Meatball Subs are a favorite recipe, perfect for a crowd and easy to make! Tender juicy homemade meatballs (or frozen in a pinch) are simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce are placed in a roll and topped with cheese. The sandwiches are broiled until golden and the cheese is bubbly for the perfect bite!

This hot submarine style sandwich – it’s meaty, saucy and cheesy! Perfect for lunch, dinner or to serve at your next game day party!

Three Meatball Subs on a wooden board

Meatball Subs for a Crowd

Lightly toasted garlic submarine buns are filled with homemade meatballs covered in a rich tomato sauce or marinara sauce then topped with loads of mozzarella cheese and broiled till hot and bubbly!

When I make homemade meatballs, I make a batch or two ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for recipes just like this one.  Meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked meaning you can bake them to add to sandwiches or add them to Meatball Soup for an easy weeknight meal.

If you’re short on time, you can make a simple recipe of Crockpot Meatballs (the meatballs go in raw and are cooked right in the crockpot). It’s an easy to make dinner when you get home after a long day.

If you are feeding a crowd, prepare the meatballs and keep them warm in a slow cooker so your guests can serve themselves. Put out a series of rolls or slider buns and allow your guests to dig in.

Meatball Sub

How to Make Meatball Subs

It really is so simple to make these meatball subs! Especially when you begin with Crockpot Meatballs!

  1. Lightly butter submarine buns and sprinkle with garlic powder. Toast till golden.
  2. Add cooked meatballs to each bun. Depending on the size, 3-4 meatballs should fit.
  3. Spoon a bit of additional sauce evenly over each roll.
  4. Cover with a generous amount of cheese and broil until hot and melted.

Meatballs on rolls with sauce in a baking dish

What Toppings do you Put on a Meatball Sub

Tomato sauce and cheese are perfect together (like in chicken parmesan) and of course I love to top my meatball sub with mozzarella cheese! Like in a Cheesesteak Recipe, provolone cheese is a great choice too!

Add in onions, fried peppers, mushrooms … the sky’s the limit! Personally, I usually prefer a classic meatball sub with just meatballs, sauce and cheese.

What is the Best Bread for Meatball Subs

Any long roll like a submarine sandwich bun, a sub bun or a hoagie roll will work fine. In a pinch a hot dog bun will work, although it is narrower and the meatballs may be too big for it. I prefer white buns for this recipe, however you can use whole wheat or whole grain if you prefer. Don’t skip the Garlic Butter!

Meatball Sub in white baking dish with cheese on top

More Great Sandwich Recipes!

Three Meatball Subs on a wooden board
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Meatball Subs

Garlic Buttered rolls filled with juicy meatballs and tomato sauce are topped with cheese and baked until golden!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 16 frozen meatballs or homemade below
  • 2 cups pasta sauce or marinara sauce
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 4 tablespoons garlic butter
  • 1 cup shredded provolone or mozzarella cheese

Meatballs (or use frozen meatballs if preferred)

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Prepare meatballs as directed on package or for homemade meatballs, combine all meatball ingredients. 
  • Roll into 1" balls and place on a parchment lined pan. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Place cooked meatballs in a saucepan with pasta sauce and simmer covered 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, spread garlic butter inside each roll. Heat broiler and broil rolls until golden, about 3 minutes.
  • Arrange rolls in a 9x13 baking dish. Place 4 meatballs in each roll and top with a little bit of sauce and cheese.
  • Broil 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with additional sauce for dipping if desired.
5 from 97 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 681 | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 1609mg | Potassium: 645mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1440IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 492mg | Iron: 12.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Meatball Sub with writing
Meatball Sub with text


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Recipe Rating


  1. Excellent recipe!! I made the meatballs just like you said, it turned out wonderful. My husband is a picky eater and he loved it!5 stars

  2. Awesome recipe. Added to the monthly rotation. Make sure you toast the buns so they don’t get soggy!5 stars

    1. Hi Cynthia, you could use aluminum foil for easy clean up or use neither and just place the meatballs directly on the pan. Enjoy!

  3. I made this tonight. This might have been the first time everyone in our family of six (including the moody teenager and the picky 4-year-old) ate everything, happily. Very easy to make and very tasty. Thank you for this one. I’m adding this to our list of “approved family dinners” in the house from now on 5 stars

  4. My husband is hard to please with meatball subs (very picky with how they’re made) and he is obsessed with these! Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  5. SO good! I did some minor changes. With the melted garlic butter, I also sprinkled Parmesan and Italian seasoning onto the bread with the melted garlic butter then broiled that. Also made my own meatballs which made it 10x better! Brushed on the remaining melted garlic butter onto the meatballs when I added the cheese & broiled for another min or so.
    Hands down amazing! My S/O ate two!5 stars

  6. I was having company over, for a potential of 12 people some of whom are gluten free, and needed a recipe that was easy to make and filling. I made the meatballs from scratch (using gluten free bread crumbs) and even though I quadrupled the recipe, it was easy and fast to make and roll out the meatballs. The butter mixture was pretty simple (I did not quadruple it but still ended up with extra). I placed the meatballs in a crock pot and poured sauce over them (used 4 32 oz jars for 4 lbs of meat) and after toasting the buns I let everyone assemble their sandwich, sprinkling the cheese on top. Most of us ate them open-faced. Everyone loved them!5 stars

  7. Fast and really yummy! The family wanted seconds and to put it on the list of things to make in the future! Perfect for a quick and crowd pleasing dinner. Next task is to make a vegetarian version ☺️5 stars

  8. You mentioned peppers and onions but was not part of the recipe. Did you sauté ten and when did you add? At the end when broiling?

    1. Yes, I would saute the peppers and onions, then add either before adding the cheese and broiling, or after the cheese is broiled. Enjoy Kristin!

  9. I wasn’t in the mood to cook and this really hit the spot. I used frozen meatballs this time, but will probably try making them from scratch next time. Dinner was quick, easy, and satisfying. Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  10. This was a slam dunk dinner with the teenage sons! They loved it, went for seconds and son’s friend asked me to make him :) Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. The ingredients and directions for homemade meatballs are included in this recipe as well. Frozen meatballs are an option as everyone has different items available to them at this time.

    2. Recipe : “a set of instructions for preparing a particular dish, including a list of the ingredients required.”

      Pretty sure it’s a recipe pal x

  11. My teenage son’s favorite food is meatball subs. It’s awesome that you can make them yourself and top them with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, onions, and peppers. I’d love to find a restaurant that serves meatball sandwiches to take him to for his 16th birthday in June.

    1. Well if you aren’t able to find a restaurant this is the perfect way to bring the meatball subs to you! Enjoy Sabrina!