Meatball Sub

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 45 min Total Time 1 hr
Servings: 3
Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


These meatballs are tender and juicy! Thanks to both ground beef & ground sausage, they are full of flavor. Topped with house made marinara sauce, these subs will impress your whole family. 

You Need

For the Meatballs

For the Marinara Sauce


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  1. For the Meatballs
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

    • Pull the meat from the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, it will be easier to combine this way. Mix all ingredients for the meatballs. Do not over work the meat mixture, it will make your meatballs tough. 

    • Use an ice cream scoop, or a 1/3 cup measure to form into balls. I was able to make about 9 meatballs. Let them rest so the breadcrumbs can absorb all the meaty goodness while you prepare the sauce. 

  2. For the Marinara Sauce
    • In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add onion and soften. Add garlic. Add crushed tomatoes, be carful it will sputter, turn down heat. Add the rest of the seasonings and sugar (do not add basil or parsley yet). Simmer softly for about 15 minutes, the idea here is to cook down the bright acidic tomato flavor, cooking the tomatoes will deepen the flavor, you will see the color deepen as well. 

    • When the tomato mixture looks deeper in color and thickened, add the chopped herbs, and the red wine vinegar. Taste the sauce. Canned tomatoes will vary in their taste, so seasonings might need to be adjusted slightly. You might add more salt, more herbs, or more red wine vinegar (tiny dashes at a time only!)

  1. Back to the Meatballs...
    • Time for the meatballs! I love using a cast iron skillet for this, but use a regular frying pan if you don't have one. Don't use non stick, you won't get a nice sear on the meatballs. Heat 1 tablespoon fat, I use duck fat. Over medium-high heat, sear the meatballs on all sides. They will lift easily when ready to turn, mind the heat and turn it down if the meatballs are getting too brown. 

    • Put the meatballs in the oven for 30 minutes. I place them in the oven right in the cast iron skillet. Put them on a cookie sheet if your pan is not oven safe! Your meatballs might need more or less time depending on the pan you cook them in the oven on. Cut in half to ensure they are cooked all the way through. 

  2. To Assemble the Meatball Sub
    • Toast your rolls. 

    • I used 3 meatballs per sub, top with the marinara sauce, and cheese. Broil to melt cheese. Enjoy!!!


This meatball sub recipe uses two kinds of meat: ground beef and ground sausage. I like the ground sausage in addition to the beef because it is a little fattier, which gives things more flavor, and the fat will also make the meatballs extra juicy! If you aren't fond of sausage, you can swap it out for something else. Try: ground pork, ground lamb.

Keywords: meatball sub, meatball grinder, sub sandwich, meatballs, sandwich, meatball sandwich
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