Mini Meatball Heroes

Have these mini meatball heroes for lunch everyday this week! These cute, mini meatball subs are easy to make, easy to pack up for a picnic, and easy to devour while sitting in the summer sun. These meatball subs also make a great starter for any holiday gathering or super bowl party.
Photo by Lisa M.
Mini meatballs make mini sandwiches that your guests will love.

PREP TIME

40

minutes

TOTAL TIME

70

minutes

SERVINGS

12

servings

PREP TIME

40

minutes

TOTAL TIME

70

minutes

SERVINGS

12

servings

Ingredients

  • MEATBALLS:

  • 1

    small onion, grated

  • 1/4

    cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

  • 1

    large egg

  • 3

    tablespoons ketchup

  • 3

    garlic cloves, minced

  • 1

    teaspoon salt

  • 1/4

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2/3

    cup grated Parmesan

  • 1/4

    cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs

  • 6-ounces ground beef

  • 6-ounces ground veal

  • 6-ounces ground pork

  • 1/3

    cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Marinara sauce, recipe follows or 26-ounce jar, store-purchased

  • SANDWICHES:

  • 12

    (3 to 3 1/2-inch diameter) Italian rolls, split, warm

  • 1/3

    cup freshly grated Parmesan

  • 3

    ounces sliced provolone

  • MARINARA SAUCE:

  • 1/2

    cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2

    small onions, finely chopped

  • 2

    garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 2

    stalks celery, finely chopped

  • 2

    carrots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1/2

    teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2

    teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2

    (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

  • 2

    dried bay leaves

Directions

MEATBALLS: Whisk the onion, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the beef, veal, and pork. Using about 2 tablespoons of meat for each, shape the meat mixture into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch diameter meatballs. Place on a baking sheet. Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in 2 to 3 batches, add the meatballs and sauté until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off any excess oil. Return all the meatballs to the pan. Add the marinara sauce. Simmer over medium-low until the sauce thickens slightly and the flavors blend, about 10 minutes. Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and pepper. The meatballs can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing. SANDWHICHES: Spoon the hot meatballs with some sauce over the bottoms of the rolls. Place 1/2 slice provolone on top of meatballs and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Spread more sauce over the roll tops, then fold the tops of the rolls over and serve. Cook's Note: The sandwiches can be assembled then wrapped individually in foil. Rewarm the sandwiches in the oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes. In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover, and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.

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