This sun-dried tomato meatball sub recipe is easy to make and you’re going to love the deep, savory flavor sun-dried tomatoes add to meatballs.
I honestly can’t believe I waited until I was past the age of thirty to make my first meatball sub. For this recipe, I amplified the savory meatballs with the tangy, bold flavor of sun-dried tomatoes.
While the recipe is a touch time-consuming, it’s still an easy, classic meal you can make without too much trouble. I recommend making the meatballs the night before, personally! You’ll want them to simmer in the sauce for 1–2 hours. The next day, all you’ll need to do is warm them up on the stovetop and assemble the meatball subs.
How to make this sun-dried tomato meatball sub recipe:
This recipe has three main components:
The meatballs, which are made with:
- Ground beef
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Mascarpone or use ricotta cheese or heavy cream
- Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
The sauce, which is a simple tomato sauce made with:
- Minced garlic
- Whole peeled tomatoes
- Crushed tomatoes
- Salt, pepper, and a little sugar
The subs, which you only need a few ingredients for:
- Your favorite Italian hoagie rolls
- Fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- Fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil, for toasting
For this recipe, start with making the meatballs and simmering them in the sauce. You want the sauce to really have time to build flavor, so make sure everything simmers for at least 1–2 hours.
Once the meatballs are ready, simply assemble the subs and broil the cheese until golden brown and serve with fresh basil on top!
Sun-Dried Tomato Meatball Sub Recipe
- Wide pot
- Baking sheet
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil for frying
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
- ½ cup hot water
- ½ cup mascarpone
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs or panko
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 28- ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 15- ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- Salt pepper, and sugar if needed
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced thinly
- 6 Italian hoagie buns
- .5 ounces fresh basil leaves
Prepare the meatballs:
- Place sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor and add the hot water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pulse til finely minced.
- Add mascarpone and egg to the food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Add panko to a large bowl and pour the mixture on top. Add oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Mix to combine and let stand 5 minutes.
- Add beef to the bowl and season all over with salt and pepper. (At this point, fry a tiny piece, taste, and then adjust seasonings.)
Fry the meatballs:
- Form the meatball mixture into big tablespoon-sized meatballs. You should have about 18 meatballs.
- Heat one tablespoon of neutral oil in a wide pot. Add the meatballs in an even layer and fry for a few minutes per side until browned all over.
- Remove from pot. Set aside.
Prepare the sauce:
- To the pot, add diced onion and cook for 7-10 minutes. Add minced garlic and then whole peeled tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, add the meatballs and then simmer for 1–2 hours.
- Season to taste. If your tomatoes are really acidic, add a little sugar. Mash the whole peeled tomatoes as they cook.
Assemble the meatball subs:
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Drizzle the inside of each bun with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Toast upside down on a baking sheet at for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, add the meatballs and some extra sauce, and a few slices of mozzarella on top.
- Turn on the broiler and broil for 3-4 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned in spots.
- Garnish each sub with a few basil leaves. Enjoy!