Appetizers, Beef & Pork, Food

Mini Meatball Sliders with Pesto

Mini Meatball Sliders with Pesto 2

Sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging.

And that’s a good thing.  Life should always come first.

However, my other problem is that laziness also gets in the way of blogging.  I’ve had this post ready with the pictures for the last week.  All I had to do was add a few words of commentary, but I just couldn’t do it until now.

Oh well.  Apologies all around.

Mini Meatball Sliders with Pesto 4

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  I know I did.  I thoroughly enjoyed the extra time at home to relax and eat.  And basically do nothing else besides sleep.  No cooking, cleaning, (wait, who am I kidding…I never do any cleaning anyway!) or constantly running after my little girl.  Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed the extra time with her, and I had a little break.

Speaking of running after her, she is definitely on-the-move now.  She walks everywhere on her own, pretty well, although she is still a bit wobbly.  She usually doesn’t like you to hold her hand anymore, so while this new independence could be a little sad, I’m counting my blessings.  And pretending like I have some freedom.  Only I don’t, because she mostly just walks in circles around me.  Oh well, it’s a start, right?

Mini Meatball Sliders with Pesto 3

I’m finally getting around to posting my favorite appetizer of my daughter’s party.  These sliders are some of the tastiest party food ever created.

The mini meatball sliders will keep you coming back for more. They are a reason to come to a party. Yes, they are that delicious.

The soft bread, paired with tender meatballs, covered in a smooth marinara contrasts with the spunky pesto to create a terrific flavor combination.  I might even be so bold as to say they were my favorite foods there. (Of course, this doesn’t include the cupcakes because I could never love a savory food quite as much as a dessert…or at least I could never admit it.)

Also, I can’t say enough about the marinara sauce.  Definitely don’t skip this part; it’s so easy because the meatballs cook in the sauce.  It’s not even like you are adding another step.

Mini Meatball Sliders with Pesto

Mini Meatball Sliders with Pesto
Author: Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: about 20-30 sliders
The soft bread, paired with tender meatballs, covered in a smooth marinara contrasts with the spunky pesto to create a terrific flavor combination.
Ingredients
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces tomato puree
  • 24 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • For the meatballs:
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, divided
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground meat (I used venison)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • For the sliders:
  • 20-30 Mini hamburger buns (I used <a href=”http://www.therookiecook.com/2013/09/quick-easy-homemade-whole-wheat-hamburger-buns.html”>this recipe</a> and just made much smaller buns)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup prepared pesto sauce
  • 5 slices mozzarella cheese (I split each slice into 6 little squares)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat oil and saute onion until tender. Add garlic and cook one minute longer. Add in rest of sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered for 1 – 2 hours.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup panko and milk. Let stand 10 minutes. Add all other meatball ingredients. Form into small meatballs (about 1 inch across). When the sauce has 45 minutes left to cook, add the meatballs. Cover and simmer until cooked through.
  3. To assemble sliders: Cut slider buns in half and toast in a 400° preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted and crispy. Cut meatballs in half and place both halves on one side of the bun. Top with warm marinara sauce (about 2 teaspoons – 1 Tablespoon) and small square of cheese. Repeat with remaining sliders and meatballs. Remove bread tops and place sliders back in oven for about 5 minutes longer, or just until the cheese is melted. Top with 1 teaspoon pesto and the slider bun tops. Serve immediately.
  4. (I prepared the meatballs, sauce, and buns ahead of time, so when the party came, all I had to do was assemble the sandwiches.)

1 thought on “Mini Meatball Sliders with Pesto”

  1. You re right that they re the perfect size too; sometimes an entire normal-sized sub can be too big when you have something as heavy as meatballs in it. Great party idea! I love the addition of pesto to these sliders!

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