Easy Meatball Sliders are the answer to a quick weeknight dinner or game day food for a crowd. Great way to use up leftover marinara sauce and a bonus is you can freeze the meatballs and sauce for another meal.
I’m all for simmering homemade marinara sauce all day long either stovetop or in the crockpot. I also simmer the jarred variety (seasoned with spices and herbs with added sauteed onions, garlic, and peppers) on the stovetop or in the crockpot for a couple of hours when time is of the essence.
There’s nothing better than a plate of pasta with a delicious sauce over it unless you failed to have pasta in your pantry when it was time to make it! Yep. I don’t even know how THAT happened! Never ever have I been out of pasta of any shape or kind!
Plan B had to come into action. Since I had my homemade meatballs simmering the sauce, the perfect solution was meatball sliders. I did have a package of slider buns in the pantry. It was a hit and they were delicious. No one even realized we weren’t having spaghetti and meatballs.
- ½ green pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jars (26 oz each) of your favorite marinara sauce
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 lb ground beef (I use 90% lean)
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup oatmeal (or Panko bread crumbs)
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup diced fresh basil (chiffionade the basil and then chop into smaller pieces)
- 12 slider buns
- 12 slices of provolone cheese
- Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and green bell peppers. Saute till softened, about 3 minutes and then add the garlic.
- Cook for about 30 seconds more. Add in the marinara sauce, Italian seasoning and ground pepper. Stir to combine and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and let simmer for at least an hour but not more than 2 hours.
- While the sauce is simmering:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. For this batch, I used the Panko bread crumbs. Usually I use oatmeal but I didn’t have any on hand this time.
- Form the ground beef mixture into 1½ inch balls.
- Place on prepared baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 - 30 minutes, or till done.
- Remove from pan and add to sauce and continue to simmer sauce and meatballs. At this point, the sauce should have at least 30 minutes to 1 hour left to simmer.
- Preheat the broiler. Place slider buns, open side up onto a baking sheet. Place in broiler and lightly toast the buns. Remove from oven.
- Add two meatballs per bun and top each slider with a slice of provolone cheese and serve.
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