Italian Meatball Sliders

Smothered in marinara sauce and oozing with melted cheese, these sliders are seriously indulgent snack food. Your male guests will happily chomp away on these meaty bites – but only you'll know that they're less than 225 calories per serving!
ItalianMeatballSliders_Article

Photo: Maya Visnyei

By Cara Lyons

Serves: 12
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup minced roasted red bell peppers (packed in water and drained)
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup natural jarred marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 24 cocktail-size whole-grain pitas or buns, split, toasted lightly if desired

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine turkey, garlic, egg white, onion, bell peppers, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Gently mix until combined. Using a spoon or small scooper, form into patties about 1 scant tbsp each, making about 24 sliders; place on sheet. (MAKE AHEAD: Prepare patties up to 1 day in advance, wrap tray in plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
  3. Transfer to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip patties over. Bake for 5 more minutes. Remove patties from oven; spoon marinara over each patty and sprinkle each with cheese, dividing evenly. Switch oven to broiler setting on high, return to oven and broil for 4 to 5 minutes, until cooked through and cheese is bubbling. Using a fork or tongs, transfer each patty into a pita or bun.

Nutrients Per Serving (2 sliders): Calories: 213, Total Fat: 4 g, Sat. Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g, Carbs: 29 g, Fiber: 3 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 11 g, Sodium: 554 mg, Cholesterol: 21 mg

Nutritional Bonus: These sliders provide 11 grams of lean, metabolism-boosting protein in every serving. Studies show that consuming enough protein is a key factor for controlling your weight, as it keeps you feeling full and satisfied.