Meatball Sub Sliders

A white plate loaded with meatball sub sliders that are topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Meatball Sub Sliders to the rescue! Slider recipes made with hamburger (ground beef) are always a big hit with my family and at gatherings with friends. Slider sandwiches are quick and easy to make ahead of time, baking them when needed. We especially like slider recipes that include Hawaiian rolls.

Meatball Sub Sliders Recipe

Cheesy meatball sliders in a baking pan.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We?? 🙂

Everybody seems crazy for sliders, and my family is part of the craze. Sliders make a great appetizer addition for any gathering, a fun and tasty little treat you can pick up with your fingers and devour in seconds.

This slider recipe is unique in the fact that instead of slicing the rolls (or buns) into a top and a bottom, you leave the sheet of rolls in tact and connected to each other. Then, using your fingertips, you remove the center of each roll to create a space for the marinara and meatball to rest. Super fun!

Because I live in a house of carnivores and because we raise beef cattle, meat dishes around here are the norm. Juicy Cast Iron Skillet Steak is one of our favorites, as are Air Fryer Marinated Steak Bites.

A new favorite which features Asian flavors, is Korean Beef Bulgogi. My guys were skeptical when I first made this dish, but as it turns out, they gave it a big thumbs-up. My personal Asian favorite is Asian Meatball Subs – talk about flavorful!

3 good reasons to love this recipe –

  1. Sliders are a fun-size version of a burger.
  2. Make ’em ahead and bake ’em when it’s time to eat.
  3. Nobody can eat just one!

What ingredients do you need to make Meatball Sub Sliders?

  • Hawaiian rolls
  • Olive oil
  • Frozen meatballs
  • Marinara
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan, if desired

How to Make Meatball Sub Sliders in 4 Easy Steps –

  1. Unwrap the rolls and place them as a sheet into a greased 9 x 13 pan; use you fingers to gently pull the center from each roll, leaving the sides and bottom in tact; brush the inside of each roll with a bit of olive oil. Spoon a bit of marinara into the center of each hole.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the meatballs in a bit of hot oil in a skillet; place a browned meatball into the marinara in each roll, then top with a bit more marinara, giving the marinara a good sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cover with foil.
  3. Bake the sub sliders, covered, in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 15 minutes, then remove the cover and sprinkle the subs with mozzarella. Continue to bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes, or until the cheese melted and the subs are hot throughout. Sprinkle with more Parmesan, if desired.
  4. Use a pizza cutter to slice the subs apart, then serve at once. Enjoy!
How to make meatball sub sliders in just a few steps.

Common Questions Asked About
This Recipe

What tools are helpful for making meatball sub sliders?

Why does the recipe instruct to brown the meatballs if they are already pre-cooked?

  • Great question! When we cook, brown is never a color – it’s a flavor! Anytime we can cook something in a bit of hot oil to amp up the browning, we are adding tons of FLAVOR.
  • Browning the meatballs is a very worthwhile step even though it does add a bit more time to making the subs. If you skillet and the oil are nicely hot, you can brown the meatballs in just a minute or two.

If I don’t have olive oil on hand for brushing the rolls and browning the meatballs, can I use vegetable or canola oil instead?

Absolutely – any oil works great for browning.

Can I make my own meatballs for this recipe instead of using the frozen pre-cooked meatballs?

  • You sure can. Just be sure the meatballs are fully cooked BEFORE adding them to the marinara sauce in the rolls – raw meatballs won’t work for make these sliders.

Can I freeze Meatball Sub Sliders?

Yes. I like to assemble the sliders and put them in the freezer to bake later. If you do this, don’t thaw the sliders before baking them since the slider bread will become soggy when defrosting. Instead, bake the sliders from frozen at 325 degrees F. for an additional 10-15 minutes longer than the recipe directs.

More Favorite Recipes to Enjoy –

Baked Meatball Sub Sliders topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Printable Meatball Sub Sliders Recipe

A white plate loaded with meatball sub sliders that are topped with melted mozzarella cheese.

Meatball Sub Sliders

Meatball Sub Sliders to the rescue! Slider recipes made with hamburger (ground beef) are always a big hit with my family and at gatherings with friends. Slider sandwiches are quick and easy to make ahead of time and we especially like slider recipes that include Hawaiian rolls.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 sliders
Calories: 216kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg pkg. Hawaiian rolls (or any soft rolls or slider buns) 12 count
  • 12 frozen meatballs thawed (these should be the fully-cooked type of meatballs)
  • olive oil for browning meatballs and brushing rolls
  • 3/4 – 1 cup of your favorite marinara depending how saucy you prefer the sliders
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese for sprinkling, if desired
  • 1/2 – 1 cup shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place the package of Hawaiian rolls into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Using your fingers, gently pull the center from each roll, leaving the bottom and sides in tact and making the hole just a little bigger than your meatballs; brush the center of each roll with a bit of olive oil. Now, spoon a tablespoon of marinara into the center of each roll.
  • Meanwhile, over medium – medium high heat, cook the meatballs in a bit of olive oil just until browned on all sides. Place a browned meatball into the marinara inside each roll. Spoon a little more marinara over the top of each meatball, then sprinkle with Parmesan, as desired.
  • Bake, covered, on the center rack of the oven for 15 minutes; remove the covering and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, followed by more Parmesan, if desired. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes, or until hot throughout and the cheese is nicely melted.
  • Use a pizza cutter to slice the sub sliders apart, then serve at once.
Course: Appetizers, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: beef sliders, easy, ground beef, hamburger, sandwiches, sub sandwiches

Nutrition

Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 553mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 272IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 186mg | Iron: 2mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

5 stars
This looks so good!!!! I can’t wait to make this !!!

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