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4 Cheese, Bacon and Smokey Date Double Sliders with Balsamic Onions

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While scrolling through Twitter one afternoon, I came across an interesting post! I no longer recall the mouthwateringly enticing post exactly, but it showed a fabulously delicious dish idea asking which sauce should be used…and I couldn’t resist answering! The next thing I knew, I was being sent a few “samples” from the owner and entrepreneur, Erika, of Not Ketchup! And I have already put one of these incredible and all-natural flavors to great use with these 4 Cheese, Bacon and Smokey Date Double Sliders with Balsamic Onions! And what fantastic sliders these were!!!

This is what Erika sent, and I was absolutely floored!! I was asked to choose two flavors, and I simply replied saying,…”surprise me“! Well, surprise me she DID!! I sure wasn’t expecting all of this, and was more expecting “sample-sized” to boot, and I am so extremely grateful!! She sent me a whole case-full of full-sized bottles!! WOWzus!!



You all know how much I LOVE to grill, so be expecting many more recipes using these refreshing and wholesome flavors of “ketchup”, that are sweetened naturally with fruit instead of cane or corn sugars, and will have you rethinking what to pour onto your burgers this summer! NO high fructose corn syrup! Who doesn’t say YAY! to that, right?!!

Ok, so what to whip up first? How about some summer sliders that are easy for busy schedules!

Though I had originally planned to grill these sliders outdoors on the deck, I found out as I went to heat the grill, that we are now out of propane, and the skies were definitely not going to hold out for lighting charcoal. Loverly. But that wasn’t going to stop me! I opted to simply pan-fry these cute li’l buggers, and that probably, fatefully, worked out best anyways. My luck, I would’ve lost at least one through the wild beast grate “cage” to the hungry, blue gas flame-breathing burger stealing monster for sure. So unless you have grill grates that are close together, or opt to use a grill basket or grill pan, you might want to just do the same as well.


After cooking, just a note for you and to put these burgers into a size perspective, (as close-up photos always make things look much larger than they are), these little patties are only 2″ in diameter. And one pound of ground beef makes 12 patties!

So don’t worry, they aren’t humungous burgers. They’re actually quite cute! And you can stack two patties for a double, or just make 12 singles!

For the cheeses, I had a “little bit of this…and a little bit of that”, so I just went for it made a combination of them all! Shredded mozzarella and provolone blend cheese (Sargento), sliced swiss, and blue cheese crumbles all came together like 4-part harmony!

I added a little lettuce for crunch, some slow-cooked caramelized balsamic onions, and a bit of crisp-cooked, peppered bacon just because. What’s a burger without bacon, right?

Then, the best for last!, I drizzled the whole shebang with Erika’s Smokey Date Not Ketchup sauce!!



Oh. My god. That sauce!! Absolutely delicious! A nice, strong, smokey taste, not too sweet with a bright tanginess, and a hint of date!! It went beautifully with these sliders that I designed to match, and the only sad part is…they’re all gone now!

So if you’d like to perk up the same old same old burger, pork chops, chicken, or even simple sloppy joes!, you’ll definitely want to give Erika’s line of Not Ketchups a try! There are lots of cool flavors to choose from, plus boxed combos, and they’re all naturally sweetened with fruit, not high fructose corn syrup! As well as being gluten, dairy, and soy free as well! To boot, they’re also Paleo, Vegan, Whole30-friendly, low carb, and diabetic-friendly. And guess what? No tomatoes, either! Which is extra wonderful for those unfortunate enough to be allergic to tomatoes! Holy moly, right?!! I’m really loving these, and I’m sure you will, too!

So pick yourself up a couple, have fun, and make these killer good 4 Cheese, Bacon and Smokey Date Double Sliders with Balsamic Onions! 

Thanks again, Erika, for your kindness and generosity!
Have a great day everybody!


If you’d like to follow Erika for recipes and keep up with the latest news, you can follow her at Not Ketchup, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

*Though this is not a sponsored post and I did not receive monetary compensation, I was kindly sent product to enjoy! Any and all opinions of this product are solely my own.


4 Cheese, Bacon and Smokey Date Sliders with Balsamic Onions
Yield: 6 double sliders or 12 singles

4 Cheese, Bacon and Smokey Date Sliders with Balsamic Onions


  • 1 lb. ground beef, made into 12 small thin patties
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste, don't be shy with it
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and provolone blend cheese, or as desired
  • 2 slices good deli swiss cheese, torn into 6 pieces
  • dinner rolls or slider buns (buttered or sprayed and toasted), *see note
  • 6 slices crisp cooked peppered bacon, cut into fourths
  • Not Ketchup Smokey Date sauce
  • 12 Tbl. blue cheese crumbles, or as desired

For Balsamic Onions:

  • 3 Tbl. butter
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbl. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar


  • Make Onions:
  • In frying pan, melt butter, add rest of ingredients except balsamic vinegar. Sauté over Low heat for 30 minutes, at least, until deep in color and caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar and sauté a few minutes longer. Remove from heat and place into a bowl. Cover and set aside.
  • Make Burgers:
  • Make 12 meatball-sized balls out of ground beef, and flatten into thin patties. Cover with plastic wrap and chill to firm up a little, as this will take a little while to do. Once firm again, season tops with lots of salt and pepper. In two separate batches (or just use two pans), add patties to preheated frying pan seasoned sides down, season top sides, and fry until browned on each side and done to your liking inside. Once done, top half of them with large pinches of shredded cheese, and half with small squares of swiss cheese. Remove from heat, cover with a lid, and let melt and rest.
  • While burgers are resting and cheese is melting, heat oven to broil making sure rack has been moved close to the heat source. Butter or spray inside of opened rolls or buns placed onto a baking sheet. Run rolls under broiler to toast, watching so that they don't burn. Remove when toasted.
  • To Assemble:
  • Warm onions and Date Ketchup (placed into bowls), in the microwave. Top each toasted bottom bun with lettuce, then 2 burgers (one of each), a little Not Ketchup Smokey Date sauce, bacon pieces, onions, and blue cheese crumbles. Drizzle tops with more sauce and place on top buns.
  • Dig in and enjoy!
  • *You can make 6 doubles, or 12 singles if preferred.


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