Meatball Sub

The classic sub with upgraded meatballs, sauce, and toppings.

2 servings

Time: 1 hr

Ethan ChlebowskiBy Ethan Chlebowski

The bread can make or break this sandwich. I recommend making your own hoagie rolls for this. You can find my recipe here.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Meatballs

    • ground beef
      225 g1/2 lb
    • ground lamb
      225 g1/2 lb
    • panko breadcrumbs
      30 g
    • milk
      15 g
    • soy sauce
      10 g
    • parmesan
      , grated
      5 ga spoonful
    • salt
      3 g
    • dried oregano
      3 ga sprinkle
    • red pepper flakes
      3 ga sprinkle
    • msg
      3 g
    • fennel seeds
      2 ga sprinkle
    • eggs
    • garlic
      , crushed
      1 clove
    • ground cinnamon
      1 ga sprinkle
    • cooking oil
      for searing
  • Sauce

    • whole peeled tomatoes
      800 g28 oz can
    • butter
      60 g1/2 stick
    • parmesan
      , grated
      5 ga spoonful
    • garlic
      , peeled
      2 cloves
    • shallots
      , peeled
    • dried oregano
      a sprinkle
    • sugar
      a sprinkle
    • fresh basil
      , torn
      a handful
  • Bread & toppings

    • provolone
      4 slices
    • hoagie rolls
    • parmesan
      , grated
      a handful
    • fresh basil
      , torn
      a handful
    • pepperoncini peppers
      , sliced
      to taste


Step 1: Mix & form the meatballs

Mix all meatball ingredients except for the ground meat in a bowl. The breadcrumbs should be hydrated by the ingredients. If they are still a little dry, add a splash of milk. Add the meat and mix thoroughly until cohesive and lightly tacky.

Divide the mixture into 8 balls and form into neat meatballs, using wet hands to roll into clean spheres.

Step 2: Sear the meatballs

Set a pan over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan, and arrange the meatballs in neatly. until on the bottom, then rotate each meatball.

  • I shoot for at least 3 “sides” or areas of the meatball to be well browned.

Once they are mostly browned on multiple sides, remove them from the pan and set aside. They shouldn’t be fully cooked through at this point. They need to finish cooking in the sauce in a later step.

Step 3: Simmer the sauce

Crush/puree the whole peeled tomatoes with a food mill, blender, or even your hands (optional).

Add the tomatoes, butter, shallot, garlic, parmesan, oregano, and salt to a skillet over medium-low heat.

Stirring occasionally, let the sauce and for about 10 minutes.

Taste it. Add salt and sugar to taste. Take the sauce off the heat, remove the shallot, and stir in the basil leaves.

Step 4: Finish the meatballs

Place the sauce back on the heat and nestle in the seared meatballs to finish cooking them through.

the meatballs and sauce for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reads 150°F/65°C. Turn off the heat.

Step 5: Assemble, broil, & serve

Slice open the hoagies (but leave them as one piece with a ‘hinge’ intact) and scoop out some of the bread from the top of the rolls. This should form a ‘trough’ that will allow the hoagie roll to close over the meatballs.

Spoon a layer of sauce on the top and bottom of the insides, and then carefully line up 4 meatballs onto each hoagie. Top each line of meatballs with 2 slices of cheese.

Slide the open hoagies into the top rack of the oven and until the cheese is melted.

  • Alternatively, melt the cheese with a kitchen torch.

Top with grated parm, basil, and sliced pickled peppers for acidity. Close the hoagies and enjoy.

  • Optionally wrap with paper or foil to let everything and come together for a sandwich shop experience.


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