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Homemade Meatball Subs

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These Homemade Meatball Subs are a meal that the whole family will love. Prepare the meatballs early and assemble when you’re ready to eat!

These subs are one of my family’s favorite tried and true meals – from the flavorful meatballs, to the bright tomato sauce, to the melted fresh mozzarella on top – they really are a crowd-pleaser.

I like to make a quick and easy homemade San Marzano tomato sauce for these (you cannot beat the flavor of fresh bright San Marzano tomatoes -the Cento brand San Marzano tomatoes are by far my favorite!), but you can for sure use any store bought tomato sauce as well (I love the La Victoria or Rao’s brands).

One of the best parts about these Homemade Meatball Subs is you can prep the meatballs early in the day, then once they are cooked you can keep them warm in a crock pot with the tomato sauce, and just serve up the sandwiches when ready! It’s so nice to get all of dinner prepped in the morning or afternoon, then cleaned up, so at mealtime you just need to assemble.


Assembly is so easy – just scoop the meatballs and red sauce onto each hoagie roll, then top with fresh mozzarella, and bake.

Another thing I love about these Homemade Meatball Subs is that they can easily be packed up for on-the-go dinner nights. Our weeknights are busy with activities and lessons and sports and music – many nights we need to pack up dinner to eat while we’re on-the-go. These subs can easily be wrapped in tinfoil and transported for an on-the-go meal.

Homemade Meatball Subs

These Homemade Meatball Subs are a meal that the whole family will love. Prepare the meatballs early and assemble when you're ready to eat!
Author Shannon Lyon



  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated dry Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon optional, crushed red pepper flakes (if you'd like a little spice)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • olive oil, for cooking

Homemade San Marzano Tomato Sauce (optional, can also use store-bought)

  • 2 cans (28 oz.) whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (I like the Cento brand)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt (can add more to taste)

For Assembly

  • 1 package hoagie rolls or long sandwich buns
  • fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • fresh basil, finely diced


Homemade San Marzano Tomato Sauce (optional, can also use store-bought)

  • Making this sauce is optional. If you'd like to use store-bought tomato sauce, just add it to a medium-sized pot and set to low to warm up while you make the meatballs. (I love this Victoria brand.)
    Otherwise, if you're going to make homemade sauce, make this sauce first and while it's simmering you can prepare the meatballs.
  • Begin by blending your tomatoes in a blender for 5-10 seconds. They don't need to be fully pureed, but this helps break them down a bit before cooking, and gives your sauce a nice texture.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large heavy-bottom bot over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook for a minute until slightly golden brown (watch carefully to make sure it doesn't burn).
    Add dried oregano and salt, then add blended tomatoes (if you don't have a blender you can crush the tomatoes with your hands as you add them). Stir.
  • Turn up heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a simmer. Stir.
    Add a lid and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes, until it is slightly reduced.
    *note: this Tomato Sauce can be made ahead and chilled in the fridge.
  • While sauce is simmering, you can make the meatballs.


  • Combine beef, bread crumbs, and Parmesan. Mix with your hands.
  • Add in garlic, basil, parsley, and all additional spices.
    Then, using hands, mix in beaten eggs. Mix gently. No need to overmix, just incorporate.
  • Using your hands or a kitchen scoop, scoop out balls that are about 1-1.5 inches big. Roll gently into balls. Arrange on a large plate or baking sheet.
  • Before cooking meatballs, place several sheets of paper towels on a large baking sheet. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add half the meatballs, using tongs. Turn and roll every 1-2 minutes until all sides are browned.
  • Once first batch is cooked, remove and place onto paper towel lined baking sheet. Add additional meatballs to pan (and a tiny bit more oil if needed) and continue cooking until they're all done.
  • Once excess oil has drained off cooked meatballs, transfer to the red sauce to keep warm on Low heat.
    If you're making this recipe ahead of time, transfer all the cooked meatballs and red sauce to a slow cooker and keep on warm until ready to eat.


  • Once ready to eat, preheat oven to 375°F, and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Set the hoagie rolls into the baking pan, and open them up.
  • Spoon the meatballs with lots of the red sauce onto each hoagie roll (I like to leave them open while I cook them so the cheese can get melted all over the meatballs).
  • Top the meatballs with slices of fresh mozzarella.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven and top with fresh basil. Enjoy!

I hope you get a chance to make these Homemade Meatball Subs! They are one of my husbands all-time favorite meals. Be sure to tag me @plumstreetcollective if you make these!

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