Meatball Sliders

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Tender and flavorful meatballs with an incredible homemade marinara sauce made in the slow cooker. Add the meatballs and sauce to a slider roll, add cheese, and broil them to make the ultimate meatball sliders. These sliders are the perfect hearty meal or appetizer and are sure to please a crowd.

Pair these meatball sliders with a big Italian salad or this cucumber salad and garlic bread or homemade dinner rolls

Image of the meatball sliders on a plate ready to be eaten

The many uses for this recipe!

My whole family loves meatballs so when I make a huge batch of crockpot meatballs, I need other ways to use the leftovers. We’ll typically add the leftovers to a bed of pasta or meatball subs, but the most popular way to repurpose the meatballs are in slider form. 

While this recipe is admittedly a fair amount of work, you’ll have enough meatballs to make several meals. I’m always happy to put in a bit of extra work up front to benefit from it the rest of the week. And this recipe is just that kind of recipe. After making the initial meatball sliders, you can use the leftovers by serving them over pasta or spaghetti squash noodles, putting them on top of a pizza or sub roll, in a sturdy salad or lettuce wrap, or in a casserole.

Of course, if you’re feeding a crowd, you may not have leftovers, but this recipe does make the perfect meal if serving a lot of people at once.

Meatball slider tips

  • Don’t overmix: if you over handle the meat, it will make the meatballs tough. Mix until ingredients are JUST combined.
  • Roll all the meatballs the same size: make sure the meatballs are generally the same size so they cook evenly. Use a cookie scoop or measuring spoons to ensure sizes!
  • Use a microplane: I recommend grating Parmesan cheese and garlic on a microplane to get the best texture and even dispersion of ingredients in these meatballs.
  • Don’t forget to broil: once the meatballs and cheese are on the sliders, you’ll want to broil to melt the cheese and get the buns nice and toasty. 
  • Use good marinara: our favorite marinara ever is Rao’s; it’s so delicious! Another great alternative is to make your own. A good marinara makes all the difference with these meatball sliders 🙂

Up close image of the meatballs being put in marinara sauce for this meatball sliders recipe

How to make meatball sliders

Watch the video below for a quick overview: 

More delicious crockpot meals:

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Crockpot Meatball Sliders

0 from 0 votes
Tender and flavorful meatballs with an incredible homemade marinara sauce made in the slow cooker. Add the meatballs and sauce to a slider roll, add cheese, and broil them to make the ultimate meatball sliders. These sliders are the perfect hearty meal or appetizer and are sure to please a crowd.
Print Recipe

Crockpot Meatball Sliders

0 from 0 votes
Tender and flavorful meatballs with an incredible homemade marinara sauce made in the slow cooker. Add the meatballs and sauce to a slider roll, add cheese, and broil them to make the ultimate meatball sliders. These sliders are the perfect hearty meal or appetizer and are sure to please a crowd.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword crockpot meatballs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 20 Meatballs Sliders
Calories 250kcal

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 2 pounds ground beef (or ground chuck; OR use 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound Italian sausage)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I use whole)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Sauce

  • 1 container (42 ounces) Marinara/Pasta Sauce (I highly recommend Rao's!)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Seasoned salt and pepper
  • Sandwich buns, mozzarella cheese, unsalted butter

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, milk, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, and about 1 teaspoon seasoned salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Knead the mixture with your hands until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Move your oven rack to 4 inches from the top and set your oven to broil (550 degrees F).
  • Line a large tray with foil and spray generously with nonstick spray.
  • Form small meatballs (1 inch in size) until you have 60 meatballs.
  • Broil in the oven 3 minutes on each side. This helps to keep in the moisture and cook evenly in the crockpot.
  • Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray.
  • Add half of the meatballs to the crockpot. Cover with marinara sauce, minced garlic, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, onion powder, and about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each of seasoned salt and pepper. Add remaining meatballs.
  • Very gently stir until all the meatballs are coated in the sauce.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley if desired.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until fully cooked through (registers 160 degrees F with a thermometer). High setting not recommended.
  • When ready, slice buns in half and add meatballs and sauce on top. Add mozzarella cheese on top. Spread butter (about a teaspoon) on the "tops" of the buns. Place the loaded bun and top bun on a large sheet pan and broil sliders 4 inches away from the top for about 30 seconds to a minute watching carefully. Remove and place top on bottom and enjoy while nice and toasty!

Video

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 250kcal

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Nutrition facts in meatball sliders

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