Yesterday, we had Italian sausage sliders for dinner. Yes, sliders. I know what you’re thinking: how can she serve sliders for dinner, and count that as a real meal?
Because it totally is, especially if you ask my kids. The Italian sausage sliders I made for dinner went over so well, just like they had the last time I made them.The only difference this time is that I used ground pork sausage instead of ground beef. The difference in flavor was amazing and uncanny. Oh, and the sliders are easy to make, especially for a weeknight meal.
There are a few secrets to this easy meal. First, you need some cheese. Shredded mozzarella is the key to success here, but provolone or fontina would have worked well too. But, you need the cheese.
We sautéed a small chopped onion in a large skillet, then added minced garlic. Next, came the ground sausage. We added it to the skillet, and browned it up. I could smell the fennel right away. Oh my. I decided to double the recipe, so we would have some Italian sausage slider mixture to use for a later meal.
Oh, I also had a helper in the kitchen. My 10 year old loves to brown the meat, and take care of the next few steps of this recipe.
Next, pour one can of crushed tomatoes in the skillet, and stir. Don’t drain the sausage! The drippings from the meat flavor the tomatoes so well. Let’s not waste a good thing, OK?
Stir in salt, pepper, dried oregano, and the “stuff with the green cap.” Yes, I’ve tried this with the more fancy parmesan, but the regular grated stuff just tastes better in this recipe.
Cover, and let simmer for about 10 minutes. This gives you time to grate your cheese (if you haven’t already), grab your fresh spinach, and slice your dinner rolls in half.
Here’s the thing: the hot Italian sausage mixture will not only melt the cheese, but it will wilt the spinach. Oh my goodness. You won’t be able to get enough of these! Here’s how I put them together:
Once they are all put together, you can slice them with a knife, or pull them apart with your hands. The latter is messier, but more fun. Just ask your kids.
Italian Sausage Sliders
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 package ground pork sausage
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 packages ready-made dinner rolls, 12-count
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup fresh spinach
Place a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add olive oil.
Once the oil starts to shimmer, add onions, and stir constantly until translucent.
Add garlic and stir together for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn heat up to medium.
Add say, and cook until brown, while simultaneously breaking the meat into smaller pieces.
Once the meat is brown, and the onions and garlic are fully incorporated, stir in crushed tomatoes.
Add salt, pepper, oregano, and parmesan. Stir well. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
Slice dinner rolls in half.
Add the Italian sausage mixture to the top of the rolls, using half of mixture for each dinner roll package.
Place the shredded mozzarella on top of the Italian sausage mixture, again, using half of the cheese on each dinner roll package.
Lay the full spinach leaves over the shredded cheese.
Serve with a side salad, and enjoy.