Football Snacks: Pull-Apart Chopped Cheese Garlic Knots

The ubiquitous “chopped cheese” sandwich is not well, ubiquitous, in many other areas of the country outside of NYC. It’s very similar to a cheeseburger in it’s overall flavor profile and ingredient base, so let’s run with that.

The chopped cheese sandwich is chopmeat cooked on a flat top grill, mixed with onions, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and ketchup on a hero. I was craving one after a night of way too much champagne, but I had to find a way to make it football-ized. Aka, bite size, pop in your mouth, and ideally pairs well with a nice beer. Enter: the garlic knot.

These are…so addictive. A lot of times when I create recipes, I’m blown away by my own creativity. I know, I should be more modest, but sometimes I have to be proud of myself.

So, here you go. I seriously need you to try these for your next game day party. You will thank me later, I promise. You need a 10-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe, but I suppose you could use a standard oven-safe skillet too.

Chopped Cheese Garlic Knots

  • 1 lb/small pizza dough
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 slices American cheese, cut into small pieces (for melting and distribution purposes)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus a little more for drizzling)
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup shredded Iceberg lettuce
  • Flour for dusting

Chopped Cheese Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sweet relish
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Heat butter and olive oil in your cast iron skillet over medium heat until butter melts. Add the ground beef and cook until almost cooked through.
  3. Add the onions and garlic, and stir to combine. Onions should be translucent and the garlic extra fragrant. This is the part where your house will smell INCREDIBLE.
  4. Add half of the American cheese and melt into the burger mixture. Turn off the heat and transfer to a large bowl. DON’T CLEAN THE SKILLET. YOU WANT THAT BURGER GREASE AND CHEESE REMNANTS IN THERE.
  5. While the burger mixture is cooling, make the knots. Roll out the dough and cut into long strips (about 12 inches). Cut the strips in half and make knots of each one. Transfer them to the bowl with the burger mixture and toss together with your hands (if the mixture is still too hot, use a large spoon or spatula) to coat every knot. If you need to add a drizzle of more olive oil to loosen the burger mixture a little, go for it. I had to.
  6. Place in the cast iron skillet in a single layer, moving around the pan in a circle. Add the other half of the cheese on top and cover with foil. Let rise a little more for an hour or two, if you have the time. If you don’t, you can just remove the foil and pop them in the oven now for about 15 mins. I’ve done both and they taste great either way.
  7. While they are baking, make the dipping sauce. Mix ketchup, mayo, relish and salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  8. When the cheese on top is lightly browned and the knots are golden, remove from oven. Brush the knots immediately with more olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped tomatoes and lettuce.
  9. Serve with the dipping sauce. AND SAVOR EVERY MOMENT.

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