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Maid-Rite Sliders

A mini version of an Iowa institution.

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If you have no prior experience with the Maid-Rite sandwich, no matter. One bite of these and you’ll get the idea, which means that you’ll immediately fall in love. We’re not all lucky enough to live near a Maid-Rite, after all, so let me give you the run down — A Maid-Rite sandwich is a loose meat sandwich served on a hamburger bun, but it is very much not a Sloppy Joe. Where a Sloppy Joe is a saucy creation, a Maid-Rite Sandwich is all about the seasoning of the ground beef, which is to say it’s tender and savory and positively mouthwatering. Sometimes it’s served plain, sometimes with pickles, sometimes with cheese, but however it’s served, it’s delicious. And here’s how you can make it yourself, in shareable slider form.

I love sliders of any kind. It’s all the glory of a burger, but much more manageable to munch on. That makes them perfect for parties and gatherings galore, but these particular ones are extra perfect because the flavor is so universally loved. It’s totally approachable, yes, but it’s not just that… I swear there’s some sort of magic involved in the seasoning combo here.

Here’s how you do it:

Brown up some ground beef with onion that has been finely minced. You don’t want giant onion-y chunks; you want them to blend right in with that beef, to really mingle. Then, you’re going to simmer that beef in a saucy little mixture of brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon, and apple cider vinegar. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, and it comes down into beefy syrupy beauty.

And that beefy syrupy beauty goes right over some basic buns (in this case in slider size) along with some pickles and good ol’ American cheese, if that’s how you like things. These are sloppy, but they’re certainly not a Sloppy Joe. In fact, one bite of these and you’ll forget all about that other loose meat sandwich.

Yield(s): Serves 6

15m prep time

25m cook time

Rated 4.5 out of 5
Rated by 595 reviewers

Allergens: Milk, Gluten

When you share or print a 12 Tomatoes recipe,
you're making mealtime meaningful.
100% of the Share to Care sponsor fees fund meals for families in need. Learn More
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 small white onion, minced
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 pack slider buns
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle slices
  • 6 slices American cheese
For the butter sauce:
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large skillet, add the ground beef and onion over medium-high heat and brown the ground beef, breaking the meat apart well as it cooks.
  3. Drain grease, if needed, then add bouillon cube, water, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until liquid has evaporated.
  4. Place bottoms of the buns in a baking dish, and top with beef mixture. Place pickles on top, followed by cheese slices, and top with top of buns.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and brush over buns.
  6. Cover baking dish with foil and bake 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Family Fresh Meals.