So, I don't know where it came from, but I've had this mad craving for some Italian meatballs for months!! Unfortunately lately I haven't been able to knock off many new meals from my ever-growing list. My kids are in this picky rut and I hate it!! I also refuse to feed them mac and cheese from a box every single day so I am rotating a few
So, I finally put my foot down and made these Italian meatballs the other night...and then made everyone eat them. And to my and their surprise, they all liked them! Whaddya know ha! I actually had my toddler help me make these. Her favorite part was grinding the fennel in the mortar and pestle. The meat mixture smelled AMAZING while we were getting it together. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth in.
I decided to make these meatballs slider size, using my muffin scoop to portion them out, and serve them on whole wheat dinner rolls because we have little mouths in this house and I knew they wouldn't eat more than that. You can definitely make them bigger or smaller and serve them on larger rolls if desired. Anyway you make them, they'll be a new favorite. They are nice and moist with just the right amount of seasoning.
Italian Meatball Sliders
for the meatballs:
1 lb. ground beef
3/4-1 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fennel seed (if you have a mortar and pestle crush them a bit but don't pulverize them)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
for the sauce:
1 recipe Easy No-Cook Pizza Sauce
for the sliders:
chopped fresh basil or parsley for garnish (optional)
12 whole wheat dinner rolls
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl add all meatball ingredients. Use your hands to mix everything together until ingredients are well-incorporated.
Line a cookie sheet with a silicone baking mat. Using a muffin scoop, scoop out meat mixture and place onto cookie sheet. Flatten slightly, if desired, so they will will not roll off your bun. Continue until all meat mixture us used up. Makes about 12 meatballs.
Bake meatballs for 15 minutes. In the meantime, make sauce. Pour sauce into large skillet and heat over medium heat. Once meatballs are cooked, remove from cookie sheet and place them in the skillet with the sauce. Simmer, covered about 10 minutes.
To assemble sliders, cut buns in half and place under broiler for 2-3 minutes or until they just start to get golden. Place a meatball on one half of each of the buns, a pinch of mozzarella and parmesan then put it back under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven garnish with fresh basil or parsley and serve warm. Use any extra sauce left in the pan to dip the sliders.