Dropping the Meatball In

I love me some meatball subs! I only have two complaints for meatball subs. The first, is they are typically really filling. If you are having a sub, and only a sub and only the sub, that is not much of an issue. But if you are having people over for a football game, for instance, it can sometimes be a little much. The other issue is they are messy. A typical sub will bleed red sauce all over your hands (and if you are lucky not your shirt) and one of every three subs will lose at least one meatball as the bread weakens from the sauce.

The solution? Meatball sliders!

The ratio of bread to meat to cheese is a delicate one to figure out here. I like to use a 1oz meatball and these slider rolls that are about 2x2x3 inches each. You can slice the roll in half and use it like a typical bun, but you do not solve the issue of drippage. I like to cut a hole in the top of the bun and drop the meatball inside (often with a pepper ring or two).

Too little cheese and it sticks to the meatball but not the bread and you lose it all with the first bite. Too much and the umbrella of cheese moves down the sides and makes it tough to grab. Your best bet is to try to match the size of the top of the bun.

Photo Dec 08, 12 20 50 PM

It almost looks like a cinnamon bun with icing, doesn’t it?

So simple if you use pre-made sauce, meatballs and buns.

Photo Dec 08, 11 19 59 AM

Throw the meatballs in a pot with some sauce and heat them over a low heat (stirring occasionally) for about 30 minutes.

Photo Dec 08, 11 37 10 AM

Cut out a hole in the top of each slide bun (roll). Compress the sides and bottom to both open up the hole and sturdy the sides.

Photo Dec 08, 12 14 45 PM

Drop a meatball in and top with a teaspoon of sauce. Top with 1/3 slice of provolone.

Photo Dec 08, 12 19 56 PM

Put it under the broiler to melt the cheese.

Photo Dec 08, 12 20 43 PM

These are great for parties and easy to eat.

Meatball Sliders

  • 24 1 oz frozen meatballs (or make yours fresh)
  • 12 oz pasta sauce
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • 24 uncut slider buns
  • Pepper rings (optional)

Place meatballs and sauce into a pan on medium-low heat and heat until hot.

Carve out the top of each slider roll, being careful to maintain the integrity of the sides and bottom.

Place a meatball inside of each slider bun with about 1 tsp of sauce. If desired, add a few slider rings on top. Cover the top of the roll with 1/2 slice of provolone cheese. Place on cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet under a broiler (high) until cheese melts.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: appetizer, Beef, Cheese2, Italian, Lunch2, Pork, Recipes, snack

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

23 Comments on “Dropping the Meatball In”

  1. February 10, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I always liked the meatball sandwiches from Sharpy’s Subs on Mayfield. A meatball sandwich is always my fallback order at Italian restaurants.


  2. kirstylskilton
    February 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Definitely going to try these, I love a meatball sub too!
    One question, though – what is a “broiler”? It’s a term I’ve not heard before. What alternative way of heating the rolls would you recommend?


    • February 11, 2013 at 6:32 am #

      Most ovens (here in the US) have the ability to turn on the top heating element as a “broiler” this creates a heating situation that allows the top of a dish to receive the most heat and is generally used for short periods to melt cheese or brown the top of a dish. It is a revers of a grill (where the heating element is only on from the bottom).


  3. February 10, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Brilliantly inventive – I do like new ideas on old favourites


  4. February 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    Now that’s a great idea .. thanks !


  5. February 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Ooohh good thinking ! no sliding meatballs or mess here !


  6. February 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Ah this is awesome! You’re right, a great idea for a party. I like to make slow cooker meatballs for a party – this would be a great way to mix it up.


  7. February 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    Great idea! I hate it when a meatball pops out of my sub and goes skittering across the table!


  8. February 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Yay! I’m pinning this so that I remember! I love meatball sliders for the same reason. Portion control! 😉 Thanks for sharing!


    • February 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      One more comment…
      I was wondering what you did with the scraps of bread you cut out?
      I was thinking they would work great for homemade croutons to top a salad on the side??? 🙂


  9. February 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    What a cute idea! Love it 🙂


  10. February 11, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    Love the idea of cutting the center out of the bun for the meatball!! Reminds me of having a bread bowl with soup in it 🙂


  11. February 11, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    Love it! Sometimes there’s nothing like a meatball sub! I will definitely be trying this out…

    Thanks for liking my about post on my blog by the way 🙂


  12. P.S. I Love Soap Co.
    February 11, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    Those are awesome..Why didn’t I think of that? 🙂


  13. February 11, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    Great solution!!! I can’t wait to try the slider idea the next time I make meatballs and sauce 🙂


  14. February 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    If you want to make some meatballs from scratch…here’s a great recipe. I bake them in 450 F oven for 5 minutes before simmering in the marinara sauce to ensure they keep their structural integrity. They are really tender and delicious! http://www.food.com/recipe/authentic-italian-meatballs-92095


  15. Janet Rörschåch
    February 11, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    Fantastic idea. It’s almost like a toad-in-the-hole. Was it too bready?


  16. February 12, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    These look so good! And I love the whole “dropping the meatball in” idea, it totally alleviates my usual “falling out the side” problem 😉 Great recipe!


  17. Eileen B.
    February 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    What a great idea! My son would love these.


  18. February 13, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Perfect for a Valentine’s meal for my husband! Thank you for the inspiration!


  19. February 14, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    I love this idea! I also recently saw a meatball sub casserole on Pinterest. I smell a new recipe coming, and it smells good.


  20. February 14, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    These look so yummy! I love the idea of making a cut out from the bun! Thanks for stopping by my blog! =)


  21. February 14, 2013 at 8:20 pm #



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