Make the best Meatball Subs with this easy, classic recipe! Toasted bread is topped with marinara sauce, meatballs, and plenty of your favorite cheeses. I also have a secret ingredient that makes them the very BEST. Make these subs for a quick weeknight dinner or as your next game day entree!

A meatball sub is garnished with fresh parsley.

Meatball Sub

There’s seriously no sub better than a meatball sub. If you agree, than this is the recipe for you! A toasted bun serves as the host to the classic trifecta of meatballs, marinara sauce and cheese. It’s a simple, classic combo of flavors that always hits the spot. I love making these hearty subs for my family on those crazy busy weeknights when I need something quick, delicious and filling on the table!

Meatball subs are also perfect for watching the big game. Now that football season is officially here, there’s no better time to serve these saucy subs. I have it on very good authority (wink wink) that they pair perfectly with a cold beer while you’re watching your team! Plus, since they’re so easy to toss together, you can still be a great host while not missing out on the action yourself.

I have one not-so-secret ingredient that puts my meatball subs a step above the rest. Drum roll, please… It’s garlic bread spread! It’s a quick and easy to make garlic butter that can make your average slice of bread turn into a garlicky, buttery, savory masterpiece. In fact, it’s so good that it makes the bread my favorite part of the whole sub.

Three meatball subs are placed on a baking sheet.

How to Make Meatball Subs

This meatball sub recipe is quick, easy, and oh so satisfying.

  1. Cook the meatballs in the sauce. Add both the meatballs and marinara sauce to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are warmed through.
  2. Toast those buns. Slice the rolls in half, but not all the way! You want them to open like a book. Spread the garlic bread spread all over the insides of the rolls and place them on a baking sheet facing up. Broil for about 1-2 minutes until golden.
  3. Assemble the subs. Top each roll with provolone cheese, three meatballs, and shredded mozzarella.
  4. Broil again. Time to melt the cheeses! Place the subs back in the oven under the broiler until the cheese has fully melted.
  5. Enjoy! Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese and serve right away. I like to serve mine with peppers and hoagie spread!
A sub has been sliced in half to reveal cooked meatballs.

Tips and Variations to Try

Here are just a few ways you can make your subs the very best that they can be!

  • You can use frozen meatballs. Yep! Just let them thaw before heating so this recipe moves nice and quick.
  • Or, you can make your own meatballs. This is my personal preference because I love my classic oven baked meatball recipe. It’s pretty easy and always yields meatballs with the best thick consistency and lots of Italian flavors!
  • You can even make your own sauce. If you want to brag about these subs being totally homemade, then you’ll need to use my marinara sauce recipe! It’s easy, delicious, and really has the best robust flavor.
  • No beef? No problem. If red meat isn’t your thing, no worries! A meatball sub made with turkey meatballs definitely still hits the spot.

Can I make them ahead of time?

I recommend making these meatball subs right before you plan on serving them. If the sauce sits on the bread for too long, the bread will get soggy and no one wants that! Plus, these subs really are the best when they’re still warm and toasty from the oven with all of that gooey melted cheese.

Two subs are placed next to a small bowl of peppers.

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Three meatball subs are placed on a baking sheet.

Get the Recipe: Meatball Sub Recipe (Meatball Sandwich)

Hearty and satisfying, easy Meatball Sub Sandwiches are simple to make in just 20 minutes. A family favorite and great way to use up leftover meatballs.
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  • 12 large Meatballs, if frozen, thaw before heating
  • 2 cups Marinara Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Garlic Bread Spread
  • 4 long sub rolls
  • 8 slices sharp provolone cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grate parmesan cheese
  • Pepperoncini Peppers, optional
  • Hoagie Spread, optional


  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1 skillet


  • Add the meatballs and marinara sauce to a large skillet over medium high heat. Cover and cook until the meatballs are heated through, approximately 10 minutes.
  • While the meatballs cook, slice the rolls in half lengthwise but do not cut all the way through so the roll opens like a book.
  • Spread the garlic bread spread over the cut sides of the rolls and arrange on a baking sheet so the cut side is facing up.
  • Broil the rolls under a broiler set to high for 1-2 minutes until golden.
  • Remove from the oven and top each of the rolls with two slices of provolone cheese.
  • Fill the rolls with 3 meatballs in each roll and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
  • Return the sandwiches to the oven and broil until the cheese is melted.
  • Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and serve immediately with peppers or hoagie spread, if desired.


Meatball Subs are best served soon after making.  
Calories: 685kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 43g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 1658mg, Potassium: 584mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1520IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 572mg, Iron: 13mg