Italian Meatball Sliders

Italian Meatball Sliders
Italian Meatball Sliders

Italian Meatball Sliders are succulent venison Italian meatballs on sweet white rolls drenched with homemade red sauce and topped with velvety mozzarella cheese. So simple, yet so delicious!

These babies are so easy to make. It takes less than 30 minutes. The homemade sauce is extremely delicious. I could seriously eat just the rolls and sauce–it’s that good. Well, let me be honest–I could eat just the sauce and nothing else.

This recipe is so easy that anyone can make it. All you do is mix the ingredients for the venison meatballs, make into 12 meatballs, and put them in a casserole dish. 

The ingredients for the Italian Meatball Sliders are mixed.
Meatball Ingredients for Italian Meatball Sliders

Then pour the homemade sauce over the meatballs and bake at 350 °F for about 20 minutes or until done.

Italian Meatballs covered in homemade meatball sauce
Italian Meatballs covered with sauce

Then split the rolls and put 1/2 of a piece of mozzarella on the bottom of the roll. Then top with a meatball, a couple of tablespoons of sauce, the other half of the mozzarella cheese and then the top of the roll and ta-da they are ready to eat!

Italian Meatball Slider
Italian Meatball Slider by

When I first made these I put a whole piece of cheese on the bottom and this caused a bad mess. The juices from the sauce had nowhere to go, so they ran off the cheese and into the plate and all over our hands. If you put half of a piece of cheese on the bottom bun, the juices can soak into the bun making it even more delicious.

You can serve these just as they are. The hot meatball and sauce will help the cheese melt, but if it’s not melted to your liking, you can heat for about 7-10 seconds in the microwave. You can also assemble these and place them on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for a few minutes–just long enough to get toasty.

Italian Meatball Sliders

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 22 Minutes
Yield: 12 Sliders
Serving Size: 1 Slider


For the Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs venison, ground
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced (optional)
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 12 slices of deli-style mozzarella cheese
  • 12 slider rolls, split (I use The Bakery sweet white rolls slider buns from Walmart deli. You can also use dinner rolls of any kind.)

For the Sauce:

  • 28 oz. of crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder


  1. Let’s start the sauce first. In a large kettle, add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, onion powder, and garlic powder and heat until it boils–just a couple of minutes. Then turn the heat to low.
  2. Now let’s make the meatballs. Mix the venison, Italian breadcrumbs, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, onion powder garlic powder, milk, minced garlic, and diced onions together in a large bowl.
  3. Take a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Try to make 12 meatballs with the same amount of meat. You can slightly flatten the meatballs if you’d like.
  4. Place the meatballs in a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish and pour the homemade sauce over the meatballs and bake at 375 °F for about 20 minutes or until done.
  5. Split the rolls and cut the cheese diagonally and put 1/2 of a piece of mozzarella on the bottom of the roll.
  6. When the meatballs are done, top the roll with a meatball, a couple of tablespoons of sauce, the other half of the mozzarella cheese and then the top of the roll.
  7. Enjoy!

Italian Meatball Sliders are great to take along on an all-day deer hunt. That morning, just heat everything up and put them together. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil and a couple of paper towels. Fold and lay the paper towels on top of the foil and wrap the slider tightly in the foil. Line a small cooler with a hand towel and place the sliders in the cooler and cover with another hand towel. 

You’ll have a nice warm meal when lunchtime rolls around, but I have to admit, these are pretty darn good cold, too! 

The good, the bad and the delicious…

  • Italian Meatball Sliders are low in sugar, high in potassium, fiber, and iron, and are very high in protein.
  • It also might be too high in cholesterol and sodium for some.

See tips below for making this a more diet-friendly recipe. 

Italian Meatball Sliders Nutrition Facts

 Yields: 12 Sliders Serving: 1 Slider
Calories 412 Calories from fat: 22
  % Daily Value*
Total Fat 10 g 16%
 Saturated Fat 4 g 18%
 Monounsaturated Fat 2 g 
 Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g 
 Trans Fat 0 g 
Cholesterol 90 mg 30%
Sodium 792 mg 33%
Potassium 568 mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 37 g 12%
 Dietary Fiber 5 g 18%
 Sugars 4 g 
Protein 40 g 79%
Vitamin A 10%Vitamin C 12%
Calcium 14%Iron 39%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA, but were calculated by MyFitnessPal, Inc. by Under Armour, Inc. 

To make this recipe more diet-friendly…

  • To help lower the sodium use a healthier breadcrumb. Prepackaged bread crumbs have a lot of sodium–try making your own. Also, omit all added salt from the meatballs and the sauce. You might also try using a low-sodium cheese.
  • The majority of the cholesterol is coming from the ground venison. I make 80/20 ground burger, especially for meatballs, meatloaves, and burgers and that’s what I calculate all of my ground venison burger recipes with. If you don’t add any fat to your venison then the cholesterol amount in this recipe is a very small amount and a large portion of that is coming from the cheese. Not adding fat to your venison will also lower the calories and fat. You could also use a healthier cheese.
  • Whatever changes you make to your Italian Meatball Sliders, you can recalculate the nutrition facts at

Bon Appétit

Italian Meatball Sliders Collage

Check out some of our other meatball recipes…

Venison Meatballs
Venison Meatballs
Sweet and Sour Venison Meatballs
Sweet and Sour Venison Meatballs

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