These sandwiches are ideal for everything from hurried family dinners to movie nights with friends. Three types of cheese give each slice a savory lasagna flavor, while frozen meatballs and jarred spaghetti sauce keep preparation simple.
- 2-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 unsliced loaf (1 pound) Italian bread
- 12 frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs (1/2 ounce each) , thawed
- 1 jar (14 ounces) meatless spaghetti sauce
- Pickled pepper rings, optional
- In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper; set aside. Cut loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Cut a 2-in.-wide strip down the center of each half to within an inch of the bottom of the bread. Remove cut portion and save for another use. If desired, toast bread under the broiler until lightly browned.
- Spread the cut side of bread with cheese mixture. Place six meatballs in each half; top with spaghetti sauce. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cut into slices; top with pepper rings if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.
Originally published as Meatball Sandwich Slices in Quick Cooking September/October 2003, p32
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