Italian Meatball Buns Recipe
Italian Meatball Buns Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Italian Meatball Buns Recipe

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These soft little rolls come with a surprise inside—savory Italian meatballs. They're wonderful dipped in marinara sauce, making them fun for my grandkids and adults, too. I love how easy they are to put together. —Trina Linder-Mobley, Clover, South Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 15 min.
MAKES:24 servings
Contest Winning Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 15 min.
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 12 frozen bread dough dinner rolls
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce, warmed

Nutritional Facts

1 bun with 1 tablespoon sauce equals 112 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 248 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. Let dough stand at room temperature 25-30 minutes or until softened.
  2. Cut each roll in half. Wrap each portion around a meatball, enclosing meatball completely; pinch dough firmly to seal. Place on greased baking sheets, seam side down. Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake buns 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with oil; sprinkle with cheese and basil. Serve with marinara sauce. Yield: 2 dozen.
Originally published as Italian Meatball Buns in Taste of Home September/October 2013, p2-8

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Reviewed Dec. 21, 2015

"I brought these to a fondue party to dip into my pizza sauce/ marinara fondue. Everyone raves about these. My niece especially liked that these were mini versions of her favorite sandwich the meatball sub. I used frozen mini meatballs and and a package of 24 round bread dough rolls. I didn't need to split the rolls as the mini meatballs fit perfectly into one. The little snacks looked just like the picture. These were easy and fun and will make them again."

Reviewed Mar. 21, 2015

"Easy and delicious- I have used the refrigerated biscuits in the past for a quick app and have stuffed these with pepperoni, tomatoe sauce, and mozzarella. I've tried them with jalepenos and pineapple, too. Delicious!"

Reviewed Dec. 31, 2014

"This was perfect with one package Bridgeford rolls (18 rolls) and a bag of meatballs (32 meatballs). It doesn't seem like it will be enough dough to cut them in half, but it is. If the meatballs are partly frozen and the dough is cold, they are much easier to assemble than you think. I didn't have fresh basil but I sprinkled dry basil in the olive oil before brushing it on and it was great. These were a perfect addition for a New Years party with lots of young men ... they loved them. I used doctored up spaghetti sauce to dip."

Reviewed Dec. 23, 2014

"these are excellent. I just made them. I did make 2 changes: I don't like Italian meatballs so I used regular ones and before wrapping in the dough I added a bit of mozzarella cheese. I used slab cheese and just cut a small chunk for each one. I used pizza sauce out of a jar for the dipping sauce. These taste great- I'll definitely make them again"

Reviewed Aug. 15, 2014

"Huge hit with the "grands"!!! Used bread dough and cut to fit. Served with pizza sauce. Thanks!"

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