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Beef/ Cheese/ Lunch/ Pork

Homemade Meatball Subs (with Cheese Stuffed Meatballs)

May 4, 2019 (Last Updated: June 20, 2023) by Chris Collins

These Subs are made with an Easy Marinara Sauce and Juicy Homemade Meatballs that are stuffed with mozzarella cheese!

My go-to order at Subway is the Meatball Marinara, without fail. This recipe simply came about because I was spending so much at Subway and thought it could surely be replicated. Well my friends, it certainly can. Follow me…

closeup shot of a hand holding meatball sub with melted cheese and 3 subs in the background

Homemade Meatballs

I’ve written a more in depth post called how to get soft and juicy meatballs, so do check that out if you fancy. But throughout this post I’ll give you the basic run down, so not to worry.

Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

For this recipe I’ve decided to take things to the cheese extreme and stuff the meatballs with cheese. Because, why the heck not? Just make the meatball mixture as you usually would, grab a cherry mozzarella ball and roll it in the centre. Then cook as you usually would and reap the reward of each meatball having an oozy cheesy centre!

Easy Marinara Sauce

This is a fairly easy recipe all round, but just as the meatballs, it’s too easy not to make your own marinara sauce. Also just like meatballs, the difference between store bought and homemade marinara sauce is crazy!

How to make cheese stuffed meatballs in sauce (quick summary)

  1. Create your meatball mixture, split into 20 even pieces and place a mozzarella ball in each one.
  2. Roll into a ball, ensuring the mozzarella is completely covered. Cook under the grill.
  3. Meanwhile fry off onion and garlic.
  4. Pour in tomato passata and add seasoning.
  5. Add in meatballs and simmer until thickened.

How to make cheese stuffed meatballs - 5 step by step photos

Homemade Meatball Subs

When it comes to the subs themselves, I prefer to do single portions, rather than one big giant one and cut it into pieces.

You’re looking to get 5x approximately 6″ sized baguettes, preferably white bread and not too crusty. The firmer the bread you start off with, the more likely it’s going to come out hard and chewy on the other side. If you can get your hands on a nice soft baguette then that’s perfect.

From this you’ll get 4 meatballs per sub.

How to make Meatball Subs (quick summary)

  1. Slice your baguette open (not all the way through), drizzle with olive oil and lightly toast under the grill.
  2. Spread a few tbsp of sauce on one side.
  3. Add 4 meatballs.
  4. Top with cheese and grill until gooey.

It really is that easy!

how to make a meatball sub - 4 step by step photos

What cheese is best on meatball sub?

These subs actually have 3 cheeses in them. One in the meat itself (parmesan), one in the centre (mozzarella) and one on top. For the third one I usually go for a nice sharp cheddar.

What are good toppings for a meatball sub?

I usually keep it classic and stick with just the cheese. However jalapeños, red onion, shredded lettuce and olive all go great on top after they’re grilled. Completely work to preference though!

Do I have to toast the bun?

Nope! Just like in subway it’s completely optional. BUT grilled cheese > slightly melted cheese (IMO). Up to you though 🙂

Can I just use half a baguette?

You sure can! I just love extra carbs so creating a sandwich is more my jam. But you can just use one slice and have an open-style sub kinda thing.

Can I make the meatballs ahead of time?

Sure! I recommend making them and cooking in the sauce, then allowing to cool and store in the fridge (3-4days) or freezer (1month). Thaw in fridge overnight and then reheat on the stove until piping hot.

Can I use store bought meatballs?

I mean, I HIGHLY recommend homemade (come on, cheese stuffed homemade meatballs?!?!), but, you can use store bought if you wish 🙂

meatball sub with cheese being pulled out the centre of one of the meatballs

What to serve with meatball subs?

I usually serve as they are, but if you want to make it more of a meal consider adding a side salad or oven baked wedges or crispy french fries!

For another hearty sandwich recipe check out my Steak Sandwich!

If you’re looking looking for more meatball madness then definitely check out these beauties:

Unique Meatball Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full meatball sub recipe shall we?!

How to make a Meatball Sub (Full Recipe & Video)

closeup shot of a hand holding meatball sub with melted cheese and 3 subs in the background

Homemade Meatball Subs (with cheese stuffed meatballs!)

These Subs are made with an Easy Marinara Sauce and Juicy Homemade Meatballs that are stuffed with mozzarella cheese!
5 from 3 votes
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Servings (click & slide): 5 subs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American / Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Calories per serving: 865kcal
Cost per serving: £3 / $4


  • Large Skillet & Wooden Spoon
  • 2 Large Baking Trays
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Cheese Grater

Ingredients (check list):


  • 20 Cherry Mozzarella Balls (see notes)
  • 9oz / 250g Ground Beef (15%+ fat)
  • 9oz / 250g Ground Pork (15%+ fat)
  • 2 thin slices White Bread, decrusted & cubed
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml Milk
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup / 40g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 medium Onion, grated
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper

Marinara Sauce

  • 24oz / 700g jar of Passata (see notes)
  • 1 medium Onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tsp each: Dried Basil, Dried Oregano, Sugar, Chilli flakes (or less for milder sauce)
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil, as needed


  • 5x 6" Baguettes, sliced open & lightly toasted (see notes)
  • 1 cup / 100g Cheddar, grated (or as needed)
  • handful of small Basil Leaves



  • Soak bread in milk, onion, garlic and Worcestershire sauce & mush with fork. Stir in parsley, parmesan, oregano, egg & seasoning. Gently work in your pork & beef (don’t over mix or they will end up tough), then form 20 meatballs with mozzarella in the centre. Lightly spray with oil then pop under the grill for 10mins or until golden on the outside. Flip once half way and shake about to evenly cook. Timings will vary based on power of grill/how close they are to it, so just be vigilant.


  • Fry onion/garlic until soft then pour in Passata. Stir in seasoning and leave to simmer for 10-15mins. Add meatballs (with some pan juices) and simmer for another 5-10mins, or until the sauce thickens.


  • Spread a couple tbsp of sauce on one side of your baguette, top with 4 meatballs each, then cheese & finish with a few small basil leaves. Grill/Broil for a few mins until gooey. Serve as they are, or with a side salad or wedges/fries

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Perfect meatballs - For a more in depth post about how to get awesome homemade meatballs, check out my soft and juicy meatballs!
b) Cherry Mozzarella Balls - You'll get these at most grocery stores. They could also be called mini bocconcini balls. If you can't get your hands on either then just buy a ball of mozzarella and cut into pieces about the same size as a small cherry tomato.
c) Tomato Passata - In the US I believe this is called Tomato Puree (i.e just pureed tomatoes). NOT Tomato paste, which is much more concentrated, so make sure you don't use that.
d) What Baguette to use? - I usually use white baguettes around 6" in size. Also make sure you use one that's on the softer side. If you start with a baguette that's firm and crusty, it's going to come out hard and chewy once they're cooked.
e) Toasted Baguettes - To lightly toast them just drizzle with olive oil and pop under the grill for a few mins. Make sure they're only lightly toasted though, otherwise they'll come out burnt when you've grilled the cheese.
f) Make Ahead Meatballs - I recommend making the meatballs completely (in the sauce) then cooling, tightly covering and storing in the fridge (3-4days, reheat on stove) or in the freezer (1month, thaw in fridge then reheat on stove). 
g) Calories - per sub, using 1 tsp olive oil for frying and using white 6" baguettes.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Homemade Meatball Subs (with cheese stuffed meatballs!)
Amount Per Serving (1 sub)
Calories 865 Calories from Fat 369
% Daily Value*
Fat 41.01g63%
Saturated Fat 18.285g91%
Trans Fat 0.736g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.486g
Monounsaturated Fat 14.198g
Cholesterol 155mg52%
Sodium 2265mg94%
Potassium 1040mg30%
Carbohydrates 68.76g23%
Fiber 5.2g21%
Sugar 13.63g15%
Protein 57.46g115%
Vitamin A 3200IU64%
Vitamin C 25.6mg31%
Calcium 570mg57%
Iron 7.9mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

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Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    August 15, 2020 at 12:12 am

    We made this last night with a few tweaks. We ended up doubling it so we could have leftovers and ended up using all ground beef and chopped up mozzarella chunks. We ended up having to wing the egg since the recipe instructions call for putting an egg in but is not actually included in the ingredient list. My hubby looked up another recipe and found the ratio to be 4 eggs for the amount of beef we had so we did that.(I realized we should have only added 2 eggs after looking at your original recipe for meatballs but didn’t see it until after we were done) It ended up being really gooey so he rolled it in bread crumbs. Some of them fell apart or oozed cheese out while he was trying to broil them but they turned out delicious anyway. Next time we will only do maybe half the amount of chili flakes since it ended up being on the spicier side for our kids and my taste buds. Lots of work but definitely really tasty. My hubby’s favorite Subway is their meatball sub but the last few times he has tried to get it they don’t seem to include the sauce anymore. Thanks for the great recipe! P.S. Please include the egg in the ingredients list!

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      August 15, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks so much for spotting that, Charlyn! Glad to hear you some success with the recipe regardless 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Sweetpea Lifestyle
    May 5, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Oh, Chris! 1. These meatballs put my meatballs to utter shame. 2. All I can hear is Joey Tribbiani saying “How you doin?!”

    • Reply
      May 6, 2019 at 10:40 am

      BEST comment!!

  • Reply
    Beth Pierce
    May 5, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    5 stars
    What a fun and hearty meal for dinner! My kids will love this delicious comfort food!

    • Reply
      May 6, 2019 at 10:39 am

      Definitely kid approved!

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    5 stars
    These sandwiches look RIDICULOUS. I need to try these as soon as possible!!

    • Reply
      May 6, 2019 at 10:39 am

      Ah you so should! Thanks Kate 🙂

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    Gosh each picture looks more and more delicious! Looking forward to try these out as soon as I can.

    • Reply
      May 6, 2019 at 10:38 am

      Thank you! Enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    May 5, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    5 stars
    My husband would be so happy if I made him these for supper! So yummy.

    • Reply
      May 6, 2019 at 10:38 am

      Ah you should totally whip some up! 🙂