Easy Meatball Subs with Homemade Marinara Sauce

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Tender beef meatballs made using simple ingredients are cooked in an easy, homemade marinara and piled on top of toasted buns for delicious, crave-worthy meatball subs!

Meatball subs take me right back to my childhood. I totally used to eat a Subway meatball sandwich ALL THE TIME! But, these Easy Meatball Subs with Homemade Marinara are so much better. 

They’re hearty, filling and a meal that the whole family will love. Plus, they’re perfect to prep early in the day and let them simmer all day long for a dinner that comes together so quickly!

How to Make the Homemade Marinara

Once you start making your own marinara sauce, you won’t be able to go back to the jarred stuff, I promise. It’s so much more flavorful, it doesn’t even compare! 

And, this way you can control exactly what is in your pasta sauce, since many jarred sauces include sugars and preservatives.

With simple ingredients like aromatics, canned tomatoes & spices- you just can’t go wrong! In this sauce, I also snuck in carrots for a veggie, and they add a nice touch of sweetness and flavor.

In this recipe, I like to make the sauce first so that I cook the meatballs in the sauce on a gentle simmer.

To start the sauce, heat a large pot over medium heat for a few minutes. Then, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and continue to heat for another minute. When hot, add the minced onion and diced carrot. 
Sauté for a few minutes until softened, and then add in the minced garlic and continue to sauté for another 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add the canned tomatoes by pouring them into the pot and then refill the cans halfway with water and swish it around to get the remaining tomato out of the cans and add the water to the pot! Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer on medium while you make the meatballs!

Simple-Ingredient Meatballs

These meatballs really couldn’t be easier to make. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, panko, seasonings and egg. Use your hands to mix together the ingredients, but be sure to not overmix- that means that you should stop mixing as soon as the ingredients are combined and evenly distributed.

To make even meatballs, I like to use either a meatball scoop or an ice cream scoop and spoon out even amounts of the mixture, use your hands to gently roll into a bowl and place onto a clean plate. Once you have all of the mixture in meatballs, place them into the pot of the simmering sauce.

I like to cook the sauce for a few hours on a gentle simmer, but you can also just simmer them on medium heat for around 30 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Assembling the Easy Meatball Subs

When the sauce and meatballs are done, they’re ready to assemble into the subs! You can use any buns of your choice, but I think hoagie rolls are a great option. 
Using a toaster oven or an oven on the broil function, open the buns and place a few meatballs into the sub and spoon some of the sauce on top.

If desired, top with sliced cheese and broil or toast until melted.

Did you like this recipe?

If you liked this recipe, it would mean the world if you left a comment and review below! I’d also love to see you over on my Pinterest & Instagram!

Check out a few of my other new recipes here:

Corn Chowder with Bacon and Smoked Paprika
Gluten-Free Lasagne with Cauliflower Gnocchi
Homemade Chicken Katsu Ramen

Easy Meatball Subs with Homemade Marinara Sauce

Easy Meatball Subs with Homemade Marinara Sauce

Tender beef meatballs made using simple ingredients are cooked in an easy, homemade marinara and piled on top of toasted buns for delicious, crave-worthy meatball subs!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 diced sweet or white onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 diced large carrots
  • 28 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 4 hoagie rolls (or buns of choice)
  • 4 slices provolone cheese

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat for 3 minutes or until hot. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the diced carrots, onion, and garlic for 3-5 minutes until softened.
  • Add the can of tomato sauce, filling halfway with water to get the remaining tomato sauce out of the can.
  • Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 tbsp Italian seasoning to the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  • In a bowl, combine ingredients for the meatballs using your hands until just combined. Be careful to not over-mix!
  • Form 12 meatballs and set aside on a plate. Place the meatballs into the pasta sauce and cover, cooking on medium/medium-low for about 45 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  • Assemble the meatball subs and top with the provolone cheese, and place on a pan and under the broiler on high or in a toaster oven until the cheese melts (keep an eye on it!)
Keyword meatball, meatball subs, sub
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