An easy appetizer that will wow your friends and family! Italian sausage, apple slices, cheese, and fried onions piled on Hawaiian rolls. And gosh do we have tricks for keeping this crazy easy and yummy!
How do you make a party sandwich?
Honest to God question I got. THIS. This, my friends, is how you make a party sandwich. GIANT A** rolls filled with GIANT A** meat and topped with crazy amounts of cheese and stuff.
Then you cut it apart into individual sandwiches like it's no big thing. Like you didn't just make the world's best appetizer. Cause you did.
Utilizing Hawaiian rolls and cutting them in one big slab keeps this fast and easy. Use this trick to create all SORTS of yummy slider recipes. In fact, our Ham and Swiss Sliders are one of our all-time faves. Check that one out!
Let's pause here for a few moments to address the second of our quick tips to get these sliders on plates FAST. Sausage. Specifically ground sausage. Pull out a sheet of aluminum foil, flip an entire slab of pre-seasoned ground sausage on to the foil, flip a second right next to the first, squish them together a bit, and bake. One big, giant slab of meat for your sliders. No need to flip little tiny burgers. No sirree...we are going to get all 12 sliders done lickety split!
Now comes the assembly. It's just a little game of layering. The slab of pre-cooked sausage goes down first, followed by slices of smoked gouda cheese (really...smoked gouda is the PERFECT pairing for the apples and sausage but feel free to use your favorite kind of cheese), sliced and cored Honeycrisp apples, and then the bun tops.
It's important to put those apples on the TOP and not the cheese or you will have a heck of a time taking the bun tops off to put on your friend onions. Oi!
Your apple needs to be a crisp, tart apple with a great skin (unless you feel like peeling an apple? But really, who needs that extra step?). We use the MN favorite...Honeycrisp.
After you get those all layered you are going to pop all of this in the oven for about 15 minutes to get that cheese all melty, the apples soft, and the bread toasted.
How to make homemade fried onions:
Have you ever tried making homemade french onions? For these sliders, it's worth the effort. You can skip this if you like and use purchased fried onions or even onion rings. Try the homemade version, though, you'll be so proud of yourself!
The key to great fried onions is hot oil and soaking your onions in cream for many, many minutes prior to frying. Coat the milk-soaked onions in flour, drop them in the hot oil, and leave them be for a while. Flip them over only when they are good and fried. Really, really refrain from checking and checking or stirring and stirring. You'll get a gooey mess.
Remove the top of your buns (this is the part where you are very, very glad that you put the apples on the top and NOT the cheese), and pile on the onions.
I know!!! I'm drooling too, and I've just eaten (p.s. -- to all the future food bloggers of the world, eat before you write posts. It will save you many pounds of unwanted weight. Promise!). The combo of the sausage, apple, gouda cheese, and fried onions is absolutely out of this world delish!!
You could stop right here and have delicious sliders fit for any guest, party, or event. Or... you can go one step further and take these sliders to slider hall of fame with a simple little addition...
Now all you need to do is cut those apart into individual sliders and serve. We recommend serving them with barbecue sauce, some of our taste testers (did you know we have a team of recipe testers?) loved the addition of barbecue sauce!
Can you make these sandwiches the night before a party?
Honestly, I wouldn't. The sausage grease would seep into the buns and they would get soggy. BUT...these could be made a few hours in advance. Then just pop them back into the oven to warm up and toast.
Italian Sausage Apple Sliders
- 2 packages italian-style ground sausage thawed
- 1 package of 12 Hawaiian sweet rolls sliced in half
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 2 Honey crisp apples cored and sliced (about ¼ inch thick slices)
- 6 oz about sliced smoked Gouda cheese (sub Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Provolone, etc...)
- 1 cup heavy cream or half & half
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ to ½ cup vegetable oil
- Place both packages of ground sausage side by side on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Press the center together to form the two into one large piece. Wrap up the sausage all the way in aluminum foil, place on baking sheet, and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until center is cooked.
- Meanwhile, soak the sliced onion in the cream for at least 5 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a skillet at med-high heat.
- When the oil is hot, coat the cream-soaked onions in the flour and drop into the hot oil.
- Cook on both sides about 2 minutes (or until golden brown).
- Take out of oil and place on plate lined with paper towel.
To assemble the sliders
- -Place the cooked sausage on the bottom of the sliced rolls.
- -Top with the sliced cheese.
- Add the sliced apples.
- -Cover with the bun tops.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the buns are golden brown.
- Remove the bun tops and pile on the fried onions. Replace tops.
- Add toothpicks and pickles.
- Cut & serve.