My Little Italy Meatball Sliders with Whipped Ricotta are the perfect lightened up entertaining recipe to feed a crowd!
If you're looking for a crowd-pleasing recipe to serve on Super Bowl Sunday, then these Little Italy Meatballs Sliders are for you! Who doesn't love a good meatball sandwich?
Lightened up Recipe
My Little Italy Meatball Sliders with Whipped Ricotta are the perfect lightened up entertaining recipe. These adorable crowd pleasers are a nutritious take on the classic meatball sub, a traditionally indulgent party food.
I decided to make a healthier version of the dish by making sliders. It's instant portion control! I use lean (93%) ground beef in my meatballs. Plus, I bake them in stead of frying them, which shaves off plenty of calories and fat.
How to Make Little Italy Meatball Sliders
Because lean beef doesn't have as much fat as traditional ground beef, I have a trick to keep the meatballs moist. I add some grated onion to the meat.
Use a box grater to grate some onion and add it (along with the juices) to the meatball mixture It will add moisture and flavor!
To infuse the meatballs with plenty of Italian flavor, I also add fresh garlic, parmesan cheese, and parsley.
To hold the meatballs together, I add an egg and breadcrumbs. I prefer to use unseasoned breadcrumbs because seasoned breadcrumbs often have a lot of hidden sodium.
I also like to use whole wheat breadcrumbs because they add a healthy boost of whole grains.
Toss the meatballs in marinara sauce once they're cooked. You can definitely make your own sauce but if you're short on time, use your favorite jarred sauce.
To assemble the sliders, I place the meatballs on slider rolls and then top them with cheese. Instead of the traditional Mozzarella or Provolone cheese, I use a dollop of creamy, whipped ricotta.
Ricotta cheese, when blended in a food processor, turns into a fluffy, cloud-like topping that lightly coats the meatballs. If you've never tried this, you must- it's so good!
Fresh arugula completes the sliders and adds several essential vitamins and minerals. If you don't like arugula, you can use any greens that you like.
These sliders are fun, delicious and easy to make. While the meatballs are baking in the oven, you can assemble all of the other ingredients.
This dish is perfect for entertaining because you can make them ahead of time. Whether you're entertaining for game day or the holidays, these adorable sliders are always a crowd-pleaser!
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Little Italy Meatball Sliders with Whipped Ricotta
- 1 pound 93% lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup grated onion
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
- ¼ cup dry, plain whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ cups your favorite jarred marinara sauce
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 slider rolls (preferably whole wheat), toasted
- 2 cups arugula leaves
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Mix all of the ingredients for the meatballs together in a large bowl. Form into 10 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a rack in a broiler pan. Bake in the oven until cooked through, 18-20 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking, place the ricotta, olive oil and salt in a mini food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Heat the marinara sauce in a medium saucepan on the stove (alternatively, you can heat the sauce in a bowl in the microwave). When the meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and toss them in the sauce.
- To assemble the sliders, place a few arugula leaves on each roll bottom. Add the meatballs and spoon a little marinara sauce over each one. Top each meatball with a dollop of whipped ricotta and add the roll tops. Devour!