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Brain Sliders

Zombies and the living will go crazy for these adorable brain sliders. They are easy to whip up and will be devoured in minutes.

Tasty Team
87% would make again

Under 30 minutes

Brain Sliders

Under 30 minutes


for 8 servings


  • 8 brioche slider rolls


  • 1 lb ground turkey (455 g), preferably dark meat
  • ¼ cup yellow onion (35 g), finely diced
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced


  • ½ cup ketchup (120 g)
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce (145 g)


  • ½ cup shredded low-moisture mozzarella (50 g)
  • 8 green olives, small pimiento stuffed, halved crosswise

Special Equipment

  • 8 squares of foil, 7 in (17 cm)
  • 9 toothpicks, divided

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 389
  • Fat 17g
  • Carbs 37g
  • Fiber 10g
  • Sugar 11g
  • Protein 17g

Estimated values based on one serving size.


  1. Use a paring knife to cut out the center of a slider bun, leaving a ¼-inch (6 mm) border around the edge. Remove the bread from the center of the bun and place it in a food processor. Use your fingers to press the remaining bread to the bottom or sides of the bun to make a mini bread bowl. Set the bread bowl on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining buns.
  2. Pulse the bread in the food processor for 20–30 seconds, until it breaks down into fine bread crumbs. Set aside ½ cup (55 G) of the bread crumbs and transfer the rest, about 1 cup (115 G), to a resealable bag and freeze for another use.
  3. Make the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease the foil pieces with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the ground turkey, reserved ½ cup (55 G) bread crumbs, onion, egg, pepper, salt, and garlic. Gently mix until well combined.
  5. Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop, scoop 8 meatballs onto the prepared baking sheet and roll into balls. Chill for 30–60 minutes to set.
  6. Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup and barbeque sauce.
  7. Roll the foil squares into strips.
  8. Remove the meatballs from the refrigerator. Lay a foil strip over the top of each meatball, down the center. Press the foil down the center of the meatball to create an indentation that resembles a brain.
  9. Brush the meatballs with the sauce.
  10. Using a toothpick, add some texture to the sides of each meatball by pressing the side of the toothpick into the meat to create grooves and ridges.
  11. Bake the meatballs for 18–20 minutes, or until the sauce begins to lightly brown on top and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C).
  12. Assemble the sliders: Scoop ½ tablespoon of sauce into the bottom of each prepared slider bun. Top the sauce with 1 tablespoon of grated mozzarella cheese. Gently tuck a meatball into the hole in the bun, making sure only a small amount, about ¼ inch (6 mm), of the meatball is inside the bun. Brush the tops with more sauce.
  13. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has set and the bread is toasted.
  14. Cut 8 of the toothpicks in half. Insert the ends of the toothpick halves into the rounded side of the halved olives. Make sure that the toothpicks do not stick out the front, which should look like eyeballs.
  15. Remove the sliders from the oven and add the eyes by pushing the ends of the toothpicks with the olives into the side of the sliders. Serve immediately, being careful to remove the toothpicks before consuming.
  16. Enjoy!
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Brain Sliders