This Meatball Marinara Sub Recipe is a classic family favorite that’s perfect for game day or any night of the week. Either frozen or homemade meatballs are tucked into a toasted hoagie bun along with marinara sauce and sliced cheese, then broiled until melted, bubbly, and delicious.
The Best Meatball Sub Recipe
This is the best classic Meatball Sub recipe, hands down. It’s got a crunchy garlic bun, juicy meatballs and sauce, and melted cheese in every single delicious bite. Best of all, you can have these ready for dinner in about 20 minutes.
If you want to really go for it and use homemade meatballs, these Spicy Italian Meatballs are amazing and super simple. You can make them ahead of time, store in the fridge or freezer, and pull out as many as you need. Homemade sub sandwiches also make a great game day option. And if you’re looking for more sandwich or sub sandwich recipes, this Chicken Salad Sandwich is another favorite.
Meatball Sandwich Recipe Ingredients
- Meatballs - this recipe suggests using frozen meatballs because it is super quick, easy, and convenient. You can also make your own homemade meatballs. For 6 sandwiches, you’ll need about 1 ½ pounds of meatballs or about 2-3 meatballs per sandwich.
- Meatball Sub Bread - use any kind of 4-5” sturdy hoagie bun, sub sandwich bun, Italian bread, or French bread. In a pinch even hotdog buns would work!
- Butter - this is to spread over the hoagie buns before toasting so you’ll want it to be nice and soft. You could also substitute olive oil.
- Garlic Salt - you can either use garlic salt or half garlic powder and half salt to sprinkle over the hoagie buns. It adds tons of flavor. Feel free to add other seasoning like red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, or even just a bit of salt and pepper.
- Marinara Sauce - use your favorite brand of jarred marinara or make your own Homemade Marinara Sauce.
- Cheese - to me, the best cheese for meatball sub sandwiches is sliced mozzarella and sliced provolone. You could also use one or the other, or substitute shredded cheese or even fresh mozzarella.
Meatball Sub Toppings
If you want to add even more toppings to your Meatball Sandwich, here are a few ideas:
- Diced onions
- Sliced peppers
- Caramelized onions
- Fresh chopped basil
How to Make This Easy Meatball Sub Recipe
- Prepare the meatballs. Prepare and heat meatballs according to the recipe or package directions. Set aside.
- Toast the buns. Spread the insides of each hoagie bun with butter and sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. Place on a baking sheet and broil for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Build the meatball subs. Remove buns from the broiler and carefully add the warmed meatballs, 2-3 tablespoons of marinara sauce, a slice of provolone cheese, and a slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Broil. Return to the broiler in your preheated oven for another 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve. Serve warm with additional marinara sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations for This Meatball Sandwich Recipe
Whether you like it spicy, cheesy, or with an Asian twist, there's a meatball sub for everyone. Why not try something new the next time you're craving a Meatball Sub?
- Spicy Meatball Sub: Add sliced jalapenos or red pepper flakes to your marinara sauce. You can also use spicy Italian sausage or add a hot sauce of your choice to the meatball mixture.
- Meatball and Mushroom Sub: Saute sliced mushrooms and garlic in olive oil until tender and add them to your meatball sub. Top with provolone cheese and toast until melted.
- Meatball and Pepperoni Sub: For a meat-lover's dream sub, add sliced pepperoni. Top with mozzarella cheese and toast until melted and bubbly.
- Meatball Banh Mi: For an Asian twist on the classic sub, add pickled carrots and daikon radish, sliced jalapenos, cilantro, and a drizzle of Sriracha. Use a baguette or French roll for the bread.
- Meatball Sub Salad: For a healthier option, skip the bread and make a meatball sub salad. Top a bed of lettuce with sliced meatballs, marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, and any other toppings you desire.
Frequently Asked Questions
My favorite Meatball Sub bread is any long 4-5” sub roll or hoagie bun. You want it to be relatively sturdy. You can also take a long loaf of French bread or Italian bread, slice it down the middle, and cut it into portions. With all of the sauce and melted cheese, regular sliced bread will just fall apart and make a bit of a mess.
If you would rather use the oven, you can preheat it to about 375 degrees and use that instead. It may just take a few minutes longer.
The best meatballs are the most delicious meatballs, but the second best meatballs are whatever you have that is going to make your life easy! Of course homemade meatballs have the best flavor and texture. These Spicy Italian Meatballs are super simple, made with ground beef, sausage, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and some simple Italian seasoning.
But sometimes what you really need are frozen meatballs that will make dinner as easy as possible. I suggest going with a classic Italian meatball.
Storing and Reheating
- Refrigerator: store leftover Meatball Sub sauce and meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: you can freeze leftover meatballs and sauce for up to 2 months. To thaw, transfer to the fridge overnight.
- To reheat: to reheat meatballs and sauce, you can use the microwave or put them into a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.
Meatball Marinara Sub Recipe
- 1½ pounds Meatballs or 3-4 meatballs per sandwich
- 6 medium Hoagie Buns about 4-5" long
- 2 Tablespoons Butter room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
- 2 cups Marinara Sauce
- 6 slices Provolone Cheese
- 6 slices Mozzarella Cheese
- Preheat oven to broil setting.
- Prepare and heat meatballs according to the recipe or package directions. Set aside.
- Spread the insides of each hoagie bun with butter and sprinkle lightly with garlic salt. Place on a sheet pan and broil for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove buns from the broiler and carefully add the warmed meatballs, 2-3 tablespoons of marinara sauce, a slice of provolone cheese, and a slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Return to the broiler for another 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve warm with additional marinara sauce for dipping. Enjoy!
More of the Best 30-Minute Meals
- Southwest Crispy Chicken Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Cauliflower Soup
- Chicken Tenders
- Walking Tacos
- Chipotle Chicken Burritos
- Steak Fajitas
- Quick Beef Chili
- Korean Beef Stir Fry
- More Easy Weeknight Dinners
- More Game Day Recipes
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This is the best Meatball Sub Sandwich recipe, hands down. It's filled with juicy meatballs and sauce, melted cheese, all served on a toasted hoagie bun.