Kids naturally love small, easy-to-handle foods. These sliders are mini burgers, easy to make and fun to eat. We've made them with turkey meatballs in a tasty marinara sauce and served them up on small dinner rolls. They're kid-sized treats that will disappear in no time!
Petite foods like these little burgers offer great opportunities for youngsters to help with preparation, from helping to measure and mix to helping assemble the finished burgers. The more that kids get involved in choosing and making their food, the more likely they'll be to enthusiastically taste new things and develop healthy eating habits.
For a change of pace, try pork or chicken instead of turkey. The meatballs and sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance; reheat them on the stovetop over low heat before assembling.
Prep Time: 30m | Cook Time: 1h 30m | Makes 6 servings (2 sliders each)
1-1/2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs (from 2 to 3 slices firm bread)
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
3 cloves Earthbound Farm Organic Garlic (finely minced)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 pound ground dark turkey meat
4 cups marinara sauce
8 small, soft whole grain dinner rolls or buns 2 inch diameter (split in half)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously oil the bottom of a heavy oven-proof skillet, such as cast iron, or a baking pan. Set aside.
Place the bread crumbs in a medium-size bowl and add the milk, stirring to combine. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Add the egg, garlic, Parmesan, basil, parsley, salt and pepper, and stir to blend. Add the ground turkey and use your hands to combine the mixture; don’t overmix.
To make the meatballs, fill a 1/4-cup dry measuring cup level with the brim. (You’ll get about 12 meatballs.) Arrange the meatballs so that they don’t touch each other in the prepared skillet.
Bake the meatballs for 35 minutes. Pour the marinara sauce into the skillet, using a spoon to cover each of the meatballs with some of the sauce (to keep them from drying out). Continue baking for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the meatballs cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Place one meatball on the bottom half of a roll and top with a dollop of sauce. Cover with the top of the roll. Repeat with the remaining sliders. Serve hot.
Per serving (2 sliders): Calories 540, Fat 18 grams, Cholesterol 110 mg, Sodium 1340 mg, Carbohydrates 58 grams, Fiber 5 grams, Sugars 12 grams, Protein 38 grams. Percentage Daily Values per serving (based on a 2,000-calorie diet): Vitamin A 20%, Vitamin C 10%, Calcium 25%, Iron 30%.
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