Smokey Mesquite BBQ Meatball Sliders Recipe with Kraft Fresh Take

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Today I’m really excited to share a new partnership with Kraft Foods. Creating recipes for my family is something I love to do but it actually becomes fun when it comes with a challenge. This month I was given the task of turning a Kraft Fresh Take variety into a new and delicious recipe for my family to enjoy.

Kraft Fresh Take Challenge

Use the Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ variety to create a recipe that uses one protein (other than chicken), is a an easy appetizer or lunch-friendly sandwich and uses the broiler to add a little crisp to the dish.

As someone who loves to experiment in the kitchen this was an easy challenge for me. There’s a lot you can do with a smokey mesquite BBQ flavor, especially with chicken, but what about ground beef? When I think of easy lunch sandwiches I think of sliders. They’re versatile sandwiches that are made in a kid-friendly size but with gourmet flavors adults will love too.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Cheddar & Grilled Onion Sliders

Lunch needs to be an easy meal that can be made quickly so we can go about our day. I like to use recipes that don’t have an overwelming number of ingredients. For the Smokey Mesquite BBQ Meatball Sliders you’ll only need a dozen rolls, one Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ variety (found in the refrigerator section of your grocery store), one large onion, some bacon, a pound of ground beef, sharp cheddar cheese (Kraft Big Slice is great) and your favorite BBQ sauce (Kraft Hickory Smokey is excellent for this dish).

Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ Recipe Ingredients

Inside the Kraft Fresh take bag you’ll find a blend of cheese, seasoned breadcrumbs and spices to make a flavorful meatball. You can toss all of the ingredients inside the convenient bag. I just added the meat and used my hands to combine all of the ingredients until they’re evenly distributed throughout the ground beef.

Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ bag mix

One pound of ground beef along with the Kraft Fresh Take makes a perfect dozen meatballs. I just rolled them by hand to about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. If you want to really get technical to make sure they’re all the same size you can use a small kitchen scale to weigh each one.

Rolling a Meatball

Next the meatballs get spaced out and lined up on a baking sheet (with a lip). Since there is cheese in the meatball you’ll want to make sure to bake them on parchment or Silpat (my preference) lined sheet. Thirty minutes in the oven is all it takes to have them ready!

Smokey Mesquite Meatballs

Once the meatballs are out of the oven you can set them up on the rolls and brush some of the bbq sauce over each one.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Meatball Sliders

Add some sharp cheddar to the top for some extra flavor.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Sliders topped with cheddar cheese

Fried bacon bits give these sliders the perfect crunch.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Sliders topped with Bacon

And for some added sweetness, chunky grilled onions put these sliders over the top.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Sliders Topped with Grilled Onions

Just a few minutes under the broiler and you’ve got gooey melty cheese, toasted buns and a dozen sliders ready to serve as an appetizer or lunch for a small crowd.

Dozen Smokey Mesquite BBQ Meatball Sliders

Depending on your appetite one slider is a great start, but two will really fill you up.

Smoky Mesquite BBQ Cheddar Onion Sliders

Keep an eye out next month for a new recipe and challenge using the Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ variety. Until then, I’d love to hear your ideas on how to use this product.

Smokey Mesquite BBQ Meatball Sliders Recipe
Cook Time
Total Time
Type: Appetizer
Serves: 12 sliders
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 Kraft Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite BBQ variety package
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup Kraft Hickory BBQ sauce
  • 3 slices Kraft Big Slice cheddar cheese
  • 12 Hawaiian Rolls
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a lipped baking sheet with parchment paper and non-stick spray or a Silpat baking mat.
  2. In the Kraft Fresh Take bag, use your hands to mix and combine the bag contents, ground beef and egg until evenly distributed.
  3. Roll the mixture into 1-1/2 to 2 inch meatballs and space evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. While the meatballs are baking, fry the bacon until crispy over medium-high heat. Remove bacon from skillet, leaving the grease in the skillet.
  5. Add the onions to the skillet and reduce heat to medium, stirring often until tender.
  6. Cut rolls in half and add one meatball to the bottom portion of each roll. Brush the tops with BBQ sauce.
  7. On top of the meatballs add the cheese slices, bacon bits and grilled onions.
  8. Place under the broiler next to the roll tops for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.
  9. Top the meatballs with the rolls and serve.


*Kraft provided me with compensation to participate in creating a recipe. #KraftFreshTake


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  1. omg Cat, those look positively fantastic!!!! I want one sooooo bad, and since they’re sliders, maybe I’ll have two!

    PS. I was hoping you were doing this program too. :) I almost emailed you to ask. I should have and will next time. lol

  2. Those look delicious! When I saw the caramelized onions I started to drool. Yum!!

  3. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    omg–these look absolutely delicious! *pinned*

  4. that looks so good! I want to give this a try sometimes this week! thanks for the recipe!

  5. Those look so good Cat! You’re so clever when it comes to creating recipes.

  6. Oh my goodness – these look delicious! I can’t wait to try them out.

  7. Ellen B says:

    looks so good! I have to try this :)

  8. Holy moly! Those look SO amazing. I pinned the recipe and will totally be making these SOON.

  9. These look so great!! My husband will love them!

  10. Totally drooling on my keyboard over here.

  11. Oh wow, these look so amazing! Those are my favorite rolls, paired with those meatballs — wow!

  12. These look so good! That’s a great idea to use this product in meatballs, I can’t wait to try it myself!

  13. Jewel says:

    These were soo Good!..My kids loved them!:)

  14. Jerilyn says:

    Looks delicious!! MUST TRY!

  15. Erica Best says:

    i am going to try this weekend with ground turkey and pork

  16. karin rowe says:

    what exactly is the kraft product? is it just seasoning you mix w/ the ground beef?

  17. Vanesa says:

    I cant fin that fresh bake kraft product by me.. What can i usse in sted..?

  18. Sarah says:

    I pick up the Kraft Fresh take last week and it kept looking at me like what can I do with this. Then I cam across your recipe on pintrest! They were AMAZING!!!! Thank you for your creativity!

  19. Tiffany says:

    I got this recipe off pinterest and let me tell was AMAZING!!!
    I have 3 small children who are very picky eaters and they devoured these!!
    All I can say is thank you, they are amazing amazing amzing!!!

  20. Jodie says:

    These were awesome! I can’t wait for some Alabama Football games to make and take as great tailgate food!

  21. Wow they look amazing! However i noticed on the recipe you never mention temperatures when cooking? I can guess but it would be helpful to just know for sure. Could you give that information?

    • Hi Nichole. The oven temp is listed in step 1 of the directions. “Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a lipped baking sheet with parchment paper and non-stick spray or a Silpat baking mat.”

  22. sarah says:

    We just finished these for dinner. They were delicious and easy. I will be adding them to our dinner rotation. Thank you for the idea.

  23. Lindsay says:

    I made this for my boyfriend and I last night. They were so easy to make and were absolutely delicious! He ate a ton of them! I will definitely make these again!!

  24. Carole says:

    Lovely work, Cat! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is about all things BBQ? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

  25. cassie king says:

    they’re amazing

  26. It’s what’s for dinner tonight! Add Side salad & tots

  27. TAMEIKA TRAHAN says:


  28. Rachelle says:

    Luv Luv Luv this recipe made it once already! I know it will be a great hit at our tailgate party on Sunday! (I did sub the ground beef for ground turkey and used the Kings Hawaiian Honey Wheat rolls and it was still excellent)

  29. Allison says:

    These look sooo good. I couldn’t wait to make them. But, the Fresh Take Smokey Mesquite has been discontinued in my area. I went to 5 stores around the Charlotte area a couldn’t find it. Finally I asked and Harris Teeter said it was a discontinued product. I love the BBQ flavors. Is there another Fresh Take I can use or possibly add bbq sauce to meatballs or a bbq seasoning. I have all the other ingredients. Thanks.

  30. Sarah says:

    I found these on pinterest. I guess I am the only one who did not like them. Not a fan of the Kraft seasoning and too much cheese for me. Different strokes for different folks I guess.