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Traditional Meatball Sub Recipe

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Traditional Meatball Sub Recipe

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A classical take on the meatball sub. Simple, yet delicious! This meatball sub recipe packs a ton of meaty, cheesy, saucy flavor with a little kick! I decided to make this meatball sub recipe because I had thawed out some beef (not sure what I was going to make) and had some hoagie rolls around. The 3 open jars of pasta sauce in my fridge were also beckoning.

Normally, if I were making meatballs I would add in hot sausage to the beef mixture. Since I didn’t have any, I used a bit of ground fennel and quite a bit of red pepper flakes for some heat. You can also add in a little bacon grease if you are missing the pork flavor. Anyway, a lot of people use straight beef in their meatball sub recipes, so don’t mind me being extra.

The key to making a great meatball sub is the bread. I like to add butter or oil to the open side and top of my hoagie buns, and bake them for a few minutes before loading them up. Then they need to go back into the oven to melt the cheese. I sprinkle some parmesan cheese on my pasta sauce too to thicken it up a bit so the bread gets less mushy.

So here you go! This traditional meatball sub recipe is ready for your next big lunch or Italian night. Top with peppers or any of your favorite fixins'.


  • 1 lb ground beef,
  • 1 cup bread crumbs,
  • 1 large egg,
  • 1 tbs red pepper flakes,
  • 1 tbs Italian seasoning,
  • 3 tbs Dan-O’s Spicy Seasoning,
  • ⅓ of an onion (minced),
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced),
  • Splash of milk,
  • Parmesan cheese,
  • 3 tbs marinara (per sandwich),
  • Hoagie buns,
  • Olive oil,
  • Cheese (provolone or mozzarella)

Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mince your garlic and onion. Sautee in an oiled pan on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together beef, beef, bread crumbs, egg, seasoning, and a few tbs of parm cheese. Mix in your minced garlic and onion.
  4. After well-mixed, use an ice cream scoop or form meatballs to desired size (I usually make 6-8 big ones). Add to a baking sheet or oven-safe casserole dish and bake in oven until an internal temperature of 160. Remove meatballs from oven and carefully place on paper towels to absorb the grease. Cut meatballs in half if you made huge ones.
  5. Carefully open your hoagie buns, and coat each side with a light coating of oil or butter. Bake each bun (open-faced down) for about 3 minutes until slightly toasted.
  6. Remove buns from oven. Add marinara, then meatballs, then add cheese to top. Place back in the oven for another 3 minutes until cheese is melted.
  7. Remove from oven and add toppings of your choice. Enjoy!


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