Disclosure: I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time.
As a vegetarian, I am somewhat limited in my choice of appetizers at “big game” or red carpet parties. As a person who wants to eat healthy, I’m VERY limited. Well, Cabot Cheese challenged Recipe ReDux members to rectify this problem by lightening up our favorite “big game” or red carpet eats. I must admit that I’m always slightly jealous of party goers that get to indulge in sliders, so I decided to recreate a slider for the healthy vegetarian eater. Cabot Cheese generously sent me samples of 7 different blocks of cheese! Each one was delicious, but I chose to use the Pepper Jack to create a slider with some southwestern flare. These tiny burgers are loaded with veggies and lean protein, and the best part is that the center contains a surprise: melty Pepper Jack cheese! Whip these up the next time your entertaining and even the meat eaters will be begging to try!
Makes 8-10 sliders
15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed with water
1 red pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
1 cup corn (I used canned)
Juice of 1 lime
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup breadcrumbs
8-10 cube Pepper Jack cheese, about the size of a dice (~2 inches)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place rinsed black beans in food processor and grind until mashed. If you don’t have a food processor, use a fork to mash them (it will take more work).
- Combine, mashed black beans, diced pepper, minced garlic, diced red onion, corn, lime juice, cumin, and salt in a big bowl. Stir with a spatula until the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Add bread crumbs and egg to black bean mixture and incorporate thoroughly.
- Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Take a small portion of the bean mixture in your hand and place cheese on top. Cover the cheese with more bean mixture. Use your hands to form small balls (about the size of a meatball or slightly smaller than a tennis ball) around the Pepper Jack. The cheese will not be visible when the balls are formed.
- Place sliders on a baking sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes. Flip the sliders and bake for another 8-9 minutes.
Serve them on a slider bun, as a lettuce wrap, or naked with salsa and Greek yogurt!
- Red peppers are packed with Vitamin C. A ½ cup of chopped red pepper (about the amount in this recipe) has over 300% the daily value of Vitamin C. Take that oranges!
- Adding onions and garlic to dishes is a great way to add flavor without adding fat or sodium. Red onions contain flavonoids, which promote heart health.
- Black beans are one of my favorite sources of vegetarian protein. They are high in fiber, with a ½ cup serving containing 30% the daily value or fiber!
- A ½ cup serving of black beans also only has 100 calorie and contains 7g of protein.
- Black beans contain iron (10% the daily value in ½ cup), which is helpful for vegetarians who don’t get iron from meat!