These party-perfect Cheesy Italian Meatball Sliders are loaded with tasty seasonings, melted cheese, and juicy meatballs. They’re easy to make, use simple ingredients, and can be prepared ahead of time.Jump to Recipe
Soft brioche buns filled with cheese, marinara, and a juicy meatball are what dreams are made of. The perfect game day snack, these Cheesy Italian Meatball Sliders are drool-worthy and full of the best savory flavors. The gooey stretch of melted mozzarella is the cherry on top of this delicious appetizer.
Instead of slicing the buns in half like a hamburger slider, we’re instead going to scoop out the top of the bun and stuff it with meatballs, marinara sauce, and cheese. How does it get better than that? Oh yeah, with garlic herb butter, Italian seasonings, and parmesan cheese all over!
Ingredients you need for Italian meatball sliders
- St. Pierre Bakery brioche sliders – These brioche buns are so soft, fluffy, and the perfect vessel to hold the cheesy meatballs in marinara sauce. You can find St. Pierre Bakery slider buns in your local grocery store bakery aisle.
- Frozen meatballs – Using premade frozen meatballs speeds up this recipe. Use an Italian variety to compliment the other ingredients. If you’re more of a fan of homemade meatballs, try making my Asian Pork Meatballs.
- Marinara sauce – Use your favorite storebought marinara sauce or season a can of crushed tomatoes with Italian seasonings like oregano, paprika, parsley, and salt and pepper.
- Garlic herb butter – This will dress the buns so each bite is savory, soft, and creamy.
- Cheese – Mozzarella cheese will melt on the inside of the sliders while the parmesan on top acts as the perfect garnish.
How to make meatball sliders
- Make the herbed garlic butter: Mix the butter and garlic together in a saucepan over low heat. Transfer the melted garlic butter to a bowl and mix with the parsley and salt.
- Cook the meatballs: In the same pot, add the meatballs and marinara sauce and cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Prepare the buns: Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut meatball-sized holes out of the buns. Place the buns on a baking sheet, brush each one with garlic butter (inside and out), and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Add the meat and cheese: Add mozzarella, one meatball, and marinara into each bun. Top with more cheese and bake. When the sliders are finished baking and the cheese has melted, finish each one with a sprinkle of parmesan and parsley before serving.
Tip and substitutions
- Not sure what to do with the leftover bread from the slider buns? Use the cut pieces of bread to make croutons in stuffing, a brussels sprouts salad, or to add to spaghetti.
- Use any kind of meatball you like. Italian flavored beef or pork meatballs will pair best with the savory marinara and cheese but you can lighten it up with turkey or chicken instead. To make it vegetarian-friendly, use meatless meatballs!
- You must pre-cook the meatballs before baking them in the sliders. Otherwise, they’ll be undercooked and not safe to eat.
Can meatball sliders be made ahead of time?
The sliders can be assembled ahead of time on the baking sheet. Just cover them well in foil and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
The sliders are best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the oven. Storing any leftovers in the fridge will make the buns soggy.
More party appetizers to try
Whether you need more party snacks or an exciting appetizer, these recipes will do the trick:
If you try these Cheesy Italian Meatball Sliders, let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Cheesy Italian Meatball Sliders
- 12 brioche sliders center removed, or use hawaiian rolls
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 4 tbsp garlic finely chopped
- 2 tbsp parsley or fresh basil plus more for garnish, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 12 meatballs
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small pot, melt the butter with the garlic. Once the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, add them to a small bowl along with the chopped parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- In the same pot, add the meatballs and marinara sauce. Cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut out holes in the tops of the brioche sliders (big enough to fit 1 meatball). Don’t cut all the way through. Remove the center of the brioche slider.
- Brush garlic herb butter in each cutout and on top of the sliders. Bake for 5 minutes uncovered.
- Remove the sliders from the oven. Divide 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese in each opening, one meatball per slider with some sauce. Top with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese mixed with chopped parsley. Enjoy while they are hot.