Italian Meatball Sandwiches

Italian Meatball Sandwiches; delicious meatballs nestled in Italian bread, draped with fresh mozzarella and toasted to perfection. 

I told you I was on a sandwich kick.

Italian Meatball Sandwiches l

And this one is an oldie-but-goodie. A classic if you will. I first posted this sandwich over two years ago and decided to “re-blog” this when my youngest was endlessly begging me to make it for dinner. As you know, I love a great sandwich… and this might be my favorite but then again don’t I always say that?!

I try never to claim that a recipe is “the best”, but these meatballs are definitely tops!  You don’t even have to put them on a sandwich. In a bowl accompanied by a fork will do perfectly fine.

Start off by smashing, peeling and mincing up two gloves of garlic.

Grab a good sized shallot and dice it up into small pieces.

Take a handful of fresh parsley and give that a rough chop as well. Anyone else love the smell of parsley? Its freshness smells like summer to me.

Lastly grate the fresh parmesan and scoot it off to the side.

I think the mixture of lean ground turkey and ground chuck is stellar for meatballs. The fat from the ground chuck is just enough to make these moist {ack! hate that word} and the texture perfect!

Lightly mix up the ground meat in a large bowl and add an egg.

Then add in the ground Parmesan and the Italian bread crumbs.

With your perfectly clean hands, lightly mix the ingredients until everything has come together. Try your best not to over mix.

I use a heaping tablespoon to measure out each ball.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat and continue to roll out the meatballs. You should have about 18-20 meatballs.

Then add about half a batch of meatballs to the hot pan (adjust the heat if you need to) but you should hear a beautiful sizzle sound when you add them in the pan.

When that side forms a brown crust, turn and repeat, until the sides are a deep brown.

When the meatballs are finished and cooked through, remove them to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

While those are browning… start the meatball sauce!

Four ingredients… super simple… and super delicious! Remember the meatballs have so much going on you don’t need an overwhelming sauce! Start this off by adding a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce in a bowl.

Add in the basil, garlic powder and red pepper flakes (you can add a small pinch of sugar if you’d like too!).

Give it a good stir!

When all of the meatballs have had their time in the pan, reduce the heat to low. Give the pan a few minutes to cool down and slowly add in the tomato sauce. It will probably start bubbling and spitting at you but that’s okay just start stirring and scrape the bottom of the pan and get all the brown bits!

Add the meatballs and let it all simmer for about 10 minutes over low.

Give it a little toss and simmer for 5 more minutes or until the sauce has reduced a tad and is thick.

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and get your baguette ready. Cut in half and dig out a trench on both halves. It gives a nice place for the meatballs to rest.

Layer with the meatballs on the bottom half of the loaves.

Then top with slices of fresh mozzarella. When the oven is pre-heated… slide the pan-0-sandwiches onto the middle rack and watch carefully, they only need 8-10 minutes to toast up!

Italian Meatball Sandwiches l

Remove the Italian Meatball Sandwiches from the oven when the cheese melts and is all bubbly and golden brown.

Italian Meatball Sandwiches l

AHHH… looks so good doesn’t it!!! I had a large baguette and a smaller one which made about 4-6 servings out of this entire recipe, but that depends on the size of the loaf of bread and how hungry you are!

Italian Meatball Sandwiches l

Now I urge you to make these Italian Meatball Sandwiches for your man, your bestie or yourself… either way I promise you’ll definitely love these!!


Enjoy! And if you give this Italian Meatball Sandwiches recipe a try, let me know by snapping a photo and tagging me on twitter or instagram!

Italian Meatball Sandwiches l

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 


Italian Meatball Sandwiches

Delicious meatballs nestled in Italian bread, draped with fresh mozzarella and toasted to perfection. This recipe is a family favorite!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 35-45 minutes

Total Time: about 1 hour


3/4 lb Ground Chuck

3/4 lb Ground Turkey

1 whole Egg

1 Shallot, finely diced

2 Garlic Cloves, finely minced

A handful of Fresh Parsley, chopped

3/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs

1/4 cup tablespoons Freshly Grated Parmesan

Olive Oil

Mozzarella Slices

1-2 Italian baguettes {depending on size}


1 15oz can tomato sauce

1/4 teaspoon basil

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pinch of red pepper flakes

1 pinch of sugar (optional)


Combine all of the meatball ingredients, and mix until just combined. Use a heaping tablespoon of the meatball mixture to form about 18-20 meatballs.

Pre-heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium to medium-high heat.

Working in batches, cook the meatballs on all sides until deep brown in color. Remove the cooked meatballs to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

Reduce the heat to low and make the sauce.

In a small bowl combine sauce ingredients and pour it into the meatball pan.

Add the meatballs back in and simmer for 10 minutes, cook for 5 more minutes or until the sauce has reduced and is thick.

Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and prepare the sandwich bread, cutting the bottom half a little thicker than the top half and dig out some of the bread in the center to create trenches for the meatballs to rest in.

Arrange the bread on a large sheet pan and on the bottom half of the bread top with a few meatballs, a little of the sauce, then slices of fresh mozzarella.Place the sheet pan it in the oven and watch carefully for about 8-10 minutes.

Remove when cheese is melted and bubbly, place the top half of the bread onto the sandwich and with a sharp knife cut in to half. Enjoy!

[this post contains affiliate links.]

    Pin It

33 Responses to “Italian Meatball Sandwiches”

  1. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — June 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Oh man, I was just craving meatball subs!! Definitely making this over the weekend!!

  2. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — June 27, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

  3. #
    brandi — June 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    my husband would go gaga for these. and i would have trouble sharing.

  4. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — June 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    i can scarcely believe how delicious these look. i’d totally eat the whole batch…i mean, that’s why i’m killing myself with insanity, right?

  5. #
    Anna @ hiddenponies — June 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    My husband would go crazy for this…what is it about men and meatballs?? I just want that amazing bread and melty cheese 🙂

  6. #
    DB-The Foodie Stuntman — June 27, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    These look delicious but I have a hint for you that I picked up from Anne Burrell’s cookbook: Before cooking your meatballs, take one and make a 1-inch slider size patty and cook that as a tester to ensure you have your seasonings correct.

  7. #
    DessertForTwo — June 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Ahhhhh the meatballs simmering! They look so good! Yum!

  8. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — June 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    You can’t beat a classic! These subs would be perfect for a fun game night or when i have friends over to watch a game. Well, they watch the game and I usually just eat all the goodies haha! I love the pictures today, Laurie! It’s hard to make meatballs look pretty but you def conquered that. 🙂

  9. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — June 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Oh the flavor! I can literally taste your meatballs. Seriously! Your meatball sandwich looks melty, crispy and the meatballs look perfect. I’ve always been a big fan of the meatball sando but have never made them at home – time to venture down homemade meatball sandwich road!

  10. #
    Kathryn — June 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    My favourite sandwich ever. This has made me so hungry!

  11. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — June 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    girl, my stomach is now grumbling cause of you! that looks so good and i’m loving those homemade meatballs!!

  12. #
    Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) — June 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Your sandwiches are looking mighty tempting lately!

  13. #
    Carly — June 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I somehow always find myself on your blog right before dinner – now I’m extra hungry! These look soooo good!

  14. #
    Baking Serendipity — June 28, 2012 at 2:40 am

    This is definitely my favorite sandwich too! Yours looks fantastic 🙂

  15. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — June 28, 2012 at 3:27 am

    These look amazing! There is something so comforting about meatball subs!

  16. #
    RavieNomNoms — June 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I am totally okay with your sandwich kick because this looks AWESOME! Oh man, that would be one great sandwich. I love how you made everything from scratch makes it so much yummy

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 1st, 2012 @ 12:08 am

      Thanks Ravie! Xo

  17. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — June 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Drooling right now! I haven’t made meatball subs in years! They used to be a staple around here. Definitely going to have to make these soon!

  18. #
    Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) — June 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I’m drooling ova here.

  19. #
    Janelle — June 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    My husband would LOVE this… and I can’t say that I wouldn’t enjoy it either. 🙂

  20. #
    Alyssa — June 29, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Yum! I love a good meatball sub. I love the simple flavors of this. I could totally go for one of these right now!

  21. #
    Jen @ Savory Simple — June 29, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I have pinned this to make for my husband! He will love it.

  22. #
    Annie @ Annie's Noms — June 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Hi there,

    Found your blog on Foodbuzz so decided to take a look 🙂 OMG these look delicious, I’m literally drooling over your pictures, I need these in my life! I am sure my boyfriend will love them too, lunch is sorted!

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 1st, 2012 @ 12:06 am

      Nice to meet you Annie!

  23. #
    Dean — June 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I just made these this afternoon.. and they were incredible! 🙂 This is a new favorite at our house. Thanks for sharing!

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 1st, 2012 @ 12:02 am

      Rock on! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know! Enjoy your weekend Dean!

  24. #
    Farah from Malaysia — July 2, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I LOVE YOU!!!

  25. #
    Sule — July 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    What a great dinner idea. Looks delicious

  26. #
    Kari@Loaves and Dishes — July 8, 2012 at 2:54 am

    This sandwich is pretty as a picture. So glad that you made a trench in the bread for that perfect bread to meatball ratio!

  27. #
    Lauren @ Part Time House Wife — July 8, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I die for a meatball sub. Plain and simple.

  28. #
    kita — July 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Is there anything you can’t make look smexy? These look perfect.

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 11th, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

      Ha… you should talk! 😉

  29. #
    arlene — July 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    These sandwiches you made used to be called Grinders, where I used to live. Haven’t had one over 25yrs now…. I will be making these now. thanks

Leave a Comment