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

Italian Meatball Subs Recipe

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"This is one of those recipes you always come back to," says Jean Glacken from Elkton, Maryland. A flavorful tomato sauce and mildly spiced meatballs make a hearty sandwich filling, or they can be served over pasta. "I broil the meatballs first to quickly brown them," Jean notes.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 4 hours
MAKES:6-7 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 4 hours
MAKES: 6-7 servings


  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • SAUCE:
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine or beef broth
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 to 7 Italian rolls, split
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 482 calories, 21 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 131 mg cholesterol, 1545 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 27 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk; add the bread crumbs, cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add beef and sausage; mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls. Preheat broiler. Place meatballs in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Broil 4 in. from the heat for 4 minutes; turn and broil 3 minutes longer.
  2. Transfer to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine the tomato sauce and paste, onion, green pepper, wine or broth, water and seasonings; pour over meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Serve on rolls. Sprinkle with shredded cheese if desired. Yield: 6-7 servings.
Originally published as Italian Meatball Subs in Quick Cooking November/December 1998, p17

Full-Bodied Red Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.

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Reviewed Jan. 15, 2015

"I thought these were ok. I typically will make my family meatball recipe ahead of time or buy frozen, use jarred sauce, heat, and assemble sandwiches, toasting in the oven, for a quick meal. This was not any better than that method. Sauce was just ok."

Reviewed Jul. 3, 2014

"These were delicious and I loved how I could just throw them in the slow cooker. I did make a healthier choice with these and used ground turkey instead of ground beef and I served them along side sweet potato fries. I will definitely be making these again!"

Reviewed Jan. 19, 2014

"I have a question, Could I roll the meatballs the day before, refrigerate and then broil and place in crock pot next day?"

Reviewed Jul. 17, 2013

"The meatballs for this sandwich were so tender and juicy! I was worried they might dry out in the crock pot, but they were moist and had a lot of flavor. The sauce was also delicious. Even my 8-year-old, who hates anything in tomato sauce, went back for more! I served these on whole wheat french rolls, but next time I think I'll serve them either by themselves or over pasta - the bread just wasn't necessary. They are that good!"

Reviewed Jan. 19, 2012

"This is an excellent recipe. I did not use any salt because I have high blood pressure, but it did not need it. I added grated low-fat mozzarella to the sandwiches. Next time I plan to put the mozzarella on the buns and broil them for a minute or so before adding the meatballs."

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