Chicken Meatball Sub with Gobs of Fresh Mozzarella

By • June 14, 2010 • 2 Comments

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Author Notes: While you don't have to use fresh mozzarella for a melty, gooey sandwich like this - it really makes it sooooo much better. The whole thing is just such great comfort food. - apartmentcookererinmcdowell

Food52 Review: When my husband first tasted this dish, he exclaimed: "Oh my God, this is good." And he's right. This creamy, toasty sandwich delivers layers of flavor and texture, elevating the meatball sub to something substantially more sophisticated. While I normally follow Editors' Picks recipes to the letter, this time I subbed ground turkey, used an Italian seasoning blend instead of oregano, and deglazed the meatball pan with white wine and added the bits to the tomato sauce. No matter, it would be terrific as written. This is a versatile dish, as well -- my stepdaughter ate the leftover meatballs and sauce for dinner the next night. Great meal for casual entertaining, especially since you can make the meatballs and sauce in advance. - mariaraynalA&M

Serves 4

Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, or more as needed
  • olive oil, as needed for cooking

Tomato Sauce and Finished Sandwich

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4-5 tomatoes, roughly chopped (or one 15 oz can)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh chopped basil, to taste
  • 1 baguette, halved and cut into 4 pieces
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • pepperoncini or other hot peppers, as needed
  1. In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, 1 minute more. Set aside, and let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooled onion mixture with all other meatball ingredients. Mix well to combine. Using your hands, roll the mixture into small balls.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Place the meatballs in the hot pan, and allow to cook until nicely browned on each side and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes (you can sear the meatballs and finish them in the oven, if desired).
  4. To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a small pot. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the tomato paste, then stir in the tomatoes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until good flavor develops, then stir in the basil just before serving.
  6. Place the mozzarella on half of the bread slices. Run the bread under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes.
  7. Toss the meatballs in the tomato sauce, and spoon some meatballs onto the bread. If desired, garnish with hot peppers and serve!
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Tags: chicken, meatballs, mozzarella, Sandwiches

Comments (2) Questions (0)


over 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

LOVE meatball sandwiches, and anything that calls for gobs of mozzerella is BOUND to be good!


over 4 years ago erinmcdowell

Thanks - I agree! I love this challenge and can't wait to try everyone's recipes!