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Meatball Subs

For me, meatball subs are the taste and comfort of home. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been helping my grandma cook in the kitchen, and one of my earliest memories is helping her roll out the meatballs and place them on the cookie sheet. My grandmother, of course, was an excellent cook, and mostly eyeballed her ingredients, but I finally got her to write down a family recipe. This is a family legacy that has been passed down in my family, from my grandma, to my mom, and now to me.


1 tablespoon sugar
Two 14 oz. (400g) cans Italian seasoned stewed tomatoes
One 28 oz. (800g) can peeled plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons sweet onion and herb seasoning*
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste

2 lb (500g) ground/minced beef
1 lb (250g) ground/minced turkey
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon sweet onion and herb seasoning*
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper

To Serve
8 submarine rolls (found in the bakery section)
1 package. pre-shredded mozzarella cheese or other grated cheese to your liking


  1. Mix all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure you get it all combined, so your seasonings won’t be off.
  2. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan, and let warm over medium heat. While that is happening, roll all of the meat into meatballs the size of golf balls. Brown the meatballs in the pan for about 3 minutes, then flip to the opposite side. If it will not turn, it is either burnt or it is not done. After another 3 minutes, turn the meatball to another raw side. When that is done, cook the remaining side, and then put in a large soup pot. It is ok if there is raw meat showing. While the meatballs are cooking in the sauce, they will cook thoroughly.
  3. Put all of the sauce ingredients in a large food processor and puree. (Another option is you can put all of your ingredients in your pot BEFORE the meatballs, and purée using a hand-held food processor or stick blender.) Pour all of the sauce into the pot with meatballs, and cook over LOW heat for about two hours. (You could also use a crock pot if you have one.)
  4. About 5 minutes before serving put your halved submarine rolls on a baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes at 350օF / 175օC to toast them lightly. This is so the sauce won’t make your bread soggy.
  5. To assemble, take out one roll per person, and pour about 3 to 4 meatballs onto the roll. Pour on some extra sauce, top with a little cheese, and then you have your masterpiece!

*A note from the Stone Soup test kitchen: you can use some onion salt and a mixture of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme or other herbs to your taste if you don’t have any seasoning mix.