These homemade Meatball Subs are topped with a simple Italian marinara sauce on a toasted bun with melted cheese. This warm comfort meal is perfect for feeding a crowd or as a freezer meal!

Looking for more sandwiches? Try my Meatloaf Sandwich, Cuban Sandwich, or French Dip!

Meatball sub on a toasted hoagie with three meatballs and sauce, on a white plate.

Why I love this meal:

  • Feeds a Crowd – Easy to double and keep in the crock pot to allow people to serve themselves when feeding a large group!
  • Pantry Ingredients – This recipe uses real ingredients that are probably hiding in your pantry or fridge!
  • Freezer Friendly – The meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked. Make a double batch and freeze half for an even easier meal in the future.

How to make Meatball Subs:

Combine saltine crackers, beef broth, egg, and spices (everything EXCEPT for the meat and flour). Stir and rest for 10 minutes so the crackers can soak up the liquid.

Add ground meat and mix just until combined.

Form 15 meatballs, dredge them lightly in flour and place them on a greased baking sheet. Bake meatballs for 20 -25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Make Sauce: Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, basil, sugar, and garlic salt to a saucepan and stir to combine. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Four process photos for making meatballs and sauce for meatball subs.

Slice hoagie rolls in half and top with provolone cheese. Broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until rolls are toasted and cheese is melted. Remove from oven

Assemble. Place 3 meatballs on each sub, followed by a large spoonful of sauce. Serve immediately.

A meatball sub on a white plate with a hand holding the back of it.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: The homemade meatballs and the sauce can both be made in advance and kept in the fridge for 2 days.

To Freeze: The sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months. The meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked.

  • Cooked Meatballs: Allow them to cool completely after baking, then store in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and rewarm meatballs in sauce on the stove.
  • Raw Meatballs: After making the meatballs and assembling them into small balls, store them in a freezer container bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking as instructed.

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Recipe

Meatball sub on a toasted hoagie with three meatballs and sauce, on a white plate.
Prep 35 mins
Cook 35 mins
Total 1 hr 10 mins
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Video

Ingredients
 
 

For the meatballs

  • 1/2 cup saltine crackers , crushed
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 large egg , lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour , for dredging

For the sandwiches:

  • 5 hoagies or sub rolls
  • 10 slices Provolone cheeses , or mozzarella

For the sauce:

  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions
 

Meatballs:

  • In a large bowl combine all of the meatball ingredients together EXCEPT for the meat. Stir and rest for 10 minutes so the crackers can soak up the liquid. Add the meat and mix just until combined (don’t over mix).
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet, or line with aluminum foil. Form 15 meatballs, about the size of golf balls, and gently sprinkle them all around with flour.
  • Place the meatballs one inch apart on the baking sheet and bake for 20 -25 minutes or until cooked through.
  • While the meatballs cook, make the sauce.

Sauce:

  • Add all of the sauce ingredients to a saucepan and stir to combine. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • When the meatballs are finished baking, transfer them to the sauce.
  • Slice the hoagie rolls in half and layer with cheese. Broil on high for 2-3 minutes or until rolls are toasted and cheese is melted. Remove from oven. 
  • Place 3 meatballs on each sub, followed by a large spoonful of sauce. Serve immediately.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions: The homemade meatballs and the sauce can both be made in advance and kept in the fridge for 2 days, or as a freezer meal!
Freezing Instructions: These meatballs can be frozen raw or cooked.
  • Cooked Meatballs: Allow them to cool completely after baking, then store in a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or warm meatballs in sauce on the stove.
  • Raw Meatballs: After making the meatballs and assembling them into small balls, store them in a freezer container bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking as instructed.

Nutrition

Calories: 469kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 32gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 928mgPotassium: 958mgFiber: 6gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 470IUVitamin C: 15.6mgCalcium: 168mgIron: 8.7mg

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*I originally shared this recipe in June 2014. Updated April 2019 and October 2021.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    The whole family loved this meatball sub recipe! Easy to make and great for leftovers. My teenager responded … “Can you please make this when my friends come over”!

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