BBQ Chicken & Caramelized Onion Sliders

Are you ready for the big game this weekend? If you’re still trying to decided what to make (because it’s all about the food right?) then look no further! My BBQ Chicken & Caramelized Onion Sliders are kind of amazing if I do say so. My husband always replies with “But you should say so!” Ha! He’s the best and really missing my food right now since he’s deployed overseas. I will definitely be putting these on the list of my new recipes to make for him when he gets home.

I made these yesterday on ABC4’s Good Things Utah and it was such a fun segment. I know I say that every time but I seriously love being there and love everyone there-the adorable receptionist, the camera crew, the interns, the producers, and the hosts. I can’t say enough about the good vibes and fun that is had in that studio! Watch my segment here!

Love cooking with Nicea!

Caramelized onions are a labor of love but very easy! You just have to be patient and give plenty of time because you just can’t rush the process. Check the recipe notes for tips! Also, you can use whatever BBQ seasoning that you’d like but I have tried two and the Traeger Chicken seasoning is the best. Adds a ton of flavor!

I will fully admit that I got the worst pictures yesterday of these sliders so bear with me. I am trying to be better at getting pictures of the process and not just the final product so here are a few that I had to screen shot from my video.

Hold the top with your hand and slice the King’s Hawaiian Rolls across horizontally.
Look at all those sweet, rich caramelized onions!
Lots of cheese is always a good idea!

These sliders are great for parties but would also work for a busy weeknight meal. Get the kids in the kitchen to help assemble them because they are so fun to make. As always, if you make them please give me a comment below and let me know what you think!

One more just because I love these ladies so much!

BBQ Chicken & Caramelized Onion Sliders

  • Servings: 18 sliders
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Ingredients

3 large yellow onions, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
18 pack King’s Hawaiian rolls
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon BBQ seasoning
8 large slices cheddar or pepper jack cheese (7-8 oz)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted

Directions

Heat a large nonstick skillet to medium-low heat. Add olive oil and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until very soft and brown.

Preheat oven to 375.

Break rolls in half so that there are two sections of 9 rolls. While keeping rolls connected, slice each section in half horizontally using a large serrated knife. Place bottoms of rolls in a 9×13 pan.

Place chicken in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of BBQ seasoning. Toss to combine. Spread evenly over rolls in the pan. Drizzle 1/2 cup BBQ sauce over the chicken. Next, add caramelized onions evenly across the top. Add cheese slices then place tops of rolls on.

Add 1 teaspoon BBQ seasoning to the melted butter and stir. Brush tops of rolls with butter mixture. Cover loosely with foil and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 5-10 more minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Notes:
1. Be patient with the onions! It takes a while but is totally worth it.
2. If onions start to get dry, add about 1 tablespoon of water to the pan.
3. Add a teaspoon of sugar to the onions to speed up the process.

Muffaletta Pinwheels

I’m imagining that part of you are excited right now because you’ve had a muffaletta sandwich and love them. The rest of you are thinking “muffa-WHAT???” Ha! If you are the latter, let me explain. Muffaletta sandwiches are a New Orleans staple and are made on a special round Italian bread and filled with a variety of meats like salami and ham. They also include cheese and a tangy olive salad which is definitely my favorite part.

I was raised in a small town in East Texas called Livingston. It is only 1 1/2 hours from the Louisiana border so I grew up with a lot of Cajun food. I grew up eating crawfish etouffee, boudin, gumbo, jambalaya, etc and still love it so much. The “fancy” restaurant in my hometown is still there and called Shrimp Boat Manny’s and they’re famous for their delicious Cajun seafood. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

To have a muffaletta sandwich is to love it and since I can’t transport myself to New Orleans anytime soon, I created these Muffaletta Pinwheels. They include all the flavors of the classic sandwich but rolled into the perfect appetizer. They will take you right to New Orleans!

The olive cream cheese mixture is my favorite part! Giardiniera mix is basically pickled vegetables and usually includes cauliflower, carrots, pearl onions, red peppers, and celery. Peperoncinis are always in my fridge because we put them on everything-sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, you name it. Both ingredients can be found near the pickles and olives in grocery stores.

The process is pretty easy! Make the olive cream cheese mixture then layer the meats and cheeses on. Don’t be scared to roll it all up! It can be a little messy but that’s ok. Refrigerating the rolls before slicing helps them to firm up a little and makes them easier to cut.

My Muffaletta Pinwheels are the perfect dish to bring to your Super Bowl parties this weekend! This recipes makes A LOT but you will leave with an empty tray. I tried them out on my teacher friends and took the giant tray pictured below. They loved them and some are patiently waiting for this blog post so they can have the recipe!

This is a huge tray and the pinwheels are double stacked!

This is a sponsored post for my favorite grocery store, Lee’s Marketplace. If you make this recipe please comment here and let me know what you think! A share on social media tagging Lee’s and I would be amazing too!
Items on sale at Lee’s the week of Jan 28-Feb 3: ALL OF THEM! YAY!

Muffaletta Pinwheels

  • Servings: About 50 Pinwheels
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Ingredients

5 large “burrito sized” flour tortillas
2 packages cream cheese (8 oz each), softened
1 cup giardiniera mix, drained and finely chopped
½ cup peperoncinis, drained and chopped
1/3 cup black olives, chopped
1/3 cup green olives, chopped
10 oz Genoa salami, thinly sliced
10 oz deli ham, thinly sliced
10 oz mozzarella, thinly sliced
10 oz provolone, thinly sliced

Directions

In a medium-sized bowl, mix cream cheese, giardiniera, peperoncinis, and olives together. Place tortilla on a flat surface. Spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture on, leaving a ½ inch border. Place one layer each of salami, ham, mozzarella, and provolone on top. Add another, even thinner, layer of cream cheese over the top. Carefully but tightly roll tortilla up. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then repeat with remaining tortillas and fillings. Refrigerate rolls for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Slice into 1 inch pieces and serve.

Notes: Giardiniera mix and peperocinis can be found near the pickles and olives in most grocery stores. Use mortadella ham for more authentic muffaletta flavor.

Cowboy Crescent Bites

I was recently trying to remember the appetizers that I grew up eating in Texas and thought of sausage balls. Remember those? They are made of just three ingredients: Bisquick mix, cooked sausage, and cheddar cheese. They are pretty good but I thought I could do better. I have to say that my Cowboy Crescent Bites don’t even compare! They are loaded with so much more flavor and are still so very easy!

The combo of cream cheese, cheddar cheese and jalapeno all melted together totally reminds me of queso! If you know me at all you know that queso is my FAVORITE. I have the best recipe for it here.

This recipe makes 32 little cups of deliciousness which is great for holiday family gatherings. The filling could even be made ahead of time then assembled with the crescent rolls when you’re ready to bake. Also, the crescent rolls that come in one big sheet work best but if you can’t find them just pinch the seams together before cutting into squares.

Make these for Thanksgiving and everyone will fall in love (with you AND the food)! You’ll be making them again and again for all your holiday gatherings. I definitely will be! Y’all know that I love simple recipes that are BOLD with flavor. This is my new favorite appetizer and I love that it was inspired by my Texas roots!

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale Nov 19-Dec 2: crescent rolls, sausage, cheddar cheese, cream cheese

Cowboy Crescent Bites

  • Servings: Makes 32
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 tubes crescent rolls
½ lb ground pork sausage
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
½ teaspoon each: garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, salt
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Cook and crumble sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Drain on paper towel-lined plate. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine sausage, cream cheese, cheddar, jalapeno, half of the green onions, and spices.

Roll crescent rolls out, pinch seams together, and cut each sheet into 16 squares. Place squares of dough into mini muffin tins. Place a small spoonful of cheese mixture onto each square.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crescent rolls are golden brown. Remove and garnish with remaining onions.

Filled with ooey gooey cheese and sausage! Yum!

The BEST Queso

If you follow me on Instagram or if you’re in my private recipe group on Facebook, you’ve seen this recipe before. Sorry! I had to get it on my blog ASAP because it is my #1 most requested recipe.  This is not your average queso. The extra step of roasting the peppers is EVERYTHING and takes it over the top! I grew up on queso in all forms but this is a mix of all the right things.  You will never try another recipe for queso again after you taste this!

The BEST Queso

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

32 oz Velveeta Queso Blanco
10 oz can Mild Rotel Tomatoes, undrained
1 large poblano (or pasillo) pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
½ large yellow onion (or about 3/4 C), diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided

Directions

Place poblano and jalapeno on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with about ½ tablespoon of oil and place under broiler in the oven. Broil, turning occasionally, until all sides are black and blistered. Once removed from oven, immediately place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes. Remove from bowl and with the side of a sharp knife, gently scrape the skin off the peppers. Cut the stems off, slice in half, and remove the seeds. Dice and set aside.
Cut Velveeta into large chunks and place in a slow cooker. Add tomatoes.
Heat a small skillet to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add peppers and onions. Cook until onions are slightly browned. Add garlic and cumin then cook for 1-2 minutes. Add mixture to slow cooker. Cook on low until cheese is melted, about 2 hours. Stir everything together and serve with tortilla chips.