Lamb Meatball Sliders

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
45 min
25 min

24 sliders

  • For the Meatballs:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 pound merguez (spicy lamb sausage) or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 28 -ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • For the Sliders:
  • 1/2 pound fresh goat cheese (1 cup)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 24 slider rolls
  • Pickled sliced cucumbers, for serving
  • Make the meatballs: Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  • Stir in the coriander, fennel seeds and rosemary; toast 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and refrigerate until cool.

  • Meanwhile, roll the goat cheese into 1/2-inch balls (the size of marbles); set aside.

  • Add the sausage, ground lamb, breadcrumbs, eggs and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the bowl with the spice mixture and mix with your hands until just combined. Roll into 24 small ovals (about 2 tablespoons meat each). Make an indentation in each with your thumb, then insert a goat cheese ball and form the meat around it. Roll between your hands to make a smooth ball. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

  • Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the sugar; cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the oregano.

  • Add the meatballs to the sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

  • Assemble the sliders: Beat the goat cheese, mascarpone and milk in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir in the oregano, rosemary, thyme, dill, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Spread the goat cheese mixture on each roll; fill with the pickled cucumbers, meatballs and more sauce.

  • Photograph by Joseph DeLeo

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