Best-Ever Meatball Sub Sandwich

As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from

We can safely say this is about the most delicious sandwich you will ever make, eat, and serve.

Of course, a good meatball sub is only as good as its meatballs, and, boy, or boy, do we have you covered. Finish it off with a little homemade marinara, melty mozzarella, and a soft submarine roll, and you’ve got a sandwich for the record books!

An Italian meatball sub sandwich on a cutting board

How To Make the Best-Ever Meatball Sub Sandwich


NOTE: If you liked this video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. Remember to click the little ‘bell’ icon so you’ll never miss a new video. Thank you!

The Ingredients You Will Need

Since the two of the most important components of this epic sandwich are typically made well in advance, the preparation of this sandwich is a snap. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

Italian meatballs – If you want this sandwich to be epic, you need to go with homemade. Make them for classic spaghetti and meatballs, but save some for sandwiches!
Marinara – You should have plenty of homemade marinara leftover from when when you made the meatballs, but, if not, make a batch! In a pinch, good-quality purchased variety.
Mozzarella cheese – We like to get a log of fresh mozzarella and cut into into thin slices, however, pre-sliced mozzarella or bagged shredded will work just fine.
Bread – Soft submarine sandwiches are delicious, but, just keep in mind they are soft and will make for a bit of a messy sandwich (which is okay in our book!). Italian rolls are great, but, can sometimes be hard to find. You don’t want to tough bread, for example, a baguette is not recommended.
Parmesan – Freshly grated from a block is best.
Fresh herbs – Thinly sliced parsley or basil is nice, for topping the meatballs.

EXPERT TIP: The meatballs can be made several days in advance. Keep covered in the fridge and then reheat in a skillet filled about halfway with marinara sauce. Simmer until completely warmed through.

An overhead view of a large cast-iron skillet filled with Italian meatballs resting in a layer of homemade marinara sauce.

Homemade Meatballs – This makes all the difference. Make the meatballs from scratch. They aren’t difficult, but take a little time. And they are so worth it.

Don’t Overdo It With the Cheese – As much as we love melty mozzarella, don’t layer too much on. Otherwise, it will overpower the meatballs and be too difficult to eat. ¼-inch slices are perfect.

Toasting Is the Way To Go – Open up the rolls, layer the cheese, and then toast until the edges of the bread are golden and the cheese is melted and slightly browned in places.

Serve Immediately – Anyway you do it, this is a messy sandwich. Once assembled, serve at once. The sandwiches can become soggy it they sit for too long.

Long view of a freshly made meatball hero

Other Classic Sandwiches to Try

We love all kinds of homemade sandwiches, and here are a collection of our favorites that we are certain you and your family and friends will love and devour, too:

Buffalo Ranch Sandwich
Fried Chicken Sandwich
Wagyu Pastrami Sandwich
Homemade Rueben
BLT with Basil Aioli
Italian-Style Panini
Big Mac® Copycat
Monte Cristo
Best-Ever Fried Fish Sandwich
New Orleans Muffuletta
Fried Catfish Po-Boy
Authentic Banh Mi
Philly Cheesesteak

These are all epic in their own way, without a doubt. But, in the meantime, isn’t this incredible sammy screaming your name?

Two freshly made meatball subs on a cutting board with basil nearby.

We don’t think we’ve ever met anyone who didn’t love a good meatball sub every now and then.

Pour some of the amazing fresh marinara sauce over the top, and it’s just that…over the top.

Perfect for game day grub, party fare, or just a fun Sunday at home with the family.

Homemade Italian meatball sub with a spoon pouring marinara over the top.

The time has come folks to make this incredible Meatball Sub.

Go ahead and make a big ole batch of the marinara, then whip up the balls.

Then assemble the best-tasting sandwich you and your love ones will ever encounter.

Meatball sub sandwich on a cutting board.

Ready to make the best sandwich in town? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A close-up view of a meatball sub sandwich on a small wooden cutting board.

Homemade Meatball Sub Sandwich

This Meatball Sub Sandwich is off-the-charts good.  Marinara and meatballs made from scratch.  This is a sandwich that your loved ones will be talking about for years to come.  It's that good.
Print Pin Rate
Course: lunch
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Hero, Homemade, Marina, Meatballs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Make the meatballs and marina ahead: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 546kcal


  • 6 medium Italian meatball click the link for the recipe
  • 1 cup marinara sauce click the link for the recipe
  • 2 loaves Italian bread ends cut off, opened up, or sub rolls
  • 12 slices fresh mozzarella thinly sliced
  • fresh Parmesan grated, for finishing
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped, for garnish


Do Ahead

Assemble the Sandwiches

  • Heat the meatballs in the marinara.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Place the opened loaves of bread on a baking sheet and cover both sides of the bread with the sliced cheese, slightly overlapping.
    2 loaves Italian bread, 12 slices fresh mozzarella
  • Place the bread with cheese under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and started to brown on the edges (watch closely, don't let burn!)
  • Remove from broiler.  Add ¼ to ½ cup of marinara on the bottom layer of each loaf of bread.  Layer meatballs on top of the marina.
  • Spoon a little more marinara over the meatballs.
  • Top with shaved, or grated, fresh Parmesan and herbs.  Serve at once!
    fresh Parmesan, 2 tbsp parsley


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked the video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. 
Placing a layer of cheese on the bottom bun will help the sandwich from becoming too soggy too quickly.
Serve with plenty of napkins, this is a messy sandwich, but, in a really good way! 


Calories: 546kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 893mg | Potassium: 517mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2017IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 881mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This was originally published in July 2018, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in February 2024!


  • For some reason I am angst-ridden that the cheese is not on top lol! I’m going to get over it.. I know it’s going to be delish any way we stack it…is there some reasoning there? To keep the bread from getting soggy maybe…

    • Hi Nani! Well, we NEVER want to cause you to be angst-ridden!! LOL! We did place the cheese on the bottom to help the bread from getting soggy…but put it on the top if you prefer!!! It’s about the best meatball sub you’ll ever have!!! Let us know if you make the sandwich, how you handle the cheese, and what you think of it!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating