Saturday Recipe: Meatball Subs

Susan Vega // Savor Your Saturday


February 6  

Sometimes our family just wants a break from the ordinary, especially when the days seem chilly or overcast. Serving up a delicious pile of meatball subs seems just the right answer for my hungry crowd. It seems fun and better than a restaurant to them, especially if we add coleslaw and a few different kinds of chips.

Red sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 medium red peppers: roasted, cooled, peeled, and chopped*
  • 1 28 oz can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juices
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves (fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black paper, to taste

In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute, stirring often. Add red peppers and cook another minute. Add all the tomatoes and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to partially cover to limit spattering. Pour/spoon mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Return mixture to dutch oven, add the herbs, and cook 15 more minutes. Turn off heat and stir in honey, salt, and pepper.

*To roast peppers, cut peppers in half and remove stems and seeds. Preheat oven to 450˚ and place peppers, cut side down, on parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over the tops and roast 15-20 minutes or until skin blisters and starts to turn black.


  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup panko or Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/4 cup yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425˚. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients gently with your hands. Try not to overmix or handle excessively. If mixture seems dry, add more milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

Using your hands, scoop and roll meatballs. Make sure they are uniform in size so that they will cook evenly.

Place in oven, and cook for 12-15 minutes (or more, depending on size). Internal temp should be 160˚.

Assembling the subs:

  • Cooked meatballs
  • Red sauce
  • Hoagie rolls or French bread
  • Provolone cheese

Heat oven to 400˚.

On the bottom of each roll, generously spoon on some sauce. Place the meatballs snugly, side by side. Spoon on a little more sauce, and top with provolone. Place in oven until heated through and cheese is melted. You can also top with some fresh mozzarella and basil leaves.

The meatballs freeze well, and they, along with the sauce, can be made a day ahead.

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