Saturday, April 23, 2016

Mmmozzarella Meatball Subs

Remember when Joey on Friends swore his meatball sandwich was “the greatest sandwich in the world”? He loved it so much he even dove to ‘protect it’ from what he thought was gunfire, prompting Chandler to think he cared more about Ross, who was next to the sandwich, than him. 

Turns out it was actually a car backfiring and nobody and no sandwiches were ever in any danger but whatever - to Joey, it was worth taking a bullet for.

To quote Chandler, could there be any higher compliment paid to a sandwich?

Ever since I started this sandwich blog, I’ve wanted to make a meatball sub-style sandwich and revisiting this Friends episode reminded me that our previous attempts, while commendable and tasty, just weren’t quite blog-worthy yet. I knew we were close to something great; we just needed a little something extra…

So I consulted one of my new Jamie Oliver cookbooks and found the answer – our meatballs needed to be a mixture of beef AND pork. Another burst of inspiration had us tossing in some sautéed green peppers for another layer of flavour and with a side of Crunch Veggie Salad, we’d finally done it – our Mmmmozzarella Meatball Sub was ready to meet the world.

Mmmozzeralla Meatball Subs

You will need:

Ground Pork

Ground Beef – I’d recommend getting lean ground beef since ground pork is usually higher in fat content

Bread crumbs – we used our immersion blender to crumb-ify half a dried baguette; worked great

One egg

Minced garlic or garlic powder – we didn’t measure specifically but it looked to be around ½ - 1 Tbsp

Minced rosemary – around 1 tsp-ish

Fresh baguettes or sub-style loaves, 1-2 depending on how many sandwiches you want to make

Mozzarella cheese, torn into chunks

A jar of your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce – after experimenting in our previous attempts, we recommend one with a bit of a spicy kick, like our favorite Arrabbiata sauce from Barilla

One green pepper, sliced and sautéed


1-Combine the pork and beef in a big bowl and use your (clean) hands to mix it all together.

2-Add the egg and bread crumbs and keep mixing until the meat sticks together but isn’t too wet; add more crumbs to achieve this and add the spices.

Meatball process
3-Shape the meat into balls; try to make them the same size so they cook evenly.

4-Place the meatballs into an oiled pan and bake in the oven until they’re cooked all the way through. (You will probably have to sacrifice one to check, but you can still use it in your sandwich.)

Watching and waiting for meatball goodness

4.5-Make the Crunchy Veggie Salad:

            -Chop and combine red and yellow peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and crumbled goat/feta cheese in a bowl

            -Mix olive oil, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and oregano and pour over salad 

(Tip: If you make a big batch and know it will all get eaten, pour it over everything. But if you plan to eat this salad with a few meals, only pour the dressing over your individual serving to avoid it turning into a soggy mess.)

Crunchy Veggie Salad

5-Cut the baguette in half, length-wise and fill with meatballs and green peppers.

6-Pour pasta sauce on the meatballs and top with chunks of mozzarella.

7-Bake or broil the sandwiches in the oven, around 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden.

8-Serve with a side of Crunchy Veggie Salad.


Definitely one of the most photogenic sandwich creations we’ve made.

The pork and beef combo work so well together, I can’t believe it took us this long to figure it out. One fun variation to try is to stuff the meatballs with mozzarella before you bake them. This makes for some oozy, cheesy meatballs, if that’s your thing. I could go either way on this, but the pork and beef togetherness are a must.

Meatballs are actually quite easy to make and there are so many recipes out there to experiment with, so don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and get in there.

Here are some meatball recipes to get you started – have fun! 

Joey would certainly approve.