This blog post was sponsored by KING’S HAWAIIAN® but the opinions are all my own.
Hawaiian meatball sliders are delicious bites with a unique, sweet-spicy flavor. Melt in your mouth meatballs are covered with King’s Hawaiian® new pineapple barbecue sauce, sprinkled with candied jalapenos, and served on King’s Hawaiian® jalapeno rolls. This is one of those dishes that people will request at everything you attend from church pot-lucks to family reunions.
For this recipe you’ll need: lean ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, onion, thick sliced bacon, salt, pepper, nutmeg, milk, King’s Hawaiian® jalapeno rolls, King’s Hawaiian® Original Barbecue sauce, and my recipe for candied jalapenos.
September has flown by. It’s impossible that the kids have been back to school for six weeks and that I’m planning my holiday shopping and menus. We’re even supposed to have highs in the low 70’s early next week and that’s chilly for us.
Autumn in Texas is all about football. High school football, Jr. High football, college football, or professional — it’s doesn’t matter. As long as there’s a texan in the game you can bet 90% of the population will be watching. The other 10% will be on the grill or in the kitchen making food because yelling at the television burns a lot of calories.
Meatball sliders are the answer. You can make the meatballs way ahead of time and freeze them, then cook and keep them warm in the slow cooker. Talk about effortless!
Quick Trip to HEB
I headed over to the HEB store near me. HEB carries a large selection of King’s Hawaiian® products and the jalapeno rolls were perfect for my sliders. I grabbed a couple of packages of the rolls and chatted with the bakery employee that was there. She pointed out that the display was about half empty and said that she had filled it earlier that morning. Event though it was only 10 am it was time to refill the shelves.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one planning on King’s Hawaiian® rolls for my game day menu! See, sliders are pretty much a game day necessity — nearly everyone makes them. Using the King’s Hawaiian® jalapeno rolls stepped the recipe up a notch by giving the Hawaiian meatball sliders a kick of jalapeno in those sweet, soft rolls. It was the perfect way to enhance the flavor of the spicy-sweet sliders I was planning.
King’s Hawaiian® produces two kinds of rolls, hamburger buns, round loaves, and hot dog buns. No matter what you’re serving they’ve got a product that covers it with that great sweet flavor.
King’s Hawaiian® New BBQ Sauces
I picked up the rolls and went to find the new King’s Hawaiian® BBQ sauces. There are four flavors to compliment any meat.
- Original Sweet Pineapple
- Smoked Bacon
- Kona Coffee
- Big Island Lava (spicy-sweet)
I decided on the original sweet pineapple. There was already a lot of heat going on between the jalapeno rolls and the candied jalapenos. A bottle of Big Island Lava went into the cart, too so guests could add more heat if they wanted to. I suggest getting at least one extra bottle of the sauce so that it can be added to the slider as desired.
A quick trip around the store and I had everything I needed for my recipe. I checked out and headed home.
Perfect, Tender Meatballs
There are tons of recipes for meatballs but I wanted some that were flavorful but mild. Classic Italian meatballs are fantastic but not for the flavors here. I tweaked a recipe for Swedish meatballs from my 1955 Family Cookbook. The meatballs come out so tender and the flavor is perfect.
The meat mixture is quite soft. It’s a little trickier to work with than most of the meatball recipes you might have used in the past. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes to firm up or refrigerate it overnight.
The meatballs are easier to form if you keep your hands wet. Water keeps the mixture from sticking. You aren’t going to get perfectly round meatballs from this – they will probably flatten slightly on the bottom. That’s fine, it keeps them firmly on the rolls. Bake them for 20 minutes or so and then you can either freeze them, add them to a heated pan of the sauce, or add them to a slow cooker so they’re ready when you are.
This recipe makes 24 large meatballs that generously fill the King’s Hawaiian® rolls. A layer of crunchy, homemade candied jalapenos goes on the bottom bun, a hot meatball goes on top, and then the top bun is added. Small skewers keep the sliders together. My guests added the extra sauce to their own tastes and I am not exaggerating when I say that these sliders disappeared in a flash. Tender, juicy goodness, right there.
You’ll find everything you need for these great Hawaiian Meatball Sliders and other game day essentials at your local HEB. Save even more with HEB’s Combo Loco deals!
Hawaiian Meatball Sliders Recipe
When I want to score with my gamed day menu? I make King’s Hawaiian® a part of it! Be sure to tag #RestlessChipotle and #GameTimeGrilling on Twitter and Instagram! I love to see what you’ve done.
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- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup minced onion
- 3 slices of thick bacon, or 3 slices of thin, chopped in a food processor until it's a paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, adjust to your preference
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1-1/2 cups of milk
- 2 packages of King's Hawaiian® Jalapeno rolls, 12 count
- 1 ounce bottle King's Hawaiian® Original BBQ sauce, 15
- 1 recipe candied jalapenos
- Add all of the ingredients, except milk, to a large bowl.
- Knead with your hands until everything is evenly mixed. If you find any large pieces of bacon or onion pick them out and discard.
- Add the milk and knead again until all of the milk is absorbed into the meat mixture.
- It's going to be pretty goopy. Don't worry.
- Let the bowl sit for at least 30 minutes but if you can refrigerate it overnight that's better.
- When you're ready to cook them preheat the oven to 375F.
- The mixture will still be sticky but firmer and ready to roll into meatballs.
- Use about 2 heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture for every meatballs.
- Dip your hands in ice water and gently form a meatball.
- Place on a cookie sheet.
- Repeat with remaining meatballs.
- Bake for 20 minutes then check to see if they're done. Internal temperature should be 160F.
- If they're not done bake for 5 minutes and check again.
- When the meatballs are done remove them from the oven. If you're going to freeze them let them cool and store in airtight freezer containers in the freezer.
- Add 1/2 a bottle of Kings Hawaiian® Original Barbecue sauce to a slow cooker.
- Add the meatballs gently.
- Pour the remaining 1/2 bottle of barbecue sauce over the meatballs, stirring gently to coat.
- Slow cook on low for 4 hours.
- Split 24 King's Hawaiian® jalapeno rolls in half.
- Add 1 meatball to each.
- Put a couple of candied jalapenos on top of each meatball.
- Cover with the top half of the roll.
- Run a small skewer through the top of the roll and through the meatball to the bottom to keep the sandwiches together.