Meatball Sliders

Meatball Sliders
Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 9 servings


2teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2teaspoon crushed fennel seed
1/4teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano, plus additional
2tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
1teaspoon kosher salt
1/4teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2pound 80 percent lean ground beef
1/2pound ground pork
1 (24-ounce) jar tomato-basil sauce or marinara
18 party-size potato rolls or slider buns
Whole fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute more. Stir in crushed fennel seed and red pepper; remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 450F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine egg, breadcrumbs, Pecorino, parsley, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in cooled onion mixture, add beef and pork; combine gently by hand. Add 1/4 cup water and combine gently again. Roll into 18 meatballs; arrange on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes.
  4. Bring sauce to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add cooked meatballs; stir gently. Arrange sliced buns on a platter; place a basil leaf on each bottom half. Top with meatballs, and sprinkle with additional Pecorino, if desired.