Smoky & Spicy Brisket Sliders with Pickled Onions

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Smoky & Spicy Brisket Sliders with Pickled Onions recipe

Brisket makes a hearty, easy meal that pleases both kids and grown-ups. It’s also a terrific dish for last-minute entertaining. This recipe calls for canned chipotle peppers; you can adjust the amount to your heat tolerance, or, for easier prep, substitute chipotle powder. Quick-pickled onions add a fresh, tangy zip to the rich, smoky meat – make them the night before the brisket goes into the slow cooker.  

MAKE IT A MEAL: These sliders are great served with sweet potato fries. They also go well with a simple slaw: Combine store-bought slaw mix, sliced green onions and a quick dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar and raw honey.

  • Duration
  • Prep Time
  • 8 to 10Servings


Brisket Sliders

  • 1 cup ketchup (TIP: Look for all-natural options, such as Tessemae’s, or get our homemade recipe at
  • 1/2 cup organic dark beer or low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp each coconut sugar and smoked paprika
  • 1 or 2 BPA-free canned chipotle peppers, seeded and chopped + 1 tbsp adobo sauce from can, or to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 lb organic or grass-fed beef brisket, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 8–10 whole-wheat slider buns, halved and warmed

Pickled Onions

  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 3 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (TRY: Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)


1. Make brisket: In a large zip-top freezer bag or freezer-safe glass container, whisk together ketchup, beer, vinegar, coconut sugar, paprika, chipotle peppers with adobo and garlic. Seal bag; massage ingredients together to combine.

2. Open bag; add brisket and yellow onion. Seal and shake to combine. Open bag, press out as much air as possible, seal and freeze for up to 2 months. To cook brisket, remove bag from the freezer and let stand in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

3. Make pickled onions: The night before cooking brisket, fill a heat-proof 8-oz glass jar with red onion slices. In a small saucepan, bring ½ cup water to a boil. Stir in honey until dissolved. Stir in vinegar, then pour mixture over onions. Seal jar and refrigerate overnight.

4. When brisket is fully thawed, transfer mixture from bag or container to a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 8 hours.

5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer brisket to a large shallow bowl. Using 2 forks, shred meat. Spoon some of the sauce mixture over meat. Pour remaining sauce into a small bowl.

6. To serve, layer meat on buns and top with pickled onions. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 380
  • Carbohydrate Content: 37 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 105 mg
  • Fat Content: 9 g
  • Fiber Content: 3 g
  • Protein Content: 38 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 3 g
  • Sodium Content: 669 mg
  • Sugar Content: 10 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content: 4 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 1 g
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