Healthy Crockpot Meatball Sliders…OMG

I had HUGE plans to watch E’s live from the red carpet at the Golden Globes and then watch the entire show.  I was SO excited to see Tina and Amy do their thing.  They are both so awesome, my love for them is borderline creepy but I don’t have the time or resources to hide in their bushes and spy on them at home so they really have nothing to worry about.

I decided to make crockpot meatball sliders for two reasons…one, because I knew the only way I was going to be able to watch 6 hours of TV was if I used my crock pot to make dinner and two, because crockpot meatball sliders are DA BOMB…holler!  (I’m so sorry about that.)

Most people don’t reach for a meatball sandwich when they want something healthy for dinner, but if you make your own meatballs you can do just that…you can change a meatball’s destiny.  I have no idea how I came up with this recipe (or that meatball destiny thing)…it’s pretty traditional but I use lean meats and my brother says they taste just like my grandma’s, good enough for me!

Here are the ingredients you will need for the meatballs…

1 pound lean ground beef (sirloin or leaner)
1 pound ground turkey
1 large egg

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 white onion – diced small
1 bunch parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

You will also need…

1 large jar marinara sauce
super thin sliced provolone
REALLY good rolls 

Before you do anything, get the crockpot out and pour your favorite marinara sauce in it and set it on high to heat it up.  If you want to make your own sauce then you are a rockstar and I salute you, but I wanted to watch the Golden Globes remember?!

There are so many good jarred sauces out there nowadays…I like a brand called Mid’s, here it is.

I also like the following brands…

Francesco Rinaldi – I used to buy this religiously but it disappeared from my grocery store a few years ago…very sad

Whole Foods 365  – For a “store” brand, this is pretty freaking good

Kirkland’s (at Costco)…I haven’t had this but it gets great reviews

Giada DeLaurentiis for Target…that biotch makes a mean marinara

Use what you love…and then tell me about it!

Pre-heat your oven to 350°F and then put all of the above ingredients in a large bowl…like this.

I used to grate the onion…grating an onion isn’t as fun as it sounds.  It actually sucks big time…if you chop it up and then whack at it some more with a knife you will get pieces that are small enough.

Now this is where some of you might peace out on me, but you MUST do this in order to make the perfect meatball…you gotta get your hands in there and mix it all up.  You are permitted to wear plastic gloves for this operation if raw meat bothers you but don’t even try using a utensil, it ain’t gonna work.  You want to massage the meat (oh dear) for a good 5 minutes to get everything incorporated.

Next it’s time to make the balls.  For meatball sandwiches, you want decent sized balls (everyone stop giggling!)…about 2 inches around is good.  You can place the meatballs directly on a baking sheet but for some reason I like to put a cooling rack on the baking sheet and then place the meatballs on the rack.  I would say I do this to catch the fat that drips down off the meatballs but you will find with these that nothing drips off because they’re so lean.  I really do this because I’ve convinced myself they cook better that way (this is probably not true so don’t listen to me).

By some miracle, I always manage to get 20 perfect meatballs out of this recipe…here’s the proof.


Now throw them (not literally) in the oven and let them bake for 20-25 minutes.  The goal here is not to cook them all the way through, we’re just trying to brown the outside.

Here is what they look like right out of the oven…OMG

Now plop (yes plop) them into the sauce that’s been heated in your crockpot.  Turn the heat to low and make sure all the meatballs are covered with some sauce, you will have to stir them around a little.  Let them swim in there for about 2 hours and they’re done.

Let’s talk about rolls…I am fortunate enough to live near a grocery store that rents space to a local bakery called “Bit of Swiss”…their bread and rolls are fresh baked everyday and don’t contain any junk, if you’re buying bread products whose ingredient list takes you more than 5 seconds to read then you’re buying crappy bread.

I do like to buy a few different types of rolls and then put them in a big bowl so people can grab what they like…

Regardless of what type of roll you use, you’re going to want to make a little nest for your precious meatballs to hang out in…this prevents the meatball from shooting out the end of your sandwich when you take a bite.  You can discard the extra bread, or you can dip it in the sauce and eat it…I would love to say I do the former but I have no willpower. 

For the cheese, I usually buy super thin sliced provolone because it melts so nicely as soon as you put your sandwich together.  Here is the final product…

I like these “slider” rolls because it means I can eat two meatball sandwiches and not feel bad about it…

So, I ended up watching about 20 minutes of E’s red carpet coverage and about 6 minutes of the Golden Globes…not because I was making meatballs, those took barely any time at all to put together.  Actually, it turns out that I have three children so I don’t get to watch TV…I totally forgot.

I hope you give these meatball sandwiches a try…and if you get to watch TV while eating these meatball sandwiches then I’ll be really happy for you, I won’t be jealous at all…I swear.

The Good Cooker

4 thoughts on “Healthy Crockpot Meatball Sliders…OMG

  1. Samari Monroe says:

    I cant wait to try these!!!! Im heading to the store Wednesday! So excited!!!!! You have saved me here on this blog ebverything you make looks so good and it seems simple enough for me not to mess up!(Im not a good cooker) 😉 So thanks and keep them coming!!!!


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