Cooking · Dinner

Meatball Sub Sandwiches

I’ve heard stories about the appetites of teenage boys for many years. All of my friends with older man-children talk about the heaps and piles of food they plow thru. I have to admit, I didn’t really believe all the tales. Then, I had my 14-year-old nephew stay with me last week. I’m a new convert of the “Holy cow, teenagers must have hollow legs or a second stomach…how can they eat so much?” crew.

Nicholas (my nephew) is helping us out with some yard work. He started by powerwashing and scraping our fence. It’s about 300 feet long. This week, provided the weather clears up, he’ll be painting it. Tom Sawyer style. I know, aren’t I the best aunt ever? I’m not sure if it was the deliciousness of these subs, the fact that he’d been working outside all day or pride in knowing he helped me make them (bonding time = shaping meatballs together), but whatever the reason, the teenager hunger was on full display that night at dinner. It was amazing. Good thing I made up the full recipe of 2 pounds of meat.

These are full of meaty goodness on toasted buttery buns. Drenched in sauce and covered with cheese, they may leave you wondering in embarrassment “Who ate that entire sub so fast?”.  Hint, if there’s a teenager in your house, make sure you take the full number of subs you want right away. There might not be any leftover by the time you are done with your first…no matter how quickly you wolf it down.

Meatball Sub Sandwiches

adapted from Taste of Home Potluck Cookbook 2011

For the meatballs:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 gloves garlic, minced fine (I shred mine thru a microplane zester)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 pounds ground beef

1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
Additional Parmesan cheese, onion or green peppers for topping, optional

For the buns:
10 sandwich buns, split
1/4 cup butter
garlic powder
seasoning salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and place it in the oven while preheating.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together all meatball ingredients using your clean hands.
  3. Using melon baller/ice cream scoop if possible, form the meat into 1-2 inch meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside.
  5. While meatballs are cooking, bring jar of spaghetti sauce to simmer in a large pot over low heat. When meatballs are done, add them to the warmed sauce and stir to coat.
  6. Spread sandwich buns with butter and sprinkle with garlic powder and seasoning salt. Turn oven on to broil and place buns on cookie sheet under the broiler. When golden brown, remove and top with meatballs, sauce and additional Parmesan cheese, onion or green peppers (if desired).

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