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We adore these easy homemade meatball subs! They feature two kinds of melted cheese, a rich, flavorful tomato sauce and juicy golden brown meatballs on a toasted whole wheat bun. It’s a delicious, fun meal your whole family will love!Jump to Recipe
THE LOW-DOWN ON THIS SANDWICH!
I’m so pumped to bring you this new recipe because, oh my goodness. IT. IS. GOOD!
Introducing delicious easy homemade meatball subs. No joke. These really are the BEST! Easy to make, full of bold flavors, and boasting with wholesome, real ingredients. This is hands down my new favorite sandwich!
Let’s talk about what makes these so good. Tender, juicy sun-dried tomato meatballs bathed in the most flavorful, rich tomato sauce and loaded on a toasted whole wheat bun. But wait. It gets better. These meatball subs are then topped with 2 different kinds of cheeses, provolone and smoked mozzarella, and broiled to golden brown perfection. It’s so simple yet so delicious. You are definitely going to want to make these!
Plus, these are made lighter with a few simple swaps (which I get more into below!). I use all wholesome, real ingredients that make this sandwich guilt free without sacrificing flavor.
My star key ingredient – Just Like Home Kitchen Recipes® Zesty Tomato Basil & Cheese pasta sauce. This pasta sauce is all natural, gluten-free, and bursting with big flavor and a little zesty zing. It’s irresistible and an easy, great way to liven up any dish!
Here is what you will need to craft these easy homemade meatball subs:
- Just Like Home Zesty Tomato Basil & Cheese, it’s a flavorful, rich, delicious sauce that makes this sandwich shine!
- Ground Beef, I used 85% lean to keep them super juicy. I also use a touch of greek yogurt – it’s my secret ingredient to a tender, delicious meatball!
- Sun-dried Tomatoes, I also incorporated sun-dried tomatoes. It’s an unexpected twist that adds a lot of flavor and a pop of sweetness to balance the meal.
- Breadcrumbs and Seasonings, I used Italian breadcrumbs and seasoning – it adds beautiful, herbaceous flavor to make these extra yummy. The breadcrumbs also act to bind the meatballs together.
- Provolone and Smoked Mozzarella, any good meatball sub needs cheesy goodness. And why not add two different kinds. The provolone is mild but melts wonderfully. The smoked mozzarella adds a smoky richness that takes these easy homemade meatball subs to the next level!
- Whole Wheat Buns, the hearty buns stand up to the rich sauce and meatballs. I used hot dog buns so there were thr perfect size (and kid-friendly). Feel free to also use hoagie buns – white or gluten free work too!
- Parmesan Cheese, adds salty nutty goodness as the perfect finishing touch. And who doesn’t want more cheese?!
- Fresh Basil, a pop of bright, freshness to round out these subs!
MORE ABOUT JUST LIKE HOME ZESTY TOMATO BASIL & CHEESE PASTA SAUCE
I’m not kidding when I say this pasta sauce is GOOOOD! The depth of sauce in this jar of sauce is unreal. It’s unique flavors create an experience of a home cooked sauce, but the convenience in a jar. It’s my new go jar pasta sauce.
I purchased my sauce from my local Schnucks. Find where you can get your hands on this sauce HERE.
One thing I truly admire and love about Just Like Home pasta sauces is they donate twenty-five cents from every jar to local homeless shelters throughout the U.S. Thus, I get an amazing sauce and can feel good that my purchase is also making a real difference in the community.
Oh it gets better – my son also love this sauce and these subs! It’s an all around dinner win!
HOW TO MAKE THESE EASY AND HOMEMADE MEATBALL SUB
The key to a great meatball sub is how you prepare the meatballs and construct the sandwich. It’s nothing fancy – but I’m sharing a few of my tips to produce a crave worthy sandwich!
A great meatball sandwich needs great meatballs. And the recipe for these is perfection! The best meatballs I have ever made…..seriously!!
For the meatballs, I used 85% lean ground beef – not too high in fat but enough to keep these meatballs tender. I also use greek yogurt which helps make these moist and light. I seasoned the meatballs with Italian seasoning , fresh garlic, and S&P. Simple but effective.l I used Italian breadcrumbs to help hold the meatballs together. It also matches the seasoning in the meatballs to enhance those flavors. Finally, I added a secret ingredient for maximum deliciousness and an unexpected pop – sun-dried tomatoes. Use the ones in oil as they are plump and juicy. Simply dice them up and add them to the meatball mixture.
Now another key is how you cook the meatballs. I pan fried them in olive oil then simmered them in the pasta sauce. Pan frying them add a nice charred crust. Then slowing simmering them in the sauce keeps them moist while also imparting more flavor.
Finally, it’s essential you construct the sandwich correctly (to prevent any sogginess, which would be a big no no!). First I drizzle the pun with olive oil and add a pinch of sea salt. This helps toast the bun and season it so it’s not bland or boring. I then add the cheese to the bun and bake it till it golden brown – this ensures the cheese gets gooey and allows the cheese to act as a barrier between the sauce and bun to keep the bun crunchy. I also broil the cheesy bun for 1-2 minutes so they cheese and bun achieve a little char and golden brown goodness.
Top the cheese buns with 3 meatballs a piece. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Enjoy!!!
HOW ARE THESE MADE EASY HOMEMADE MEATBALL SUBS MADE LIGHTER?
Meatball subs are definitely a decadent food. And make no mistake: these are still fully rich and indulgent. But I also incorporate a few simple swaps to lighten them up but still keep them super tasty. Here’s how:
- I added greek yogurt to the meatballs. It not only makes them super juicy and moist, it also adds protein and healthy fats!
- I cooked the meatballs in nutrient-rich olive oil. It helps achieve the beautiful, crispy crust to the meatballs while also adding more healthy fats.
- I used whole wheat buns instead of regular white buns for added nutrients and fiber.
- I used Just Like Home Zesty Tomato Basil & Cheese Pasta Sauce which is All Nautral and gluten-free
I know you all will LOVE these easy homemade meatball subs. With 2 kinds of melted cheese, a rich, flavorful tomato sauce and juicy golden brown meatballs on a toasted whole wheat bun, there is nothing not to love!
If you make these easy homemade meatball subs please leave a comment below. I absolutely love to hear from you guys and your thoughts on my recipes. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or pin it on pinterest, cuz sharing is caring!
Easy Homemade Meatball Subs
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil with excess oil removed
- 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato oil
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1 pound ground beef I used 85% lean
- 1 24 oz jar of Just Like Home Zesty Tomato Basil & Cheese pasta sauce
- 5 whole wheat hot dog buns hoagies work too
- 5 large slices of deli style provolone cheese
- 4 ounces fresh smoked mozzarella cut into thin slices
- Basil leaves for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and seasonings and mix well. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, oil, and greek yogurt, and blend until it forms a paste like substance. Add in the meat and gently combined until everything is well-combined.
Form into 16-18 small meatball. Place in fridge to rest for about 30 min.
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Sear meatballs on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown crust forms. Remove from pan.
Deglaze the pan with the tomato sauce, scraping up the brown bits and incorporating into the sauce. Heat sauce over medium heat to a gentle boil. Add meatballs back to the pan with sauce and simmer for about 12-15 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
While the meatballs simmer, toast the buns. To do so, drizzle each bun with olive oil and season with sea salt or garlic salt (just a pinch). Top each bun, with cheese on both sides of the bun. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Broil for 1-2 minutes to get the cheese extra golden brown.
Top each bun with about 3 meatballs and extra sauce. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.