Whether you want a quick (just 20 minutes!) camping lunch or dinner, or a great addition to your game-day grub, these Italian sausage sliders will keep everyone happy. They're tasty handheld bites that are made with Italian sausage, and topped with melted provolone and plenty of marinara sauce. Bet you can't stop at one.
There's something so incredibly fun about sliders. They're the perfect handheld size, and you can devour them long before they start to become all drippy and messy, like full size burgers tend to do.
I love this Italian slider recipe because it's so easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, so it's perfect for packing along on your next camping trip. The combination of rich sausage, creamy melted provolone cheese, and tangy marinara sauce will make you feel like you're enjoying your favorite Italian meal with very little effort.
Why This Recipe is Great for Camping
- This Italian sliders recipe is easy to make and can be cooked on your camp stove, grill, or over the campfire.
- You only need one bowl and your cast iron skillet, so dishes and clean up are minimal.
- They make a great lunch or dinner and kids love them, too.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Italian sausage--You can use mild, hot, or sweet sausage, depending on your preference. If your sausage comes with the casing on, you'll need to remove it. Use a sharp knife to slice through the casing down the length of each sausage and then pull it off.
- Breadcrumbs--I recommend using dry seasoned breadcrumbs for the extra flavor that they add, but if you have plain ones, they're fine, too.
- Egg--This, combined with the breadcrumbs, helps bind the meat mixture together and keeps it from being tough and dry.
- Provolone cheese--I love Provolone for these because it melts easily and the flavor works well with sausage and marinara. You could substitute mozzarella, if you prefer.
- Marinara sauce--Use a good-quality store-bought or homemade marinara for these. I recommend getting a thick sauce, as runny marinara will soak into the bun and make it soggy. My favorite is Rao's Marinara.
- Buns--Slider rolls are becoming more widely available in grocery stores, and there are several popular varieties, including King's Hawaiian rolls, which have a slightly sweet flavor. You can also substitute small dinner rolls.
How to Make Italian Sliders
- Mix the sausage, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Use your hands to gently shape the meat mixture into eight 2-inch balls.
- Place the slider patties in a large cast iron skillet and press gently to flatten them slightly. Cook over medium heat until they are almost done, flipping once.
- Top with cheese and let it melt. Assemble the sliders by spreading marinara sauce on the bottom of each bun, then top with an Italian sausage slider, more marinara, and the top bun.
Yes, you can. To make campfire sliders, prepare a bed of hot coals. Set the skillet on a grate a few inches above the coals and cook as directed in the recipe. If the meat begins to burn or brown too quickly, move the skillet to a cooler part of the fire.
The best way to tell is to check with an instant-read thermometer. The internal temperature of your slider patties should be 160°F (71°C). If you don't have access to a thermometer, you can cut into one of the sliders. It should be uniform in color throughout with no pink remaining.
Sure. Follow the directions, but shape the meat mixture into four burger patties and use full size buns.
Tips and Troubleshooting
- When shaping your slider patties, press them firmly enough so that they hold together but don't pack them tightly or they may become tough when cooked. If you find that the mixture is very sticky and difficult to work with, run your hands under cold water or rub them with a little oil before handling the meat.
- Serve extra marinara sauce on the side for dipping your sliders.
- If you like the crispiness of a toasted bun, place your buns, cut sides down in the skillet after cooking the sausage sliders. Toast for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden.
- If you're cooking these outdoors in cooler weather and the cheese isn't melting as quickly as you like, cover your skillet loosely with foil to help it melt.
Storage & Reheating
Wrap your leftover sliders in foil and store in your fridge or cooler for up to 1 day. Any longer and the bun starts to get soggy. Place the foil wrapped pouch over hot coals or in a 300°F oven and heat until warmed through.
What to Serve with Italian Slider Sandwiches
For a light meal, serve these sausage sliders with potato chips and raw veggies or camping pasta salad. If you want to offer these as part of a selection of snacks for a party, serve them with skillet beer cheese and tortilla chips.
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Italian Sausage Sliders
- 1 pound (454 g) Italian sausage casings removed
- 1 large egg beaten
- ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup marinara sauce plus more for serving (optional)
- 2 large slices provolone cheese cut into quarters
- 8 slider buns
- In a large bowl, combine the sausage, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and a big pinch of pepper. Use your hands or a spoon to mix everything well.
- Use your hands to shape the meat mixture into 8 meatballs (about 2 inches/5 cm wide).
- Set a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. You can do this on your stovetop, camp stove, or grill. Arrange the meatballs on the skillet and press each one down to flatten slightly.
- Brown until the sausage patties are almost cooked through, flipping once, about 4 minutes per side.
- Add a piece of cheese to each patty and let it melt, about 1 minute.
- To assemble the sliders, spoon about 1 tablespoon marinara sauce on the bottom half of each bun. Top with a slider patty, followed by another tablespoon of marinara, and finish with the top half of the bun. Serve immediately, with extra marinara for dipping, if desired.
- Handle the meat gently--When shaping your slider patties, press them firmly enough so that they hold together but don't pack them tightly or they may become tough when cooked. If you find that the mixture is very sticky and difficult to work with, run your hands under cold water or rub them with a little oil before handling the meat.
- Toast your buns--If you like the crispiness of a toasted bun, place your buns, cut sides down in the skillet after cooking the sausage sliders. Toast for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden.
- Helping the cheese melt--If you're cooking these outdoors in cooler weather and the cheese isn't melting as quickly as you like, cover your skillet loosely with foil to help it melt.