Beef Sliders stuffed with California Walnuts and Gorgonzola

These itty-bitty burgers pack big taste with the combination of crunchy California walnuts, tender beef and gooey Gorgonzola. Baby arugula provides a perfect peppery match for these mouth-watering sliders, which can be cooked on the BBQ, indoor grill or stovetop.

1 tsp olive oil (5 mL)
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (125 mL)
2 cups finely chopped button mushrooms (500 mL)
1 tsp salt (5 mL)
1 tsp ground black pepper (5 mL)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (5 mL)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 lb regular ground beef (500 g)
4 oz Gorgonzola (or blue cheese), divided into 16 portions (125 g)
32 California walnut halves
16 small dinner rolls (or 2, 24-inch baguettes, sliced into 8 equal portions, then sliced horizontally)

Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and sauté bacon until just cooked but not crisp.

Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until water evaporates, about 5 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and let cool. Add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and egg to mixture. Add beef and gently mix by hand until all ingredients are incorporated, without overmixing.

Divide mixture into 16 equal portions. Form into thick patties, about 1-1/2 inches (3.8 cm) thick and 2-1/2 inches (6.3 cm) in diameter, tucking a piece of cheese and 2 walnut halves into the centre of each patty.

Grill patties on medium-high heat until cooked to preferred doneness. Serve in small dinner rolls or between baguette slices with desired condiments.

Makes 16 servings.

Tip: If omitting bacon, increase olive oil to 2 tsp (10 mL). A pinch of sweet smoked paprika will bring back the bacon’s smoky flavour, if desired.

PER SERVING (1 slider): about 249 cal, 12 g pro, 15 g fat (6 g sat. fat), 17 g carb, 1 g fibre, 37 mg chol, 457 mg sodium. %RDI: 8% calcium, 13% iron, 2% vit A, 1% vit C.

Recipe courtesy of the California Walnut Commission. For more recipe ideas and information about the health benefits of walnuts, visit

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