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Meatball Sliders

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These easy, cheesy meatball sliders are the perfect marriage between meatball subs and Hawaiian roll sliders. Whip these up with homemade meatballs or frozen meatballs for a weeknight dinner or a game-day snack.

Close up of a meatball slider on a white plate with more sliders in the background.

There’s finally a crisp chill in the air in the mornings and the leaves are starting to turn, so you know what that means: fall is officially here!

It’s time to curl up with a slice of pumpkin bread, make a batch of slow cooker apple butter, and shop online for new sweaters.

It’s also tailgating season, and while I am not out here tailgating on a regular basis, I know a lot of people who are and they’re always looking for fun game-day foods.

Luckily, one of our new weeknight meals is also a perfect game-day snack. These meatball sliders are my newest slider recipe and are perfect for all the meatball sub fans out there.

Three meatball sliders arranged on a white plate next to a small ramekin of marinara sauce.

EASY HAWAIIAN ROLL MEATBALL SLIDERS

My family is really into Hawaiian roll sliders.

From ham and cheese sliders to pizza sliders to cheeseburger sliders, they’re a meal that I know all of us will happily enjoy.

And you know what? I’m totally happy with that, since they’re a super easy dinner. And they’re versatile and delicious!

Hawaiian rolls cut in half on a cutting board.

Our newest version uses homemade meatballs for a meal that is a meatball-sub take on sliders.

Meatballs, marinara, and melty cheese are piled on top of King’s Hawaiian rolls for all of the flavors of a meatball sub in a smaller, easier to eat form.

And don’t forget the garlic and herb butter that goes on top! It’s the perfect way to finish these off.

Serve these up as part of a game-day spread alongside spicy sausage dip and buffalo chicken dip, or turn them into a dinner with a big green salad and homemade ranch dressing and honey glazed carrots or garlic roasted green beans.

Garlic butter brushed on slider rolls in a baking pan.

HOW TO MAKE MEATBALL SLIDERS

Sliders are so fun and easy to make. They’re a great way to get kids involved in making dinner – they’ll love assembling these little sandwiches!

Ingredients you’ll need

Like so many of my slider recipes, these meatball sliders only use a handful of ingredients that I try to keep on hand as much as possible.

Marinara sauce spread on top of slider rolls for meatball sliders.

For the sliders, you’ll need:

You’ll also need to make the garlic butter:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 
  • pinch salt & pepper
Halved meatballs arranged on cheese-topped slider rolls for meatball sliders.

If you don’t have homemade meatballs on hand or don’t want to use them, you can use frozen, fully cooked meatballs instead. Thaw them fully and then proceed with the recipe as written.

You can also replace the quick marinara sauce with your favorite jarred marinara or pizza sauce.

Cheese on top of meatball sliders in a baking pan.

Making this recipe

Start by prepping the Hawaiian rolls by slicing them in half horizontally, the same way you would a bagel. Place the bottoms in a baking dish or on a sheet tray. Set the tops aside for now.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, adding the garlic and other ingredients and warming until the butter is nice and fragrant. 

Brush the garlic butter over the bottoms of the rolls. Top with some of the marinara sauce. You can add a lot of sauce if you like them nice and saucy or just a little – it’s all up to you!

Garlic butter being brushed on top of slider buns for meatball sliders.

Sprinkle on half of the cheeses, then add the meatballs.

You can either place a whole meatball on each bun or cut the meatballs in half and arrange them across the rolls. I usually cut them in half; I think this makes them easier to serve and eat.

Top the meatballs with the rest of the cheese. Spread more marinara on the tops of the rolls, then put the tops on the sliders.

Brush the rest of the garlic butter over the top of the sliders and bake until the cheese is melted and the tops are nice and golden. This should take about 15-20 minutes.

REHEATING INSTRUCTIONS

If you happen to have any meatball sliders left over, you can easily reheat them the next day. The best way to do this is in an oven or an air fryer.

Place the leftover sliders in the basket of an air fryer and cook at 375 degrees for about 5-10 minutes. I usually place them on a piece of foil just to keep the air fryer basket from getting dirty.

Alternatively, wrap them in foil and reheat in a 375°F oven for 10-15 minutes.

Give these meatball sliders a try while watching your favorite team this weekend or for dinner next week. You won’t be disappointed!

Three meatball sliders and a bowl of marinara sauce on a white plate.
Close up of meatball slider on a white plate.

Meatball Sliders

Yield: 24 sliders
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These easy, cheesy meatball sliders are the perfect marriage between meatball subs and Hawaiian roll sliders. Whip these up with homemade meatballs or frozen meatballs for a weeknight dinner or a game-day snack.

Ingredients

For the Garlic Butter:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • pinch salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly spray the inside of a 9”x13” baking dish with cooking spray. Cutting the rolls in half horizontally as you would a bagel and place the bottoms in the baking dish, setting the tops aside for later. 
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper and heat until fragrant. 
  4. Brush a light layer of the garlic butter on the bottoms of the rolls, followed by about ½ -2/3 cup of marinara sauce, depending on how saucey you want your sliders. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and parmesan evenly over the sauce. 
  5. Next, add the meatballs. You can either place a whole meatball on each slider bun or you can cut the meatballs in half and distribute them evenly across the rolls. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  6. On the cut side of the roll tops, spread another ½ to ⅔ cup of the marinara. Place the tops on the sliders. Brush the top of the sliders with the remaining garlic butter.
  7. Bake until heated through and the cheese is nice and melty, about 15-20 minutes .
  8. Serve with the remaining marinara as dipping sauce if desired.

Notes

Replace the homemade quick marinara sauce with a jar of your favorite marinara sauce or pizza sauce.

Replace the homemade meatballs with your favorite fully cooked frozen meatballs (thawed).

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on social! I want to see what you made! @jamiemba

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Chef Chantale

Friday 23rd of September 2022

Simply to say that I love the creativity of your recipes and the presentations. They are mouth-watering and simple to make. Easy to change some minor ingredients like using chicken or turkey meatballs for example. The grandkids are enjoying the meals when they visit. As a chef myself I rate this recipe a 10+. Well done! Chef Chantale

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