Pesto Meatball Sliders
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing buns
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 8 ounces sliced white button mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 16 vegan slider buns or dinner rolls
- 1 cup store-bought tomato sauce, heated
- 1 cup store-bought vegan pesto
- 16 fresh basil leaves
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil; add onion and mushrooms and cook until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes more. Transfer onion-and-mushroom mixture to a food processor and set skillet aside.
- Add rice, bread crumbs, flour, basil, salt, black pepper, and red pepper, if using, to food processor. Pulse until the mixture just comes together. (If necessary, transfer to a large bowl and mix with hands.) Add more salt and pepper to taste; let cool slightly.
- Form the mixture into 16 balls, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. In the skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat and fry meat- balls in batches, adding more oil if needed, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Open slider buns and lightly brush insides with olive oil. Toast in a saute pan over medium heat until lightly browned on the edges.
- Layer 1 tablespoon tomato sauce, 1 meatball, 1 tablespoon pesto, and 1 basil leaf in each bun. Use toothpicks to hold sliders together. Serve immediately.
- Courtesy of Chef Chloe Coscarelli, of By Chloe in New York City
Per serving: 299 kcal cal., 19 g fat (2.9 g sat. fat), 624 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 7 g pro.. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet