Is there anything more comforting and satisfying than a meatball sub sandwich? And we’re not talking about any meatball sub– a meatball sub with homemade meatballs that are flavorful and juicy, a generous amount of good quality marinara sauce, a toasted hoagie bun, and (last but not least) melty, creamy mozzarella.
Cue: this meatball sub recipe. We incorporated everything we loved from meatball subs far and wide including delectable creations from Parm in NYC, Tony Caputos and Bocata in SLC, and several others. This recipe is easy to make, yields an absolutely delicious result, and is a total crowd-pleaser.
The Perfect Meatball Sub Recipe
There are hundreds of meatball sub recipes out there, but here’s what sets ours apart from the rest:
- Homemade meatballs. This is the most important part of your meatball sub sandwich (don’t even think about buying pre-made meatballs). Baking your meatballs on an oiled cookie sheet in the oven will keep the cooking process simple and produces delicious, addicting meatballs that are juicy on the inside and slightly crisp and browned on the outside.
- A good quality marinara sauce. If you’re making yours from scratch, check out our pomodoro sauce (sans the pasta water), or we also are big fans of the Organic Marinara Sauce from Costco, and the Tomato Basil Marinara from Trader Joe’s.
- It’s imperative that no matter what kind of hoagie bun you’re using for this recipe, you slather the insides with butter and toast them! You absolutely need the crisp and toasty texture to contrast your saucy, cheesy sandwich interior.
- A good quality mozzarella will make all the difference with this sandwich. We prefer fresh mozzarella to low moisture mozzarella, and if you’re feeling really fancy you can top this meatball sub with burrata for an extra creamy finish.
How to Make Meatball Subs
Making meatball subs does not have to be complicated. First, you’ll need to make your meatballs. Simply combine all ingredients (don’t overmix!), roll into meatballs that are slightly larger than a golf ball, and bake them for 15 minutes, flipping the meatballs about 10 minutes through. Once your meatballs are done, you could do the rest in your sleep. Heat the marinara sauce in a large pan and add the meatballs. Toast the buns, and assemble the sandwiches. Broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven, top with fresh basil, and devour immediately. Amen.
What to Serve With Meatball Subs
Once you’ve mastered this meatball sub recipe, you’ll need to decide what to serve with them. Meatball subs are filling and honestly can be an entire meal themselves, but if you’re serving for a crowd or you’d just like a more complete meal, here are some fantastic sides that we whole-heartedly endorse:
- salty kettle chips
- fresh fruit
- pasta salad
- a homemade chocolate chip cookie
- green salad
- fresh vegetables
30-Minute Meatball Sub Recipe
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup panko
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 oz. finely grated parm
- 1/2 lb. 80/20 beef
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 1 large jar (26-32 oz.) of your favorite marinara/pasta sauce
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
- 4 hoagie rolls, cut in half lengthwise, leaving some of the top and bottom attached
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4-6 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 425°f. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil (1-2 Tablespoons) onto a cookie sheet, and using your hands or a basting brush, spread evenly across the cookie sheet surface.
- Place the eggs, panko, milk, salt, garlic powder, parm, beef, and pork in a large bowl. Using your hands (with gloves) or a wooden spoon, combine all of the ingredients until they evenly distributed-- do not overmix.
- Roll the meat mixture into meatballs and set on the prepared cookie sheet, spaced evenly. Each meatball should be slightly larger than a golf ball, totaling about 18 meatballs.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and using a metal spatula, carefully release each meatball from cookie sheet and turn over. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until meatballs are registering at 160 degrees F internally with an instant read thermometer. Turn oven to broil once done cooking meatballs.
- Heat the marinara sauce in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the meatballs. Gently toss to coat meatballs with sauce. Butter the insides of the hoagie rolls, 1 tablespoon per roll, and toast the buttered side on a griddle or nonstick pan until golden brown and crisp.
- Fill each of the toasted hoagie rolls with 4 meatballs. Top with 2 oz. of sliced fresh mozzarella. Place sandwiches in a glass or metal 9x13 pan upright, and broil for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Remove from oven and top with fresh basil. Serve immediately.