Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
9 Hours 35 Mins
Makes 2 dozen

This fun dish is two recipes in one: delicious, easy meatballs and a slow-simmered tangy tomato sauce. If you have any extra sauce, toss it with your favorite green vegetable, spoon it over a bowl of creamy grits, or pair it with pork chops or other meats.

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together first 6 ingredients in a 7-qt. slow cooker; stir in 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours.

Step 2

Meanwhile, place ground chuck and ground pork in a large bowl. Add next 6 ingredients and remaining 1 Tbsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper; mix gently just until blended. Gently shape mixture into 24 meatballs. (Do not pack.) Place meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet; cover well, and chill until ready to use.

Step 3

Let meatballs stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Carefully submerge meatballs in tomato mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour or until meatballs are done, stirring after 30 minutes.

Step 4

Preheat broiler with oven rack 7 inches from heat. Arrange bottom halves of 12 buns in a single layer on each of 2 baking sheets. Place 1 meatball on each bun; top with sauce and 1 halved provolone cheese slice. Repeat with remaining buns, meatballs, and cheese.

Step 5

Broil sliders, 1 baking sheet at a time, 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with top halves of buns.

Ratings & Reviews

Love these meatballs!

November 03, 2015
These meatballs are my go-to - I haven't ever done the recipe with the sauce, but I bake the meatballs and then freeze them to use in beef stroganoff and spaghetti and meatballs and even just subs. They are SO GOOD. Prepared the meatballs per the recipe except for baking them in the oven (350 for about 15 or 20 minutes, or until done).


May 22, 2015
The marinara is easy to prepare and very delicious. We used ground turkey for the meatballs and served them in rolls like subs. The fresh basil is key!

Family Favorite!

September 26, 2016
The meatballs and sauce were very good! My son came back from a camping trip, and I tried this recipe to have a hearty meal when he got home. We all loved it. I followed the recipe as written except I was not able to find ground pork so I used Jimmy Dean pork sausage (medium). Yesterday I served the meatballs and sauce over slider rolls, and today over spaghetti. Both were delicious.