To begin, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, dried oregano, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper in a bowl. Shape the mixture into small one-inch balls and cook them in a large skillet until browned. Then, pour pasta sauce over the meatballs and let it simmer on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
Next, butter the buns and slightly toast them under the broiler. Spread half of the shredded mozzarella on the bottom of the sub rolls, then place five meatballs into each roll and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Broil the sandwiches until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, being careful to watch closely as broilers can vary in intensity. Sprinkle chopped fresh Italian parsley or freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top before serving immediately for optimal taste.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups marinara (or pasta sauce)
- 4 sub rolls
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)
1In a large bowl, mix together ground beef, Italian breadcrumbs, Parmesan Cheese, egg, oregano, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roll the mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
2In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the meatballs on all sides. Drain any excess grease. Add the marinara sauce to the skillet with the meatballs and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
3While the meatballs are simmering, split, butter, and toast the sub rolls under the broiler.
4Spread half of the cheese over the bottom of the rolls. Place 5 meatballs in each roll and top with the remainder of the cheese. Broil the sandwiches just until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
5If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve promptly.
- This recipe works with both fresh and frozen meatballs. You can also make this recipe with ground turkey or Italian sausage if desired.
- Use meatless pasta sauce, marinara sauce, or spaghetti sauce.
- If you prefer, bake the meatballs on a baking sheet at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Then spoon the marinara sauce over the meatballs after you add them to the buns.
- I like to use fresh submarine rolls or hoagie rolls, but you could also use hot dog buns. Hot dog buns hold about three meatballs, so this recipe would go a little further.
- For full flavor, slather the buns with garlic butter and toast them in the oven.
- Using a large casserole dish like a 9 x 13 allows you to tip the sandwiches on their side and makes for a fabulous presentation.
- Try different cheeses like provel, fontina, or provolone cheese.
- Broilers are unpredictable, so stay close by and monitor the progress.
- Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh herbs like Italian parsley, thyme, or red pepper flakes.