Tangy BBQ Meatball Sliders


Sure, you can buy frozen meatballs and bottled BBQ sauce, but homemade is well worth the effort. These sliders are great Game Day snacks or bite-sized party appetizers. We like our sliders with coleslaw, but a little cheese wouldn't hurt either.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins
12 meatball sliders


  • cooking spray

BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • ½ cup finely chopped onion

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 cups ketchup

  • cup molasses (such as Grandma's®)

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 ½ tablespoons dry mustard powder (such as Colman's®)

  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®), or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste


  • ½ pound ground beef

  • ½ pound ground pork

  • ¾ cup fresh bread crumbs

  • ¼ cup milk

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard

  • 1 teaspoon grill seasoning (such as Montreal Steak Seasoning®)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 12 slider-size burger buns


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a baking rack sprayed with nonstick cooking spray onto a foil-lined baking pan.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ketchup, molasses, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper; mix well. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Add a bit of water if sauce gets too thick.

  3. Meanwhile, combine beef, pork, bread crumbs, milk, egg, mustard, steak seasoning, and garlic in a bowl. Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to form meat mixture into balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place meatballs on the rack, leaving enough space between them so they'll brown on all sides.

  4. Bake meatballs in the preheated oven until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (71 degrees C), 25 to 30 minutes.

  5. Gently stir meatballs into the BBQ sauce. Simmer until meatballs are heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Divide saucy meatballs among the slider buns.

Cook's Notes:

After simmering the meatballs in the sauce, you may transfer both to a slow cooker on Low for serving later in the day. Both can also be made in advance and frozen.

Brioche rolls, if available, make good slider buns.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

313 Calories
9g Fat
191g Carbs
11g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 313
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 654mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 191g 70%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 9mg 43%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 573mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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