These slow cooker Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders are easy, delicious, and perfect to make for a crowd. They are tender, juicy pulled pork smothered in apple butter BBQ sauce, topped with melty cheese, crunchy onions, and toasty buns.
Sliders have always been the perfect comfort food, last minute dinner, and hearty appetizer. Is it the charm of a mini sandwich? Or the explosion of flavors and textures? Either way, these Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders are always a hit and a beloved family recipe I am happy to share with you.
For more fun and crowd pleasing recipes check out my appetizers (includes more slider recipes)!
These Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders have brought our family together time and time again! Growing up they were a huge part of our family card game nights (because they are so effortless and delicious).
Over time the recipe has been slightly adapted, but melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork and tangy sweet apple butter BBQ sauce are still the main flavors. I have added an extra layer of melty cheese and crunchy sweet onions for my touch of love. You will not regret making these sliders a tradition in your family.
3 Reasons You’ll LOVE These Sliders
2. They are super easy to make. The slow cooker pulled pork cooks itself which means you can sit back and relax. Then there is 10 minutes of prepping the sliders and 20 minutes for them to bake. Again, so easy especially if you are cooking for a crowd and have other things on your mind.
3. You can double or triple the recipe for really large crowds without any additional effort!
Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders Ingredients
- Apple Butter BBQ Pulled Pork – I recommend making this one to two days prior. It gives you plenty of time to slow cook it, around 8 to 10 hours needed. The refrigerator time overnight allows the flavors to develop and meld together even more too. If you have a pellet smoker, try my Smoked Pork Butt recipe instead!
- Apple Butter BBQ Sauce – Not only does the pulled pork cook in this BBQ sauce but there is also an extra layer on the sliders. Get the recipe here! You can also use store-bought brands but homemade is so much better.
- Brioche Slider Buns – This light and fluffy bun soaks up all the delicious flavors and toasts beautifully too! Feel free to use Hawaiian rolls or even gluten free buns.
- Onion – Make sure they are thinly sliced so as the sliders bake the onion will slightly softened but still maintain the warmth and crunch when you eat them.
- Cheeses – I chose Swiss and Gruyere because they are awesome melting cheeses. They also have a nutty and earthy flavor which pairs well with the other flavors.
- Seasoned Butter Sauce – This goes on top of your sliders before you bake them. It gives the bread moisture, salt, and extra flavor. All you need is butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion flakes, dried parsley, and poppy seeds.
- Slow Cooker: I use a 6qt programmable Crock-Pot that automatically shuts off depending on how it is set.
- 9×13 inch Baking Dish (I prefer glass): This one from Pyrex is my favorite because it also comes with a lid. Perfect for clean up and storing leftovers.
- Meat Claws: For shredding the BBQ pork with ease, I use these stainless steel ones.
Making the Slow Cooker BBQ Pork
The BBQ Pulled Pork cooks low and slow which is why it is so tender and delicious. It is as easy as placing the pork butt or shoulder roast, Apple Butter BBQ Sauce, and water into your crock pot. Cook it on low for 8 to 10 hours and it will easily shred with a fork.
TIP: As tempting as it may be, don’t lift the cover of your crockpot during cooking. It releases the heat and moisture you need in the pot necessary for the fall-of-the-bone pulled pork.
I refrigerated my pulled pork overnight and made the sliders the next day.
TIP: Remove the excess liquid before shredding the pulled pork and placing in the refrigerator. Removing the majority of liquid ensures we don’t have soggy sliders.
Assembling the Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders
1. Start by setting your oven to 375° F and prep your baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (this will keep them from sticking).
2. Place the bottom half of your slider buns in your pan and slather with Apple Butter BBQ Sauce. Next you are going to add a generous layer of apple butter BBQ pulled pork on top of that.
3. Evenly distribute your onions.
4. Sprinkle on the Swiss cheese, and Gruyere cheese.
5. Cover with the top layer of your slider buns and lightly press down to help them stick together. Then in a small bowl mix together your melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion flakes, parsley, and poppy seeds. Use a baster brush to add the seasoned butter sauce all over the tops of your slider buns.
6. Cover your sliders with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minute. Covering them creates steam and allows everything to get melty without burning and drying out. Once they are done baking remove the aluminum foil and allow them to bake for an additional 10 minutes to get toasty.
7. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes before serving.
These Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders taste delicious with so many things, but here are just a few ideas:
- sauteed or roasted veggies, corn on the cob, or these Smoked Baked Beans
- French fries, onion rings, tater tots, potato chips, my Lemon Feta Fries, or Smashed Fingerling Potatoes
- salads like my Lemon Orzo Salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, Italian Pasta Salad, or a garden salad
- coleslaw or other slaws
- or serve these alongside other appetizers, browse my favorites here!
DON’T FORGET to leave out your jar of Apple Butter BBQ Sauce for those who want to add more to their sliders!
Storing and Reheating Information
Sliders should always be stored covered and in the refrigerator for up to three days. Keep in mind the longer they are kept in the refrigerator, the soggier the buns will get. I do not recommend freezing.
Easily reheat your leftover sliders by throwing them in the oven for 10 minutes at 375° F. Or microwave them for 30 seconds to a minute until warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
YES! This recipe uses my apple butter BBQ sauce but you can always substitute it for your favorite homemade or store bought BBQ sauce.
If you see your buns getting brown quickly as they bake, loosely place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the sliders. This will keep the heat from burning and drying out the buns.
More Sliders Recipes You Might Enjoy:
- Baked Cod Fish Sliders
- Pulled Pork Sliders (customizable)
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Sliders
- Breakfast Bagel Sliders
- Cheddar Ground Beef Sliders
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Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders
BBQ Pulled Pork
Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders
- 12 pack Brioche slider buns
- ½ cup Apple Butter BBQ Sauce - my recipe or store-bought
- 2-3 pounds shredded BBQ pulled pork
- 1 onion - thinly sliced
- 4-6 slices Swiss cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- ¼ cup unsalted butter - melted
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tablespoon onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
BBQ Pulled Pork
- Place the pork butt or shoulder roast, Apple Butter BBQ Sauce, and water into your crock pot. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours (you can also do high for 4 to 5 hours).
- Remove the excess liquid from the BBQ Pulled Pork. Shred the meat using a fork and set aside.
Apple Butter BBQ Pork Sliders
- Set your oven to 375° F and center your oven rack. Prepare a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Slice the slider buns in half longways while keeping them attached. Place the bottom buns in your pan and set the top portion aside.
- Smother the bottom buns with Apple Butter BBQ Sauce and then evenly layer the pulled pork on top.
- Sprinkle your thinly chopped onion on top of the pulled pork.
- Add an even layer of shredded Gruyere cheese first and then the sliced swiss cheese on top of that. Place the top buns on last.
- In a small bowl mix together the melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion flakes, parsley, and poppy seeds. Slather the mixture all over the buns.
- Cover your pan with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes. Once done remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the sliders from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Pulled pork can be stored covered for up to 4 days, or frozen it in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Sliders can be stored covered for up to 7 days.
Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.