with marinara / mozzarella / Italian side salad
Saucy meatballs with melted cheese piled on hoagie rolls is total Italian-inspired comfort food. These require a little extra work, but are worth the effort!
Smarts: Meatballs freeze well and there are so many ways to use them. We double this recipe to use leftovers in Thursday's soup, but feel free to scale the recipe up even more.
- Turkey, ground and lean - 1 lb (sub any ground meat)
- Milk - 1/4 cup
- Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Panko or breadcrumbs, any gluten-free - 1/4 cup
- Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 2 Tbsp , grated
- Garlic - 4 cloves , chopped
- Cheese, fresh mozzarella - 5 oz , thinly sliced
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Basil, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g) - 1 can
- Turkey meatballs (ingredients listed separately) - ~12
- Hoagie rolls, gluten-free - 4 (sub any gluten-free Italian-style roll)
- Lettuce, romaine - 2 hearts , chopped (sub butterhead)
- Tomatoes, roma - 4 , chopped
- Black olives, sliced (2.25 oz / 63 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
- Mayonnaise - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 Tbsp
- Oregano, dried - 1/4 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
Make meatballs - Double if making Thursday’s meal. Heat oven to 375F / 191C degrees. Mix ground turkey, milk, Italian seasoning, salt, panko / breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Brush or spray a sheet pan with some oil. Roll meatball mixture into small 1” / 2.5 cm wide meatballs and place onto sheet pan. Bake until just cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
Lettuce / Tomatoes / Garlic / Mozzarella Cheese - Prep as directed.
Olives - Drain and rinse olives.
Turn on the oven’s broiler (low setting if possible) and place a rack about 8” / 20cm beneath the heat source.
If the meatballs are too large to easily fit inside the hoagie rolls, slice in half before continuing.
Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then garlic, basil and oregano (portion for the subs) to heated oil. Cook just until fragrant, ~1 minute. Pour crushed tomatoes over top and bring to a simmer.
Remove sauce from heat and season with some salt and pepper. Stir meatballs (remember to reserve half if doubled for Thursday) into sauce.
Slice open hoagie rolls and lay out flat, cut-side up onto a sheet pan. Broil just until starting to turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Divide meatballs and sauce between rolls. Top with mozzarella. Return to broiler and continue cooking until cheese is bubbly and melted.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar and oregano (portion for the salad). Add olive oil while whisking. Top with tomatoes, lettuce and black olives. Toss to combine.
Serve meatball subs with salad on the side. Enjoy!