Around Our Table (Perfect One-Dish Dinners Barbecue Chicken Sliders)

We have started something new at our house that has made a significant difference in mealtime. It has been one very small change that has made a huge impact.

We have started serving our meals family style. See, mealtimes prior, my husband and I would get all of the plates filled and ready before we sat down to dinner. We’d cut up meat, spoon on the veggies, butter the bread…all before we even sat down at the dinner table. It just seemed easier, or so I thought, to get everything all ready for the six of us so that when it was time to eat, that’s what we did.

What I didn’t realize was that by getting the plates ready, I was first of all causing dinner to be rushed. We were missing out on the meandering part of passing the food around the table. I was also taking the control out of the hands of my children. Now, they serve themselves which means they are responsible for taking only the amount that they will eat, knowing that they can usually later get seconds if they are available. They are also learning some very good new table manners…how to pass the food, how to wait until everyone is served before they begin eating and the great lesson of politely asking someone to pass something across the table.

I know it sounds so simple, but this change has truly turned what was once a hectic, rushed, chow fest into a longer, enjoyable, conversational meal. We’ve reached a place where mealtime is finally what I had always hoped for as a mom – a gathering place for my family to laugh, eat, converse and enjoy.

In virtual family style, this past Sunday I joined some  fellow bloggers in “Sunday Supper” where we all cooked something from the wonderful cookbook Perfect One-Dish Dinners by fellow blogging friend, Pam Anderson. If you are thinking Baywatch, switch gears and think Pam Anderson from the Best-Selling cookbook The Perfect Recipe. Pam has been cooking for her family and friends for many years and has created some wonderful recipes perfect to pass around your table. In her newest cookbook, Perfect One-Dish Dinners Pam “serves up dozens of one dish wonders perfect for every occasion and any time of year.”

I made the meal that instantly caught my eye upon first perusal of Pam’s book… Shells and Cheese for Everyone, Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sliders and the PLT Salad (Prosciutto Lettuce Tomato). (The Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats will grace our table on another day.) I’m going to share the Barbecue Chicken Sliders recipe with you, but will only tempt you with a photo of the mac and cheese which has to be one of the best shells and cheese dishes I have ever had. I strongly encourage you to go pick up Pam’s book so you can get this recipe and try it out for yourself. Amazing….

For a list of other bloggers who have participated in the Sunday Supper, please see below the recipe for a list. You’ll get several chances to sneak a peek at the other wonderful recipes in this must have cookbook!

Recipe: Pulled Barbecue Chicken Sliders from Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson

I followed Pam’s recipe except omitted the pickles as we aren’t big pickle eaters. Since I absolutely love King Hawaiian rolls when I use them for the Oven Ham Sammies recipe I love, I used them in this recipe and it was a huge hit! I can imagine passing these out the next time the guys are over watching football.

  • 1 package (24) small party rolls
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie or other cooked chicken
  • 3/4 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 24 dill pickle slices

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Break rolls into individual buns and split in half horizontally. Mix chicken and barbecue sauce in a medium bowl. Top each roll bottom with a heaping tablespoon of pulled chicken and a pickle slice and cap each with  roll top. Place rolls on a baking sheet and bake until warmed through, about 8 minutes. Serve.

Sunday Supper Participants – Check them all out for a glimpse of other great recipes from Pam’s book!

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  1. says

    YUM!! Kristen- This meal looks so good. All my favorites- pulled meat in wrapped in BREAD, cheese covered pasta- WOW. I will be making all of these this coming weekend for our Nevada Day celebrations!

  2. says

    Some of our dinners growing up were family style, some weren’t… although as I got older, we would either serve ourselves or be able to say how much we wanted when being served from the cooking dishes. Those meals tended to be the ones that would be messy or annoying to transfer to the table – like my mom would have to take the spaghetti out of the strainer in the sink, for instance!

    Usually the side dishes would be on the table family style regardless, though.

    Oddly, my husband and I, despite everything else being totally different in our upbringings, both did the “plate-your-own” thing.

  3. says

    What a beautiful family Kristen! I completely agree. Most nights I put everything on our LARGE kitchen table and serve it family style. I’m sure we’ll be making our way through EVERY recipe in Pam’s book : )

  4. says

    How right you are love about family style meals. It’s amazing what you can discover over a basket full of biscuits being passed around the table. Great post and by the way…Oh My Word on the mac and cheese photo!!

  5. says

    You win! I’m totally tempted by the shells and cheese pic as well as the description of your sliders. What a fun idea! My friends and I were just moaning about how bored we all were with our current repertoire of recipes. I’m definitely checking Pam Anderson’s book out! Thank you!

  6. says

    Love your post, Kristen. I’m inspired by your idea to serve family style since we always tend to serve “buffet style.” Easier, faster but like you said, maybe we’re missing something. And, my dear, enough with the cheese….like Alison Moore Smith said before me, “It’s nearly midnight here and now you’ve made me hungry again!”

  7. says

    You’ve got adorable kids, Kristin!!
    Family style is such fun for everyone…we usually served things up in the kitchen…wish now I had done it like this.
    And ohhhhh…that gooey cheese!

  8. says

    Darling photos, my dear! I would love to start this tradition too. Maybe just on Sundays where we can have a Sunday dinner and then pass the food around the table. Of course this is bad for me because I have to resist temptation of having 2nds. Maybe it’s a good lesson!

  9. says

    We have been doing family-style serving since the kids were young – we provide the place for dinner, the food for dinner, but we allow them the space to chose what they eat. Sometimes they shock us – like the time my son wanted a big plate of Brussels sprouts, skipping the roast turkey and mashed potatoes. I love that my kids are in control of their bodies and can learn to stop eating when they are full.

  10. Erin Dedrickson says

    We made this dinner tonight & served it family style- it was AWESOME!!! One of our very favorite dinners this school year. The kids were so polite & everyone participated. My oldest son was so bummed when I told him what was for dinner (he’s not very apt to try new things) and then ended up eating 3 sandwiches!! Everyone was begging for more!! (And they all asked for family style dinners every night!) Thanks to all!!

  11. says

    I didn’t do justice to my last comment. My youngest, Nathan was my picky eater…. I’d prepare his plate and we’d sit down to eat, and he’d stare and want a peanut butter jelly sandwich….

    Later on, I learned to put all the food on the table. We’d all serve ourselves…and Nate would sit there with an empty plate…. And I’d say, “Son, just serve yourself whatever you want”…. No pressure, no nothing…. Well, he didn’t want NOT to eat, so he’d serve himself something, and before you know it…. He’s eating everything from spaghetti and meatballs to chicken satay on skewers with mildly hot peanut sauce….!

    Right now Nathan is on an exchange program in Taipei, Taiwan for his college, and eating everything…… ha ha ha ha

  12. says

    I cannot get this post out of my head, wondering if I should try this. I’m so impatient, especially with the messes made (bad me–I’m in awe of you). And I swear your youngest is younger then mine, right? (my youngest just turned 4) Hmmm… we also do mostly one pot meals that never leave the stove, but nonetheless am going to think on this.


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