Dairy Farmers of Canada

Nonna’s Meatball Sub

Try these hearty family-style dinner subs, leftovers are ideal for lunch the next day. For younger kids make the meatballs smaller or use as a topper for spaghetti.

  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
Yields 4 servings
nonna s meatball sub


  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) 10 % cream or 15 % cream or 18% cream
  • 3/4 lb (340 g) ground beef
  • 1/4 lb (115 g) ground pork
  • 1/2 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) Canadian Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • grinding of pepper to taste
  • Sauce
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) plum tomatoes drained
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) 15 % cream or 18 % cream
  • 4 (7 to 8-in/17.5 to 20 cm) submarine rolls
  • Toppings
  • shredded Canadian Provolone cheese
  • sautéed mushrooms
  • sliced hot peppers
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Place bread crumbs in a large bowl. Stir with cream. Let stand for 5 min until it soaks into crumbs.

Add meats, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper to the bread mixture. Mix well; form twelve 1 1/2-inch (3.5 cm) meatballs.


Meanwhile in a large wide saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 1 min. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Using a potato masher to crush tomatoes. Simmer covered for 5 min.

Add meatballs to simmering tomato sauce. Cook covered, stirring occasionally for 5 min. Uncover and turn meatballs; cook until meatballs are cooked through, 6 to 8 min. Remove meatballs with a slotted spoon. Simmer sauce uncovered, until very thick for about 5 more min. Pour in cream; bring to a light boil. Return meatballs to sauce; heat through. Split rolls in half and spoon in three meatballs and some of the sauce in the bottom half of rolls. Top with your favourite toppings. Top with other half of rolls.


To make fresh breadcrumbs, pulse day old bread in a food processor until small crumbs form. These can be frozen in an airtight container for further use.

Try ground veal instead of ground pork or a combo of beef, pork and veal.

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Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 778 Calories
Protein: 46 g
Carbohydrate: 58 g
Fat: 40 g
Fibre: 3.9 g
Sodium: 1254 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 47 % / 520 mg
Selenium: 111 %
Thiamin: 74 %
Vitamin B12: 158 %
Zinc: 84 %