Meatball Subs are a quick & easy, and delicious meal to make if you have leftover meatballs, or keep frozen meatballs on hand.
Does your family have a recipe that, no matter what, every member of the family is happy to see appearing on the table at dinner time? My family has a few, and these Meatball Subs are one of them.
These meatball subs consist of sub buns filled with arugula (this is optional, but I love the nutty leafiness it adds), meatballs, tomato sauce (I've included a quick and easy recipe to make it yourself), mozzarella, and Parmesan (also optional, but adds a little more flavor).
They are delicious and filling. If you happen to have cooked meatballs on hand, they're also quick and easy to make - you can definitely have them on the table within 30 minutes. Will they be a dinnertime favorite for your family too?
How to make Meatball Subs:
Meatball Subs are by far the easiest to make when you've already got meatballs cooked and ready to go. They could be store-bought frozen meatballs, or they could be your own homemade meatballs that you've pre-cooked and frozen, or ones that you have leftover from another meal. Just make sure you heat them up before adding them to your subs.
I've included an easy tomato sauce recipe for your subs, but feel free to use a favorite jarred marinara sauce if you have one. The tomato sauce consists of cooking some garlic and spices in olive oil, then adding some tomato puree and simmering until the sauce cooks down a little. The process takes about 20 minutes, and the sauce can be simmering while you're prepping the other meatball sub ingredients.
The final step to making the meatball subs is simply assembling and broiling them. I like to cut the buns right down the middle of the top, about ¾ of the way through. This makes it easier for them to stand up while they're broiling and on the plate. Just make sure you don't cut too far through the bun, or it might break in half.
Then lightly butter the buns and fill them with the ingredients: arugula (if using), warmed meatballs, tomato sauce, and cheese. Put the subs under the broiler (not too close - I like the middle rack for this), and keep an eye on them so the bread doesn't burn. Once the cheese is melted, they're ready to serve.
Meatball Subs Ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Dried oregano
- Onion powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Tomato puree
- Water: Use whatever water you normally drink. Tap water is fine. Pro-tip: use the water to rinse out any remaining tomato puree clinging to the can or bottle.
- Dried basil
- Kosher salt or MSG-salt
- Submarine rolls or high-quality sausage rolls
- Spreadable butter
- Baby arugula: this is optional, but I really like the nutty flavor and leafy texture it adds to the subs.
- Cooked meatballs: Use whatever kind you would normally use in pastas or with spaghetti, either storebought frozen ones, or leftover homemade ones. Make sure you warm them up before you put them in your sub.
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Shredded Parmesan cheese: This is optional, but adds a lot of flavor.
Want more sandwich recipes?
Meatball Subs Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information of your sub will vary depending on the quantity/size, and type of meatballs you use. The nutrition information calculations uses typical beef meatballs. Using turkey meatballs, or blended (meat and mushroom) meatballs will slightly reduce fat (and saturated fat) and calories in your meatball subs.
The nutrition information in the recipe below accounts for using only about half of the tomato sauce for this recipe, as you will certainly have some left over if you only make 4 meatball subs.
- Small saucepan
- Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, and 1 pinch red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Add 24 ounce tomato puree, 2 Tablespoons water, ½ teaspoon dried basil, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer until the tomato sauce is slightly thickened and reduced, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
- While the tomato sauce is simmering, you can start assembling the meatball subs. Cut the rolls partway through (I prefer to cut straight through the top of the roll, as it makes it easier for the rolls to stand up while broiling). Butter the inside of each roll with approximately ½ Tablespoon of butter.
- Add about ½ cup of arugula to the roll (if using), then put the meatballs on top (you will need 3-5 meatballs per roll, depending on the sizes of the rolls and the meatballs). Spoon about ¼ to ½ cup of tomato sauce over the meatballs, then spread about ½ cup of mozzarella on top of the sauce. Top with about ½ Tablespoon of shredded Parmesan.
- Turn on the broiler and move the oven rack to the middle positition. Put the sandwiches on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Broil the subs until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown, making sure to watch them closely while they're broiling to make sure they don't burn. Serve immediately.