Feb 3, 2017

Garlic Knot Meatball Sliders

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Tender meatballs are made from a combination of beef and pork and then served in between two halves of homemade garlic knot buns with melted mozzarella cheese.

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Tender meatballs are made from a combination of beef and pork and then served in between two halves of homemade garlic knot buns with melted mozzarella cheese. Since the garlic knots have a healthy serving of garlic, I use less garlic than I typically would in the meatballs in order to balance it out. The garlic knots ate made with pizza dough and are created a little larger to fit the meatballs perfectly.

The recipe for the garlic knots is based on the garlic knots served at C&O Trattoria in Venice beach. They serve garlic knots in place of bread before the food comes out. I always end up eating my weight in the buttery garlic knots and not even being hungry for my entrée, which is always a shame because their portions are huge and I end up taking at least half of my food to go. At least I get two meals out of it!

Garlic Knot Meatball Sliders

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Dough – Pizza is the perfect cure for a hectic tornado of a week. It’s fast and homemade dough is easy to make using my recipe here. If you want a shortcut, then instead of making homemade dough you can find pre-made dough in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. I also recommend checking if your local pizza spot sells their dough, it’s a great way to support local!
  • Mozzarella – Use fresh mozzarella in this recipe. Cut the mozzarella in to slices to pile onto the sliders. Part-skim mozzarella slices or shredded mozzarella can also be used in this recipe.
  • Tomato sauce – Store-bought marinara sauce can be used. There’s nothing wrong with canned sauce and it can be an easy shortcut, but since the homemade sauce only requires a few ingredients, I typically prefer to make my own.
Garlic Knot Meatball Sliders with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese

How to Make Garlic Knot Meatball Sliders

For the garlic knots:

divided pizza dough
Step 1: Divide the pizza dough. 

Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Divide the dough so you have 4 balls weighing 1/2 pound each.

cut pizza dough
Step 2: Cut into pieces. 

Lightly flour a clean cooking surface then take the first ball and divide into 5 equal portions. You should end up with 20 pieces (each weighing about 45g).

twisted pizza dough knots
Step 3: Twist into knots. 

Roll each into a rope then form knots with each, tucking the ends under to make a ball. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the dough balls loosely in plastic wrap and let proof for 30 minutes.

baked pizza dough knots
Step 5: Bake the garlic knots. 

Bake until the garlic knots are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

garlic herb butter
Step 6: Make the garlic herb butter. 

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and let melt. Whisk the mixture together and add the garlic and oregano and remove the pan from the heat.

garlic knots with garlic herb butter
Step 7: Brush the garlic knots. 

Brush the garlic knots generously with the garlic butter mixture. Set aside.

For the meatballs:

soaked breadcrumbs in milk
Step 1: Combine breadcrumbs and milk. 

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (190ºC). In a small mixing bowl combine milk and breadcrumbs and let it sit for 10 minutes.

meatballs mixed in bowl
Step 2: Mix the meatballs.  

In a large mixing bowl add the beef, pork, egg, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and the breadcrumb mixture. Gently mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.

rolled meatballs
Step 3: Shape the meatballs. 

Use ¼ cup measuring cup to form balls that are about 2¾ ounces each. Place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining mixture.

baked meatballs
Step 4: Bake the meatballs. 

Bake the meatballs until they are cooked through and browned on the outside, about 20 minutes.

For assembly:

meatballs heated in marinara sauce
Step 1: Heat meatballs in sauce. 

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the marinara sauce and heat through. Add the meatballs and toss to cover.

assembled Garlic Knot Meatball Sliders with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese
Step 2: Assemble sliders 

Preheat the oven to broil. Slice the garlic knots in half and leaving the top partly intact. Place a meatball on the bottom half of each garlic knot and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese.

Garlic Knot Meatball Sliders with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese recipe
Step 3: Broil and serve 

Continue with the remaining garlic knots and meatballs and broil until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Close the sliders and serve immediately.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Garlic Knot Meatball Sliders recipe

Garlic Knot Meatball Sliders

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Serves 16 meatball sliders

Ingredients:

For the garlic knots:

  • 2 pounds pizza dough, store bought or homemade, at room temperature (let rise if needed)
  • All-purpose flour, as needed
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

For the meatballs:

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound ground beef (80% lean/ 20% fat)
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

For assembly:

  • 2 cups marinara sauce of choice
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Instructions:

For the garlic knots:

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Divide the dough so you have 4 balls weighing 1/2 pound each.
  • Lightly flour a clean cooking surface then take the first ball and divide into 5 equal portions. You should end up with 20 pieces (each weighing about 45g).
  • Roll each into a rope then form knots with each, tucking the ends under to make a ball. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the dough balls loosely in plastic wrap and let proof for 30 minutes.
  • Bake until the garlic knots are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-low heat add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and let melt. Whisk the mixture together and add the garlic and oregano and remove the pan from the heat.
  • Brush the garlic knots generously with the garlic butter mixture. Set aside.

For the meatballs:

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (190ºC). In a small mixing bowl combine milk and breadcrumbs and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the beef, pork, egg, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper and the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Gently mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  • Use ¼ cup measuring cup to form balls that are about 2¾ ounces each. Place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining mixture.
  • Bake the meatballs until they are cooked through and browned on the outside, about 20 minutes.

For assembly:

  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the marinara sauce and heat through. Add the meatballs and toss to cover.
  • Preheat the oven to broil. Slice the garlic knots in half and leaving the top partly intact. Place a meatball on the bottom half of each garlic knot and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese.
  • Continue with the remaining garlic knots and meatballs and broil until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Close the sliders and serve immediately.

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