Meatball Sub Sandwich

Meatball Sub Sandwich


Summer time is a busy time! I thought once the school year ended things would slow down. However, most nights I find myself rushing to put dinner together.


Somehow, time just seems to slip away and next thing I know it is 8pm. It’s nights like those that I really need something quick. That’s where these Meatball Sub Sandwiches come in handy.

Meatball Sub Sandwich


They are quick to make and there is hardly any effort needed.

I bake the meatballs, so once I mix and shape them I don’t have to worry about them until the timer goes off. Easy, right?  Not only do these taste amazing, they are made a bit healthier by baking the meatballs. I use ground turkey and oats to create these meatballs.

The sauce is super easy and delicious! You could use jar stuff, but why bother when you can make this quick sauce. It has such great flavors, you’d think it cooked all day.

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Meatball Sub Sandwich


We love sub sandwiches, but a meatball sub can be tricky and messy to eat. Have you ever had a meatball sub and the meatballs fell out or the bread broke? I tell you friends, that is not fun. Really, it ruins the meal for me.


So, to make eating easier I cut out a little layer from the roll. This makes a perfect holding spot for the meatballs.


Meatball Sub Sandwich


I add the meatballs to the sauce to give them a good coating.  Then place 3 meatballs and a little extra sauce in each sub. I sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top and put them under the broiler for 3-4 minutes to let the bread get a little toasty and melt the cheese.


Yum, yum! These are delicious and always a hit in our house.


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Meatball Sub Sandwich
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Serves: 4
  • 4 sub rolls
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
For Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 tsp each dried basil, thyme, and oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For Meatballs:
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp salt
For Sauce
  1. In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Add ¼ cup water to pan and stir.
  3. Add seasonings. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Add meatballs to sauce, gently stir.
For Meatballs
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Grind oats in a food processor into a fine meal
  3. In a large bowl combine all ingredients in a bowl; stir well.
  4. Shape into meatballs.
  5. Place on a pan lined with foil and coated with cooking spray.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until done (165 F)
  1. Cut out a small shallow layer in each roll using a small bread or your hand.
  2. Place 3 meatballs in each roll.
  3. Top with a little extra sauce and mozzarella cheese.
  4. Place under broiler for 3-4 minutes. (Keep a close eye on subs so they do not burn.)





  1. How good does this look! Meatball subs are so messy, but I think that is part of what I like about them so much :)

  2. Cindy this sounds like the perfect comforting meal right now, all I would need is a glass of red wine and I’d call it a night! YUM!

  3. What a great sandwich, Cindy! I love that you put the meatballs in the bread, instead of just like a sandwich. Definitely easier to eat! My husband would absolutely love this (as would I), so pinning this for the future!

  4. I love meatball subs! I’m going to try out you trick for making the meatball stay in the sub, such a good idea! Beautiful pictures too, Cindy.

  5. Oh, these look so good, and I love how you nestled those meat balls in the roll so they’re not falling out all over the place! The meatballs sound extra delicious with the ground turkey and oats. Pinning!

    • Thanks Marcie. My family loves these sandwiches. My daughter likes to put the cut out piece of bread in top of her sandwich. I love these meatballs and the oats the them a great texture. Thanks for The Pin, friend 😀

  6. So, one of my secret favorite things is a meatball sub from Subway. So good! But yours looks WAY better!

    • So funny that you mention subway. My son use to love to get their meatball sandwich. We have. Been there is a long long time. Thanks Natalie 😀

  7. Comfort food at it’s best! :)

  8. Cindy, that is such a GENIUS idea with those rolls! I’m a sucker for meatball subs, but without fail I always make a complete mess. Soggy bread, runaway meatballs, etc. Love that the meatballs are made of turkey, too. Yum!

    • I too love them, but seriously can’t stand the mess. I feel like a little girl who dropped her ice cream off the cone when a meatball(s) falls out. This is the perfect solution for me 😀

  9. Meatballs subs are one of my favorites! I haven’t made them for a while, but these look so good and I think they will be on the dinner menu very soon! I love that you used oats them in instead of breadcrumbs, that’s a great idea!

    • Thanks Izzy, I love using oats in meatballs. They give them a great texture and they have better nutrients than bread crumbs. 😀

  10. Brilliant tip Cindy to make a hollow in the roll to hold the meatballs. So glad you are having a busy summer :)

    • Thanks Tandy. It has been great and I’m kinda sad to see it coming to an end. In a few weeks my kids will be back in school.

  11. Cindy, that is a idea with those rolls! We can avoid to make a mess when eating this gorgeous sandwich. I also love that the meatballs are made of turkey!!

  12. Mmmm love me some meatball subs! And loving the hollowing out the roll tip! No more sauce on my shirt haha!

  13. YUM and WANT. Total comfort food, and summer perfect in this heat!

  14. I have been craving a meatball sub for a while now since I tried one at the Olive Garden, I know I shouldn’t admit I eat there. But yours look better and is so much less expensive…..duh Laura, make your own! Thanks for sharing.

    • I didn’t know they had those there. I worked there when I first started college. Needless to say I ate there a lot 😀 I still like it , but yes you definitely need to try this one.

  15. spicedblog says:

    This looks delicious for a quick and easy weeknight meal! And I couldn’t agree more about wondering where the days go…crazy!

    • David, I think this summer is flying by. I’m almost afraid to blink because before you know it the cold weather will be back. Luckily, these Meatball Subs are great anytime of the year 😀

  16. I’ve never tried a quick pasta sauce! I always assumed they wouldn’t be as good but I’ll have to try yours! I LOVE meatball subs! They remind me of childhood!

    • My guys are crazy for meatballs. They ask for them every time I say I’m making pasta. These are so great in these subs and the sauce is great. Good crushed tomatoes make a huge difference. Thanks Lindsey

  17. I really love reading recipes like this where no two people make it the same way. We make meatball subs but it is totally different! I really love your sauce though, I can’t wait to make it. And I would have never thought to add dry mustard to the meatballs. This looks fantastic!

    • You are so right Annie. There are lots of recipes, but they all have little differences. I think it makes it fun to try different version of the same thing. Try that mustard, it makes a big impact ;D

  18. This is such a brilliant solution to an age-old problem!!! I love this, Cindy! I am a huge sucker for kitchen food hacks. This rocks!

  19. My kinda sub… Just today hubby was asking me to make meatballs sub.. 😀 I know subs can get so messy. Thanks for the fabulous trick, Cindy!

    • You’re welcome Arpita. I use to not like eating a sub because it is so messy; this is the perfect solution 😀

  20. This looks delicious, and I love that you carved out that little groove to hold the meatballs. Pinned, thanks :)

    • Thanks, I think taking at center bread out makes eating these meatball subs so much easier and cleaner. Thanks for the Pin!

  21. Cindy these subs look awesome. Pinned!

  22. These look amazing, Cindy! My husband loves ordering meatball subs when we’re out so I really need to try making it for him at home. Love the trick for making a hollow in the bread – can’t wait to try this :) Pinning, thanks for sharing Cindy and have a great weekend!

    • Thanks Kelly! My guys also love getting these when we go out. They were so excited when I started making them instead. Thanks for the Pin! Hope you have a great week 😀

  23. Robyn says:

    You and I definitely think alike, Cindy. I just made some turkey meatball subs last week. Turkey is SO much tastier, isn’t it? I love your idea of cutting out a layer – looks fabulous, less bread and less messy! These look so delicious that I think I will make some and freeze them to take camping. Easy to do around the fire! Thanks for a great recipe. :)

  24. is it wrong that I’m craving a meatball sub at 10:00am? because I am and it’s shameless and I don’t ever care, these look soooo good!

  25. Now I have a real hankering for a meatball sub! I make spaghetti and meatballs once in a while and meatball subs even more rarely…I wonder why! This looks so good, and I like your turkey meatballs!

  26. Cindy, this looks like my idea of a perfect evening meal … I’m sure it’s a great crowd-pleaser! I guess you could do this with any kind of meatball as well! :-)

  27. Your meatball sub looks scrumptious! I know my kids would LOVE these! :) Thank you so much for sharing!

  28. Great idea to cut out some of the roll to make eating less messy! We love meatball subs. They are comfort food at its best. :)

  29. Oh my goodness I LOVE meatball sub sammies! My family would love it if I made this for dinner tonight! :)


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