If you, like me, struggle with runaway meatballs whenever you try to chow down on a juicy sub sandwich full of meatballs (no matter how tightly you white knuckle it), this soup’s for you. It’s a meatball sub in all its glory, but deconstructed into a soup. You get all of the flavors and all of the cheese without any of the fuss.
Frozen Meatballs to the Rescue
Frozen Italian-style meatballs cut down on an extra step and bring in a lot of flavor. They are readily available in the frozen aisle of conventional grocery stores and contain a classic blend of Italian seasonings like basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Any variety of frozen meatballs will work, but the Italian-style ones best complement this meatball sub soup.
Top It Off With Cheesy Bread
Cheesy toasted baguette slices add the finishing touch. We opt for low-moisture mozzarella cheese, which bubbles and browns beautifully and a bit more quickly in the oven than full-moisture mozzarella.
If you have leftover bread and cheese, broil extra bread for dipping: simply slice, place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with cheese, and broil on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.
Make a Meatball Sub With Leftovers
Use leftovers to make your very own meatball sub, all you need is extra bread and a little bit of time. Let the soup simmer until it’s thickened and resembles marinara sauce. Scoop meatballs and sauce into a toasted sandwich roll like a hoagie, Italian, or French bread loaf, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top, and toast for a few extra minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- French Onion Meatballs
- Lion’s Head Meatballs
- Vegan Meatballs
- Italian Meatballs
- Jerk Turkey Meatballs
Bake the meatballs:
Bake the meatballs according to the package directions. Remove from the oven and let sit at room temperature until ready to use.
While the meatballs cook, make the soup:
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and salt and cook, stirring often, until garlic is fragrant and lightly browned in some spots, about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Add the broth and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high to bring to a boil.
Add the cooked meatballs, Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Stir to combine. If the soup is too thick, thin it out with a little more stock. As soon as the soup comes back up to a boil, turn the heat off.
Build the soup bowls:
Set the oven to broil on high. Ladle the soup into 4 (16-ounce) oven-safe ramekins, adding about 3 to 4 meatballs per ramekin. Top evenly with bread slices. Sprinkle the bread slices with mozzarella, about 1/4 cup per ramekin.
Broil the cheesy bread:
Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Top with a few grinds of black pepper and serve.
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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