Meatballs – for meatball subs


If there’s one thing in the kitchen my husband does very well is making meatballs. They are to die for! With a rich, thick tomato sauce, sliced habanero chillies and parmesan cheese melting on top, crack a beer, grab some toothpicks and sit back enjoying them with great company. The only problem is, his meatball recipe is a secret! Many times I’ve asked if I could help with preparing them but until all of the ingredients have been mixed together and put away, I’m not allowed in the kitchen.

But here’s my dilemma, what do I do when my husband is working and my craving for meatballs is right now!? Seeing as I can’t wait for the weekend when my husband’s home to make meatballs, my thinking cap goes on and meatball magic starts to happen. Knowing that I made these tasty little morsels of goodness, I feel my cooking mojo has returned!

A good meatball should be enjoyed in a variety of recipes. Warning – enjoying one or two (or ten) while cooking them can be dangerous as you may not have any left for your subs! They’re perfect the next day cold with a salad. And who doesn’t love spaghetti & meatballs – everyone! This recipe shows how good these meatballs are in a bread roll with melted cheese (subs). My husband has even suggested making a meatball pizza – next time!

@MissFoodFairy Meatballs - for meatball subs #2

Keftedes, Meatballs, Polpettes, Kofte, Frikadelle – whatever you call meatballs, you know they’re versatile for all occasions – eaten for a mid-week dinner, enjoyed with family & friends at a BBQ or finger food at your next party. Meatballs are something you know everyone will love, any time of day. Hope you love them as much as we do 🙂


Make extra meatballs and freeze them for later use. I do this after cooking them and allowing them to cool.

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Keep any leftover cooked meatballs to make spaghetti and meatballs – cook once, eat twice

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Substitute mushroom soy sauce for light soy sauce

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Substitute Merquén (Chile smoked chilli flakes) for ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes + ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika. Find out more about Merquén or for ideas on what to use Merquén with.

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Make the meatballs as big or small as you like. I made these meatballs teaspoon sized (4cm) as they’re easier to eat.

PREP: 20 minutes     COOK: 8-10 minutes for meatballs + 1 hour for sauce
MAKES: 22-23 meatballs / 5 meatball subs (4 meatballs per roll)

INGREDIENTS:@MissFoodFairy Meatballs - for meatball subs #1
500 grams beef mince
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon mushroom soy sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil, for frying

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced/grated
600 grams tomato passata
1 teaspoon Merquén (Chile smoked chilli powder)

Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated
Hot dog rolls, sliced almost in half
Fresh parsley, leaves only, finely chopped

Combine all meatball ingredients together, apart from the oil.

With a teaspoon, form golf-sized balls (about 4cm) with the meatball mixture. Set aside on a dinner plate until all mixture has been made.

In a large frypan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Place the meatballs in the frypan and cook until browned all over, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate, keeping as much oil in the pan as you can.

Turn the heat to medium and fry the onion for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and smoked chilli powder. Once fragrant, about 30 seconds, stir through the tomato passata.

Place the lid on the frypan and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the lid, turn the heat to low and add in the meatballs. Simmer for a further 25-30 minutes with the lid slightly ajar on the frypan. Stir occasionally and gently to stop the meatballs sticking to the bottom of the frypan.

The sauce should have thickened nicely and it should be deep orange in colour. Remove from the heat.

Heat your oven to 200°C.

In each sliced roll, place 4 meatballs and sauce. Top with parmesan cheese and close the buns. Place them in the oven until the cheese has slightly melted and the bun is golden.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy while hot 🙂

@MissFoodFairy Meatballs - for meatball subs #3

@MissFoodFairy Meatballs - for meatball subs #4

@MissFoodFairy Meatballs - for meatball subs #5


I just love meeting new people and finding inspirational recipes from all around the world. Lucy at Bake Play Smile hosts an amazing foodie party Fabulous Foodie Fridays, every week, why not come join us too.

Linking to the HOST

6 comments on “Meatballs – for meatball subs

  1. These sound absolutely yummy and are really tempting me – I love making meatballs for the children. Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice! It’s not showing up in the link up at the moment though as there isn’t a link in your post. If you could add this and then link up again it should show up

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Corina, I’m adding my link but it comes up saying this – “This link-up requires a backlink to read more
      No backlink in your post
      Check this box to submit anyway. The link will be visible after owner’s approval” – which I did so I’m not sure why it’s not working.
      I tried again and it told me the link already exists in this party. I hope you can fix it at your end 🙂 Hear from you soon


  2. Oooh yummo!!! And I love the idea of popping them into rolls too. Just like Subway!! Thanks so much for linking up with Fabulous Foodie Fridays through 2015. Have a wonderful, relaxing Christmas! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: In my Kitchen December 2015 | missfoodfairy

  4. Pingback: Spaghetti with meatballs – a quick mid-week dinner | missfoodfairy

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