Eli Manning explains why Slider Sunday is his family’s tradition, interview

Eli Manning and Peyton Manning celebrate Slider Sunday with Kings Hawaiian, photo provided by Kings Hawaiian
Eli Manning and Peyton Manning celebrate Slider Sunday with Kings Hawaiian, photo provided by Kings Hawaiian /

After spending many Sundays on the gridiron, Eli Manning has a new weekend tradition. Slider Sunday is a time where the whole family can gather, enjoy a satisfying meal, and regroup for another busy week ahead.

While the Manning name is synonymous with football, Eli Manning understands that rivalry never overtakes camaraderie. Even though the occasional jokes can get a hearty laugh, that family time is the foundation of a strong relationship.

As a father and husband, he understands that the concept of busy is an apt calendar description. Even though one weekend day might be full of kids’ sports and activities, Sunday is different. It is time to put some food on the table, gather, and dig into that Slider Sunday tradition.

Through his partnership with King’s Hawaiian, Manning shows that the slider is both a tailgating tradition and a favorite family meal. From the ample customizations to the simple concept, the focus can go back to what is most important, spending time with friends and family.

Eli Manning and Peyton Manning for slider Sunday Kings Hawaiian
Eli Manning and Peyton Manning celebrate Slider Sunday with Kings Hawaiian, photo provided by Kings Hawaiian /

During a recent conversation with FoodSided, Manning shared his thoughts on tailgating, his favorite Slider Sunday recipe, and where his football loyalties lie.

When asked why he thought football tailgating is integral to the fan experience, Manning said, “It is an opportunity to come together with family, friends, and other sports fans. Some people have been going to those games since they were kids and sitting in the same section with other people. Those people, that spot, those moments have become tradition.”

“For others, that tradition or ritual can happen at home. We do not always get to have a tailgate but we do backyard barbecuing on Sundays, our Slider Sunday. We invite family and friend over to hang out, watch games, and enjoy some sliders made with King’s Hawaiian.”

For Manning, today’s Sunday traditions look a little different from his past. As he explained, “for many years, Sunday was playing games and sometimes missing out on that family time. Now with my four kids, we’re running around with their activities. We make Sunday a priority. It is all about creating simple moments that can become special memories.”

As many parents can appreciate, getting the whole family around the table to enjoy a meal can be almost as difficult as converting on a 3rd and long in the fourth quarter. One of the reasons why the Manning household chooses the slider is because of the recipe adaptability.

Manning explained, “you can customize a slider in almost any way. Whether it is a turkey ranch slider that I like, a sloppy joe, or something spicy, there is an option for everyone. And, my kids will even just eat those King’s Hawaiian rolls.”

Turkey Ranch Sliders Eli Manning Slider Sunday
Eli Manning service King’s Hawaiian Turkey Ranch Sliders on Slider Sunday, photo provided by King’s Hawaiian /

Speaking of that Turkey Ranch Slider recipe, here’s how to make the Eli Manning version.


  • 1 pack of King’s Hawaiian Pretzel Slider Buns
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 (1 oz package) Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 5 sliders sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bottle Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and cut into rings
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 3 rounds each
  • 4 lettuce leaves, torn into slider sized pieces
  • 9 skewers


  • Butter inside of top and bottom bun using 3 tbsp of butter. Toast on a griddle until golden brown.
  • In a bowl, mix ground turkey, Worcestershire, dry ranch mix and pepper. Form into 9 3’’ patties of equal size and thickness.
  • Fold cheese slices in half and then in half again to make 4 even pieces. Use 2 pieces per slider.
  • Preheat grill to medium high. Brush the tops and bottoms of the sliders with oil to prevent them from sticking. Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Flip sliders and cook for 3 minutes. Top with cheese and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Remove from grill and rest for 2 minutes. Turkey burger must reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Spread 1 teaspoon of ranch dressing on the inside top and bottom of each bun.
  • Top the bottom bun with lettuce leaf. Place slider on top of lettuce. Top with slice of tomato and red onion slice.
  • Cover with top half of bun. Secure each slider with a skewer.

Since a great slider often gets some of its flavor from the grill, Manning shared a little secret about his grilling knowledge. He said, “I learned to grill from my mom. My dad was not the griller; he was not good at it. Now that I’ve taken over, we’re just at the basics of teaching the kids. My wife and girls do a lot of baking and that is special bonding time for them.”

“I think that so many great memories are formed around food.” – Eli Manning

Although Eli Manning did not have many football superstitions growing up, he did recall that his mom always made pancakes on Friday mornings before a game. That idea might not have carried over to Giants games, but it is an idea that he does in his house for his kids. He hopes that some of those food traditions carry over to flavor their memories as they get older.

While the Eli Manning family will always pull for the NY Giants, he appreciates the sport of football. Manning enjoys those moments explaining to his son the nuances of the game. Whether it is rooting for a specific team or just appreciating a great game, that time together is something he cherishes.

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