Meatball Sandwiches Are Messy But Delicious

When it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, I like to serve a messy, meaty meal such as burgers, sloppy Joes, or my current favorite, these meatball sandwiches. Layers of marinara sauce, melted cheese, and flavorful meatballs come together beautifully in a lightly toasted brioche bun. Although this can be made with store-bought marinara sauce, it tastes even better when you make your own. Assemble the meatballs and sauce up to a day in advance, then warm while you're watching the second quarter. Interested in cooking this finger-licking good dish? Keep reading for the recipe.

Meatball Sandwiches

Meatball Sandwiches


  1. For the sauce
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1/2 large onion, minced
  4. 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  5. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  7. 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  8. 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  9. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  10. 1 bay leaves
  11. 1/3 cup red wine
  12. 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  13. 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  14. 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  15. For the meatballs
  16. 1/2 lb. ground beef
  17. 1/2 lb. ground veal
  18. 1/2 lb. ground pork
  19. 1/2 small onion, minced
  20. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  21. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  22. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  23. 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  24. 1 cup bread crumbs
  25. 1 large egg
  26. For the sandwiches
  27. 4-6 sandwich rolls
  28. 1 1/4 cups shredded fontina or mozzarella cheese
  29. 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  30. Small handful of arugula, optional for garnish


  1. Make the sauce: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the bay leaf, wine, and sugar, and cook for 3-4 minutes until the wine is almost evaporated.
  4. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the meatballs: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl combine, the ground meat, minced onion and garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh oregano, cheese, breadcrumbs, and eggs. Mix well with your hands to incorporate the seasonings into the ground meat. Once combined, take a heaping tablespoon of the mixture into your hands and form a small ball that's a little bigger than a quarter in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Repeat with remaining meat until all of it's formed into balls.
  6. Bake the meatballs for 12 minutes until they are juicy and cooked all the way through. Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce.
  7. To assemble the sandwiches: preheat the broiler. Slice the sandwich rolls in half lengthwise. Place on a baking sheet. Cover each roll bottom with shredded fontina or mozzarella. Cover each roll top with parmesan cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy 2-3 minutes. Remove and top the bottoms with 4-6 meatballs each. Sprinkle with arugula (if using) and cover with the roll top. Enjoy immediately!

Serves 4-6.

Average ( votes):
a good meatball sub is hard to find. becky, I'd like to be the judge of that!
These are my favorite! My dad is the meatball hero master chef.
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