Chicken Cheesy Meatball Sub

close-up side view of cheesy chicken meatball sub sandwich

While you don't have to use fresh mozzarella for a melty, gooey sandwich like this, it really makes it so much better. The whole thing is just such great comfort food.

Chicken Cheesy Meatball Sub

Print Grocery List Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Total Time: 30 minutes


  • For the chicken meatballs:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, or more as needed
  • Olive oil, as needed for cooking
  • For the tomato sauce and the finished sandwich:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 to 5 tomatoes, roughly chopped (or one 15-ounce can)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh basil, to taste
  • 1 baguette, halved and cut into 4 pieces
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • Pepperoncini or other hot peppers, optional



In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.


Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more. Set aside, and let cool.


In a large bowl, combine the cooled onion mixture with all the other meatball ingredients. Mix well to combine. Using your hands, roll the mixture into small balls.


Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Place the meatballs in the hot pan, and allow to cook until nicely browned on each side and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes (you can also sear the meatballs and finish them in the oven, if desired).


To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a small pot. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more. Deglaze the pan with the tomato paste, then stir in the tomatoes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until a good flavor develops, then stir in the basil just before serving.


Place the mozzarella on half of the bread slices (if your bread is stale, you can toast it first; I used a fresh baguette, so it didn't need toasting). Run the bread under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 2 minutes.


Toss the meatballs in the tomato sauce, and spoon some meatballs onto the bread. Garnish with hot peppers, if desired, then serve!

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