Turkey Meatball Subs are a super easy and quick dinner option with tons of flavor. Tender homemade meatballs (or frozen) are simmered in marinara sauce and stuffed inside hearty rolls, then covered with cheese. Broiled until melty and golden, these sub sandwiches are perfect for lunch, dinner, or your next game day party.
There’s just something about those tender, juicy meatballs dripping in sauce and melty cheese that screams comfort food. They are easy to eat, only a little messy and a great way to feed a crowd.
Whenever I cook meatballs, I always make an extra batch or two so I can keep them in the freezer for spaghetti and sandwiches. Having them ready to go means we can have meals like Spaghetti and Meatball Soup or meatballs subs any night of the week.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SUB AND A HOAGIE?
The difference between these sandwiches is actually more about where you live than what’s on them. Layer some meat, cheese, toppings and dressing on an long Italian style roll, and you’ve got yourself a sub, hero, grinder, hoagie, blimpie…the list can go on. Originally a sub was named for navy shipyard workers and the submarines these sandwiches resembled. The term grinder is thought to have originated from the amount of grinding, or chewing, it took to eat one. A hoagie is filled with italian meats and cheese, like these Baked Italian Sub Sandwiches.
What’s in a meatball sub?
A meatball sub is an Italian sandwich that takes those juicy meatballs you usually eat with your spaghetti and stuffs them into a soft, warm french roll. There are three main components:
Cheese ( I like to use Parmesan and Mozzarella)
How to make a meatball sub
Start with your favorite marinara sauce, or give my homemade marinara or spaghetti sauce a try. Simmer the sauce with the cooked meatballs. You can use frozen meatballs; just either thaw them first or give them an extra 15 minutes to warm up.
Spread some homemade garlic butter on the insides of 4 Italian of French rolls. This is an optional step, but if you can quickly whip up the garlic butter it adds a ton of flavor. Lay the rolls cut side up on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish.
Stuff the rolls full of meatballs. If your meatballs are small you may need to use more, for larger meatballs use less. Spoon a little bit of sauce over them and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake the subs for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden and serve immediately.
What toppings do you put on a meatball sub?
Marinara and cheese is the simplest choice here, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you can add other toppings, like peppers and onions, mushrooms or olives. I also sprinkle on a little minced basil or parsley because it just feel fancy and adds a bit of freshness.
Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the cheese – it’s the best part. If you’re out of Mozzarella, you could swap Provolone or even cheddar jack cheese in its place. Any melty cheese will do well.
What is the best bread for a meatball sub?
Any long roll like a french roll, hoagie or grinder roll. A hot dog bun will work in a pinch, but may be too small to hold many meatballs. If all you have is hamburger buns, slice the meatballs and stack them up! You want a bread that will stand up to the heaviness of the meatballs, that’s the key.
What to do with leftovers
Leftover meatball subs can be store in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Wrap them in plastic wrap or foil and store in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave, keeping in mind that the bread does tend to get a little soggy from the sauce.
Heat marinara in a medium saucepan. Add meatballs and stir to coat. Simmer for 15 minutes (if frozen, add 5-10 minutes).
Combine ingredients for garlic butter and set aside.
Split or slice rolls (do not slice all the way through - you want the halves connected to cradle the filling). Place split-side up in a 9x13 casserole dish and brush tops and a little down the insides with the garlic butter.
Fill rolls with 4 meatballs each, then spoon a little of the sauce over them. Sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until rolls are golden and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Garnish with fresh minced parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with extra marinara for dipping, if desired.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.