This Meatball Sub recipe is a show stopper, y’all. Enjoy flavorful meatballs complete with beef, pork, and classic Italian flavors. We’re so confident in this recipe that we urge you to make a double batch to eat throughout the week. We promise that there won’t be any leftovers.
The Best Meatball Subs
Congratulations. You’ve officially stumbled upon your next favorite meatball recipe! These homemade meatball subs are everything, friends. Savory, filling, and a true comfort food that can be whipped up in just 35 minutes. Be sure to add this to your weeknight menu and let the crowd go wild.
What You Will Need
- ground beef – We like the 80/20 variety because they yield tender meatballs thanks to its fat content.
- ground pork – This will level up the flavor and texture of your juicy meatballs.
- parmesan cheese – We love the rich and tangy flavor of parmesan, but feel free to get creative with provolone cheese or a different cheese variety.
- Italian seasoning – Store bought works or mix together your own using our simple recipe.
- lemon zest – Just a bit to brighten flavors throughout.
- yellow onion – A classic ingredient for any quality meatball.
- garlic – A complex ingredient that brings all the flavors and is best when fresh.
- egg – Helps to hold together your meatballs.
- bread crumbs – An important ingredient to keep your meatballs from becoming dry and dense.
- kosher salt & ground black pepper – The OG seasonings are a must.
- butter – Just a bit to coat the pan to give your meatballs the perfect sear.
- marinara sauce – Grab your favorite store bought version or whip up our homemade marinara sauce for the best flavor.
- diced tomatoes – Helps add another burst of flavor and sauciness to your sub rolls.
Herbed Garlic Butter
- butter – The vehicle for all the fresh herby flavors.
- kosher salt – Just a bit to elevate every bite.
- garlic – The star of the show!
- fresh herbs – We love using thyme, rosemary and/or oregano
- Large hoagies – Feel free to use hot dog buns if that’s more convenient. Just be sure to make your meatballs a tad smaller to fit the smaller bun.
- mozzarella cheese – The perfectly melty cheese for these Italian meatball subs.
- fresh parsley – A pop of color and a fresh bite that you won’t regret.
How To Make Meatball Subs
Start by combining the meatball ingredients of ground beef, ground pork, Italian seasoning, lemon zest, grated onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Use your hands or a sturdy spoon to mix it all together.
Once you notice a consistent texture throughout, use a cookie scooper or spoon to take approximately 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture to form into meatballs. Set the meatballs on a clean plate while you get your skillet set up.
Using hot dog buns or just want a smaller bite? Make your meatballs slightly smaller to fit whatever size bun you decide to use.
Next, bring a 12 inch cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Once it’s to temp, add the butter and let it melt so that it coats the pan. Once the butter is melted, add your meatballs and sear them on all sides.
Once your meatballs are seared, add in the marinara sauce and diced tomatoes. Then cover your skillet and let all those yummy flavors simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the herbed garlic butter ingredients in a small bowl. Then slice the hoagie buns halfway open. Feel free to remove some of the soft insides to allow for more room for you meatballs, or leave it intact if you’re a bread lover. Now spread some herbed garlic butter on the inside of each hoagie.
Before assembling your subs, turn on your broiler so that’s ready to go in a few minutes. Then, when the meatballs are done, add 3 meatballs to each hoagie. Save any leftover marinara sauce to be used as dipping sauce when served. Finally, place your meatball sub sandwiches on a baking sheet and sprinkle them generously with shredded mozzarella cheese.
For the meltiest subs, take the extra effort to shred your own mozzarella cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with starches that keep it from clumping in the bag, but also holds back the cheese from melting to perfection. So grab your shredder and take the extra minute or two for the ultimate sub!
Place the baking sheet with your subs under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. For best results, be sure to watch them closely and remove them when the cheese is melted and just starting to brown. Remove them from the oven and sprinkle them with fresh parsley and serve with the extra marinara sauce and let the dunking begin!
What To Serve With Meatball Subs
Since this is a hearty main course, we like to pair it with a dinner table spread including green salads like our strawberry salad or creamy cucumber salad. If you’re feeling extra fun, get some homemade baked french fries or fried onion strings on the table. Or for an easy dinner idea, just throw some baby carrots and some potato chips on the table and you’re good to go.
- Herbed Butter – Can’t find fresh herbs? No problem. Just add a teaspoon or two of Italian seasoning instead.
- Meal Prep – Set yourself up for success and make the meatballs ahead of time and store in refrigerator in an airtight container. When it is time to make dinner simply warm up the meatballs quick, assemble the subs and broil until cheese is melted!
- Dairy-Free – To make this dairy-free use a dairy-free parmesan cheese in the meatballs, shredded dairy-free mozzarella cheese and vegan butter.
- Gluten-Free – To make this gluten-free use gluten-free breadcrumbs in the meatballs and a gluten-free hoagie bun.
- Servings – This recipe makes five meatball subs, each clocking in at two servings per sub. Scroll to the bottom of the recipe card for nutritional info.
- Hoagie Buns – Swap with a hot dog bun if you want. Just make sure to size your meatballs accordingly so that they fit.
Made this easy meatball sub and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!
Other Meatball Recipes You Might Like
- Pesto Meatballs
- Greek Turkey Meatballs
- Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
- Saucy Italian Meatballs + Parmesan Orzo
- Orange Chicken Meatballs
Meatball Sub Recipe – a delicious, flavorful meatball sub recipe on soft hoagie buns with herbed garlic butter, fresh mozzarella and dipping sauce!
- 1 lb ground beef (80/20)
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 heaping teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, grated
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 15oz can diced tomatoes
Herbed Garlic Butter:
- 2–3 tablespoons butter, room temp
- pinch of kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, minced (thyme, rosemary and/or oregano)*
- 5 large hoagies
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (more if desired)
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Combine ground beef, ground pork, Italian seasoning, lemon zest, grated onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Take approx. 2 tablespoons of the meatball mixture at a time and form into a meatball. Set aside on a plate until all the meatballs are formed.
- Bring a 12 inch cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add butter and let melt; swirl to coat the pan. Add meatballs and sear on all sides. Add marinara sauce and diced tomatoes. Cover and let simmer 15 minutes.
- While the meatballs are simmering, combine the Herbed Garlic Butter in a small bowl.
- Turn the oven to Broil.
- Prepare the hoagie buns by ensuring they are sliced halfway open. You *can* remove some of the soft insides if you feel there is too much – this is optional. Spread some Herbed Garlic Butter in the inside of each hoagie. When the meatballs are done add 3 meatballs to each hoagie (Note: save any leftover marinara sauce for later – it will be our dipping sauce!). Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes – watch closely – once the cheese is melted and just starts to brown a bit, remove from oven. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with the excess marinara sauce from the skillet so you can dunk your subs!!!
- Herbed Butter: if you don’t have fresh I would simply use a teaspoon or two of a dried italian seasoning here.
- Meal Prep: make the meatballs ahead of time and store in refrigerator in an airtight container – when it is time to make dinner simply warm up the meatballs quick, assemble the subs and broil until cheese is melted!
- Dairy-Free: to make this dairy-free use a dairy-free parmesan cheese in the meatballs, shredded dairy-free mozzarella cheese and vegan butter.
- Gluten-Free: to make this gluten-free use gluten-free breadcrumbs in the meatballs and a gluten-free hoagie bun.
- Servings: makes 5 meatballs subs, 2 servings per sub
- Hoagie Buns: you can just use a hot dog bun if you want – in which case I would probably make the meatballs a bit smaller – as written, they are pretty big and meant for a bigger hoagie-style bun.
- Serving Size: half a sub
- Calories: 448
- Sugar: 18.5 g
- Sodium: 1982.3 mg
- Fat: 18.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 44.2 g
- Protein: 23.6 g
- Cholesterol: 81 mg
Keywords: meatball sub, meatball sub recipe