Damn Delicious

Mini Italian Meatball Subs

Tender, melt-in-your-mouth (make-ahead!) meatballs stuffed into mini subs. Makes for easy serving, sharing and portion control!

Mini Italian Meatball Subs - Tender, melt-in-your-mouth (make-ahead!) meatballs stuffed into mini subs. Makes for easy serving, sharing and portion control!

Greetings from Manhattan!

See, I wasn’t lying when I said my next recipe would be in NYC!

I return home this week though.

And then I’m never leaving Butters ever again.

Until Cape Town. In January. For another week.

But that’s another story for later.

Let’s just stick to these mini meatball subs for the time being.

Because they’re itty-bitty and so cute.

All you need are some dinner rolls. Homemade meatballs, which can be made ahead of time. Marinara sauce. And cheese. Obvi.

So why use anything else?

But anyway. I digress.

These subs.

It’s great for kids’ parties.

Game Day. Tailgating madness. Those busy weeknights since you can prepare the meatballs ahead of time.

You can also use store-bought frozen meatballs for an even quicker meal.

But don’t be fooled by the cuteness of these subs.

They’ll disappear quick!

Mini Italian Meatball Subs

Tender, melt-in-your-mouth (make-ahead!) meatballs stuffed into mini subs. Makes for easy serving, sharing and portion control!

15 minutes15 minutes


  • 6 (3-inch) dinner rolls, split
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

For the meatballs

  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Panko
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups marinara sauce


  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, egg, Panko, Parmesan, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 18-20 meatballs.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add meatballs, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce until warmed, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  4. Place dinner rolls in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Place meatballs into rolls, about 3 per roll; top with cheeses.
  5. Place into oven and bake until the cheeses have melted, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 479.4 Calories from Fat 264.6
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29.4g 45%
Saturated Fat 10.5g 53%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 115.1mg 38%
Sodium 530.4mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 25.3g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2.8g 11%
Sugars 4.9g
Protein 27.9g 56%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Easy and delicious. A hit with with the whole family!

  2. Could I freeze the meatballs for later? If so, how do you suggest I do it?

    • You can cook the meatballs as directed, let cool completely, and freeze on a sheet pan, uncovered, for 2-3 hours. From there, you can transfer to a freezer Ziploc bag for up to 2 months. Hope that helps!

  3. Week 1 of my new attempt at helping my tween toward independence – she must select a recipe she’d like to eat, “shop” the pantry, make a list of needed items, shop at the grocery, then help prepare it. I found your site a couple months ago during a Google search to find a recipe for the CSA produce I had no idea how to use. Daughter likes saying the name. When I say Darn Delicious she corrects me. Anyway, guess what she did for finding a recipe? Pulled this site right up and found this recipe! Following her lead on Sunday as recipe reader and head of the kitchen, not double checking anything, only salt and pepper went into the meat. I liked my sub regardless though I’m a seasoning and flavor junkie! Her? She had seconds. And thirds. 

    I think it’s safe to say she’ll be back!

  4. great idea for smaller serving and love the sausage recipe with parm., this looks wonderful, thank you for sharing this!

  5. I’m going to try these with ground turkey next week, thank you!

  6. I am so in love with these mini subs! What a great idea this is! 🙂

  7. Looks delicious! Perfect finger food for football games!

  8. Recommendations for pre-made bottled marinara sauce for this? Thanks

  9. These look so yummy and easy! I’ll have to put them on the menu for this week!


  10. I am wondering about how to place the meatball into the dinner roll? Do you cut a slit into it ? Thank you 

  11. So would you recommend a harder crust dinner roll? I am guessing soft rolls won’t hold up as well?

    Excited to try this!