Meatball Sub

tailgating MEATBALL BAR



  • 2 1/2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
  • 6 cloves Fresh Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes  
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 2 cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 cups Italian Bread Crumbs


  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 8 Cloves Garlic, sliced thin  
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes  
  • 3 1lb cans Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes  
  • 3 Whole Bay Leaves  
  • 1 Whole Branch Fresh Basil   
  • 3 Yellow Onions, diced  
  • Pinch Salt & Pepper  
  • Pinch Fresh Oregano

Meatball Toppers: 

  • Sliced Fresh Mozzarella 
  • Shredded Italians Blend Cheese
  • Sliced Provolone
  • Crumbled Feta
  • Grated Parmesan 
  • Sautéed Onions 
  • Sautéed Mushrooms 
  • Roasted Red Peppers 
  • Fresh Basil Leaves 
  • Sliced Lil' Mama Peppers 
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Olive Tapenade


  • Choose an assortment of Italian breads, Ciabatta, Pretzel, Baguette, Sourdough, Focaccia, etc.



  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Place beef in bowl add garlic, parsley, basil, red chili flakes, salt, black pepper, parmesan cheese, ricotta and bread crumbs. Mix by hand just until combined. 
  3. Form 2 ounce meatballs with hands and on place on sheet trays. 
  4. Bake approximately 7 minutes until golden brown. 


  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, onions, salt & pepper and chili flakes, sauté until onions become translucent. 
  2. Add crushed tomatoes.
  3. When the sauce comes to a simmer, carefully add baked meatballs and all the flavorful juices from the sheet pan to the sauce. 
  4. Add bay leaves, basil and oregano. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour. 

Meatball Bar:

  1. Slice and grate cheeses, arrange on a board along with small bowls of sautéed onions, mushrooms, peppers, herbs and other toppings. 
  2. Arrange breads in a basket nearby. 
  3. Meatballs can be served from the simmering pot, or transferred to a slow cooker or portable chaffing dish to be kept warm. 
  4. To build a sandwich: Select roll, add cheese of choice, top with meatballs and sauce (hot sauce will melt the cheese), and toppings of choice. Close the sandwich, grab an extra napkin and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Chef Josh Capon and