Meatball Subs

When we go to a sandwich shop, which is frankly pretty rare, this is the sandwich my boys are going to go for. The truthiest truth is that they most often get a meatball sub on the occasions when we go to Subway, which is an even rarer occasion, but in a pinch, when traveling, and a Subway looms up on the horizon (or realistically at a gas station), I’m not fighting it.

Whenever I make meatballs at home, I’m usually doing it with an eye towards pasta. That was one of my dad’s all time favorite dinners, and everyone in my family is a dedicated fan as well. But when I’m being smart I make extra meatballs and then I can make these subs for lunch the next day.

Meatball Subs

Meatballs for Sub Sandwiches

The meatballs in the Subway sandwich are made with all beef and topped marinara sauce. I often make my meatballs with a blend of meats, but all beef is the easiest way to go. I also include an egg, which helps everything bind together nicely.

The little bit of fresh parsley is pretty and add a little fresh herby-ness, but you could skip it of you want. While I am a dried herb fan for some things, I am not a fan of dried parsley which I think tastes like a whole lot of nothing.

Meatball Subs

Layered up with marinara sauce and lots of mozzarella, these are the meatball subs dreams are made of (see you later, Subway!)

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How to Make Meatball Sub Sandwiches:

For this meatball sub recipe, I’m offering the option of making your own meatballs.  BUT believe you me you can make a terrific meatball sub with frozen meatballs as well.  And you can make your own marinara sauce, or use a jar of your favorite brand.  

I like to start cooking the meatballs in the oven, so they hold their round shape, and then when they are firmed up transfer them to a pot of simmering marinara sauce.

Meatball Subs

Then after they have totally cooked through, transfer them to a baking dish (unless you have used a nice overproof skillet to cook the meatballs in; then you are all set) and sprinkle over the cheese. Give them a quick broil to melt the cheese, and then scoop them into the awaiting rolls. This is easier and less potentially messy than melting the cheese on the meatballs once they are already in the sub rolIs.

I made these in smaller sub versions, two meatballs to a 4-inch or so sub. You can also make longer subs and cut them into pieces.

Meatball Subs

Other Meatball Recipes:

Other Kid-Friendly Recipes:

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Meatball Sub Sandwich

Layered up with marinara sauce and lots of mozzarella, these are the meatball subs dreams are made of.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 slice plain bread
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground meat preferably a combination of beef, pork and veal
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt plus more for cooking the pasta
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil if sautéing
  • 4 cups Marinara sauce homemade or jarred
  • 1 loaf Italian bread sliced lengthwise and cut into 4 inch pieces
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Tear the bread into pieces and place them in a small bowl, pour the milk over, stir to combine, and let sit for 5 minutes until the bread has absorbed most of the milk. Squeeze out the excess milk and shred the bread into little pieces.
  • Place the meat in a large bowl. Add the soaked bread, egg, ¼ cup Parmesan, parsley, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to the meat and use your hands to blend it well, but try not to squeeze the mixture too much as you blend it. Make nice round meatballs 2-inches in size.  
  • To bake the meatballs: preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a baking sheet with sides with nonstick cooking spray, or lightly oil it. Place the meatballs on the tray, without touching, and bake until almost cooked throughout, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer in a medium sized pot over medium-low heat. Add the partially cooked meatballs to the sauce and simmer until they are fully cooked, about 10 more minutes.
  • While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the rolls. You can leave them soft, or toast them by placing them opened up and cut side down in a hot skillet with a touch of olive oil for a couple of minutes until the interior is golden brown.
  • When the meatballs are removed from the oven and added to the sauce, turn the oven to broil. Transfer the meatballs with their sauce to a shallow baking dish so that the meatballs are in a single layer. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella and the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and broil for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted. Use a spoon to transfer two meatballs with some sauce and cheese to the rolls. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 1453kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 97g | Saturated Fat: 46g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 2620mg | Potassium: 1586mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 1442IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 370mg | Iron: 9mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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  1. Subway in the UK released their meatball in marinara sauce recipe and that is half beef and half pork. Maybe different in different countries. Nonetheless, I cannot go past a meatball sub here in Australia! I’m looking through different recipes to make them at home, thanks for sharing yours. Cheers.


  2. “The meatballs in the Subway sandwich are made with all beef and topped marinara sauce.”

    I was told by the manager of a Subway that the meatballs have pork. I have investigated this further. So…I can have Subway MEATBALLS again!!!!!!! :)

  3. These meatballs are always a double batch for me. First night with spaghetti, second night subs. And amen to fast food requests on road trips, it’s all about the 80/20 rule, right?

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