Slow Cooker Sliders Recipe

Slow Cooker Sliders Recipe

Posted on January 28, 2014

Slow Cooker Sliders Recipe

These little sliders are the absolutely perfect game day food on a Zak Sprinkles Appetizer Plate. I dare you to find me something better. There’s a fairly big football game right around the corner – maybe you’ve heard of it – between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. All signs point to it possibly being one of the better games in recent history and while I’m definitely a Broncos fan, I feed my friends without discrimination

Enjoy your slider on a Zak Appetizer Plate These little sliders are the absolutely perfect game day food. I dare you to find me something better. They are the best not only because they are delicious, but also because they are bite-sized and you can make them in advance so you don’t miss the game. Also, they keep warm perfectly for hours in a slow cooker and some might argue that they only get better with time.

For the sauce, it’s as simple as cooking the minced garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. You don’t want the garlic to brown. Then add in your dried spices and cook for about a minute until it are fragrant. While I use the slow cooker to finish the sliders, I start everything on the stovetop.

Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes and use a large fork or potato masher to lightly mash the tomatoes as they cook down. Add the diced tomatoes (with juice) and bring the mixture to a simmer. When the sauce is nice and thick, transfer it all to a slow cooker.

For the meatball sliders, there is no better tool than your clean hands to mix up all the delicious ingredients. Really mix it up well and no… that isn’t a typo. I use ricotta cheese in my meatballs. Trust me on it!

When the meatball mixture is stirred together, divide it into 24-30 sliders. There is some variability depending on how big you make each meatball. When the meatball mixture is stirred together, divide it into 24-30 sliders.

When the meatballs are ready, brown them in a few tablespoons of oil in a large, sturdy skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side. Then transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker with the sauce.

Let the meatballs and sauce simmer together in the slow cooker set to low heat for about 2 hours (or longer) and then just spoon some sauce and a meatball onto a toasted mini slider roll and top it with a little cheese. The cheese is optional, but it’s a nice touch.

These are totally low stress and guaranteed to please. Make them and go Broncos!

Slow Cooker Sliders Recipe Instructions

Slow Cooker Sliders Recipe

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 24-30 sliders


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 onion ,minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 6 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    Slider Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • Pinch of salt
  • 23-30 slider buns
  • Thinly slivered Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. To make the sauce, heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium pot. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add dried basil and thyme and a pinch of salt.
  2. Add diced tomatoes (with their juice) and bring sauce to a slight simmer. Cover and let cook down for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use a large fork or potato masher to mash sauce.
  3. When sauce is thick and has no huge pieces of tomato, remove from heat and pour into a medium slow cooker.
  4. To make meatballs, combine ground beef with minced onion and garlic. Then use your hands to work in spices, egg, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, ricotta cheese, and salt.
  5. When mixture is done, divide it up into 24-30 even-sized meatballs. Flatten the balls a bit so they will fit nicely on a bun later.
  6. In a large sturdy skillet, add a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the meatballs in batches on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. It’s okay if they aren’t completely cooked through at this point.
  7. Transfer meatballs to slow cooker with sauce and cook on low heat for about two hours. Keep warm and serve with toasted buns and cheese if you want.

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