meatball subs with caramelized onions

Last September, surprising nobody more than my husband, decided I’d be a Good Football Wife this year and start using Sunday afternoons to make a hearty meal, one that stuck to our ribs and balanced out all those salads we enforce on ourselves during the week. I made beef chili with sour cream and cheddar biscuits and then I made… Right. It about stopped there. In my defense, my husband’s team of choice, The Giants, were hardly Good Football Material this year, so perhaps both of our enthusiasms waned simultaneously. Also, the baby decided he had to start running around dismantling the apartment most weekends, so somebody had to, you know, make sure he didn’t injure himself and blame us. Toddlers, man.

yeah, these are raw
browning them, trying to dodge splatters

And so I’m going to make up for four lost months in one recipe today. I hardly know where the itch for a meatball sub came from; I can’t say I’ve ever ordered one from a sandwich shop (where you’d find them where I grew up in New Jersey, at least) or have any great nostalgia for a specific one, but I always had a hunch that if I made them my way, I’d make a convert out of me and a happy guest of anyone who stopped by to watch a game who was into that whole meat/sandwich/melting cheese thing. You know, people with pulses.

cooking the onions

The meatballs are the star. I’ve been using a formula lately of a high proportion of fresh breadcrumbs and water to a smaller amount of meat that yields the kind of pillowy, fork-tender meatball that at least pleases, well, the cook, and hopefully others that are trying to erase memories leaden meatballs from their past. It has made a meatball lover out of me. I’ve made this same meatball with everything from ground turkey and chicken with whole wheat sourdough breadcrumbs and a doubled amount of chopped spinach in lieu of parsley for the baby to well, this: white bread crumbs, a shot of Worcestershire, minced garlic, pinch of red pepper flakes and ground pork. You could leave them out of the bun, ditch the caramelized onions and Gruyère (my sub stopped over in France (oops!) Switzerland on it’s way to New Jersey, you see) and still enjoy the show, but I hardly see the fun in that.

hollowing out the bun
meatballs, meet your new home
beginning the assembly

The real magic, the real if-you’re-going-to-do-it-you-might-as-well-go-all-the-way of it, however, is when you put it all together in a hollowed-out baguette or seeded Italian sandwich roll or heck, even little rolls for a most-indulgent “slider” with all those other parts and run it under the broiler long enough for excellent things to happen.

meatball sub, thinks it looks thinner from this angle
meatball sub in its final minutes of life

One year ago: Best Cocoa Brownies, Chana Masala and Walnut Jam Cake
Two years ago: Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad, Chocolate Whiskey and Beer Cupcakes and Crisp Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Slaw
Three years ago: Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree and Candied Grapefruit Peels
Four years ago: Asparagus Artichoke and Shiitake Risotto

Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions and Gruyère
Meatball recipe adapted generously from Ina Garten

a.k.a. Meatball Hoagies, Grinders or Heroes

Yields about 24 to 28 2-inch meatballs or one colossal meatball sub. I’d estimate two meatballs per person, perhaps less if you’re putting out a lot of other food.

How much bread will you need? If you make 2-inch meatballs, as I suggest below, estimate 2 inches of length in your roll for each meatball, so you’ll want 48 inches of sandwich roll altogether. The “Italian seeded demi-baguette” (as Fresh Direct called it) I show above is 9 inches but tapers at the ends, so it fit 4 meatballs. I would have needed 8 of them for the whole batch of meatballs, and also a swarm of hungry folks.

The baguettes or seeded sandwich rolls you’ll use for your sandwiches (see Note above for how to estimate)
2 pounds ground meat of your choice (I used pork but have in the past used beef, veal, chicken, turkey or a blend thereof)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
Olive oil
4 cups prepared tomato sauce (plus extra if you like a lot of extra sauce)

Caramelized onions
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups coarsely shredded Gruyère

Make the meatballs: Split your rolls almost the whole way through, leaving one side attached. Scoop out some of the roll to create a channel for the meatballs to rest in. Grind the bread you pulled out in a food processor or tear it into minuscule bits. You will need 1 1/3 cups or 2 3/4 ounces of fresh breadcrumbs for the meatballs. If you’re not making subs, you can get this same amount of breadcrumbs from 2 to 3 sandwich bread slices. Set rolls aside until later.

Place the fresh breadcrumbs in a large bowl with 3/4 cup warm water and all of the meatball ingredients except for the olive oil and tomato sauce. Combine with a fork, breaking up clumps of meat until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Form mixture into 2-inch meatballs are arrange on a tray. I find wet hands make it easier to form meatballs without them sticking too much.

Heat a generous slick of oil (few tablespoons) in a large saute pan with a lid. Brown meatballs in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan or nudge them before they are nicely browned or they will stick and you’ll leave delicious meatball bits in the pan. These meatballs are soft, so use a gentle hand. Transfer meatballs to a paper towel-lined tray and continue until they are all browned.

Discard the oil and heat your tomato sauce in the pan. Add the meatballs, cover the pan and simmer them on the lowest heat possible for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Caramelize onions: While the meatballs are simmering, you can cook the onions. Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion, sprinkle with salt and a little pepper and cook until they’re tender, sweet, and a deep golden brown, stirring occasionally. This takes me about 30 minutes.

Assemble subs: Arrange meatballs with sauce in the hollowed-out roll(s). Drape caramelized onions over the top and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Place subs under a broiler or in an oven at top heat to melt the cheese.

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271 comments on meatball subs with caramelized onions

    1. deb

      Jordan — The skillet for the onions is brand-new. I’ve made the unfortunate discovery that their more expensive “Stainless” line (versus the MC2 I already have) clean up much better, stay shinier. My wallet does not thank me.

  1. drool….
    I love meatball sandwiches. I’ve been using your chicken meatball recipe as my go to & I think it’ll work well smashed between bread and covered in onions. YUM!
    Oh, and I’d just like to thank you (again) for the pasta w/ black pepper recipe. It’s one of my favorite things ever. Last night I topped it with with a fried egg and added some peas. Sorta like a quick carbonara-ish dish. LOVE!

  2. Deb – any tips for how many “sides” to hit when browning the meatball? I never know and more often then not end up with part raw/part overcooked geometric messes.


    PS. This may just be the one food dish I’d eat for the rest of my life – gruyere + meat + caramelized onions = TOUCH DOWN!

  3. This is one mean sandwich – magnificent. My only regret is that it’s pouring with rain and I have almost none of the ingredients I need. I agree with others that this could make me love football.

  4. Emily

    Would you ever recommend baking your meatballs or is that a big meatball no-no? Also, Jordan – bar keepers friend does amazing work on bringing shine back to the pans! I’m sure readers of this blog already know it but I was amazed!!

  5. Even having just eaten a chicken meatball sub (Grand Lux Café) earlier this week, I am salivating at your delicious sandwich. My daughter would particularly love the franco-version of caramelized onions and Gruyère. Merci!

  6. jenny

    though I have no problem doing the 100% vegetarian thing in the spring/summer, fall & winter always get me craving (and eating) all sorts of poultry action. I am already envisioning subbing in ground turkey in the meatballs … not to mention the hoagie ecstasy that awaits me. thank you, deb!

  7. Jenny

    I’m pretty new to your blog, but I have to tell you it’s great. I finished my grocery list and checked my facebook before leaving for the store. Now, thank you very much, I have to change my menu and my list before I leave. I’ve been looking for a good meatball sandwhich in Sacramento for years, and now I’m going to make one!

  8. Brooke

    I may have missed someone else saying it, but per Jordan’s question – Bar Keeper’s Friend! Know it, use it, love it. I go through a can every month or so between cleaning my stainless skillets and my awful glass cooktop.

  9. Sharon T

    If my kitchen wasn’t completely dismantled right now, I would so be making these tonight. Another one for the list to make when the kitchen is complete!

  10. Emily

    I’ve been trying to go veggie and have been experimenting with texured soy protein in lieu of ground beef. Do you have suggestions for tweaking the seasonings? Would you reduce breadcrumbs? Thanks!

  11. Krissy

    To Jordan – Try cameo Stainless Steel cleaner. I use this about once every 6 months – year on my stainless steel pots. It’s abrasive, so I don’t like to do it very often, but it will do wonders to your pots and even a stainless steel sink if you have one. I do not reccomend it on stainless steel appliances.

  12. OK, you passed on the itch. I’m really craving this! It may be BLIZZARD 2011 that is getting to me, but I really need some comfort food right about now! The onions put this over the top. WOW!!!! Thanks, Deb!

  13. Kristine

    I love it! Just happened upon you blogpost after finishing a meatball sub I bought down the street. It’s perfect after all the crazy snow and cold we’ve had in Chicago. I’m totally trying this recipe at home.

    1. deb

      Baking meatballs — Never tried it (outside this recipe) but it sounds great. No reason not to here.

      Pans — I mentioned above (comment #9) that the one with the onions is brand new. Also, that I made the unfortunate discover that the MC2 line (which most of mine are) are horrible to clean (especially on the outside) and decided I’d simply never buy them again. The Stainless line, however, is bit more expensive (they’re heavier, too) and cleans like a dream. So, if the pot looks shiny on the outside, it just means I paid out the nose for it and was not happy about it. I’ve heard about Bar Keepers Friend but a friend, who is a much more OCD cleaner than I am, felt it made little improvement on her All-Clad mess. I’m sure you guys can sense that I am not happy with the way most of my pots have worn, especially given the investment involved, and the idea the only heavy duty cleaning products cleans them only irks me further. I’ll stop griping now, promise.

      Becca — Yeah, mine are always trapezoidal when I’m done, especially these because the mixture is just so soft (and the final meatballs, ridiculously tender, perfect for squishing down in your sandwich). Just roll it around as much as seems reasonable and move on.

      Kathy — The tomato sauce was store-bought. I didn’t fuss over making one due to time constraints, and knew that even a plain one from the store would be delicious after meatballs cooked in it for 25 minutes.

  14. Amy

    Now craving! Looks amazing! I really enjoy the simplicity of your posts…perfectly illustrated every time.

    I second the question about baking the meatballs…Ina has a great Italian Wedding soup recipe where she bakes the meatballs instead of frying them…I think I may try that to assuage my guilt about the cheese ;-) Plus, one less pan to wash!

  15. Alfia

    Looks delish. Why not caramelize the onions, and then add crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce) right on top of the onions? May make for a better sauce and you can always leave out some onions if you want to add them on top. Also – I’m sure gruyere is good on top but maybe some sharp provolone is also good (sorry – totally stuck in the jersey version of this sub!)

  16. This is exactly the same meatball recipe I’ve been doing my whole life, and my mum has been doing before I was born I guess. It must be the perfect one then, if two separate threads evolved into the same recipe.
    Next time, I’ll try making sandwich out of them.

  17. i like to bake my meatballs on a rack on top of a foil lined baking sheet. if you crank the oven high enough (like about 400 or 425) they’ll still get nice and brown, but obv not as much as deb’s!

  18. Susan

    I bake my meatballs too, it’s just easier and they don’t fall apart from having to turn them. I love a meatball sub, either with a tomato based sauce or with gravy. Yum. I like your idea of hollowing out a channel for them so they don’t roll out. Very smart!

  19. Dear Deb: I would
    1. ask you to marry me if the situation allowed it
    2. go into pediatrics if only to be able to take care of your son with the Greek god curly hair

    Until then, thank you for this wonderful contribution. I made your version of Shakshuka last weekend and it was all I could do to keep the party guests from swimming in it. This recipe might have to be my “goodbye winter” project in late Feb.

  20. I have had a SERIOUS meatball sub craving lately. I’m not usually the meatball kind of gal, but man now that I’ve seen this, its increasing the craving even more. Don’t eat beef, def will be making the turkey version for my hockey loving husband. Oh and me.

  21. I recently became a meatball lover after making up a batch of Swedish meatballs with a healthy dose of lingonberries on the side. This looks pretty delicious though too. Can’t wait to try it!

  22. This sub looks fabulous, but I do have to mention that gruyère is a Swiss cheese. I know the town Gruyères well -I grew up near there- and it’s breathtakingly beautiful. The town is also famous for meringues and double cream. I think you’d like it there too…

  23. Right you are, Deb: a private chef friend of mine once told me a good meatball was 80% breadcrumbs. I about keeled over in shock when I heard it, but that (or close to that; 80% is quite a lot for me to commit to, still!) is what makes them soft and pillowy! This whole dish looks divine.

  24. chiara

    Great…I love meatballs! Try lamb meat, maybe with feta cheese instead of gruyere…
    I add tomato sauce to the pan while meatballs are still cooking, almost at the end of their cooking time: it makes the sauce taste meaty!

  25. Deb, you rock. I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out what the heck to make for dinner tonight and you nailed it. My husband and I are fighting the mid-winter waistline bulge and he’d kill me if I ordered these from the local pizza joint. But making them at home I can tweak the ingredients to make them a bit lighter and we’ll both have a satisfying dinner. Thanks!

  26. Those photos are pure pornography. I can’t begin to imagine how good this must be. I’m tucking this recipe away for the next time Danielle takes off for the weekend and allows me to wallow in my own crapulence.

  27. JanetP

    Hee hee, from mushroom-farro soup to meatball subs in 2 posts! That is why I love your blog.

    That, and the photos of Jacob, of course.

  28. Wow! These look amazing! My husband is a huge meatball sub fan and I have to say, I’ve never had one – or ever tried making one. This might be recipe that makes me start!

  29. Liz

    I am a huge fan of meatball subs (although I haven’t had the pleasure of indulging in one in a few months) and this looks absolutely wonderful. I think the carmelized onions are a wonderful added touch, thanks for sharing the recipe!

  30. Sophia

    Would it be too selfish of me to request an offical baby meatball recipe? Do you cook the meatballs for the baby in the tomato sauce too ot just fry them until cooked all the way through?

  31. Amy

    looks delicious! the giant’s are my husband’s favorite team too! so of course, we both don’t really care too much about the game (well, yeah, i never do)

  32. This is what I call a proper sub. It is simply mouthwatering with the cheese oozing out and the meatballs covered in that red tomato sauce.
    By the way, that bread you used is my favorite kind for all sorts of sandwiches. I love how crunchy it gets when you put it for a couple of minutes under the grill and the aroma that the sesame seeds give off.

    1. deb

      Tomato sauce — My absolutely favorite tomato sauces are homemade. I make this one or one like this whenever I want a great one. (I’ve never cared for jarred sauces; they’re all pricey, salty and disappointing. They all taste a little undercooked to me and soggy basil grosses me out.) But I love canned tomato sauce, like this one. The ingredient list is barely more complicated than tomatoes, garlic and onion powder. It’s already cooked to velvety, smooth perfection. I always keep it around for times when the tomato sauce is not the center of attention (thus it would be silly to start by cooking canned or fresh tomatoes for the better part of an hour before needing, say, a 1/2 cup) and will pick up flavors around it, like in Indian dishes and Spanish rice. After cooking my meatballs in them, it tastes like the heavens above. Seriously, try it. (P.S. I add about 1/4 cup of water to each 15 ounce can because the sauce is already so reduced, it can get too thick when cooked for an additional 30 minutes with the meatballs. This makes for an even two cups of sauce per can.)

  33. msjvd

    “In my defense, my husband’s team of choice, The Giants, were hardly Good Football Material this year…”

    Pretty sure the subject of the verb is TEAM, which is singular, ie “my husband’s TEAM of choice… WAS hardly Good Football Material.”

    Gorgeous pictures. Want sammie NOW.

  34. MissAndi

    Oh, YUM! I love a good meatball sub. I make a very, very similar meatball recipe, except I brown the meatballs in oil and then finish them off in the oven. Then, I add them to the sauce to simmer for a bit. I usually use leftover spicy red sauce (lots of onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, etc.). I also usually use a mixture of provolone and parmesan on the bread. The caramelized onions could be really tasty and add a hint of sweetness that is otherwise lacking in my current sandwich.

    I made my subs a few days ago. I think I’m going to try yours next week (or tonight….ha!) Thanks for the great ideas!

  35. Jill

    have you ever tried to poach your meatballs in homemade sauce? I have been doing it recently and the meatballs turn out so perfect! This looks lovely and I think I will make it for a cozy dinner date with my husband tomorrow night! ;)

  36. Rachael

    Hi Deb – great blog/website.

    I’m wondering what you and others think about cooking the meatballs right in the sauce? I’ve done this for ages thinking that it results in a more braised texture – but this is b/c I use the dry breadcrumb technique. Would they just fall apart in the sauce? Great photo.

  37. Joe

    The carmelized onions are genius but I’m all about wet, white bread vs. bread crumbs. The bread itself makes the meatball really light, delicate and less dense than crumbs. I think you’d like it if you’ve never tried it! And for the record, your everyday chocolate cake is really, really good. I make it all the time! Thanks.

  38. Bobanda

    In response to that charming grammar note… if you watch any international sports, (rugby, soccer, Aussie rules football, etc.) you’ll notice they use the plural in complete disregard for the collective noun as we Americans do. For example, they say, “The Arsenal were having a great game tonight!” or “Manchester United were in an uproar.” They use it that way by assuming the subject of the sentence is an understood, “the players of…”. So that’s for msjvd.

    Now, back to the important topic… I’ve been so good about eating well that fatty foods literally turn my stomach now but I’m craving a good Philly cheese steak sandwich and this didn’t help! I know if I ate it I’d have a fat-hangover but maybe its worth it… since I am rooting for the STEELERS!

  39. Charlotte

    I always find it hard to make big meatballs have good flavour the whole way through, no matter how hard i try with herbs and spices etc the middle just always tastes a little bland and quite soggy. I will give this one a try though, my boyfriend LOVES meatball subs!

  40. WHY? oh why? do I read food blogs at 7:30 in the morning?!

    Granted, I have the whole day (Saturday) to scramble the ingredients together and make it myself, but oooh, how my tummy grumbles for crunchy-seeded-Italian-bread-soaked-in-buttery-crisp(!)-meatballs-and-tangy-tomato-sauce-ONLY-to-be-topped-off-by-one-of-my-most-favorite-melting-cheeses-of-all-time.

    Thank you for this beacon of football Sunday indulgence. OMG.

  41. “Cinful” Palate

    Just some FYI’s for you all….I (actually my husband who is the OCD clean up crew) uses the liquid Bar Keepers Friend and it works great on the All Clad. My All Clad (I have the copper core line) looks brand new…and yes, it gets used hard. Also, there is an All Clad outlet near Phila. that has a great inventory of pots, is super friendly and helpful and I think also ships..can you imagine that cost??!! All the seconds they sell are guaranteed just like the perfect line. Definitely worth the trip!!! Every one of my pots and pans has come from there and I have never had a problem. I would not buy mine anywhere else.

  42. Deb, I don’t know where you live, but I have stocked my entire all-clad kitchen via their semi-annual “scratch & dent” sale. It’s held every June & December near the factory in Western Pennsylvania (just south of Pittsburgh – and no, that’s not a Steelers plug!). 40-70% off for pans, that with picking over, are just like they spent a little tour in your kitchen anyway! Love your blog!

  43. Sandra

    Okay, I know you are not a vegetarian and I don’t expect anyone to conform to my own eating style but too many meat recipes lately. I’m feeling cheated. One of the things I have always loved about your mostly vegetarian recipes is their everyday normalcy, food that anyone would want to eat, not just vegetarians. I am not opposed to the occasional meat dish but please spread them out over time. By the way, I have made your spaghetti and meatballs dish for my family, so you see, I still do appreciate the meat recipes.

  44. Margaret Woodside

    Deb, this has nothing to do with meatball subs but I wanted to tell you that I made your energy bars for the school where some people from my church are mentoring. The kids loved them. The mentor says they particularly loved that some lady made something just for them. You can bet they’ll get more! I cut them in 1-1/2 inch by 2 inch bars. Just the right size for kids in the 3/4 grade.

  45. I love a good, homemade meatball sandwich! I also use a version of Ina’s recipe for meatballs. I’m sure the warm water and fresh breadcrumbs are responsible for the tenderness of the meatball, and cooking the sauce in the leftover browned bits really adds a rich flavor to the tomato sauce (homemade or not). Your sandwich looks so tempting…love your choice of roll…another example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts! Really enjoy your blog! Thanks!

  46. Wow! A great recipe, I can taste the pillowy, fork-tender meatball right now, slurp! We have our own “Nolita” here called Wooster Street were the meatballs are made much like these and taste way-way better than traditional meaty ones. Great recipe, when are writing a cook book?

  47. “Siobhan”

    Could I put in a word about keeping All-Clad cookware shiny? I own All-Clad in part because I sold cookware for a number of years and won most of it in contests. I’ve done comparisons with All-Clad and other kinds and All-Clad wins hands down.

    I clean mine with either plain old baking soda or with a certain cleanser that is difficult to find. I’m not certain whether mentioning it by name constitutes an endorsement or not. I’m not an employee of the manufacturer or of any cookware merchant.

    Baking soda can be used in two ways. If food is burnt on to the surface of a metal pan, fill the pan with water, add some baking soda and bring the water to the boil. Let it bubble for a few minutes, then shut off the heat. Stubborn and/or large amounts of scorch might require a second go round. The other method is for regular cleaning after normal use. Wet the pan, sprinkle (I put soda in a cheese server that looks like a giant salt shaker . . . it remains dry and clump free and you don’t use more than you need). Rub with a damp sponge. This removes water lines that the dish washer doesn’t take away.

    If you have scorched food on a ceramic pan, fill the pan with water, add soda then place in the oven which you heat to 350. Keep at that temp for 10 minutes and the scorch will lift.

    1. deb

      Thanks for all the All-Clad tips. I don’t want this comment section to get too off-topic so I just want to clarify what my complaints were in the earlier comment and why I shared them here, when of course, the fun subject of the day is ooey gooey meatball subs. My “complaints” were/are two-fold: one, that the MC2 pots do not wash up well; they get clean but they always look mottled and dirty, even after light use. Two, that if you want to try to fight this, it will take very aggressive measures, much more than the “green” dish soaps I try to keep around. Believe me, I wish someone had warned me about this before I’d invested in them, which is why when someone asks me if I’m happy with the MC2 pots I own (or comments on how clean my Stainless pots look compared to their MC2s at home), I am completely up front about it here. I lack any inclination to spend hours restoring them to their original glory; I only want to share that I’ve been displeased with them to give others considering them a fair heads-up. Their Stainless line, which I’m now buying as I need additional pans, are a delight and even a year later, look like the day I brought them home. But they cost a bit more. (P.S. As you might know, I don’t ever accept freebies or kitchen goods. Right here is why; I can tell you exactly what I think about things in an unbiased way. Hooray for freedom of this press!)

      Lori — The first step explains how to make them. As I was pulling out the filling of the rolls, I realized how silly it was to use a recipe that called for slices of bread made into breadcrumbs, when you could use the filling instead.

      Sandra — I figured someone was going to comment. Don’t worry, it’s more of a confluence of events/fluke lately, and we haven’t suddenly become folks that eat meat constantly. That said, there’s only been two (and a half, if you consider the bacon pizza) meat recipes since the start of the year. Any meat broth can easily be replaced with a vegetarian one, as each recipe suggests.

  48. Raich

    I currently have leftover meantballs in the refirgerator from making your Spaghetti and Meatballs (with double sauce.) Guess tomorrow we’ll be having meatball subs for lunch, even if we’re 6000 miles away from the superbowl.

  49. Melissa

    Made these last night (what can I say? They spoke to my queasy 6-week pregnant stomach) using 1 lb ground beef/1 lb ground pork. They were excellent!

  50. just 2 days ago, i said to my sister: “sis, i’m craving meatballs…we should make spaghetti” but after reading this post, i’m pretty sure i’m going to make meatball subs. i’m due to give birth any day and have been craving rib-sticking meat food, so i can’t wait to give this a go!

  51. Jen

    You’ve just reminded me that I should make and freeze a big batch of meatballs this weekend. They are incredibly handy to have around when my husband, also desperate for “man-food,” is fending for himself for dinner.

  52. I am supposed to be watching what I eat at the mo after giving birth to a monster child but these have made me salivate. Interesting that you use water in the meatball mix – I usually use milk but will give this a go and see what the difference is in taste/texture etc. Thanks for the recipe!

  53. Yolanda

    This recipe…I made something similar after it inspired me (I had some homemade frozen meatballs so I used those). And I have to thank you for introducing me to the joy of carmelized onions!

    I have no idea why I’d never had them before, but apparently, cutting onions super thinly and putting it into a low pan with olive oil and butter creates the most delicious, crispy, flavorful topping…ever.

    So, thanks Smitten Kitchen, you’ve made my day again :)

  54. I hope I’m not too late to the party to say, holy, these look amazing. I was never much of a meatball fan until my husband started making them. He has just the right kind of heavy-cooking hand that makes the most beautiful meatballs. I’d be delighted to eat your sandwich, too.

    Oh, and it only gets worth the toddlers. Before you know it, he’ll be chewing on something he knows he shouldn’t then roll his eyes with an “I knooooow, Mommy. Pshaw.”. And you will think, go to sleeeeep so I can cuddle you.

  55. Jean

    That is your real stove? That pristine, show-room stove? That’s the one you cook on? For true? Every day? All day or so…I keep seeing it in your pictures so I had to be rude & ask..

  56. Debbie

    For some reason whenever I make meatballs or meatloaf…I never use eggs…and rarely use real bread for the crumbs. I found out by trial & error that if you grind Panko bread crumbs in a food processor and then add milk….this mixture keeps the meatballs very tender and moist.

    For Super Bowl tomorrow I made a huge pan of meatballs today…that I’ll simmer in the sauce tomorrow and serve on mini potato rolls. Meatball sliders are always a favorite for football days.

    Go Steelers!

  57. Mari

    I always want to make meatballs that do not have to be boiled in a sauce but haven’t found one that doesn’t require cheese or some other dairy product. These eat balls look delicious ! How can I make them dairy free?

  58. I’m having a mini pity party – we can eat the meatballs and cheese but not the bread — my husband has major dietary restrictions. Been off the carbs for 4 weeks now – -it’s a battle but we’re going to persevere! Now I have to bake for my customers and my UPS driver!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I love love your blog and will never stop reading it!

  59. Echo

    I made these tonight. As expected, they were delish! I baked my meatballs in the oven at 450 and they were nicely browned on all sides. Another substitution — instead of topping with onion, I made quick pickles. They added a nice bite of acidity to balance all the richness.

    As usual, thanks for being a rock star, Deb!!

  60. Jordan – I have the same AllClad pots and have discovered there’s nothing a good soak in warm, soapy water followed by a scrub with a metal scourer can’t fix. Deb – my wallet doesn’t thank me much either, for what it’s worth. But I have an induction cooktop, so I like to tell myself I “have” to buy the expensive pans, so they’ll work on my cooktop.

  61. charlotte maxwell

    Bon Ami is the recommended cleaner for Cuisinart, which arch my shiny new pans. You need to use it any time they get messy enough that just dish soap doesn’t work.

  62. Wow. I just salivated all over my computer. This recipe is forcing me to complete the first ‘cheat’ on my South Beach Diet recipe in 3 weeks. I suppose I could eat the meatballs without the roll but then again…what is a meatball without the sub? Thanks for the fabulous recipe!

  63. Marie

    The breadcrumb and water method is a lot like the way Swedes make meatballs. My Swedish grandpa makes meatballs by coarsely tearing slices of white bread and soaking them in whole milk until the liquid is completely absorbed. He seasons it with nutmeg and anise then bakes. The meatballs are incredibly light and fluffy! So delicious!

  64. Deanna B

    Between you and Ina I am set on meatball and meatloaf recipes, so thank you! I’m making your broccoli slaw right now and I saw the note to remind you to do a post about recipes you have changed with reader’s comments. You might have done it and I missed it, but if not I figured I would mention it.

  65. lyn

    i’ve been following your blog for the last month now..
    i love everything about your blog and just wanna thank you for sharing all your recipes and giving me heaps of ideas.. because if not i would probably still be stuck eating the same thing 7 days a week.. haha

  66. Carey

    This looked so good that I tried to make it for the super bowl. Unfortunately, the meatballs were so light they fell apart in the pot! I couldn’t get a single one to stay in one piece. I ended up baking the last 10 and made spaghetti with meatballs and added the crumbled meat into the sauce. It was still very yummy.

  67. elizabeth

    First time to comment, but I must tell you that this was the absolute best thing I have made in Lord knows how long. My children are up ridiculously past their bedtime, but those slow cooked onions were worth it! I would say that half way through the meatball process I had to switch from my Le Creuset to a non stick saute pan–far too much meatball love stuck to the bottom. Thank you from the bottom of my overly full stomach. Waiting now (patiently) for my husband’s try at your blondies. It’s a Smitten evening.

  68. Wow. Want to throw a post super bowl party just to have an excuse to make, and eat!, these insanely delicious looking subs. It’s nice to be reminded of something you didn’t even realize you missed. Thank you.

  69. Jaclyn

    Soooo perfect and delicious. I halved the recipe, used nonfat milk to soak the breadcrumbs, and topped it with mozzarella instead of Gruyere. Oh, I also used canned pizza sauce (same brand as the canned tomato sauce you like) since it was what I had on hand. Meatballs browned beautifully, held together well, and didn’t stick at all in my cast iron pan. Perfect dinner with a side salad. And I have leftovers!

  70. Too funny: I made Ina Garten meatball subs for the superbowl, too! But I used a different recipe, one that I highly recommend checking out for next time. If you google “Spicy Turkey Meatballs Ina Garten”, it’ll come up. It has a mixture of Turkey and Italian Sausage (I used spicy), with proscuitto and a surprisingly large amount of breadcrumbs, asiago, and olive oil added directly to the meatball mixture. Also, the meatballs are baked, not fried. I added extra herbs. They’re… spectacular: flavorful, caramelized/cheesy edges, just the right amount of spice. The extra cheese/breadcrumbs/milk does wonders for their texture. I love that they’re baked (not that they’re any healthier ;) but frying meatballs is SUCH a messy affair). For superbowl sunday, I turned them into little meatball sliders with melted cheese. Caramelized onions would have put them over the top. Yum.

    1. Helen in CA

      Glad you had food you liked at the Super Bowl. Even meatballs. But your post reminds me of something I don’t understand. Why post a review/recommendation of a recipe that is a substitute for the one being discussed? It comes across as “hey lady, here’s something better than your work”. Why not go to that person’s site to post your review?

  71. This is definitely on my list of ‘things to make at the weekend’.

    I often make meatballs and spaghetti and it’s one of those recipes that pleases all the family without exception.

    I’m sure this will go down a treat too, thank you for sharing, my mouth is watering!


  72. Just awesome. I always love when you include caramelized onions, they really could be added to almost any meal that I eat.

    The Gruyere was an excellent choice also, it definitely beats the run of the mill cheeses that this is usually served with. Also, the flavor probably mixes better than say a Provolone or something. Thanks for sharing.

  73. amm

    I can’t believe you made these. I made meatballs yesterday too, plus the chocolate peanut butter cake you had posted and the bacon and onion pizzas. All were yummy and got rave reviews!!

  74. Stoich91

    WOAH…food this good should be against the LAW! :) And the part about toddlers hurting themselves and blaming mom and dad…what is WITH that?!

  75. LindaInNJ

    Made these for the Superbowl last night!!! They came out wonderful. Who’d of thought ground pork for meatballs. I usually do ground beef; never a mix of the pork/beef/veal or a mix of any ground meats. Just beef. But I figured since I’ve tried almost every recipe you list (especially the pumpkin pie – haa haa, my hubby’s fav) I somehow knew these meatballs would be nothing short of spectacular. I was right. My typical meatballs (which consist of ground beef, fresh garlic, fresh bread, fresh chopped parsley, sea salt and two eggs – mixed and put in the fridge for about 2-3 hours and then shaped into balls and dropped raw into hot gravy) are great, but these were really good, too. Moist and full of flavor. Thanks, Deb!!!

  76. Tricia

    Made this yesterday for the Superbowl and they were amazing! Great reviews from everyone, and they were pretty easy to make as well. Absolutely delicious – thank you!!!

  77. Amber

    Wow, wow, wow! I am not usually a sub or meatball person but made these for the hubby who *loves* sandwiches. I am a total convert for this one. The most fluffy, wonderful meatballs we’ve had. Thanks for the great instructions and recipe sharing.

  78. jackie K

    Thank you so much for posting this! I had total brain drain about what kind of easy-to-make but absolutely delicious dinner I wanted to have for the Super Bowl! This hit the spot! The meatballs are so good, they are going to go in into the “cooking staples” in my cookbook. Delish!

  79. NicM

    Oh my gosh! These are going on the top of the “things we’re cooking after we move” list. We just started fixing up our new place (with real kitchen! people fit in it!) and I’m antsy to start cooking.

  80. Esme

    Meatball sandwich with carmelized onions and roasted bell peppers was staple all-nighter snack at UVA during my undergrad years. Roasted red bell peppers are my favorite to add to meatball sandwiches.

  81. I should have never looked at your post before eating lunch. Big mistake! I am a huge meatball sub fan. I grew up in the Northeast where its fairly easy to find a good meatball sandwich. Now that I am living in Texas, it’s almost impossible to find one that is suitable for consumption. I’m now inspired to make my own meatball sandwich. Great pictures… as usual!

  82. I am totally pro-meatball. Oh, and pro-cheese. And bread. I’ve made your meatball sliders before, and these look just as wonderful! Love the revamp.

    And by the way, I appreciate the simple, idiot-proof way to caramelize the onions. A couple weeks ago, I saw a recipe for caramelized onions that used the power of science (I’m a sucker for science) to quicken the process. It did not go well. But I think that I’ll try this way!

  83. Barbara Blackburn

    Made this for the Packers-Steelers game. I think I was the hit…! Not the game!
    Didn’t change a thing in the recipe. Thanks again for yet another great recipe!

  84. We have been secret fans of yours for years! We have even shared your website with many people as we feel you are worth it! Just decided to come out of the closet and still loving the view!

    Infinite blessings!

  85. Fabienne

    This is a fabulous recipe. My boyfriend and I had the leftovers last night and it was beyond awesome! Loved the tenderness of the meatballs (we used bison meat) and my sweetie really appreciated the way you caramelized the onions…it turned out wonderfully.

    Thank you for writing about what you are passionate about! I cannot wait until the next recipe.

  86. ADTirey66

    This is going to be my dinner tonight. I am excited. Also, I’m making your rugelach pinwheels. Why is it, when I start to exercise on a regular basis, that I CRAVE sugar? This seems counter-productive. However, both your meatballs and cookies look delicious. :) Thanks for sharing.

  87. Margie

    All Clad comments – more related to the meatball subs than you might think as All Clad is made right here in Steeler Country. So, as a neighbor to All Clad and one who has the privilege of attending the semi-annual All Clad factory sale, I want to weigh in on the care of All Clad. NEVER put any All Clad in the dishwasher as the heat and cleaners will permanently affect the aluminum and mar the stainless. Use that brand product to clean the stainless steel. Just a minute of cleaning effort after you use each pan and they will be gorgeous forever.

  88. Row

    *wipes drool from mouth*
    Er, sorry about that. Don’t know much about football, but I do know that is one delicious-looking sandwich. Thanks for posting this! *makes note to try this recipe soon*

  89. So I came home on Wednesday night, and made some fried rice out of leftovers. Then I came around scouring my favourite websites to see what was new and found this. Even after I had dinner, I got off my butt, went out and made these subs. Although I made them with f-meatballs. Veggie Meatballs. SOOO delicious. I don’t regret having two dinners.

  90. Anneliese

    I don’t watch football, but if this is what you get to eat, I may be amenable to watching more football. We (five people) just put an embarrassing dent in this recipe…

    I also decided to give the oven-baking meatball option a try and it went great. I did them at 425 for 25 minutes.

  91. I made a turkey version of these meatballs last night to eat with pasta. SO good and tender.

    (I also took little cubes of homemade paneer (like a dry, unsalted ricotta for those who are wondering) and stuffed them in the middle. So good! The paneer doesn’t get too melty and squish out.

    Nummmmm. Thanks Deb!

  92. Oh, wow! Yummy! Also, as a mom of a 3 year old and an 18 month old, all I could do was smile and nod when I read about your “good wife” intentions being left by the wayside to chase your little guy around. Happens way too often around here! :-)

  93. I did buffalo chicken sliders for the super bowl (or pre-party) and they were awesome! And the week before it was meatball subs…I was on a game day week long food marathon!

  94. Wow! I have always loved meatball subs… yours look sublime. I like the trick of hollowing out the sub…

    Also, while I agree that Gruyère is a Swiss cheese, it’s also an approved term in French cooking for certain cheeses like Comté. Politically incorrect now, but culinarily speaking still acceptable. Sorry to rock the boat :)

  95. Molly

    This is so irresistable looking, I’m going to try doing this vege – with Deborah Madison’s meatless meatballs recipe. But my major hurdle is the bread. I want that bread! I’ve looked and looked at every shop around town to no avail. Any ideas for recipes that would come close?

  96. Kristin

    Made these meatballs to go with some pretty basic spaghetti and sauce, and I could have WEPT they were so good. I am converted back to meatballs, praises be!

  97. Kayla

    These meatballs were so good! I used 1/2 Hot Italian sausage and 1/2 ground turkey, so I omitted the red pepper flakes, they were excellent. I am always going to use this for meatballs in the future.

  98. Holy meatballs, woman. I just had breakfast and my stomach is growling. I have a deep love of meatball subs reaching back to my childhood with my dad in Boston and I can’t even remember the last time I had one. This will be remedied, soon!!x

  99. My first meatballs! We loved them so much we did a whole week of meatballs. Even my foreign roommates loved them, and they never like anything us Americans cook. After the subs, we did meatball pizza, meatball chili, and I’m gunna eat them cold for breakfast tomorrow. The sandwich was the best version though, fer sure.

  100. Jen

    These were amazing! My only regret is that my husband and I only made a half batch. We figured just the two of us, lets be reasonable. So subs, and leftovers with pasta the next day. I want more!!

  101. Amanda A.

    I made half a recipe (and forgot to put the bread in warm water) and totally skipped the tomato sauce (on purpose)–topped them with the onions and some Dubliner cheese and they were delicious! Thank you! Oh and I followed another commenter’s recommendation and baked them at 425 degrees for 30 minutes–perfect and much easier for me than pan frying/cooking. My children even raved!

  102. rose

    made a half recipe (used previously frozen homemade meatloaf mixture) and was out of sauce, so had to make my own, but these were great! fun weeknight meal that was really hearty – the guy loved it. thanks deb! can’t wait to see the cookbook…

  103. deweygirl7

    Despite my love of meatballs, I’m not a huge fan of meatball subs, either. This recipe (and the leftover meatballs I had from a Super Bowl party) inspired me to make my own. I substituted artisanal rolls made with whole cloves of garlic (garliv is almost as good as bacon, as far as I’m concerned) and the result was heaven. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  104. Iris

    I just made these, they were so good! However, I made a slight modification. Inside of the meatballs I wrapped a cube of mozzarella. Best meatball sub I’ve eaten. Thanks for the recipe!

  105. My husband LOVES LOVES LOVES meatball subs. Your sauce looks so delicious. I prefer to make a “boat” of sorts with the bread – I take a sub roll and instead of slicing in half, simply scoop out the top (like you did with the bottom part). Top with cheese and melt it in the oven a bit, top with meatballs and more cheese. Melt. Eat.

  106. Hi Deb!
    I have been saving this recipe for quite some time now, and finally made the meatballs a few weeks ago for an Oscar party and they were SO delicious. I ended up baking them in the over instead of browning them on the stove and they were delicious. Thank you for your beautiful recipe and your wonderful blog!

  107. anaMellie

    Hi :) You mentioned you’ve made the meatballs with “doubled amount of chopped spinach in lieu of parsley for the baby”
    Any chance this recipe will make it to your baby food section? My little one is just starting to eat some real foods [not just the pureed stuffs] and I would love some idea on how you did this – thank you!

    1. deb

      I’m so behind on toddler food — the recipe really follows this one but I used whole wheat bread crumbs, chopped baby spinach, plus extra, for the parsley and I used a mix of dark turkey meat and ground chicken. I made tiny meatballs. It took forever but they were just perfect for him at the time. Can definitely freeze 2/3 of them until needed.

  108. Kenna

    Thank you for this delicious recipe. My family devoured it! My husband sang my praises and even the kids were happy {and full}. I love how the tops of each hoagie became toasted in the broiler. We will definitely be adding this to my recipe rotation.

  109. Bonnie Pierce

    Just made these for my hubby and little one and they gobbled em’ up !!!!!!! Thank you very much for this scrumptious recipe. I LOVED IT!!!!!

  110. Question about quantity- if I wanted to make the whole recipe obviously I would brown the meatballs in batches, but what about putting them back in the pan with the sauce? 24 aren’t going to fit on a single layer…would you stack them or use two saute pans? Or a bigger sauce pan? Thanks!

    1. deb

      I’d stack them if they didn’t fit. However, I think in a 12-inch diameter saucepan, they will fit in one layer, or real close. They shrink a bit as they’re browned.

  111. My family of picky eaters LOVED this recipe (of course!) and said it was a keeper! We are “kosher style” so I made it with lamb meat and hamburger meat and left out the Parmesan cheese. Used only oil with onions. Sprinkled it with soy cheese before broiling. So good!!

  112. Mollie

    Deb, what do you think of a half turkey, half beef meatball. I tried to locate ground pork, but they didn’t have any in stock at the store so I grabbed beef instead. Also, do you think extra lean ground beef and 93/7 turkey sounds ok on the fat ratios. I have to admit that I’m half italian and have never made a meatball! File under ‘it won’t be as good as nana’s’ fear…

  113. Emily

    Just made these for dinner tonight…the meatballs were DIVINE! Not those super heavy, flavorless meatballs you sometimes get with other meatball subs. All was going well for me until I put it under the broiler; the cheese turned to a nice golden brown (I used provolone), but the top bun turned into a charcoal brick :). I promptly removed the top, and served it as an open face. No complaints! BTW, the caramelized onions make this so special!

  114. I came across to your blog just about a week ago and I am absolutely hooked. The moment I saw the picture of these meatball subs, I knew I had to make them. Currently combining my shopping list and these are going to be tomorrow’s dinner :)

  115. These type of big, bold sandwiches are really popular in Gastropubs…and this is a version worthy of going right onto any menu. The caramelized onions add a real dimension to the flavor profile. As far as wine, I want a Primitivo or a Nero D’Avola.

  116. Stephanee

    I made these last night and I absolutely loved them!! They looked so delicious in the photos but, if you can imagine, they were even better on my dinner plate! Yes, that is how good this recipe is. If you haven’t tried it you really should. My taste buds thank you!

    P.S. – Thank you for showing me a new way to make meatballs. I did not enjoy meatballs before because they were simply a chunk of meat rolled up and cooked. This new recipe makes them tender and tasty. I will never go back to my old recipe!

  117. Sally

    I’ve found that expensive pans are only worth it if they will last and look good for a long, long time. I have some saucepans that are more than 30 years old, stainless, and they look as good as new. But I *need* non-stick skillets–I can’t lift cast iron ones–and in those I buy the cheapest that Target sells; they last at least as well as the expensive ones do. I’m not willing to take the time to hand-wash an everyday skillet! I put as much as I can into the dishwasher, and if there isn’t room now there will be tomorrow.

  118. Connie

    Hi, can and how would you freeze these? I just made them this weekend and devoured them with friends,but would love to keep extras handy in the freezer. Thanks!!

    1. deb

      You can freeze the elements separately — namely, the meatballs — and reheat and assemble it as you need it. Not sure if the whole thing assembled would reheat well but it can’t hurt to find out. I’d wrap leftover sandwiches twice in foil (preferably, longer sandwiches that haven’t been cut yet) and put them in a freezer bag. You can rewarm it gently in the foil on an oven rack.

  119. Jessica

    Made these last weekend with Connie (above) and our respective significant others. Four of us finished 2 pounds of meat.. yes, the meatballs were THAT GOOD! Thanks Deb for an awesome recipe! I’ll definitely be making more of these in the future :)

  120. Brittany W.

    So, a question that I didn’t see asked on the baking topic: If I bake them in the oven instead of frying, do I bake them the whole way through and then put them in the tomato sauce, or is the point to bake them just enough so that they hold together and then finish cooking them in the tomato sauce? If the second option is better, how long should I bake them so that they just hold together before putting them in the sauce?

  121. Brittany W.

    Wait, I think I may have answered my own question. David Lebovitz bakes his at 350 for 15 minutes and then puts them in the tomato sauce and cooks until heated through.

  122. Joanna

    This was delicious! The only change I made was using some finely chopped onion in the meatballs instead of onion powder, since I didn’t have any on hand. Although it DOES say in the recipe that the onion-carmelizing takes 30 minutes I somehow skimmed over that and was surprised when I got to that part, but it was DEFINITELY worth it!

  123. I just made these per the boyfriend’s request, with half ground chuck and half ground venison. The rolls I chose were garbage, but the elements of the sandwich were incredible. This is a keeper and a great Saturday-night special dinner for football watching.

  124. Kori

    I just made these for my brother’s birthday. I’m not a big meat eater but these were delicious. I got the cheese and sauce from Murray’s Cheese Shop on Bleecker and the rolls from Pain D’Avgnon in The Essex St. Market. Thanks Deb for an easy (aside from getting hit in the face with a few sputtering pops of oil) and great recipe!

  125. Emma

    These meatball subs were AMAZING. I will definitely, definitely be making them again. I used half beef and half pork in the meatballs, Tuttorosso-brand canned tomato sauce, and bought some nice demi-baguettes at the grocery store. The only thing I would do differently next time is use my cast iron skillet for the browning step. Yesterday, I tried to do the browning and simmering in the same (stainless steel) pot, and found that the meatballs stuck like crazy. No flavor lost, though, because I deglazed with a bit of water after each batch and added the stuck meat bits and juices to the tomato sauce. I can’t WAIT to have leftovers for dinner tonight.

  126. Milly

    What’s a good tomato sauce to use with a meatball sub? Can I just use homemade spaghetti sauce or would that be too thin?

    1. deb

      Milly — If you’re looking for speed and ease and don’t mind a smooth one (I like smooth tomato sauce here), you can use a canned one. Otherwise, any type you like to make. If you want to make one from scratch, this recipe produces a great one for meatballs.

  127. Paty

    I’ve used many recipes from this site with great success but this one really made us dissapointed because my meatballs turned out with no taste at all. Maybe it is because I’m used to eat authentic Swedish meatballs with lots of flavour so I was expecting something like that :/

  128. Made this today, since I had some mini baguettes and leftover ground beef. I cooked the meatballs in butter, then took them out and caramelized the onions in the same pan, adding a bit of brown sugar. I live abroad, so I didn’t have tomato sauce and just used some boiled peeled tomatoes which I broke down in the pot…I added some garlic, pepper and a bit of parmesan to the sauce. Even without any cheese on top (not available here), it turned out delicious. Great, simple recipe – the onions really add a great little sweet kick.

  129. Terri

    Ok, so I’m looking at this and– I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, because I suspect for most people this is as simple as boiling an egg, but— I was pretty much a vegan for 22 years. When Real Meat From Real Critters started coming available the past few years, I tasted some and to make a very long story ever so shorter, I have crossed over the line into full-fledged carnivorous eating.
    Having said all that, I have never made a meat loaf. I think they look kind of funky, like a meat cake or something, but the sweetness I live with has asked me to make one, so I’m willing to try.
    There are 40gagillion meatloaf recipes out there, but they all look, well, like meat cake. Gross.
    I came to your site looking because everything I try here is wonderful and perfect, surely a sign of your wonderful and noble character.
    All of this rambling to say– can this recipe be somehow transformed into a not meat cake meat loaf, or do you have some secret meatloaf recipe you’ve been holding back on publishing all these years?
    Thanks for the time and your great site!

    1. deb

      Terri — In fact, I do! It’s in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, called Tomato-Glazed Meatloaves (they’re the size of large meatballs, individual “loaves”) with Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes. I am sure if you Google for it, you’ll find versions of it online too. I hope you love it. It made a meatloaf convert out of me, too.

  130. Jacqui

    This is one great recipe. Who would’ve thought to put caramelized onions and gruyere on a meatball sub? You Deb. My husband and I love you for it!

  131. Jung

    Hi Deb,
    It’s been ages since I have commented on any of your recipes but I had to let you know how amazing these meatballs were for meatballs and spaghetti. My children (and I) absolutely loved it. I have made rubbery beef meatballs in the past and have managed to traumatized them into refusing meatballs for years. This recipe has change all that. The combination of the fatty ground pork (from an amazing local source that is completely organic and free range) and the fresh breadcrumbs make the most tender, succulent meatballs and goes so well with my fresh, roasted tomato sauce full of hidden vegetables (ones that my children would never otherwise eat). The kids and I are converts and this will definitely go into the dinner rotation. Tomorrow I will use left over meatballs and sauce to make meatball sliders for them using the cutest baby hamburger buns that I found at at my local bakery. Thanks so much for putting big smiles of my children’s faces and for their gasps of delight eating their dinner tonight.

  132. Donna

    Dear SK – Your recipes are tops, every one 100%! We tried these meatballs tonight and they are delicious; especially with the caramelized onions added. Next up, the chicken meatballs and then the lamb meatballs, and then the kebabs….we always try your recipes first as written, and they are perfect. Thank you for another great dinner!

  133. Maria

    Thank you for this recipe! I make delicious tasting meatballs yet they are always tough- these tasted so good and were soooo soft-perfect for sandwiches!!

    Also-to add to the off topic All Clad conversation- I honestly have been disappointed in mine for the price. All my larger pans including big Dutch oven ALL warped! I contacted the company-they said to send them back-but I’m thinking the shipping costs would be astronomical!!

    Also-another side note- Bar Keepers Friend is really a polish-not a cleanser.


  134. Aline

    Hi! Can anyone help assess quantities for a crowd? I’m planning to use this recipe for my son’s bday party for about 40 guests. Thank you!