more, add bacon, pickles, onions, and whatever other toppings you love! However tall your mini cheeseburgers are, I strongly recommend holding everything together with a festive toothpick. You can even use different colors to signify how cooked through the patties are. Finally, serve and enjoy!

Itty Bitty Mini Cheeseburgers: The Perfect Summer Appetizer by popular Missouri blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante, 4th of July mini cheeseburger appetizer, Missouri beef appetizer, simple 4th of July appetizers, red white and blue party picksItty Bitty Mini Cheeseburgers: The Perfect Summer Appetizer by popular Missouri blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante, 4th of July mini cheeseburger appetizer, Missouri beef appetizer, simple 4th of July appetizers, red white and blue party picks Itty Bitty Mini Cheeseburgers: The Perfect Summer Appetizer by popular Missouri blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante, 4th of July mini cheeseburger appetizer, Missouri beef appetizer, simple 4th of July appetizers, red white and blue party picks

Mini Cheeseburgers
Serves 10
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
For the buns
  1. 5 frozen Parker House rolls, thawed
  2. 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  3. 1 tablespoon butter, melted
For the mini cheeseburger patties
  1. 1 pound Missouri ground beef
  2. 4-5 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  3. 1 pinch salt
  4. 1 pinch pepper
  5. 5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  6. 5 green lettuce leaves, quartered
  7. 5 deli slices sharp cheddar cheese, quartered
For the buns
  1. Divide thawed Parker House rolls into 4 and form into balls. Place each mini roll on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Remove the plastic wrap and brush each dough ball with melted butter. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing in half to form burger buns.
For the mini cheeseburger patties
  1. Combine ground beef, barbecue sauce, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Divide and shape into 20 equal-sized patties.
  2. Grill or cook for 2-3 minutes per side on medium high heat or until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Top each mini burger patty with cheese, tomato, and lettuce and sandwich in between mini cheeseburger buns.
Notes
  1. Add bacon, pickles, onions, and whatever other toppings to take your mini cheeseburgers to the next level!
  2. Forego the buns to make low carb cheeseburger bites!
Adapted from Pizzazzerie
Adapted from Pizzazzerie
Diary of a Debutante https://thediaryofadebutante.com/
I absolutely promise, without a shadow of a doubt, that these will be a big hit at your next party. I made them for a 4th of July barbecue we had last weekend, and yeah…. from experience, be prepared to make a second, third, and maybe even fourth round to feed your guests. Fortunately, these mini cheeseburgers are surprisingly filling (fun fact: a 3-ounce serving of beef contains 25 grams of protein, which is nearly half our Daily Value need!), but they’re so cute and itty bitty that guests can’t resist grabbing them while they’re hot. 

In case you can’t tell, Nellie’s a big fan, too. She also wants to know if you like her 4th of July bow. 

Itty Bitty Mini Cheeseburgers: The Perfect Summer Appetizer by popular Missouri blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante, 4th of July mini cheeseburger appetizer, Missouri beef appetizer, simple 4th of July appetizers, red white and blue party picksItty Bitty Mini Cheeseburgers: The Perfect Summer Appetizer by popular Missouri blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante, 4th of July mini cheeseburger appetizer, Missouri beef appetizer, simple 4th of July appetizers, red white and blue party picks

Thanks so much for reading, y’all! Please be sure to leave me a comment or shoot me an email if you have any questions– I’m happy to help!

Oh, and if mini cheeseburger appetizers aren’t your thing, you may like these delicious beef tenderloin crostinis instead. They’re a little fancier, so they’re perfect for more formal occasions. 

This post is sponsored by the Missouri Beef Industry Council. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make Diary of a Debutante possible! Photography by Catherine Rhodes.

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