This easy meatball sub is always a favorite for both kids and adults. From the juicy meatballs smothered in marinara sauce to the toasted bun and melty cheese on top…it’s the perfect sandwich for game day or any day!

I love a good sandwich to feed a crowd! Sandwiches are so easy to make, and I have a few favorites you have to try the next time you want to impress guests. My Cuban sandwich recipe is so easy, my slow cooker French dip sandwich is a great make-ahead option, and my meatloaf sandwich is out of this world!

Three meatball sub sandwiches laying on a metal sheet pan.  Melted cheese on top of the meatballs in a toasted hoagie roll. The subs are  garnished with fresh basil leaves on the side.

What Is a Meatball Sub?

Every good sandwich shop has a classic Italian meatball sub! It is a comforting sandwich made of meatballs, marinara sauce, and soft Italian bread, then toasted to perfection with provolone cheese melted on top. It’s all your favorite Italian flavors in one big sandwich, and you will LOVE it!

Italian food is definitely my favorite food, and it’s always my first choice when cooking or going out to eat. I have so many favorite Italian recipes on my blog that it’s hard to choose from. My alfredo sauce is a crowd pleaser, this pasta is amazing, and this chicken recipe is a must for next week’s dinner menu!

Ingredients For The Best Sub

My homemade meatball recipe is amazing in this recipe, but if you’re in a time crunch, air fryer frozen meatballs are a game changer! I love how fast and easy these sub sandwiches come together. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.

  • Hoagie Rolls: Soft hoagie buns work great. Any Italian white bread from the bakery would be delicious. It will be nice and toasty and so yummy!
  • Butter: Butter to help toast that bun because you won’t regret it. I sometimes sprinkle garlic salt on the bun before I toast it too. It’s incredible!
  • Meatballs: Meatballs start with good ground beef. An 80/20 fat ratio is my favorite because it’s so flavorful. Make my homemade meatball recipe or buy storebought if you need a quick option. Both work great!
  • Marinara Sauce: My homemade marinara is so easy if you want to make a big batch. It’s perfect for so many meals. Or you can buy storebought as well.
  • Mozzarella or Provolone Cheese: Shredded melty white cheese is the best! Top your sandwich with cheese and watch it melt under the broiler into creamy goodness!

How To Make a Meatball Sub

With just a few easy steps, you can make a meatball sub in no time at all! You can even make most of it ahead of time and toast the buns when you’re ready to assemble them. They come together super fast!

  1. Combine Meatballs and Marinara: In a medium-sized saucepan, add cooked meatballs and 2 cups of marinara sauce. Heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes and simmer in the pan to warm the meatballs and sauce. 
  2. Preheat Oven: While the sauce is warming, prepare the hoagie rolls by preheating the oven to broil. 
  3. Prepare Hoagie Rolls: Gently slice each roll down the middle making sure not to cut all the way through. Brush 1 tablespoon softened butter onto each sandwich roll. Feel free to season the bread with garlic salt and/or Italian seasoning if you desire.
  4. Toast: Place the hoagie rolls on the baking sheet and into the preheated oven. Be careful to watch the rolls closely. Toasting the rolls on broil should only take 2-3 minutes. They will burn quickly if you don’t watch them.
  5. Assemble: Once the rolls are toasted, remove them from the oven and fill each roll with the warm meatballs/sauce mixture. Each hoagie roll should generously fit five meatballs. Add the desired sauce amount to your liking. 
  6. Add Cheese: Top the meatballs with freshly grated provolone, mozzarella, or cheese of your choice.
  7. Melt Cheese: Return the hoagies to the oven and broil just until the cheese is melted. This will also be quick, about 1-2 minutes. Serve and enjoy while hot with fresh parsley on top!
Four process photos of assembling meatball subs.  The first photo is baked meatballs on a sheet pan.  The second photo is meatballs and marinara sauce mixed together in a white skillet.  The third photo is meatballs and marinara being assembled on top of a toasted hoagie roll.  The fourth phot is a close up view of shredded cheese being sprinkled on top of the meatball sub.

What to Serve With a Meatball Sub

Make your meal complete by serving some pretty fantastic sides with your meatball subs! I have lots of options on my blog. Even though the sub sandwiches will be the star of the show, you might as well keep wowing your guests with your sides.

Close up view of a stack of meatball subs.  A hand is reaching in and lifting up one of the subs on top.

Freezing and Storing Leftovers

Meatballs can be cooked, cooled, and frozen for later. Assemble the meatball sub according to the directions on the recipe card when you’re ready to enjoy them later! Follow the instructions for storing leftover meatball sub-ingredients.

  • In the Refrigerator:  Cooked meatballs and marinara sauce can be stored together in an airtight container. Place in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Do not store the meatballs/sauce on the hoagie rolls. Store them separately and assemble them on the toasted hoagie bun when you’re ready to enjoy it.
  • In the Freezer: After cooking and cooling the meatballs, transfer them to a cookie sheet, then freeze for 2-4 hours. Transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. These will keep for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: To rewarm or thaw, you can cook in the microwave, oven, or over the stove. Toast the hoagie bun when ready to assemble.

Close up view of a meatball sub opened and full of meatballs and marinara.  Garnished with chopped basil on top.

Print

The Best Meatball Sub

This easy meatball sub is always a favorite for both kids and adults. From the juicy meatballs smothered in marinara sauce to the toasted bun and melty cheese on top…it's the perfect sandwich for game day or any day!
Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine Italian American
Keyword meatball sandwich, meatball sub
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 719kcal
Author Alyssa Rivers

Ingredients

  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 20 homemade meatballs fully cooked and warmed through
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, or favorite marinara sauce
  • 2 cups provolone cheese, shredded (or mozzarella)

Instructions

  • In a medium-sized saucepan, add cooked meatballs and 2 cups of marinara sauce. Heat over medium heat for about 5 minutes to warm meatballs and sauce.
  • While the sauce is warming, prepare the hoagie rolls by preheating the oven to broil.
  • Gently slice each roll down the middle making sure not to cut all the way through. Brush 1 tbsp softened butter onto each sandwich roll. Feel free to season the bread with garlic salt and/or Italian seasoning if you desire.
  • Place the hoagie rolls on the baking sheet and into the preheated oven. Be careful to watch the rolls closely. Toasting the rolls on broil should only take 2-3 minutes. They will burn quickly if you don't watch them.
  • Once the rolls are toasted, remove them from the oven and fill each roll with the warm meatballs/sauce mixture. Each hoagie roll should generously fit 5 meatballs. Add the desired sauce amount to your liking.
  • Top the meatballs with freshly grated provolone, mozzarella, or cheese of your choice.
  • Return the hoagies to the oven and broil just until the cheese is melted. This will also be quick, about 1-2 minutes. Serve and enjoy while hot with fresh parsley garnished on top!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 719kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 1482mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1466IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 536mg | Iron: 13mg

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