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Meatball Sub Sandwich

We’re just going to go ahead and call this the best meatball sub recipe ever. Because it just IS.


meatball sub sandwich with mozzarella and basil

The Ultimate Meatball Sub Sandwich Recipe

Is there anything better than a toasty, hot, messy meatball sub sandwich? Big juicy, tender meatballs simmered in marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade—either works!) stuffed into garlicky hoagie rolls, topped with mozzarella and broiled to melty, bubbly perfection. This is a go-to comfort meal in our homes, and it’s actually a great one for serving a crowd, too. We’ll teach you just how easy a homemade meatball sub can be!

ingredients laid out for meatball sub sandwich ground beef ground sausage, bread crumbs, parsley, marinara sauce, mozzarella
ground sausage, ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and garlic in a glass bowl
ground sausage, ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and garlic in a glass bowl mixed for meatballs
marinara sauce in a glass measuring cup

Classic Italian Meatballs Are The Key To A Great Meatball Sub

A great meatball sub sandwich begins with great meatballs, duh. And while we’ve made more than our share of meatballs in our lives—more on that later—our love for meatballs began here. With classic Italian meatballs, seasoned perfectly and mixed with a light hand. Nothing unexpected here—just 100% classic meatball ingredients, and zero nonsense. In addition to the usual salt and pepper, here’s what you’ll need to make meatballs for your meatball sub:

  • Ground beef. Look for an 80/20 blend!
  • Ground mild Italian sausage
  • Italian parsley
  • Garlic
  • Italian-style breadcrumbs—these are the kind that come with herbs like parsley and oregano mixed into them.
  • Egg
  • Parmesan cheese
Italian meatballs on a baking sheet
raw Italian meatballs in a braiser with marinara sauce
cooked Italian meatballs simmered in a braiser with marinara sauce
toasted hoagie rolls in a baking dish with butter

How To Make Meatball Subs

Making meatball subs might seem like a bit of an undertaking, but we’ll break it down to show you just how manageable it really is. All you’ll do for this meatball sandwich recipe is:

  1. Mix and roll your meatballs. Get the kids to help roll! It’s fun and really easy—especially if you’re not a stickler for a perfectly formed meatball.
  2. Cook the meatballs! Simmer the meatballs in tomato sauce—jarred or homemade, whatever you’ve got—for about 20 minutes.
  3. Prep the submarine rolls with a little brush of olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic powder.
  4. Finish! Fill the rolls with meatballs, top with mozzarella, and broil until the cheese is melty!
Italian meatballs with marinara on sub sandwich rolls in a baking dish
Italian meatballs with marinara and fresh mozzarella on sub sandwich rolls in a baking dish
Italian meatballs with marinara with parsley and fresh mozzarella on sub sandwich rolls in a baking dish
Italian meatball sub with fresh mozzarella and parsley on a hoagie roll

What To Serve With Meatball Subs

Is a meatball sandwich a meal that needs sides? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s fun to go all out, especially if you’re serving meatball sandwiches to a crowd. Here are a few side dishes we love to pair them with:

Tools You’ll Need

meatball sub sandwich with mozzarella and basil
meatball sub sandwich with mozzarella and parsley on a plate

There’s Just No Sub for this Sub Sandwich

We’ve been working on this recipe for a long time, and it’s perfect as can be. Or at least, we think so! Try this meatball sub recipe, and let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Meatball Sub Sandwich

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 759


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb mild Italian sausage, ground or links with casing removed
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped (1 tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper, freshly ground
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, store bought or homemade
  • 6 hoagie rolls
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded


  1. Place the beef, sausage, parsley, garlic, bread crumbs, egg, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands to combine the meatball ingredients until fully combined, be careful to not overwork the mixture. Once all ingredients are combined, roll into 24 meatballs, about 2 tablespoons each.
  2. Add marinara and meatballs to a large saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes.
    While the meatballs are cooking, brush the inside of hoagie rolls with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder.
  3. Preheat broiler. In a 9X13 baking dish arrange hoagie rolls and add 4 meatballs to each roll. Top each meatball sub with mozzarella. Set baking dish under the broiler and allow to cook until cheese is just melted.
  4. Top with extra parsley and enjoy!

    **Meatballs can be frozen raw or frozen pre-cooked. Spread raw or cooked meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in freezer for an hour. Transfer frozen meatballs to a freezer bag. Remove air before sealing and store flat in freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories759
  • Protein46 g
  • Carbohydrates51 g
  • Total Fat41 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol143 mg
  • sodium1192 mg
  • Total Sugars7 g

Meatball Sub Sandwich

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Ashley

    I have a beef allergy. Can this just be made with Italian sausage? Or substitute the beef with Lamb?

    sure! either would be fine.

  • Stacey

    I loved all the ingredients! It was a big hit with the family. I cooked the meatballs on a frying pan and blotted them before adding the to the Marina sauce. Then simmered them. They turned out great!

    So glad you and your family enjoyed this, Stacey!

  • Eva

    Terrific dinner on a cold night! My seven-year-old loved squishing the ingredients together, and I was impressed as to how fast it all came together! We used 2lb of meat total (1 lb 85% lean ground beef, and 1 lb mild Italian sausage), so we added a second egg. Ended up with 34 meatballs so we will save some to put atop spaghetti later in the week. Thanks!

    Thanks Eva! We are so happy everyone loved it and it's so fun when kids get in on the prepping and cooking!

  • Vicki

    Made these for lunch today. Absolutely delicious. Great recipe.

    Thank you Vicki! So glad you loved them!

  • Vicki

    Made these for lunch today. They came out absolutely delicious.

    Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Jaclyn

    We had an outdoor dinner party and I used this recipe! They were so good and quite the showstopper! The Bishops love TMP and I am so grateful for all your hard work!

    Thank you so much for this sweet comment!