I don't know why, but recently I had a craving for meatball subs. It was a weird craving because I don't eat red meat often enough to crave it. But for some reason I suddenly wanted crockpot meatball subs. Very specific, I know. But just imagine them for a minute...toasted French sub sandwich rolls, filled with soft Italian meatballs, smothered in marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. I mean come on, that sounds like heaven!
So when that craving hit, I had to give in. I threw some Kroger Italian meatballs in the crockpot with some marinara sauce and let it cook for 4 hours.
The result was AMAZING. Out of the crockpot came these hearty meatballs doused in red sauce. And let's be real, whenever bread or cheese is involved, you know it's going to be a good dish!
For these subs, I chose to melt the mozzarella cheese directly on the bread and then top with meatballs. But feel free to place the cheese on top of the sandwich and let the heat from the meatballs melt the cheese. Either way works and I promise it will be delicious regardless.
Why I used frozen meatballs for the crockpot subs?
In my crockpot meatball subs recipe, I use frozen meatballs. You can totally swap out the frozen ones for uncooked/raw meatballs. I know some grocery stores sell the pre-made meatballs that you just have to cook or you can make your own meatballs from scratch. (I have a great turkey meatball recipe that I paired with zoodles.)
But the main reason I chose to go with frozen is because it is convenient. Plus, the amount of sandwiches you get with the package of Kroger meatballs is better and a cheaper option than having to buy multiple pre-made packages from the store (just to equal 1.5 pounds that this recipe calls for).
Crockpot Meatball Subs
- 2- 24 oz Marinara sauce
- 26 oz Frozen Italian Style Meatballs
- 8 French sandwich rolls
- 16 slices Mozzarella cheese
- grated Parmesan cheese garnish
- parsley leaves, chopped garnish
- Put your frozen meatballs in the Crock-Pot.
- Pour both jars of marinara sauce into the Crock-Pot over the meatballs.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Note: my slow cooker cooked very fast so these were done in under 4 hours. The meatballs are done when the internal temp is 160°F.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the rolls on a baking sheet, face up and open. This will toast the inside of the rolls.
- Toast for about 5 minutes or until the insides start to get brown and crispy.
- You can 2 slices of mozzarella cheese to the inside of the rolls and return the oven until the cheese melts. OR you can wait until the end to top your meatballs with the cheese so it melts over the top.
- Add about meatballs to each roll until full but not over stuffed.
- Garnish with Parmesan and parsley. Optional: serve with additional marinara from the Crock-Pot for dipping.
Place frozen meatballs in a slow cooker.
Pour both jars of marinara over the top of the frozen meatballs.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Open your hoagie rolls so the inside will get toasted. Place your rolls on a baking sheet and toast for about 5 mins.
Add 2 slices of Mozzarella cheese to each hoagie roll and return the rolls to the oven. Continue to toast for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Add about 4 to 5 meatballs to each hoagie roll.
Garnish with grated Parmesan, chopped parsley and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
Serve with a side of additional sauce from the slow cooker.