Scrumptious meatball subs

Nici Wickes first encountered a meatball sandwich in the US and was immediately a fan. Think soft buns, bubbling cheese, spicy sauce and juicy meatballs!

By Nici Wickes
  • 50 mins cooking
  • Makes 4
  • Print
This recipe first appeared in New Zealand Woman's Weekly.
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  • 400 gram mince (Nici used a mix of pork and beef)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pinch pepper
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon plain flour
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • few sprigs fresh thyme
  • pinch of chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and good grind of black pepper
  • pinch of sugar
  • 4 - 6 long rolls
  • 3 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup gruyére cheese, grated


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • 2
    In a food processor, briefly blend half the mince with the garlic and seasoning. With your hands, work in the rest of the mince and oil. Wet your hands and shape into golf ball-sized meatballs and dust in flour.
  • 3
    Bake on a lined baking tray for 20 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
  • 4
    Make a spicy tomato sauce by simmering the tomatoes, thyme, chilli, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook until thickened – about 15-20 minutes.
  • 5
    Split the rolls in half, butter each cut side. Spoon in some tomato sauce, then add the meatballs followed by more sauce. Sprinkle on some cheese.
  • 6
    Bake for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and buns are crusty and heated through.
  • 7
    Serve with lots of serviettes!


  • Makes 4-6. - These rolls can be wrapped tightly in foil while they’re hot and packed for a picnic. Covered in a towel, they’ll keep warm and be soft and yummy when you unpack them at your favourite beach or park.

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