These meatball parmesan sliders stuff a tender roll smothered in garlic butter with hearty meatballs, rich marinara, and lots of cheese. They are great for a filling appetizer or an easy and super delicious dinner. Prepped in only a couple of minutes and bake and forget, these are a go to for a crowd pleasing meal!
Meatball Sliders – The EASY Way!
Meatball sliders are one of those recipes that is kind of good for everything! They are perfect for a hearty appetizer, but are also a huge win for dinner. You can make enough to feed a crowd, or scale down for feeding just a couple of people. The best news is there are also very simple to make and only require a few ingredients.
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Appetizer or dinner! Because the sliders are small they make a great, hearty, appetizer to serve to a group, or you can serve a couple together as an entree for an easy dinner idea!
- Lots of flavor! The Kings Hawaiian meatball sliders may be small but they are loaded with many layers of comforting flavors.
- Scalable for family- Just as easy to make for a few people as it is to make for a crowd
- Crowd Pleaser – These flavors are universally well-loved making the Meatball Sliders perfect for kids, hungry teens, or adults
What to Serve with Hot Sliders
These Italian inspired sliders are the perfect heavy appetizer or as an entree. When served as an appetizer, they are hearty enough to be served on their own but could also be accompanied by any of these other delicious appetizers.
Side Dish Ideas
When serving these easy Hawaiian roll Meatball Sliders as a main dish, you can pair them with any of these simple side dishes to create a filling meal.
- Mashed Potatoes
- Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Caesar Pasta Salad
- Quick Green Beans – There are 5 flavor options in this recipe, but my favorite for the meatball sliders is Pan Roasted Green Beans with Bacon.
- Oven Roasted Vegetable Medley
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well-rounded dinner.
This mini meatball slider recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few minutes of prep for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
For the sandwiches
- Kings Hawaiian rolls – I prefer these because they are SUPER SOFT and the sweetness of the bread really makes a great flavor profile. My favorite part is that two 12 packs of Hawaiian Rolls fit snugly in a 9×13 pan. You can also use plain white dinner rolls, or wheat dinner rolls in this recipe if you prefer. My kids love these softness and hint of sweet in these rolls though.
- Meatballs – For ease and convenience, I use frozen meatballs in these sliders. To make meatball sliders on Hawaiian rolls with frozen meatballs there is no need to thaw or pre-cook them.
If you prefer to brown them, you can saute them first in a skillet. You can also make homemade meatballs using my Italian Turkey Meatball recipe. It is all up to you and how much time you have!
- Marinara Sauce – Pick your favorite jarred variety! You can use almost any brand or flavor. Traditional marinara is what I pick, but a herb blend, cheesy sauce, meat sauce, or others will work just as well in this recipe.
- Cheese – I like to use shredded mozzarella and parmesan. It is even better to use freshly shredded because it melts better. You could also use an Italian blend cheese instead of mozzarella and parmesan.
For the Garlic Butter Topping
- Butter– I use salted, but unsalted can also work.
- Garlic– I prefer paste but you can use minced, crushed, or pressed garlic. It will work as long as it is in small pieces and not larger chunks.
- Basil – Fresh basil is wonderful to mix into the butter but dried basil will work too.
- Thyme – Fresh is best but dried will also work.
- Red Pepper Flakes – This mostly adds flavor, not heat, but you could omit this or adjust it to meet your preferred spice level.
- Cut- before and after! I prefer to cut a hole in the top of each roll so each meatball can nestle in nicely. You can also cut the rolls horizontally and place the meatballs inside.
- Scale– This recipe makes 24 small slider sandwiches in a 9×13 baking dish. If you prefer, you can cut the recipe in half to make 12 small slider sandwiches. You can use a 9×9 square baking dish for a half recipe. Or it can be doubled to use 2 9×13 pans for a crowd
- Toast the rolls with the garlic butter – This helps to soften the rolls and also seal the bread to prevent them from being overly soggy from the marinara sauce.
- Cheese first! By layering the cheese on the bottom of the rolls, it creates a little cheesy pocket for the meatball to be nestled in and also helps the marinara sauce from just soaking into the roll as it bakes. .
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make these parmesan meatball sliders but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Assemble beforehand– You can assemble the bread, meat, and cheese, as well as cut the rolls, then tightly wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate them up to 24 hours in advance. Just keep the sauce separate until ready to bake.
- Mix the butter beforehand – You can mix up the garlic butter up to 3 days in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator. Once ready to use, microwave until melted and stir to combine.
- Use frozen – Meatball sliders with frozen meatballs are just as tasty and you save time not having to make or thaw meatballs. Simply pull out of the freezer and start assembling.
If you love this easy meatball sliders recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Honey BBQ Sliders – To make these, simply swap out the marinara for honey BBQ sauce or your favorite sauce.
- French Onion Sliders– For French onion, omit the marinara sauce and make the butter with onion soup mix instead of basil and thyme.
- Buffalo Ranch Sliders– Try making sliders with my Buffalo Ranch Chicken Meatballs. Then you can brush them with buffalo sauce and dip them in buffalo ranch.
Meatball Parmesan Slider Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making these baked meatball sliders, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate them into meal-sized portions and then place them in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer for up to a month
More Simple Dinner Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy Dinner recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- Honey BBQ Meatballs (Crock Pot recipe!)
- Bacon Cheeseburger Rice Casserole
- Million Dollar Baked Chicken
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Cheesy BBQ Chicken Bake
- 24 Kings Hawaiian Rolls, (2 12pk packages)
- 24 meatballs, You can use frozen or fresh
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
For the garlic butter
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
- Make the garlic butter by combining all of the ingredients and mixing well.
- Arrange the rolls in a 9×13" pan so that they fit snugly. Use a serrated knife to cut a hole out of the middle of each roll. Brush the tops and side the hole with the garlic butter mixture evenly. Bake for 6-8 minutes to melt the butter and toast the rolls. Then remove from oven.
- Mix the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Use half the cheese to place a small amount in each of the holes in the rolls. Stuff a meatball into the hole on top of the cheese, then top the meatball with a dollop of sauce. Sprinkle the remaining half of the cheese over the top of the sandwiches.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are hot and the cheese is melted.