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Meatball sandwich on parchment paper.

The Perfect Meatball Sandwich

This is The Perfect Meatball Sandwich, made on toasted, buttery garlic bread, with an easy homemade marinara sauce and my favorite beef and sausage meatballs.
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 668kcal
Author Tracy



Quick Marinara Sauce

  • 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic peeled and slivered or minced
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large fresh basil sprig or ¼ teaspoon dried basil

Meatball Sandwich

  • 4 French rolls
  • Butter
  • Garlic powder
  • 12 to 16 large meatballs fully cooked and warmed
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil optional for topping


Quick Marinara Sauce

  • With an immersion blender, food processor, or blender, process tomatoes until mostly pureed--the texture of chunky salsa. You can also turn the tomatoes out into a bowl and crush them with your hands (don't discard the juices).
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and cook just until it starts to turn lightly golden--watch carefully so it doesn't burn! Add the tomatoes and their juices to the skillet along with water, salt, sugar, oregano, red pepper flakes, and sprig of basil. Cover with splatter screen and bring to a good simmer, turning up the heat if necessary. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes until sauce is thickened. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  • Remove basil sprig.

Meatball Sandwiches

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Butter both sides of your French rolls and sprinkle garlic powder over the top. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly toasted.
  • Add a couple tablespoons of sauce to both sides of each French roll and top with 3 to 4 meatballs and 1/4 cup of mozzarella. Bake for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  • Add fresh basil if desired. Serve and enjoy!


This makes enough sauce for 4 to 5 sandwiches. Leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for 2 to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag.


Calories: 668kcal