Meatball Sliders with Spinach Pesto

Meatball Sliders with Spinach Pesto

Michelle Cunningham – Ivy Tech- East Chicago Campus – 2011 Chorizo Contest

Prep Time: 30 min.
20 Sliders


For the Sauce:                                                                        

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 oz. tomato puree
  • 28 oz. tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Water – optional

For the pesto:                                                             

  • 1 cup packed fresh Spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • ¼ cup Olive oil

For the Meatballs:     

  • ½ cup Panko bread crumb
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ lb each Ground Beef and El Popular Chorizo
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried basil

For the Sliders:

  • Mini Baguette or dinner rolls
  • Spray Olive oil
  • Slice provolone cheese



To make the sauce:  heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until tender 5-8 minutes.  Add the garlic stir about 1 minute.  Add the tomato puree, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Add water if needed to your desired consistency. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer.  Let simmer about 2 hours.

To make the meatballs:  combine ¼ Panko with the milk in a medium bowl.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Add the remaining Panko, beef, El Popular Chorizo, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and basil to the bowl. Mix well and form into meatballs.  Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce about 45 minutes before the sauce is finished. Cover and let simmer until the meatballs are cooked through.

To make the pesto: combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped.  With the processor running, add the olive oil through the food tube until incorporated.  Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the sliders:  preheat the oven to 400 F.  Slice the baguettes or dinner rolls in half and lay on a baking sheet.  Spray the rolls with olive oil.  Bake until lightly toasted.  Slice a cooked meatball in half and place both halves on the bottom portion of the roll, flat side down.  Spoon a small amount of sauce over the meatball top with cheese.  Bake again, just until the cheese melts.  Serve immediately.

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