Meatball sliders Meatball sliders

Two days ago, I was relaxing in bed and flipping through Flipboard when I came across a photo that made me drool. I immediately tweeted that what was in the photo would be “tomorrow’s lunch” and that was exactly what happened. Yesterday’s lunch was these meatball sliders. The meatballs, made with a combination of ground beef and ground pork, were lightly browned then braised in homemade tomato sauce.

Sliders? They’re called sliders? Yeah, I’ve wondered about that for a long time too. I knew that sliders referred to mini hamburgers but why sliders? Were they supposed to slide off while being eaten? The only explanation I found was from a Wikipedia that says, “The term, when used in reference to a small hamburger, originated with the fast food chain White Castle, which trademarked the spelling variant ‘Slyder’ and used it between 1993 and 2009” and that slider can “also cover any small sandwich served on a slider roll.”

Because what we had were pan de sal, I served the meatballs with them. Just so it’s clear, the meatballs didn’t slide off the bread while being devoured.

Inspired by a recipe from Bon Appétit.

Recipe: Meatball sliders


For the meatballs:

  • 1/4 k. of ground beef (I used sirloin)
  • 1/4 k. of ground pork (mine had about 30% fat)
  • 1/4 c. of finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. of grated garlic
  • 1/4 c. of panko
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of pepper
  • 1 tsp. of chopped parsley

To serve:

  • 4 pan de sal, split and lightly toasted
  • baby arugula
  • grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • finely sliced parsley


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs. Form into balls about 2 and 1/2 inches in diameter (I had four balls).
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan. Cook the meatballs over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Unless your meat has too little fat, the meatballs should render enough fat to brown in. Otherwise, you may have to brown them in a little olive oil. You’re not cooking the meatballs through at this point but just browning them. As soon as they brown, scoop them out.
  3. Heat the tomato sauce in the same pan in which the meatballs were browned. When bubbly, return the meatballs to the pan. Cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, for seven to 10 minutes, rolling them in the sauce often. The sauce should have considerably reduced and thickened by the end of the cooking time.
  4. To serve: Place several baby arugula leaves on the bottom halves of the toasted pan de sal. Place the meatballs on top of the leaves. Spoon a little sauce over them. Sprinkle with grated cheese and finely sliced parsley.

Quick notes

If you’re not into arugula, you can substitute lettuce.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2


  1. says

    Thanks for the info on why they’re called ‘sliders.’ I’ve also wondered about that…I think this one is more substantial than the flat buger patties that we are so used to… and looks like you’ve got huge pan de sal there, Connie. Another one which I intend to add to my so called ‘comfort food.’ Thank you!