A New Twist on Burgers and Fries: Buffalo Sliders and Truffle Fries

[Jump right to the recipe: Buffalo Sliders]

I’ve become a big fan of buffalo because it is leaner than beef but has more protein and iron so it is a great option when I’m up for some good ol’ red meat. Most buffalo are grass-fed and free of antibiotics or hormones, so I feel better in general about serving the meat to my family. Happily, as its popularity has increased, it’s become easier to find buffalo meat in a variety of cuts either at my local market or via mail order. I’ve also been on a slider kick, probably because smaller burgers make portion control easier and well, because those sliders are just so darn cute. They are great for feeding a crowd and you can have a couple of different topping combos in the same meal which is always fun. What, then, could be more fun then than combining the natural goodness of buffalo with smallness of a slider? Buffalo sliders and a batch of baked truffle fries, that’s what. Because the fries are baked and the recipe includes a minimal amount of oil, they are healthier than standard fried fries, making them a good companion for the healthier burgers. The truffles add a touch of decadence to elevate them above just plain oven fries, much like the slider is more than just your average burger.

The method I use for making super-crisp oven fries is a little time consuming, so this meal in total takes about an hour to put together, but it couldn’t be simpler. If you want to speed the process up you can toss some bagged fries into the oven as a substitute for the truffle fries and you’ll be eating dinner in 25 minutes or so, depending on the bake time on the fries.

When it comes to burgers I’m a firm believer that the only thing that needs to be mixed with the meat is a healthy dose of salt and pepper. I typically use a 2 to 1 ratio of ground sirloin and ground chuck so I can keep the burgers lean but still have the necessary fat to make them juicy and hang together. However, because buffalo is so naturally lean, the first time I made a buffalo burger it didn’t hold together very well. To solve that problem for these sliders I added a little “glue” in the form of panko and an egg. If you can’t get panko by all means use unseasoned breadcrumbs, and if you typically like to add other seasonings to your burgers you can add them to the sliders as well. Consider the buffalo a blank canvas.

Ground Bison on Foodista Learn more about ground bison

Recipe: Buffalo Sliders


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 3 (serving size is 3 burgers)
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min


  • 16 oz. ground buffalo meat
  • ½ c. panko or unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 9 small dinner rolls, split and toasted
  • Your favorite burger toppings (recommended: blue cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and a little mayo)


  1. Gently combine the buffalo, panko, and egg in a mixing bowl with your hands. Be careful not to over-mix.
  2. Divide the meat mixture into 9 even portions, about 2 oz. each.
  3. Shape each portion into a burger about the same size as the dinner rolls.
  4. Season both sides of each burger liberally with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a grill, grill pan, or skillet over medium high-heat until very hot. If using a standard skillet (not cast-iron or non-stick) spray the skillet with a bit of cooking spray to keep the burgers from sticking. Add the burgers to the pan/grill and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the burgers for 2-3 minutes on each side or until just shy of your preferred doneness.
  6. Remove burgers from the heat, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with buns and burger toppings.

Recipe for success

  • The mini-burgers won’t reduce much in size during cooking because the meat is so lean, so when you form the burgers make them about the same size as your buns and they should fit just perfectly once cooked.
  • I typically mound my burgers up in the middle when I form them to keep my cooked burgers from being concave because of the fat lost during cooking. Once again, because the buffalo is so lean, that’s not necessary. Shape your burgers like you want to them to appear on the bun when you’re done and that’s what you should get when they are done cooking.
  • Do not overcook the burgers or they will be dry. There isn’t any extra fat to keep them juicy and they cook very quickly, so pay close attention while they cook and pull them off when they are just a little under-done (to your taste). As they rest they’ll increase in temperature another 5 or so degrees to your preferred level of doneness. I like a medium-rare burger so I removed mine when they were between 140 and 145 degrees.
  • Choose your favorite burger cooking method: outdoor grill, grill pan, or skillet. I used a grill pan largely because the wind was blowing so hard my patio furniture was in the yard, but I could have just as easily thrown them on the grill outside or even in a cast-iron skillet. Because they are small you have to watch where you put them on a conventional grill to keep them from sliding through the grates, but otherwise cook them any way you want.
  • Try to find dinner rolls that are light instead of dense so the bread isn’t out of proportion to the meat. Potato rolls are a good choice as are Nature’s Own honey wheat dinner rolls.
  • These burgers also do well wrapped in leaves of romaine, green leaf, or iceberg lettuce for those trying to watch their carb intake.

Oven-Baked Truffle Fries

I’m not a big fryer of things, largely because it’s messy and not the healthiest cooking method. Even so, I love crispy fries and have found that even the highest heat in an oven isn’t a replacement for hot oil and frying. After much research and trial-and-error, I’ve discovered that Molly Steven’s technique for making oven fries is the best way to produce truly crispy oven fries. Rinsing and parboiling potatoes does take extra time, but it’s worth it. To make truffle fries I follow the Fine Cooking Oven Fries recipe with the following changes:

  • Use 3 large potatoes instead of 2 for 4 people.
  • When parboiling the potatoes, remove them from the water 30 seconds to 1 minute after the water comes to a boil. I’ve found that 3 minutes is too long and my potatoes start to crumble. It’s time to stop boiling the fries when a fry will just bow you push it up against the side of the pot with a spoon. Once they are barely flexible it’s time to pull them from the water and drain.
  • Substitute 1 Tbsp. grapseed oil and 1 Tbsp. truffle oil in place of the olive oil. The grapeseed oil is almost flavorless so it doesn’t interfere with the flavor of the truffle oil but it helps stretch the expensive truffle oil.
  • As soon as the fries are out of the oven, toss them with fresh-cracked pepper and truffle salt to taste.

This oven fries recipe is very versatile. For seasoned fries coat the potatoes with olive oil before roasting and then sprinkle with your favorite spice mix when the fries come out of the oven. Much like the buffalo sliders, the potatoes are a blank slate ready for you to unleash your culinary creativity.


  1. That looks absolutely delicious, Natanya. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Last night I checked out TRIO’s happy hour at the Four Seasons. Thought of you as I devoured their truffle oil french fries and lamb burger sliders. YUM!

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I took some co-workers with me to TRIO and discovered as you expected that they only serve at happy hour prices indoors so we paid full price to be out on the patio. The lamb sliders were great and I found out that Whole Foods may carry the buns they use – they were just perfect for sliders. Lamb is another favorite of mine so I expect there will be a lamb slider experiment in my future 🙂 Thanks for your excellent recommendations.


  1. Porch Furniture Outdoor Patio Furniture - Recognizing What You Can Get in the …= « - [...] A New Twist on Burgers and Fries: Buffalo Sliders and Truffle … By Natanya Anderson I used a grill…