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These incredibly tasty pull-apart Meatball Sliders are like mini meatball subs stuffed into yummy buttery garlic bread! Made with super flavorful juicy homemade meatballs, toasted dinner rolls, and lots of cheese, they are the perfect easy appetizer for any event or gathering!
Easy Meatball Sliders Recipe
Imagine my Meatball Parmesan stuffed into Dinner Rolls that are brushed with lots of herby garlic melted butter! That’s basically what we’ve got here! And it’s unbelievably delicious. I like to think of this meatball sliders recipe as a take on an open-faced mini meatball sub that’s served like a sharable pull-apart appetizer. So they can be a little messy, yet I find them so fun! Perfect for parties!
However, these amazing sliders are so easy to make! The from scratch meatballs made with ground beef come together in under 30 minutes and I used both store-bought dinner rolls and marinara sauce to save time. But remember there are no rules in cooking, you could even make this recipe with leftover Italian Meatballs or frozen meatballs if you like. I just decided to make homemade meatballs.
So if you are looking for an easy appy that everyone will love, this recipe hits the mark. Whether you want to serve it at a game day gathering, potluck, or kid’s party, it is sure to be a winner. These sliders are cheesy, meaty, and garlicky good in every bite!
Why You’ll Love These Meatball Sliders
- Simple Recipe! This easy foolproof appetizer recipe requires no special skills and calls for a few store-bought ingredients, which helps to save time without compromising the taste.
- Cheesy Meaty Sliders! Juicy meatballs are plopped into buttery dinner rolls, topped with lots of cheese, and then baked to bubbly melted cheese perfection to make these delicious sliders.
- Party Favorite! These yummy pull-apart meatball stuffed cheesy sliders are a crowd pleaser that is easy to make. Perfect for any party, potluck, or family movie night.
- Butter – Unsalted, melted down to slather over our buns with.
- Garlic – Use as much or little as you like.
- Parsley – Fresh and chopped up for a great fresh herb-y butter sauce.
- Red pepper flakes – We want a bit of heat to our sliders, if you’re spice averse feel free to skip this ingredient.
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper.
- Chicken – Pick up some ground chicken at your local grocer.
- Onion – Finely chopped or grated with a metal cheese grater, one of my favorite little meatball tricks.
- Breadcrumbs – Panko is my crumb of choice but any kind will work.
- Parmesan – Freshly grated, believe me you’ll want to go for the fresh stuff.
- Parsley – Fresh chopped up. If using dry keep in mind that 1 teaspoon dried equals 1 tablespoon of the fresh stuff.
- Garlic – Use as much or little as you like.
- Eggs – The binder in our meatballs.
- Spices – Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes, that’s it!
- Seasoning – Salt and pepper to taste.
- Dinner rolls – I highly recommend using my Dinner Rolls recipe, but store bought will also work.
- Sauce – I used store bought marinara sauce.
- Cheese – Some good freshly grated mozzarella cheese to get all melty in our dish.
- Parsley – Fresh chopped up nice and fine. If using dry keep in mind that 1 teaspoon dried equals 1 tablespoon of the fresh stuff.
This recipe is really simple, but the results are so good! Just follow these easy steps and it will come out perfect. And if you’d like you can even make the meatballs a few days ahead of time and then assemble the sliders the day you’d like to serve.
Before you begin, you’ll need to preheat your oven temperature to 375°F (191°C) so that it’s hot and ready to bake. Then line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set them aside for now.
Now we need to prepare the garlic butter. To do so, simply whisk all the garlic butter ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Next, you need to prep the bread for the meatballs. First, use a sharp knife to cut holes in the top of each dinner roll just big enough to fill them with meatballs. Now, use a pastry brush to generously brush some of the butter mixture inside all of the rolls and place them on a baking sheet. Then transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and bake the rolls for 10 minutes or just until they begin to get crisp and brown a bit.
While the bread is toasting let’s begin making meatballs! To do this, just add all of the meatball ingredients to a large bowl. Then combine everything together really well with a wooden spoon or your hands. Now, form the meat mixture into about 12 equal size meatballs. While doing this step, try your best to make all the meatballs about the same size for even cooking.
Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (193°C). Spray the air fryer basket with a bit of cooking spray. Place the meatballs into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Spray the meatballs as well with a bit of cooking spray. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the center of the meatball reaches 165°F degrees.
Now, for the fun part! Building the yummy sliders! To begin, spoon about 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce into each toasted dinner roll hole and then place a meatball inside. Next, spoon another 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce over each meatball and then sprinkle all the rolls with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
Once the sliders have been topped with cheese, transfer them to the oven and bake them for about 10 minutes until the cheese is completely melted and bubbly. Then garnish them with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or fresh basil and some red pepper flakes. Now, serve the meatball sliders immediately and enjoy!
Why Do Meatballs Fall Apart?
When meatballs won’t hold together the problem is always with the binder. You’ve probably used too many breadcrumbs or too much egg. Basically, if they seem too wet add a little more of the breadcrumbs. If they are too dry add a bit more egg. However, when adding egg just beat an egg and add a little at a time or the meatballs will just become too wet.
Can I Bake The Meatballs?
Yes, of course! Put the formed meatballs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake them at 400°F (204°C) for 30 minutes. Then just continue following the recipe directions.
- Fresh breadcrumbs will really set this dish off so feel free to go in this direction if you’d like. This page is a great guide for making your own.
- If you find your meatballs are a bit dry, try cubing up some bread nice and small and soaking in a bit of milk before incorporating into the meatballs. This is a traditionally Italian way of ensuring moisture.
- You can use whichever protein you’d like for these meatballs! Feel free to try any of or a combination of ground chicken, turkey, pork or veal. Keep in mind, when using a different protein, the cook time may vary.
These meatball sliders are best enjoyed while fresh but you could store them in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. To reheat, you can place them on a baking sheet, straight from the oven and bake them at 350°F (176°C) for about 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through.
Other Delicious Meatball Recipes To Try
- Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy
- Swedish Meatballs
- Meatball Banh Mi Bowls
- Salisbury Steak Meatballs
- Firecracker Chicken Meatballs
For Garlic Butter
- Preheat the air fryer to 380°F. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- In a small bowl whisk together all the garlic butter ingredients.
- Using a sharp knife, cut holes in the top of each dinner roll, big enough to stuff a big meatball in it. Using a pastry brush, generously brush some of the garlic butter inside the rolls. Place the rolls on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes or until they just start to brown and crisp up.
- In a large bowl combine all the meatball ingredients together and shape the meat mixture into 12 equal size meatballs.
- Spray the air fryer basket with a bit of cooking spray. Place the meatballs into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Spray the meatballs as well with a bit of cooking spray. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the center of the meatball reaches 165°F degrees.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce into each dinner roll, then place a meatball inside each roll. Spoon another tablespoon or so of marinara sauce over each meatball then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the rolls.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese melts and is bubbly. Garnish the sliders with parsley, and red pepper flakes.
- Serve warm.
- These meatball sliders are best enjoyed while fresh but you could store them in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.
- You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. To reheat, you can place them on a baking sheet, straight from the oven and bake them at 350°F (176°C) for about 20 to 30 minutes or until heated through.
- These meatballs are also great with ground turkey, beef or pork.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.