Easy Meatball Subs – Made with hot dog buns, frozen meatballs, marinara, and provolone, these meatball subs are so simple to make and perfect for feeding a crowd. Don’t have a crowd to feed? You can easily adjust this recipe for a smaller group!
My husband Tyson and I don’t have a ton of favorite foods in common…well, outside of your usual macaroni and cheese, cheeseburger, and chicken tenders. Other than those, we tend to like different ice cream flavors, different beverages, different pizza toppings, different deli sandwiches, different pastas, etc. It’s been a tough thing for me to accept but I’m good now and have learned to compromise. Or just buy two of everything…
But there is one thing that unites us: meatball subs. We both looooove meatball subs. It was a staple in my college diet (thank you, Firehouse Subs). I mean, how can you go wrong with tender meatballs, covered in marinara and provolone cheese, sitting in a soft hoagie roll?! Meat, cheese, carbs, sauce. That’s all I need.
And that’s where my husband and I agree. He goes crazy over the meatball subs at a local spot in a part of town where he used to live. But now we live too far to make the trek there. So I decided that I would come up with an amazing recipe we can enjoy at home.
This recipe is more than I could have hoped for. It was super simple to make, required few ingredients, and the subs tasted AMAZING. The sprinkle of Parmesan and Italian herbs really adds the perfect amount of flavor. Plus, because I baked the subs together in a baking dish, it trapped a little of the moisture and created perfectly soft, chewy buns. Mmm, carbs.
This recipe makes a whole tray of subs – seven, to be precise. You can make them for weeknight dinners or cut them and half and serve them at parties. That’s why I love the size of them – they’re so versatile.
On top of these being versatile little sandwiches, they are also so super simple to make and very few ingredients. All we’re doing is heating up frozen meatballs in marinara, adding them to hot dog buns, topping with cheese, and baking for a few minutes to melt the cheese. THAT’S IT. They really took no time at all. And if you already have the meatballs cooked, it takes less than 10 minutes. You really can’t get any simpler than that.
Another thing I love about this recipe is that you can easily make it your own. If you have a favorite meatball you like, use that. If there’s a classic marinara recipe you keep on hand, you can use that. If you want to use a different cheese, go right ahead. I bet fresh mozzarella tastes amaaaazing on these. I just used sliced provolone and grated Parmesan but feel free to go crazy with whatever cheese you want to use.
Here are some more tips to get you prepped for this recipe:
- This recipe uses frozen mini meatballs, which are about the size of a quarter. If your meatballs are larger than that, you may only need two per sub.
- I used top-sliced hot dog buns from Pepperidge Farm. I like the look of the top-sliced bun, plus it made it much easier for me to stuff the bun with the meatballs since they stay in there nice and snug. But you can use whatever bun you like. Just remember, if they are bigger than a hot dog bun (e.g. hoagie buns or sandwich buns), you will need more meatballs to fill the extra space.
- Now that we’re on the topic of hot dog buns, I need to address the elephant in the room: how come this recipe only makes 7 subs when we all know 8 buns come in a package? I tried soooo hard to fit 8 subs into my 13×9 baking dish but it just wouldn’t work – the subs would have been squished in, causing the bread to flatten. But if you have a dish large enough, please make all 8 subs. That extra bun is so lonely!
- Don’t put too much sauce over the meatballs, otherwise it will cause your bread to be soggy. Place just enough to cover the meatballs but not so much that they’re floating in it.
That’s all, folks! Its so super simple but oh so satisfying. Let me know how you like them by commenting below!
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Easy Meatball Subs
- 7 hot dog buns
- 2 cups marinara sauce (about 1 jar)
- 28 mini frozen meatballs
- 7 slices provolone cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (oregano works fine, too)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place marinara sauce in large saucepan. Set sauce over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Add in frozen meatballs and stir until their coated in sauce. Let them cook until no longer frozen and are heated through, about 20-25 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Slice each bun and place in a 13x9 baking dish. Set aside until meatballs are ready. Stack slices of provolone on top of each other. Slice evenly in half. Set aside.
- When meatballs are ready, turn off heat. Using a spoon, scoop four meatballs from marinara and place into one hot dog bun. Repeat with 6 remaining buns. Spoon a little sauce over each sub, covering meatballs in sauce.
- Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese evenly over each sub. Place one half-slice of provolone cheese on the sub, covering the top half. Place another half-slice on the same sub, but now covering the bottom half. The meatballs should be completely covered in cheese. Sprinkle with a little bit of Italian seasoning (or oregano). Repeat with other subs.
- Place subs in preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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