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Meatball Sliders with Pepperoni and Caramelized Onions

As the countdown to college basketball games begins, it is time to gear up for the ultimate basketball game watch parties!  What better way to celebrate the excitement of the game than with a slam-dunk selection of snacks that will have your taste buds cheering along with every play? Every food table needs a star attraction and this year, it’s the Meatball Sliders with Pepperoni and Caramelized Onions. 

meatball sliders

This post is sponsored by The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA). All opinions are my own. For more inspiration during #FrozenFoodMonth, be sure to check out delicious ideas from NFRA at #MFFM2024

Picture this: You and your crew huddled around the TV, eyes glued to the screen as the anticipation builds with each shot, steal, and slam dunk. The energy is electric, and the only thing that can match the thrill of the game is the delicious spread of game day grub laid out before you. You will want these mini meatball sliders, which are super simple to put together, accompanied with other basketball themed items. 

What are the best meatballs for meatball sliders?

I used Rosina Italian Style Meatballs for these sliders because these Italian meatballs are authentic and an easy way to make the perfect Italian slider! I found them at my local grocery store in the frozen food section. They have multiple suggestions for cooking, but they come out perfect each and every time. I love that Rosina does the hard work, so I can enjoy the game! To find Rosina meatballs, check for a store near you

What is the best sauce for meatball sliders?

I used a garlic spaghetti sauce for my meatball sliders and the flavor was great, but you could use any marinara sauce or even homemade sauce. It’s easy to make your own sauce for these meatball sliders with tomato sauce, garlic and some seasonings.

What is the best cheese for meatball sliders?

I used provolone cheese slices for our meatball sliders, but again, this choice is up to you. The great thing about these sliders is that they’re fully customizable and always delicious. Any white cheese or cheese blend should taste amazing with Rosina Italian Style Meatballs.

The provolone really helps balance out the extra bold flavor of the pepperonis and onions. Of course, these sliders will be awesome with just the meatballs and sauce! 

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mini meatball sliders

What is the best bread for meatball sliders?

I chose some fancier store-bought rolls, but hoagie rolls or a sub roll, cut up into smaller rolls would be a great option, too. I wanted to keep them small so they could be eaten easily with one hand while watching college basketball! 

What should I serve at my college basketball watch party?

Now that we have covered the best way to make the star of the party – Meatball Sliders – here are some other good choices for party food that I served at our basketball watch party. I went with the “ball” theme, and also orange, so I chose donut holes, clementines, and cookies with orange sprinkles. You could also add other items to dress up your meatball sliders, chips, deviled eggs….it really does not matter, as long as it is delicious!

So the food at your party is great, but remember, it’s not just about the food—it’s about the camaraderie, the rivalries, and the shared passion for the game that brings us all together. Whether you’re rooting for the underdog or standing by your alma mater, there’s a sense of unity in the air, as fans from all walks of life come together to witness basketball history in the making. From buzzer-beaters to nail-biting overtimes, college basketball captivates us with its raw intensity and unbridled excitement. And as we gather to watch the drama unfold, there’s no better way to fuel the fervor than with a lineup of game day snacks that rival the action on the court.

Get ready to witness the awesome matchups, indulge in the magic, and savor every mouthwatering moment of the ultimate basketball extravaganza. Because when it comes to college basketball, anything can happen—and with the perfect lineup of snacks by your side, you’re guaranteed to come out a winner every time! 

Rosina/Celentano Prize Pack Giveaway

Details: Three lucky winners (USA Only, 18+) will each win a prize pack worth up to $75


Each Prize Pack Contains:

  • 3 Rosina Meatball Coupons (valued at up to $8.99 each)
  • 3 Celentano Pasta Coupons (valued at up to $5.99 each)
  • 1 Rosina Tumbler
  • 1 Rosina Potholder
  • 1 Rosina Grocery Tote
  • 1 Rosina Chip Clip


Dates: March 9-March 25, 2024

 Use the giveaway widget to select entries you wish to complete


Meatball Sliders with Pepperoni and Caramelized Onions

Meatball Sliders with Pepperoni and Caramelized Onions

Yield: 12 sliders
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

These meatball sliders with pepperonis and caramelized onions will be the star of your basketball watch party!


  • 12 dinner rolls
  • 24 Rosina Italian style meatballs
  • 1/2 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 12 pepperonis
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3-4 slices of provolone cheese, cut into fourths


    1. Cook meatballs according to package directions: heat in a pot over medium high heat
    2. in your favorite spaghetti sauce, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
    3. Meanwhile, slice a half of an onion and caramelize it by cooking it in olive oil over medium heat.
    4. Add salt and cook until onion is clear and caramelized.
    5. Prepare your dinner rolls by cutting in half and arranging the bottom halves on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
    6. Brown the roll bottoms in the oven on broil, watching carefully.
    7. Take rolls out and add a pepperoni to each.
    8. When meatballs are cooked, spoon two out on top of each pepperoni.
    9. Top with a few caramelized onions.
    10. Add provolone cheese on top, and return to the oven to melt the cheese.
    11. Remove from oven when cheese melts and top with the roll. If desired, return to the oven to get it all warm.
    12. Serve and enjoy!


You can use mini hoagie rolls or sub buns, if desired.

Other topping ideas include, but are not limited to: parmesan cheese, red peppers, green onions, fresh mozzarella, Italian seasoning, fresh mushrooms, green peppers, or olives.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 981Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 2367mgCarbohydrates: 90gFiber: 9gSugar: 9gProtein: 40g

The writer is not a doctor or nutritionist and this nutritional information is just a guideline. Please consult your doctor or nutritionist for more accurate information.

How much did you love this recipe?

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Carolyn D

Saturday 16th of March 2024

I love meatball subs and sliders. I just want to let you know I had to find the links for Rosina's social media pages on their website because the links in the entry form gave me an error and I wanted to make sure I received credit. Thanks for the chance!


Saturday 16th of March 2024

Thanks for catching that! I've changed them out.

Kelly Ambalkar

Monday 11th of March 2024

These are my favorite frozen meatballs! I like to grab them when I find them on sale.

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Family lifestyle blogger from
Tyler, TX
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