These Mexican-spiced grilled chicken sliders have so much great flavor. When they're stuffed into a toasted bun with tangy bbq-caramelized onions and smoky chipotle coleslaw, they explode with deliciousness!
Burgers beware. You've got some serious competition from this chicken sandwich! A fluffy bun - lightly toasted on the grill - filled with tender spicy chicken, sweet and tangy bbq-sauced caramelized onions, and smoky crunchy chipotle coleslaw.
These chicken sliders are a food fantasy come true - excitement in every bite! They're healthy, too - made with low-fat white meat chicken and high fiber cabbage slaw. And because they're slider-sized, you can go back for seconds!
It was challenging to figure out how to cut a chicken breast to fit a slider bun. First I tried slicing the breasts horizontally through middle and then into bun-sized pieces, but they were too thin and skimpy. Then I tried leaving the breasts at their full thickness and cutting them in thirds, but they were too fat! What worked perfectly was to pound them just a bit, to a thickness of about an inch, and then slice them into bun-sized pieces.
If you're not familiar with pounding chicken, it's really easy. My favorite method is to put the chicken on a cutting board, under a large thick plastic baggie, and pound it gently and evenly with my rolling pin until it's uniformly flattened to my desired thinness. A meat mallet works well too.
If you've never tried adding barbecue sauce to your caramelized onions I suggest you brace yourself for a special treat. Try to have more self-discipline than I do, so you can hold off eating them for long enough to pile them onto the sliders. They're totally irresistible.
Chipotle coleslaw adds delicious spice, smokiness and crunchiness to the mix. The coleslaw recipe serves 12, so you can cut it in half if you like, but I recommend that you make the full amount. You can serve extra slaw on the side instead of making a salad. And if you have any left over, it's a delicious addition to burgers, sandwiches, and anything smoked or grilled.
This dish is easy to adapt for those wishing to eat gluten-free. Pile a generous portion of chipotle coleslaw onto a plate. Top with two pieces of grilled chicken and some bbq caramelized onions. Sprinkle with cilantro sprigs, to garnish.
Here's the grilled chicken sliders recipe. If you make this, I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print
Grilled Chicken Sliders with Caramelized Onions and Chipotle Coleslaw
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Yield: 6-8 1x
Bursting with flavor grilled Mexican-spiced chicken, topped with out of this world bbq-caramelized onions and smokey chipotle coleslaw, packed into a slider bun. Great for a backyard bbq, family picnic, game day or any day.
For The Chicken:
- 16 slider rolls
- 2 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened to 1-inch thickness with a pounder and cut into the size of your slider buns. (2 whole chicken breasts should yield 14-16 slider-sized pieces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and pressed or finely minced
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
Click here for the Chipotle Coleslaw Recipe
For the BBQ Sauce-Caramelized Onions:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large yellow onions, peeled, halved through the root end, cut into thick (¾-inch) slices
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup your favorite barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Marinate The Chicken: In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili, cumin and salt. Place sliced chicken in a non-reactive bowl and toss with marinade. Cover bowl and let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
- Make The Slaw Click here for the chipotle coleslaw recipe Slaw can be prepped up to a day ahead, keeping dressing separate. Toss cabbage and herbs with dressing 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Chill slaw until ready to eat.
- Make the BBQ Sauce-Caramelized Onions: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, stirring frequently, until they soften and start to brown, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt. Stir in barbecue sauce and vinegar. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Onions can be made up to a day ahead. Keep covered in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave.
- Grill The Chicken and Toast The Slider Rolls: Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove chicken from marinade and grill for 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Set on a platter and tent with foil. Grill slider rolls, cut-side down, for a minute or so, until lightly toasted.
- Assemble The Sliders: Load each slider bun with a piece of grilled chicken, some onions, and a big pile of slaw. Serve the extra slaw on the side.
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Category: Lunch, brunch, dinner
- Method: grill
- Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keywords: Grilled chicken sliders, barbecue chicken sandwich with caramelized onions and slaw
Made these for a crowd yesterday and they were a big hit! Your recipes have turned me in to a more confident cook and tricked all my friends in to thinking I know what I’m doing in the kitchen. Would you ever consider publishing a cookbook?
Hi Kate. You are so kind. Thank you for your very sweet note and congrats on all your success in the kitchen! I have thought about writing a cookbook. It's on my bucket list. 🙂