Meatball Party Sub

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Meatball Party Sub

When I was a kid, we hardly ever ate out at restaurants, and we definitely never ordered takeout. I’ve often wondered if that was the norm, pre fast-casual dining and DoorDash, or if other families in the 80s went out more? (I always desperately wanted to go to the Ground Round where kids “paid what they weighed” 👀) Because of my childhood, eating out at restaurants when I could make the same thing at home has always felt a little indulgent to me. But with busy schedules, sudden cravings, and diverse palates, I assure you our family “indulges” in (and enjoys) this plenty. 

However, there was one food my mom and I did go out for whenever we had something little to celebrate: Meatball Grinders. (If you’re not sure what a grinder is, it’s probably because you grew up outside of New England!) There is nothing my mom loves more than French bread — toasted and crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside — loaded with rich tomato sauce, savory meatballs, and oozing melted provolone cheese. 

Amazingly, today’s recipe for meatball subs is even better than the one you’ll get at your neighborhood sub shop!!! And it’s written “party style” — meaning you’ll make a giant sub using a whole loaf of bread, and slice it to serve 6. It’s crazy delicious, and is one of the only sandwiches I will happily make and eat for supper, especially with a side Caesar salad. 

I encourage you to find something to celebrate this week, big or small – an A on a math test? a half birthday? Tax Day? — and make this Meatball Party Sub!

Turn a weeknight dinner into a party with a big sandwich full of melty cheese and easy-to-assemble meatballs.

  • Active Kitchen Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 Tbsp bread crumbs
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 loaf French bread
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 slices provolone cheese
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 egg

Supper Smarts:

  • Serving Suggestions: Serve with a salad, baby carrots, or steamed broccoli.

  • Leftover Love: If you think you will have too much sandwich, use small hoagie rolls and make just enough to feed your family. Save any leftover meatballs in a separate container from rolls, and assemble starting at step 11 when ready to enjoy again!

  • Speed it Up: Scoop meat using an ice cream scooper and just let balls be a little lumpy. They still taste delicious and will be much quicker to make!


Crack 1 egg in large bowl. Throw away shells and wash your hands. Whisk until smooth.
Add 3 Tbsp bread crumbs, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, ½ tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, and 1 lb ground beef to egg. Mix with hands.
Portion 12 meatballs, about 1 ½ inches each. Set on plate.
Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in pot over medium-high. Use tongs to add meatballs. Sear without stirring for 3 minutes.
Add 1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Cut 1 loaf French bread in half lengthwise with serrated knife. Set on foil-lined baking sheet.
Smash and peel 2 cloves garlic. Mince and add to small microwave-safe bowl.
Add 6 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp Italian seasoning to garlic. Heat until melted, 30-60 seconds.
Brush garlic butter over both pieces of bread.
Bake 4-5 minutes, until edges are very lightly browned.
Scoop meatballs onto bottom half of bread. Spoon just enough sauce to cover. Lay 6 slices provolone cheese on top.
Return hot pan to oven. Bake until cheese melts, 4-5 min. Build sandwich. Slice to serve. TASTE & SHARE!

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