Zesty Meatball Sandwiches Recipe

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A close family friend always had a pot of these saucy meatballs simmering on the stove when I was growing up. Now my own kids—triplet sons!—like them as much as I do.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 50 min.
MAKES:10-12 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 50 min.
MAKES: 10-12 servings


  • SAUCE:
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 slices white bread, crusts removed and cubed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 10 to 12 Italian rolls, split

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 430 calories, 16g fat (6g saturated fat), 126mg cholesterol, 944mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 27g protein.


  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the remaining sauce ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves; set sauce aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with water. Add eggs, beef, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper; mix well. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place on an ungreased shallow baking pan.
  3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes; drain. Add to sauce. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Serve on rolls. Yield: 10-12 servings.
Originally published as Zesty Meatball Sandwiches in Home-Style Soups, Salad and Sandwiches Cookbook 1996, p80

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