Italian-inspired sliders dressed to impress


Ah…Sloppy Joes. Lunchroom favorite and potluck mainstay. Home cook Lisa Speer updates this classic American sandwich with an Italian twist.

These three-bite, super flavorful mini sandwiches are perfect for snacking on at a party or as part of a munchy dinner. The best part? They’re super easy to eat and not really ‘sloppy’ at all!

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italian Sloppy Joes

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more

1 1/4 lb mild Italian sausages, w/out casings

1 lg yellow onion, diced

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 c canned diced tomatoes, drained

1 sm clove garlic, minced

2 c jarred tomato basil sauce

3 tbsp chopped fresh basil

16 slider rolls, sliced

1-1/2 tbsp grated Parmesan

16 slc mozzarella cheese

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; add sausage. Brown well, breaking up links with a wooden spoon.

Add onion, vinegar, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes; stir until onion is tender. Add tomatoes and garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add sauce; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until liquid has almost evaporated. Remove from heat; stir in basil.

Preheat broiler. Brush cut sides of roll tops lightly with oil. Arrange all roll slices, cut side up, on a large baking sheet.

Using an ice cream scoop, pile equal amounts of sausage mixture onto roll bottoms; sprinkle lightly with Parmesan; top with mozzarella slice. Place briefly under broiler, until mozzarella is melted and roll tops are toasted. Arrange roll tops over melted mozzarella and serve.

“Everyone I’ve served [these] to has raved, even people who don’t like traditional Sloppy Joes!”

-Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, FL (Pop. 8,348)

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