meatball subs featured image
Our homemade meatball subs have juicy meatballs that are simmered in a tasty homemade sauce, placed in a soft sub sandwich, and coated with more sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.
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Table of Contents
  1. Italian Meatball Sub Sandwich
  2. Why We Love This Meatball Sub Recipe
  3. Ingredients / Shopping List
  4. Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
  5. How to Make Homemade Meatball Subs
  6. Storage Tips
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. Other Easy Sandwich Recipes
  9. Meatball Subs Recipe

These homemade meatball subs are a hearty, hot sub sandwich that’s meaty, saucy, and cheesy! Juicy meatballs are simmered in a tasty homemade sauce, placed in a soft sub sandwich, and coated with more sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. The perfect weeknight dinner recipe!

meatball subs hero image

Italian Meatball Sub Sandwich

If my hubby sees a meatball sub on a menu at a restaurant, I already know what he’s getting. He absolutely loves the hearty, comforting flavor of a warm sub slathered in sauce and topped with melted cheese. So, it’s no secret that he loves my homemade meatballs subs! 

Whether I’m making a single batch for the family, or a double batch to feed a crowd these subs are always a crowd-pleaser! There’s just something about the warm, hearty flavors that always hits the spot.

Why We Love This Meatball Sub Recipe

  • Easy homemade meatball sub recipe
  • Hearty hot submarine sandwich -perfect for dinner or lunch
  • Extra meatballs and sauce can be used for a spaghetti dinner
  • You can freeze a batch of meatballs for a quicker option in the future
  • Flavorful meatballs and a zesty sauce -all made from scratch
bitten meatball subs

Ingredients / Shopping List

  • Lean ground beef
  • Eggs
  • Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Sweet onion -small diced
  • Fresh parsley
  • Garlic powder 
  • Salt & pepper
  • Minced garlic
  • Dried basil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Hearty sub rolls -you want these to be about 7-8 inches long. Make sure you choose a hearty sub roll for these meatball subs.  Softer rolls will not hold up to the sauce and meatballs.  The ones that I have found work best are from your local bakery or the bakery department at the grocery store.  Also, a large loaf of french bread, cut into 4 sections, works great too.
  • Sliced mozzarella cheese -from the deli section (not a block of cheese). If you prefer a sharper cheese, you can substitute sliced provolone cheese for the sliced mozzarella.  In addition, if you can not find sliced mozzarella cheese, you can use shredded mozzarella cheese in its place.
meatball subs with melted cheese

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How to Make Homemade Meatball Subs

  1. Add olive oil, onions, garlic, dried basil, salt, and pepper to a pot over medium heat and saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar. Stir to combine.
    add the olive oil, onions, garlic, dried basil, salt, pepper, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine beef, eggs, panko, parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
    Pro-Tip: Be careful not to overmix the beef mixture, it will cause tough meatballs.
    combine beef, eggs, panko, parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, salt and pepper
  4. Use a kitchen scale to weigh out and shape 12 5-ounce meatballs. Place them on a prepared sheet pan.
    Use a kitchen scale to weigh out and shape 12 5-ounce meatballs
  5. Brown the meatballs in a skillet on the stove.
    Brown the meatballs in a skillet on the stove
  6. Place them back on the baking sheet. Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.
    Place them back on the baking sheet and bake
  7. After baking, place the meatballs into your sauce and simmer for 30-minutes.
    place the meatballs into your sauce
  8. Assemble your sub by placing 3 meatballs inside and topping them with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese.
    assemble subs and add mozarella cheese
  9. Place the prepared subs onto a prepared sheet pan and broil for 2-3 minutes in the oven.
    meatball subs in baking sheet
  10. Top subs with additional sauce, grated parmesan, and parsley. Enjoy!

Storage Tips

  • To Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze any extra meatballs and sauce together in a freezer safe, lidded container, for up to 2 months.  When you are ready to use them you will need to thaw the container in your refrigerator. (This recipe makes a great freezer meal! Prep ahead and then just defrost and use!
  • To Reheat: You can place your leftover meatballs and sauce in a large pan and reheat them on medium-low heat on the stove. If frozen, you will need to thaw the leftovers first.
meatball subs on a plate

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make smaller meatballs for my subs?

This recipe makes large meatballs. If you prefer a smaller-sized meatball you can make 24 (2.5oz.) meatballs with this same recipe. Feel free to freeze half the batch in this case!

What else could I do with leftover sauce and meatballs?

A great way to use any extra sauce and meatballs is to cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions and top them with your reheated sauce, meatballs, and a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.  You can serve this with a side of garlic toast and green salad.

How do I make meatballs without a kitchen scale?

If you do not own a kitchen scale you can use an extra-large (3 inches) cookie scoop as a guide for your meatball size.  A full scoop will make approximately 4.5-5 oz meatballs.

What side dish goes well with meatball subs?

These subs are pretty filling in themselves, so they don’t necessarily require a side dish. However, I like to serve them with a hearty green salad or a side of veggies to add something green to the dish! You could also serve them with fries or chips for a classic pairing.

bitten meatball subs

Other Easy Sandwich Recipes

5 from 1 vote
meatball subs featured image

Meatball Subs

Serves — 4
Our homemade meatball subs have juicy meatballs that are simmered in a tasty homemade sauce, placed in a soft sub sandwich, and coated with more sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins

Ingredients
  

Meatballs

  • pounds (60 ounces) lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Sauce

  • 56 ounce (2 cans) crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup sweet onion small diced (about 1 medium sized onion)
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

For the sub sandwich

  • 4 hearty sub rolls (approximately 7-8 inches long each)
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese (from the deli section, not a block of cheese)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • Additional chopped fresh parsley for garnish if desired

Instructions
 

  • In a 6 quart pot, on medium heat, add the olive oil, onions, garlic, dried basil, salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and the sugar. Stir to combine then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce while you move forward with making the meatballs. Make sure to give your sauce a stir every so often to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the ground beef, eggs, panko, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
  • Using a large wooden spoon mix all the ingredients together until well combined. **Be careful not to overwork the beef mixture because that causes tough meatballs**
  • Preheat your oven to 350*F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper to cover the bottom. Set aside.
  • Using a kitchen scale, divide the meat mixture and weigh out 12 (5 ounce) meatballs. Shape your meatballs by lightly rolling them in your hands then place the formed meatballs, in rows, on the prepared sheet pan.
  • In a large, heavy duty skillet, heat the ¼ cup olive oil. Once the oil is hot, place 6 of your shaped meatballs into the skillet. You will brown your meatballs on all sides. This should take about 8-10 minutes. Once you have browned your meatballs on all sides, remove them from the skillet and return them to the baking sheet. Repeat this step with the remaining meatballs. When you are done you should have 12 browned meatballs back on your parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Place your baking sheet, with the browned meatballs, into the oven to finish baking the meatballs for 30 minutes.
  • Once you remove your cooked meatballs from the oven, place them into your pot of simmering sauce for another 30 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • Preheat your oven to BROIL. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
  • At this point you can assemble your sub sandwiches by opening your sub roll lengthwise. Place 3 meatballs into each of the sub rolls. Top your meatballs with 2 slices of the deli sliced mozzarella cheese. Place your assembled meatball subs onto the aluminum foil lined sheet tray and put them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until your cheese has melted and your sub roll has crisped up slightly.
  • You can garnish your sub with a couple spoonfuls of additional sauce, grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley if desired.

Jenn’s Notes

Makes 12 5-ounce meatballs – 4 sub sandwiches
Storage:
  • To Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze any extra meatballs and sauce together in a freezer safe, lidded container, for up to 2 months.  When you are ready to use them you will need to thaw the container in your refrigerator.  
  • To Reheat: You can place your leftover meatballs and sauce in a large pan and reheat them on medium-low heat on the stove. If frozen, you will need to thaw the leftovers first.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 1980kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 114g | Fat: 132g | Saturated Fat: 48g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 59g | Trans Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 451mg | Sodium: 3415mg | Potassium: 2890mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 2289IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 859mg | Iron: 27mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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