Turkey Meatball Sliders

One of my favorite “bar” type food are any kind of sliders… It’s the like the perfect little snack, packed full of flavor!

The unfortunate thing about sliders is that sometimes they look cute and small – like they couldn’t be that bad for you – but it just depends on what kind you have. But if you’re not careful while you’re eating out and order a plate of 3 sliders with full fat meat, cheese, calorie-dense sauces and most of the time there’s even some kind of delicious and buttery brioche bun!

Now, those do sound incredible – but those calories can add up really fast if you aren’t careful. 🙁


These turkey meatball sliders are the perfect snack to hit that slider craving right on the head!

From the perfectly toasted Hawaiian rolls (only 90 calories, might I add), protein-packed turkey meatballs in a homemade garlic red sauce, sprinkled with some mozzarella cheese and you have a pretty awesome little snack!

We served these for dinner with some roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts, but these also make a great little snack or appetizer for a crowd… No one will even suspect they’re healthier!

Turkey Meatball Sliders Ingredients:

For the  Crockpot Meatballs:

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1tbsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. red pepper flake
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg, beaten

For the Sauce:

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. red pepper flake
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1-28 oz. crushed tomatoes

Hawaiian rolls
shredded mozzarella cheese



To Make the Sauce:

  1. In a large saucepan with heat off, add olive oil, red pepper flake, garlic and salt.
  2. Turn heat to medium-high heat, bring to a simmer for about 30 seconds (don’t burn the garlic).
  3. Add crushed tomatoes and stir to fully combine.
  4. Bring heat down to medium-low and cook on a simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper (to taste) if desired. Set aside.

To Make the Meatballs:

  1. In a large mixing bowl add turkey, 2 tsp. olive oil, panko, garlic powder, oregano, basil, red pepper flake, salt, pepper, and 1 beaten egg.
  2. Using your hand throughly mix all ingredient so that they are evenly dispersed (try not to over mix).
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil, which is to set the meatballs on after forming.
  4. Using your hands, roll together meatballs, making them about “golf ball” size. Place on baking sheet and repeat until you’ve used all the turkey mixture, should make about 20 meatballs.
  5. In a large skillet heat remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil on medium-high heat.
  6. Take meatballs and place into the hot pan and sear on top and bottom for about 1 -2 minutes. Repeat until all meatballs are seared but not cooked through, this will help the meatballs stay together in the crockpot and not crumble.
  7. Turn crockpot to LOW, add half of your red sauce, then start to layer your seared meatballs, add remaining sauce over the meatballs, cover and cook for 6 to 7 hours.

To Build the Slider:

  1. If you want to toast the rolls, cut in half and place on a baking sheet for a few minutes at 350°.
  2. Scoop one meatball with sauce per slider onto the bottom of the roll, sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese, add top of roll and serve.


Nutritional Information:

Servings: 20
Serving Size: 1 slider (1 meatball w/ sauce, 1 tbsp. cheese, and 1 Hawaiian roll)

Calories: 196
Fat: 7 g
Carbohydrates: 19 g
Sugar: 1 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sodium: 168 mg (w/o added salt)
Protein: 10 g



EMILY NESS is a full-time food and lifestyle author who’s passionate about developing simple yet mouth-watering recipes that anyone can make. Since founding her website CookingUpHappiness.com in 2013, she’s went on to share her passion for cooking healthy and tasty recipes with the thousands of people around the world.
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Emily Ness - Cruise

Sharing a passion for food and fitness to live a healthy lifestyle - with the occasional hint of chocolate.