These Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders are something special! The Super Bowl is upon us, so whether you watch for the football or the commercials, the focus will definitely shift to food when you break out these small-but-mighty sliders!
I don’t think my hometown team (Cleveland Browns) has a chance at playing in the Super Bowl anytime soon. Story of an Ohio sports fan’s life. My adopted home team (Arizona Cardinals) was so close this year! So, for me, the focus of this year’s game will be on the commercials – and the food, of course!
You really can’t beat Super Bowls food: the fun-sized portions, the comforting chilis, and the delectable dips. What’s not to love! Whether the people around you will pay attention to the game or not, you can make heads turn with these Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders – they’re perfect for a party — they’re hearty (and delicious), and you only need one hand to hold ‘em!
I’m no stranger to meatballs. I grew up eating them on most Sundays served along with spaghetti or rigatoni or, really, any pasta. They’re one of my favorite things (especially my mom’s), and there was nothing better than eating leftover meatballs is some sort of sandwich form. But I never had meatballs served atop a small bed of arugula, stuffed with a perfect bite of Mozzarella cheese, with warm sauce dripping onto the slider buns.
I know I’ll turn these sliders into a “Sunday special” every once in a while, Super Bowl or no Super Bowl. You can always freeze the extra if there’s no crowd!
Whether you’re entertaining, or just looking for a fun way to enjoy some easy-to-make, cheesy meatballs, this recipe for Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatball Sliders has you covered.
Looking for a different sort of meatball to serve? Try these Spanish-Style Meatballs — another recipe that is party-perfect!
These meatball sliders are perfect for a gathering! Even if you make them for a small group, you can always freeze the leftovers!
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground mild Italian sausage (or if using links, remove from casing and break apart)
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons diced white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 Mozzarella string cheese sticks, cut into 18 (1/2-inch) cubes
- 24 ounces marinara sauce, divided
- 12 ounces water
- 18 slices Provolone cheese (I cut the slices into smaller rounds to fit better over the meatballs, and saved the excess cheese for another use)
- Arugula leaves
- 18 (small-to-medium-sized) sandwich buns, cut in half vertically
- Aluminum foil
- Place the pieces of Mozzarella cheese in a sealable bag or a small container, and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and the sausage. Break the sausage into smaller pieces, if needed. Add 2 tablespoons of the marinara sauce, the egg, onion, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Mix well, using your hands, to combine.
- Shape the mixture into 1-1/2-inch balls, placing a piece of the chilled cheese in the middle of each.
- Add the oil to a large pan over medium heat. When hot, work in batches of three, add the meatballs to the pan and brown on all sides. This should take about 5 minutes per batch.
- Add a large pot or Dutch oven to medium heat. Add about 18-20 ounces of the marinara sauce, along with the meatballs. Add about 12 ounces of water to the pot, so the meatballs are covered.
- Cover partially with a lid, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- When the meatballs are finished cooking, turn the oven to broil. Cover a baking sheet with the aluminum foil and add the bottom portion of the buns to the pan.
- Add a layer of arugula to the buns, and top each with a meatball. Add a piece of Provolone cheese over each meatball.
- Place the pan under the broiler for just a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Keep a close watch on them so they don’t burn.
- Remove from the oven and top with a bit of the remaining marinara sauce, and garnish with a bit of Parmesan cheese.
- Serve warm topped with the remaining bun halves.
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