Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mini Meatball Sandwiches

I am acutely aware that this picture is covered in SO much mozzarella cheese that you cannot see the delicious marinara I actually made from scratch...please just believe me.  The broken cell phone camera saga STILL continues as well (ugh).  

Let me tell you that this started off as a "quick" meal.  When I say quick think instant.  You can do this one of 3 ways:

1.  Frozen Italian style meatballs & jarred marinara sauce
2.  Make your own meatballs & jarred marinara sauce (thats how the recipe was originally)
3.  Make your own meatballs and marinara sauce (how I decided to go)

I had a pound of 80/20 ground beef and purchased a can of San Marzano style tomatoes.  I followed the directions on the little meatballs precisely HOPING that they wouldn't turn out dry.  HALLELUJAH they did not!  For the sauce I quickly pulsed the tomatoes to a puree (not quite it was a little too chunky actually), added some dried herbs *GASP* yes dried herbs people its all I had (oregano, basil, parsley), minced garlic, salt substitute and pepper.  I simmered until reduced.  Ok here is where I messed up.  When I saw that the marinara was too chunky I should have given it a whirl in the food processor again.  I didn't.  But the taste was delicious.  I know I  know its not a true marinara like I found online, but I didn't have celery and carrots and all that stuff!  This was....kind of sweet.  I just loved the tomatoes! 

Now the bread...omg'sh do I have a pic, let me I don't which is a shame because I am straight addicted to these rolls.  I eat them nearly every day.  There I said it.  I'm a glutton for carbs.  These are little FROZEN artisan style rolls.  Thaw for 5 minutes then throw in your toaster oven for 5 more and you get a deliciously crispy, golden, soft in the middle, rustic roll.  You can get these at Fresh and Easy in the freezer section.  They also have mini loaves too which would work wonderfully I'm assuming.  At first I thought I had made the wrong choice in bread and wondered if a soft, supple potato roll would have been better.  But the more I ate the more I noticed that this bread held its "stuff" wonderfully.  Never getting too soggy to hold or eat.  YUMMY!

Mini Meatball Sandwiches
(courtesy of Pioneer Woman Cooks)
  • 1 pound Ground Chuck Or Ground Beef
  • ½ cups Panko Or Other Bread Crumbs
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ cups Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 jar (large) Marinara Sauce (or make your own as I did above)
  • 12 whole Dinner Rolls (or Slider Rolls)
  • 4 slices Provolone Cheese, Cut Into Four Wedges Each (I used mozzarella and it was wonderful)

Preparation Instructions

Mix meat with bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and milk. Knead together with hands. Roll into heaping tablespoon-sized rolls.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for one minute. Add meatballs between the onions and brown for one minute. (You might have to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your skillet.)
Pour in jar of marinara; shake pan gently to mix. Put on lid and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
When ready to serve, cut each dinner roll in half. Place a wedge of Provolone on the top and bottom of each roll. Spoon a meatball with the sauce onto the bottom bun; top with the top bun.
Serve immediately!


  1. Now that's a spicy meatballah~~~~~these look delish! Man would make some guy very happy with your "FOOD"!!! I DO want to try these yummy little! Wish I could find the same bread (rolls) you used...I have never heard of fresh and easy??? Anyway, they look great! Thanks for sharing! xo

  2. Mmmmm sounds good, can almost smell it.

    I hardly ever use fresh herbs... I use dry too. I can't afford fresh herbs. I have been wanting to grow my own but that is on my LONG list of things I want to try. That list gets ignored a lot due to just trying to get through the day with chronic pain and/or stress. You know what I am talking about!!

  3. the bread is what makes the sandwich . . that is the only reason Subway is still in business . .their bread is fresh and great.