This easy and quick recipe for sweet and savory meatloaf sliders makes the perfect meal for your next party or tailgate! Topped with French friend onions and melty cheese, these delicious sliders will disappear fast!
This recipe is sponsored by Ohio Beef Council.
It’s tailgating season and I.am.here.for.it! Is there anything better than the crisp fall weather, watching football (all Buckeyes for me!) and munching on the best party food? I think not. For this year’s tailgate fare, I’m taking my favorite meatloaf recipe and turning it into sweet and savory meatball sliders that are the perfect handheld party food.
There are a few variations in these meatloaf sliders from my original Moist Meatloaf Recipe. I used a leaner ground beef for the meatloaf sandwiches because I wanted them to be a little more firm so that they don’t slide off of the slider buns or crumble apart. Don’t worry though, they’re still full of flavor and not at all dry like any old-school meatloaf you may remember from the cafeteria days.
Another variation was a happy accident. I realized in my hurried trip to the store that I forgot to buy a loaf of bread for the meatloaf and didn’t even have any bread crumbs. What I did have plenty of was King’s Hawaiian rolls! I broke them apart as I do the bread in my original recipe. The King’s Hawaiian rolls added sweet and buttery notes to the meatloaf and helped maintain its moistness.
And for the final variation, I used ketchup in the meatloaf glaze instead of tomato sauce as I do in my original meatloaf recipe. I wanted a thicker glaze so it would stay atop of the meatloaf and not drip off of the sliders.
Are you ready to get your tailgate on with some delish food? Let’s do it!
Ingredients Needed to Make Meatloaf Slider Sandwiches
Printable recipe card below.
- Ground beef (90 – 93% lean)
- Tomato sauce
- King’s Hawaiian rolls (sweet rolls or slider buns)
- Dried minced onions
- Dried parsley
- Brown sugar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Fried onion straws
- Mozzarella cheese
How to Make Meatloaf Sliders
While the ingredients are mostly the same as my OG meatloaf, the preparation and baking of this meatloaf is different. You’re going to bake the meatloaf in a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish as opposed to a loaf pan, creating a thinner meatloaf. Kind of like a big, rectangular meatloaf patty.
After baking the meatloaf, remove it from the oven and line the bottom of the casserole dish with the bottom halves of the slider rolls. I would recommend toasting the bottoms before placing the meatloaf on top of them. This will help ensure they don’t get soggy during the cooking process.
After the meatloaf is sitting atop the slider buns, add the glaze, mozzarella cheese, French fried onions and the tops of the slider buns. Bake until the cheese is melty and the roll tops are toasty brown.
Can sliders be made in advance?
Yes, and if you’re tailgating, this is a great idea. For food safety, beef should be prepared immediately after removing it from the fridge. The secret to preparing beef outside of your own kitchen (like for a tailgate) is to prep as much as possible beforehand.
Speaking of food safety, it’s best to use a meat thermometer any time you are working with beef. The meatloaf should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F
Can you use leftover meatloaf to make sliders?
Absolutely! Just cut the meatloaf slices small enough to fit the slider buns and proceed with the recipe with the cheese and French fried onions. I actually think meatloaf tastes just as good as leftovers. If you have even more leftover than the amount you need for the sliders, just put a slice in between a couple of pieces of bread with some mayonnaise and you’re golden. Leftover meatloaf can be eaten within 3 – 4 days as long as it has been stored properly.
How do you reheat sliders?
Personally, I like my slider leftovers cold, but if you’d like to reheat them whole, pop them in an air fryer for around 3 – 5 minutes. It will reheat the meatloaf and keep the bun from getting soggy. Nobody likes soggy buns. You can also simply reheat the meatloaf in the microwave and place it on fresh rolls.
Get ready to watch these fly off the platter at your next gathering!
Looking to pair the perfect beer with your tailgate meal this football season? This guide will help! A general rule-of-thumb is the beefier flavor the dish, the more robust or flavorful beverage you’ll want.
- 1 ¾ pounds ground sirlion
- 5 oz tomato sauce
- 4 rolls King's Hawaiian Rolls torn in pieces
- 2 eggs
- 4 tbsp dried minced onion
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 6 slices Mozzarella cheese
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- ⅓ cup French fried onions
- ½ cup ketchup
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Using your hands, combine ground beef, eggs, tomato sauce, King's Hawaiian pieces, dried minced onion, parsley, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Knead until just mixed (do not overmix or you'll end up with tough meatloaf).
- Spray 9" x 13" dish with nonstick cooking spray and place meatloaf mixture in pan. Press the meatloaf into the dish to make it a consistent thickness.
- Mix together ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce and spread over the meatloaf.
- Bake for 45 minutes and remove from the casserole dish with 2 spatulas.
- Spray the 9" x 13" dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place toasted bottom halves of slider buns into dish and set the meatloaf on top.
- Add mozzarella to the top of the meatloaf and sprinkle with French fried onions. Place slider bun tops on the meatloaf and brush melted butter on top of the slider rolls.
- Return to oven and cook for an additional 10 – 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the tops of the rolls are lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve.
So tell me, what are your favorite tailgate or party foods? I’m all about adding some beef to a tailgating menu. The nutrients found in beef help maintain high energy levels so I can cheer on my Buckeyes all day and night.
Much like my Ohio State football Buckeyes, the Ohio beef farming community never takes a day off. Dedicated farmers work tirelessly to provide safe, wholesome food to American families. Cattle farmers, truck drivers, retailers, and others in the beef farming community continue to produce and deliver fresh, healthy beef.
Visit www.OhioBeef.org, and follow the Ohio Beef Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for beef nutrition facts, cooking tips, recipes and to meet Ohio’s beef farming families. Use #OhioBeef to share photos of your tailgate eats!