This easy meatball sub is always a favorite for both kids and adults. From the juicy meatballs smothered in marinara sauce to the toasted bun and melty cheese on top…it’s the perfect sandwich for game day or any day!
I love a good sandwich to feed a crowd! Sandwiches are so easy to make, and I have a few favorites you have to try the next time you want to impress guests. My Cuban sandwich recipe is so easy, my slow cooker French dip sandwich is a great make-ahead option, and my meatloaf sandwich is out of this world!
What Is a Meatball Sub?
Every good sandwich shop has a classic Italian meatball sub! It is a comforting sandwich made of meatballs, marinara sauce, and soft Italian bread, then toasted to perfection with provolone cheese melted on top. It’s all your favorite Italian flavors in one big sandwich, and you will LOVE it!
Italian food is definitely my favorite food, and it’s always my first choice when cooking or going out to eat. I have so many favorite Italian recipes on my blog that it’s hard to choose from. My alfredo sauce is a crowd pleaser, this pasta is amazing, and this chicken recipe is a must for next week’s dinner menu!
Ingredients For The Best Sub
My homemade meatball recipe is amazing in this recipe, but if you’re in a time crunch, air fryer frozen meatballs are a game changer! I love how fast and easy these sub sandwiches come together. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.
- Hoagie Rolls: Soft hoagie buns work great. Any Italian white bread from the bakery would be delicious. It will be nice and toasty and so yummy!
- Butter: Butter to help toast that bun because you won’t regret it. I sometimes sprinkle garlic salt on the bun before I toast it too. It’s incredible!
- Meatballs: Meatballs start with good ground beef. An 80/20 fat ratio is my favorite because it’s so flavorful. Make my homemade meatball recipe or buy storebought if you need a quick option. Both work great!
- Marinara Sauce: My homemade marinara is so easy if you want to make a big batch. It’s perfect for so many meals. Or you can buy storebought as well.
- Mozzarella or Provolone Cheese: Shredded melty white cheese is the best! Top your sandwich with cheese and watch it melt under the broiler into creamy goodness!
How To Make a Meatball Sub
With just a few easy steps, you can make a meatball sub in no time at all! You can even make most of it ahead of time and toast the buns when you’re ready to assemble them. They come together super fast!
- Combine Meatballs and Marinara: In a medium-sized saucepan, add cooked meatballs and 2 cups of marinara sauce. Heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes and simmer in the pan to warm the meatballs and sauce.
- Preheat Oven: While the sauce is warming, prepare the hoagie rolls by preheating the oven to broil.
- Prepare Hoagie Rolls: Gently slice each roll down the middle making sure not to cut all the way through. Brush 1 tablespoon softened butter onto each sandwich roll. Feel free to season the bread with garlic salt and/or Italian seasoning if you desire.
- Toast: Place the hoagie rolls on the baking sheet and into the preheated oven. Be careful to watch the rolls closely. Toasting the rolls on broil should only take 2-3 minutes. They will burn quickly if you don’t watch them.
- Assemble: Once the rolls are toasted, remove them from the oven and fill each roll with the warm meatballs/sauce mixture. Each hoagie roll should generously fit five meatballs. Add the desired sauce amount to your liking.
- Add Cheese: Top the meatballs with freshly grated provolone, mozzarella, or cheese of your choice.
- Melt Cheese: Return the hoagies to the oven and broil just until the cheese is melted. This will also be quick, about 1-2 minutes. Serve and enjoy while hot with fresh parsley on top!
What to Serve With a Meatball Sub
Make your meal complete by serving some pretty fantastic sides with your meatball subs! I have lots of options on my blog. Even though the sub sandwiches will be the star of the show, you might as well keep wowing your guests with your sides.
- Green Salads: I love to keep with the Italian theme of meatball subs and serve a green salad with Italian flavors. Try my Olive Garden Salad, my antipasto salad, or my Caesar salad recipe!
- Pasta Salads: Pasta is so delicious with an Italian meal. Serve this Tuscan salad, this tortellini salad, or the famous Portillo’s salad. I promise your guests will love them!
- Fruit Salads: No meal is complete without some fresh fruit! Here are a few of my faves you should try for added sweetness to your meal. Grape salad, honey fruit salad, and frog eye salad are all so yummy!
- Air Fryer Sides: Throw some of these easy air fryer side dishes in the air fryer for a quick and easy option! This broccoli, these mushrooms, or homemade potato chips are all great ideas.
Freezing and Storing Leftovers
Meatballs can be cooked, cooled, and frozen for later. Assemble the meatball sub according to the directions on the recipe card when you’re ready to enjoy them later! Follow the instructions for storing leftover meatball sub-ingredients.
- In the Refrigerator: Cooked meatballs and marinara sauce can be stored together in an airtight container. Place in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Do not store the meatballs/sauce on the hoagie rolls. Store them separately and assemble them on the toasted hoagie bun when you’re ready to enjoy it.
- In the Freezer: After cooking and cooling the meatballs, transfer them to a cookie sheet, then freeze for 2-4 hours. Transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. These will keep for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: To rewarm or thaw, you can cook in the microwave, oven, or over the stove. Toast the hoagie bun when ready to assemble.
The Best Meatball Sub
- In a medium-sized saucepan, add cooked meatballs and 2 cups of marinara sauce. Heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes to warm meatballs and sauce.
- While the sauce is warming, prepare the hoagie rolls by preheating the oven to broil.
- Gently slice each roll down the middle making sure not to cut all the way through. Brush 1 tbsp softened butter onto each sandwich roll. Feel free to season the bread with garlic salt and/or Italian seasoning if you desire.
- Place the hoagie rolls on the baking sheet and into the preheated oven. Be careful to watch the rolls closely. Toasting the rolls on broil should only take 2-3 minutes. They will burn quickly if you don't watch them.
- Once the rolls are toasted, remove them from the oven and fill each roll with the warm meatballs/sauce mixture. Each hoagie roll should generously fit 5 meatballs. Add the desired sauce amount to your liking.
- Top the meatballs with freshly grated provolone, mozzarella, or cheese of your choice.
- Return the hoagies to the oven and broil just until the cheese is melted. This will also be quick, about 1-2 minutes. Serve and enjoy while hot with fresh parsley garnished on top!
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.