Meatball Sandwich

meatball sandwich

A meatball sandwich or sub sandwich is a simple recipe to make.  It takes only a few ingredients and is ready in 30 minutes.  You can freeze the cooked meatballs and sauce for an easy meal whenever you need it.  It also makes a great meal to take camping or tailgating.  You could even serve on tiny buns for a party snack or  just serve the meat and sauce only with toothpicks.  Who knew such an easy recipe could go so many places?

Meatball Sandwich – Marinara Sub

I use just four main ingredients for meatball marinara sub sandwiches:  extra lean ground chicken, Paul Newman’s marinara sauce, Swiss cheese and sub buns.  I like to cook with extra lean ground chicken since it is healthier than ground beef and it tastes delicious.  Look for the “extra lean” description on the package.

Fresh Ground Extra Lean Chicken

Fresh Ground Extra Lean Chicken

What kind of cheese do you put on a meatball sandwich?

I like to use Swiss Cheese.  Other options include provolone, pepper jack, Mexican 4 blend shredded cheese, or mozzarella.

What is the best bread for a meatball meatball sandwich?

I like to use Pepperidge Farm classic soft hoagie rolls with sesame seeds.  You can toast the buns in a skillet on medium heat or in a toaster oven.  If that is not available you can serve the marinara meatball sub on untoasted and unheated bread.  Put the sliced cheese on the bottom and pour sauce over it to melt it.  The toasted version holds up a little longer, but we usually eat them immediately so that is not a problem!

How to Cook Ground Chicken for a Meatball Sandwich Sub

Shape ground chicken into 19 or 20 small balls and place in a large boiler.  Since you are using ground chicken instead of ground beef the meatballs are very soft.  Just roll them in your hands and put them straight into the saucepan to cook.  I like to wear disposable gloves when preparing raw meat.

Ground Chicken Meatballs

Ground Chicken Meatballs To Cook On Stove

Cook a few minutes over medium high heat turning occasionally with tongs until outsides are cooked and no longer raw.  The meat turns white and drier as it cooks.

Adding Marinara Sauce to Chicken

Pour a 24 oz. jar of  Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce over the meatballs. I like to use Paul Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce.  They donate profits to charity and the sauce has extra virgin olive oil and no sugar added, and I think it tastes delicious.

Newman's Own Marinara Sauce

Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce

Cover and simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  You can pour it into a serving dish or serve directly from the boiler.

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

How to Assemble a Sub Sandwich

First put a slice of Swiss cheese on the bottom of a split sub bun that you have toasted.  The buns I use are already sliced but if yours are not, just carefully slice them in half with a bread knife.  You can toast the buns in a toaster oven or in a skillet on medium heat.  I wouldn’t put them in a regular toaster because they will get stuck.  Alternately, you can use them untoasted.  Be sure to put the cheese slice on the bottom to help keep the bread from becoming soggy.

Spoon 4 or 5 meatballs and sauce on top of the cheese so that the cheese melts beneath it.  You can add any topping that you like.  Some suggestions include lettuce, spinach, tomato, bell pepper, onions, and jalapenos.  Be sure to add right before serving so the toppings like lettuce and spinach don’t wilt.

Can You Freeze Meatball Marinara and Sauce for the Meatball Sandwich?

You can freeze the cooked meatballs and marinara sauce in Ziploc bags. Be sure to remove the air from the bag before freezing.  Thaw in refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water.  Remove sauce and meatballs from Ziploc bag and reheat in a covered boiler on the stove on medium heat, stirring occasionally  until heated through.

DO NOT REHEAT IN THE MICROWAVE.  Due to the moisture content in the meatballs they do not reheat well in the microwave.  They tend to pop and splatter and who wants to clean up a mess when you are ready to eat!

Ideas for Side Dishes for Meatball Marinara Subs

Baked potato chips go well with the sub, especially if you load your sub with veggies such as spinach and bell pepper.  For other side dish ideas try our recipes for pasta salad, fresh corn on the cobdeviled eggs,  or easy coleslaw.

See this recipe featured on  Christy Jordan’s Meal Plan Monday at Southern Plate.

Meatball Sandwich

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Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound extra lean ground chicken breast
  • 1 - 24 oz. jar of Newman's Own Marinara Sauce
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Pepperidge Farm classic soft hoagie rolls with sesame seeds

Instructions

1

Shape ground chicken into 19 or 20 small balls and place in a large boiler.

2

Cook over medium high heat turning occasionally until outsides are cooked and no longer raw. The meat turns white and drier as it cooks.

3

Pour a 24 oz. jar of Newman's Own Marinara Sauce over the meatballs. Cover and simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

4

Serve by putting a slice of Swiss cheese on the bottom of a toasted split sub bun. You can toast the buns in a toaster oven or in a skillet on medium heat. Alternately, you can use them untoasted. Be sure to put the cheese slice on the bottom so it won't get the bread so soggy.

5

Spoon 4 or 5 meatballs and sauce on top of the cheese so that the cheese melts beneath it.

6

Ideas for other toppings include lettuce, spinach, tomato, bell pepper, onions, and jalapenos.

Notes

You can freeze the cooked meatballs and marinara sauce in Ziploc bags. Be sure to remove the air from the bag before freezing. Reheat in a covered boiler on the stove on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. DO NOT REHEAT IN THE MICROWAVE. Due to the moisture content in the meatballs they do not reheat well in the microwave!

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