Smashed Meatball Sandwich

What’s not to love about meatballs?  They are easy, inexpensive, and so versatile.  I have a basic meatball recipe that I will share here that I regularly make into spaghetti & meatballs, BBQ meatballs, and now this new favorite Smashed Meatball Sandwich.  I call them “smashed” because when I assemble the sandwich, I give them a little smash down so that you can get your mouth around it!

I have personal disdain for the common store bought meatball.  Besides the flavor, I find them way too dense.  I think a good meatball should hold its shape well, but be soft and tender when you bite into them.  This recipe does that.

When I was at Trader Joe’s a few days ago, I bought some ciabatta bread, though next time, I should try Kelli’s recipe on our site.  I cut it in half, buttered it and toasted it in a small skillet.  Then, I layered two of the meatballs, spooned on a generous helping of the marinara, and served.  The only thing I forgot and will do next time, is to melt a piece of provolone cheese on top and melt under the broiler.  That would make it perfection!



Meatballs: (I usually double or triple the recipe.  They freeze great!)

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder


Marinara Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 large cans (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch parsley
  • Pinch basil
  • Pinch red pepper flakes



For meatballs:

Mix all meatball ingredients together in large bowl.

Using large muffin scoop or hands, form into large meatballs.

Bake at 375°F for approximately 40 minutes or until cooked through.  Cooking time will depend on the size of the meatballs.


For marinara:

Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat.

Stir in garlic and onions.

Add in chicken broth cooking until the liquid reduces by half.

Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine.

Add salt, pepper, sugar, parsley, basil, and red pepper flakes.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.


To serve:

Butter a sandwich roll and toast.  (I used ciabatta bread).

Put 2 meatballs on bread and lightly smash down, until meatball breaks down.

Spoon marinara sauce over the meatball.