Mini Meatball Subs

Serves 12
Catherine Walthers

The idea here is to take a dozen snowflake rolls or slider buns that fit into a baking dish, top with these homemade meatballs, a simple flavorful tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan and pop into the oven for a pile of warm, cheesy mini-meatball subs. You can substitute ground turkey for beef. This makes a great kids' birthday or sleepover dinner too.

1 pound ground chuck beef (85 percent)
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan reggiano
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 egg yolk
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon table salt)
Freshly ground black pepper


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, drained, roughly chopped in the food processor
2 teaspoons dried oregano
large pinch of sugar
salt to taste
Fresh basil and/or fresh parsley, chopped

Mozzarella cheese, shredded
parmesan cheese, to taste
1 dozen snowflake rolls (preferable) or slider buns (both found at Stop & Shop)



  1. For the meatballs: combine all the ingredients (don’t forget the water which helps tenderize) into a bowl and mix lightly. Form 12 to 15 meatballs. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place meatballs on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. For the sauce, add olive oil and garlic in a soup pot or large saucepan over low heat and saute until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, oregano, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently uncovered until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil or parsley, and taste. Add additional salt if needed. Add the meatballs and refrigerate.
  3. On game day when ready to serve, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Warm the meatballs in the sauce. Break the rolls apart, if attached and place the bottom of the rolls in a lasagna-style baking pan. Top each roll with a meatball, a bit of sauce, a small handful of mozzarella and a sprinkling of parmesan. Place the top buns over the meatballs and sprinkle a bit more parmesan on the tops. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until hot.



Back to top