See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
These Meatball Subs are comfort food at its best! Homemade meatballs, marinara sauce and cheese are served on toasted sub rolls for the ultimate meatball sandwich.
Meatball fans are going to love these meatball sub sandwiches! With melty cheese, flavorful homemade meatballs and toasty sub rolls, these saucy sandwiches are so irresistible.
This easy meatball sub recipe starts with our favorite Homemade Meatballs. The beef meatballs are easy to make from scratch and so flavorful. For a lighter option, try these Turkey Meatballs. If you’re really short on time, you can use frozen meatballs instead of homemade.
The meatballs are baked in the oven and then simmered briefly in marinara sauce, adding flavor to the sauce. Before serving, you’ll pop the sandwiches under the broiler for a few minutes to get the cheese nice and melty. This recipe requires just 20 minutes of active prep time and the whole meal takes about 40 minutes, start to finish. This easy dinner idea is perfect for a weeknight!
What You’ll Need for this Meatball Sub Recipe
Besides the meatball ingredients, you’ll need marinara sauce, sub rolls and cheese for this recipe.
- Meatballs: The meatballs are made with ground beef, Italian seasonings, Parmesan cheese, onion and garlic. An egg and Panko breadcrumbs help to bind the ingredients together.
- Marinara Sauce: Use your favorite store bought marinara sauce to make the recipe especially quick and easy. Or try our homemade Marinara Sauce recipe.
- Hoagie Rolls: These long rolls are perfect for making sub sandwiches. Any type of long sandwich roll, submarine roll or bun will work.
- Cheese: Use sliced or shredded Provolone or Mozzarella cheese.
How to Make a Meatball Sub
Making these meatball subs is as simple as making the meatballs, warming the sauce and assembling the sandwiches. The final step is to pop the sandwiches under the broiler to melt the cheese.
- To make the meatballs, first combine everything except the ground beef and mix with a fork until well combined. Then mix in the ground beef until just combined.
- Shape the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and place them on a greased baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs at 450° F for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through.
- Simmer the meatballs and marinara sauce in a medium saucepan, covered, over medium-low heat, until heated through.
- Toast the rolls under the broiler until lightly toasted.
- Assemble the sandwiches by placing cheese and then 4 meatballs inside each toasted roll. Spoon on marinara sauce and top with more cheese. The double layers of cheese act as a barrier between sauce and roll to keep the bread from getting soggy.
- Broil the meatball subs for about 2 minutes, until the cheese is nice and melty and the rolls are golden brown. Serve right away and enjoy!
Can You Use Frozen Meatballs?
Yes, you can use frozen meatballs to make sub sandwiches. Cook the meatballs according to the package directions and then continue with the rest of the recipe.
- If you’re serving meatballs subs at a get together, you can keep the meatballs and sauce warm in the slow cooker after baking them. This is a great way to feed a crowd. See this Slow Cooker Meatballs recipe.
- Love your Instant Pot? This recipe for Instant Pot Meatballs with marinara sauce is a perfect way to cook meatballs for a meatball sub.
- For even more flavor, spread Garlic Butter on the bread before toasting it in the oven.
- Placing a slice of cheese under the meatballs and sauce and then more cheese on top can help keep the bread from getting soggy.
- Be sure to assemble the sandwiches right before serving so that they don’t get soggy. If desired, you can make the meatballs ahead and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw if frozen and then warm the meatballs in marinara sauce on the stove.
What to Serve with Meatball Subs
A meatball sub is a hearty, filling sandwich, so I recommend serving a salad or vegetable on the side. Try:
- Cucumber Tomato Salad: This light and refreshing salad pairs well with these hearty sandwiches.
- Italian Salad: The Italian flavors are perfect with the Italian meatballs.
- Fruit Salad: Balance out the savory with a sweet and juicy fruit salad.
- Roasted Zucchini: Simple, healthy and delicious!
- Sautéed Broccoli: This fresh and flavorful broccoli is a quick and easy side dish.
This meatball sub recipe is one you’ll want to keep in your rotation for busy days. Give it a try, and let me know how it turns out!
If you love a messy, beefy sandwich for dinner, this Italian Beef recipe is another must-make. Juicy, slow-cooked beef is piled on sub rolls and topped with melty, bubbly cheese.
For the Meatballs
- canola oil, for greasing the baking sheet
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup very finely minced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound ground beef, 80 or 85% lean is best
- 24 ounces marinara sauce
- 4 hoagie rolls
- 4 ounces shredded or sliced Provolone or Mozzarella cheese, about 1 cup shredded
Make the Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 450° F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat together the egg and water with a fork.
- Add the onion, garlic, Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well with a fork.
- Add the ground beef and mix until just combined. Try not to over-mix.
- Shape the mixture into 1 ½-inch meatballs and place them on the greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through to 160° F.
Make the Meatball Subs
- Place the marinara sauce and baked meatballs in a medium saucepan. Cover with a lid and heat over medium-low heat until heated through, 5-10 minutes.
- Split the rolls open and place them on a rimmed baking sheet, with the inside of the rolls facing up. Place them under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until lightly toasted.
- Place a slice of cheese or a thin layer of shredded cheese on each roll (this bottom cheese layer helps to keep the bread from getting soggy). Use a slotted spoon to put 4 meatballs inside each toasted roll. Spoon on marinara sauce and then top with more cheese. Place the meatball subs under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until cheese melts. Serve immediately.
- You can use frozen meatballs instead of homemade. If using frozen, follow the directions on the package for cooking the meatballs.
- Optional: Spread garlic butter on the sub rolls before toasting them in the oven.