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Mar 8, 2020

Cheesy Italian Meatball Subs with No Knead Sandwich Rolls

These cheesy meatball submarine sandwiches include moist and tender beef, pork, and veal meatballs, an amazing homemade tomato sauce, and lots of melty provolone cheese. Plus, I've included a recipe for easy to make no-knead sandwich rolls.

Cheesy Italian Meatball Submarine sandwiches with provolone cheese

The meatballs are a traditional Italian-American combination of beef, pork, and veal, along with a bread and milk panade, cheeses, garlic, and herbs. They are cooked in a delicious sauce that you will pretty much want to put on everything.

Fortunately, you will have lots of extra sauce for making pizza and pasta dishes, dipping cheesy breadsticks, and topping chicken or veal Parmigiana. I even spread some inside a provolone and turkey sausage sourdough grilled cheese sandwich. So good.

Even the picky eaters in my family fell in love with these meatball sandwiches.

Cheesy Italian Meatball Subs

Why you need to try making these meatball subs:

First, the meatballs are so tender and delicious and everything you want an Italian meatball. And then there's the sauce, which is pretty much drinkable. You will want to pour it over everything.

I was also inspired by this slow cooker meatball recipe I recently shared, and the technique of using a microwave for firming up meatballs before cooking them in sauce.

Then there's all of the cheesy goodness of the melty provolone.

Plus, I've always wanted to try making homemade submarine sandwich (or hoagie) rolls. I'm really excited about how easy these no-knead rolls are to make, and how well they work with these Italian meatballs and sauce. 

No Knead Sandwich Rolls for Cheesy Italian Meatball Subs

While you don't need to make your own sandwich rolls, it's so worth it. The rolls have just the right balance between soft and chewy.

What's really cool about this dough is that you can make it up to seven days in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. Just pull out just the amount you need, and then shape the dough and bake it for fresh rolls on the spot. The longer the dough sits in the fridge, the more flavor it develops.

No Knead Sandwich Rolls

Tips for making Italian meatball submarine sandwiches:

  1. Be sure to mix the bread crumbs with the warm milk until you have a paste. 
  2. To ensure that the meatballs hold together while they are simmering in the sauce, microwave the meatballs for just a few minutes before browning. 
  3. For the sauce, make sure you cook the onions until they are golden brown and have developed flavor. 
  4. I highly recommend using an immersion blender (Amazon affiliate link) to blend the sauce. It's so much easier than transferring the hot mixture to a blender. 
  5. I also recommend using a kitchen scale for portioning out the dough for the rolls. You will need about 4 ounces of dough for each roll, and a scale makes it so much easier. Once you get a kitchen scale, you will find so many uses for it, included portioning potato chips for your lunch! 

Italian Meatballs

How to assemble these Italian meatball submarine sandwiches:

First, slice the hoagie rolls in half and spread them with butter. Next, sprinkle them with granulated garlic and toast them in the toaster oven or under the broiler.

After that, top half of the rolls with the meatballs and ladle on a healthy helping of the sauce and a slice of provolone. Return the topped rolls to the broiler or toaster oven and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Top with the other half of the roll, slice, and serve.

Cheesy Italian Meatball Submarine sandwiches with No Knead Sandwich Rolls

More delicious meatball recipes:

No Knead Sandwich Rolls

Meatball Madness from the From Our Dinner Table Group

  • Bahn Mi Meatballs by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
  • Bubble Up Meatball Parmesan by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
  • Cheesy Pizza Meatball Cups by Family Around the Table
  • Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
  • Low Fat Meatballs by That Recipe
  • Low-Carb Swedish Meatballs by Art of Natural Living
  • Skillet Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Pineapple by Cheese Curd In Paradise
  • Turkey Apricot Meatballs by Simply Inspired Meals

  • We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

    Cheesy Italian meatball subs with no knead sandwich rolls: 

    These Italian meatball submarine sandwiches are a take on a classic recipe. They are moist and tender, with ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal. If you can't find ground veal, you can either grind your own, or just make these with beef and pork.

    They are perfectly seasoned with parsley, pepper, oregano, and garlic, and also include both ricotta and Parmesan cheese.

    Cheesy Italian Meatball Subs with No Knead Sandwich Rolls

    Cheesy Italian Meatball Subs with No Knead Sandwich Rolls

    Cheesy Italian Meatball Subs with No Knead Sandwich Rolls
    Yield: 8 servings
    These cheesy meatball submarine sandwiches include moist and tender beef, pork, and veal meatballs, an amazing homemade tomato sauce, and lots of melty provolone cheese. Plus, I've included a recipe for easy to make no-knead sandwich rolls.


    For the Meatballs
    • 2/3 cup warm milk
    • 3 ounces white bread (about 3 slices)
    • 10.3 ounces ground beef
    • 10.3 ounces ground pork
    • 10.3 ounces ground veal
    • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
    • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 cup flour for dusting
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    For the Sauce
    • 6 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
    • 8 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup tomato paste
    • 3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    For the Sandwich Rolls
    • 340 grams lukewarm water
    • 453 grams unbleached all purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 7 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) instant yeast
    For the Sandwiches
    • Sandwich rolls
    • Butter 
    • Granulated garlic
    • Meatballs
    • Italian sauce
    • 8 slices provolone cheese


    How to cook Cheesy Italian Meatball Subs with No Knead Sandwich Rolls

    To Make the Meatballs
    1. Combine the bread and the milk with a fork to form a paste. 
    2. In a large bowl, combine the meats, cheeses, eggs, salt, parsley, oregano, black pepper, garlic, and the bread and milk paste with your hands. 
    3. Form the meatballs into 2 to 3 inch balls with your hands. 
    4. Roll the meatballs in the flour to coat. 
    5. Place the meatballs on a large plate and microwave or about 4 minutes. 
    6. Brown the meatballs in the olive oil (in batches if necessary) until browned on all sides. 
    7. Cook the meatballs in the tomato sauce for 15-20 minutes
    To Make the Sauce
    1. In an 8 quart Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. 
    2. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. 
    3. Add the tomato paste and cook while stirring, 2 minutes. 
    4. Add the tomatoes with their juice, oregano, basil, salt, and sugar. 
    5. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 30 minutes. 
    6. Blend the sauce with an immersion blender until smooth. 
    7. Return the sauce to the pan and simmer an additional 15 minutes. 
    To Made the Hoagie Rolls
    1. Mix all of the bread ingredients by hand or with a dough whisk in a medium bowl or dough bucket. 
    2. Cover and let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature. 
    3. Move the dough to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and for up to 7 days before using. 
    4. Divide the dough into 4 ounce pieces and shape into oblong rolls. 
    5. Place the shaped dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with oiled plastic wrap. 
    6. Let rise for 1 to 2 hours, until doubled in size. 
    7. Heat your oven to 450 degrees F with a baking stone on the middle rack. 
    8. Slash the rolls down the middle with a sharp knife. Transfer the rolls to the baking stone and spray the oven with water. 
    9. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown. 
    10. Cool on a wire rack. 
    To Assemble the Sandwiches
    1. Split open the rolls, spread them with butter and sprinkle them with granulated garlic. 
    2. Broil the rolls until golden, about 2 minutes. 
    3. Top the bread with the meatballs, top with some of the sauce, and arrange the cheese over the meatballs. 
    4. Broil until the cheese is bubbly. 
    meatballs, submarine sandwiches
    Sandwiches, bread

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    Created using The Recipes Generator

    Source for the rolls - King Arthur Flour.

    Would you like to comment?

    1. I love a good meatball sub. Adding homemade rolls puts this way over the top!

    2. Are you kidding me with making your own sandwich rolls? Of course you aren't. Can you please come to my house and make this for me? Meatball subs are a favorite of mine and on homemade rolls would be amazing!

      1. Ha ha. I would love that! You know how much I love baking bread.

    3. I swear I am salivating.... What a great recipe, which is pretty much three wonders in one post, meatballs, sauce and bread!

      You keep pushing the bar up and up and up! ;-)

      I love it!

      1. Awwww. Thank you Sally! These were pretty darn tasty!

    4. These look so good, I wanted one for breakfast! Impressed that you even made your own buns!

    5. The meatballs look delicious, but oh my goodness those rolls! Definitely have to give that a try.

    6. I could totally devour one of these. They look delicious and the rolls always look awesome!!

    7. Well I just made the rolls and thought they were great. Cold fermented for about 24 hours. I will try longer next time but think the flavor was good at 24. Very easy and great results. I've tried other no knead rolls but most are too wet. Hydration of these perfect. Is this roll recipe on your site as a stand alone? Martyd

      1. No, it's not. I probably should have done that!

    8. Well I made the rolls again. Perfect. I suggest you put them in your bread section as hogie, sub, grinder, or whatever you call them in your area. Easy and flavorful. I'm going to scale them up to about 150 grams next time. Still dealing with 1/2 recipe. Great fun playing with these. Thank you.

    9. I'm so glad you like them! We call them "subs" around here.


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