A New Routine {Recipe: Homemade Meatball Subs}

Getting into the back to school dinner routine is tough. This flavorful Meatball Sub recipe is one hearty meal to add to your menu! 

Homemade Meatball Subs from www.dineanddish.net

As my 7 year old was getting ready this morning, checking things off her freshly printed morning checklist, she exclaimed “Wow, mom! We sure are organized!”

Our organized mode, my friends, lasts about 6.3 seconds into the school year. We always start off gung ho the first week of school… packing our backpacks the night before, setting our clothes out at night, getting up early and in time for a healthy, homemade breakfast, etc. Once we get back into our routine, we seem to get further and further away from being organized as the year goes on. We get comfortable, the newness of the school year wears off, and we all start to slack. 6.3 seconds might even be generous. 

3 Kids 1st Day fbSee the three of them above? Looking pretty spiffy, right? Don’t worry… by Friday we’ll be lucky to have hair and teeth brushed, let alone all put together with clothes that fit and match.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, one thing that absolutely saves me come this time of year is menu planning. Without an evening menu plan, I’ve got nothing… we eat out, the kids get “snacky dinner” and things just aren’t good. So, as part of my “organized start to the school year” we are menu planning again.

If you are on the menu planning bandwagon, let me recommend this tasty Meatball Sub recipe! It’s something a little different than spaghetti and meatballs, but just as easy. Enjoy!

Homemade Meatball Subs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
My mom's famous meatballs get a new use...instead of topping spaghetti they get the star role in Homemade Meatball Subs!
Serves: 6 subs
For the meatballs:
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1½ teaspoons Italian Seasoning
For the sauce:
  • 1 29 ounce can Tomato Sauce
  • ½ can of water
  • 2 Teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
For the sub assembly:
  • 6 individual sub sandwich buns, sliced
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
For the meatballs:
  1. Using your hands, combine all the ingredients until well blended. Pinch off pieces of the meat mixture and shape into meatballs. Place in a large stock pot or dutch oven, then follow remaining instructions.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sauce ingredients. Add to the stock pot with the meatballs and stir. Bring sauce to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low, place the lid on the pot, and cook until meatballs are cooked through. Depending on the size of your meatballs, this will be 30-45 minutes. (You can simmer this over low heat on your stove for a longer period of time, just remember to occasionally stir.).
  3. Place 4 meatballs and a spoonful of sauce in between each sub bun and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

–>Click here for some of the Dine & Dish past menu plans<–


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  1. says

    I became the menu planning person about a year ago and I just don’t know how we survived without it! These are definitely on our list next week – we’ll go all Joey Tribiani on ’em 😉

  2. says

    I have to get back to menu planning too, and these must be on my plan very soon. We love meatball subs! Hope the first couple of days have gone well!

  3. says

    Your “back to school week” sounds like my “back from vacation” week, where I come back energized and ready to tackle an endless to-do list… which last about four days before I find myself ignoring the list and checking facebook for the millionth time! These subs looks fantastic- you’re right; a great change-up on spaghetti and meatballs!

  4. says

    Ah, I sort of miss that back to school feeling (not that I was ever organised at all!). You’re right though that menu planning is a really good way to start – I’m definitely going to put these on our menu for this week!

    • says

      It’s like a new new year… so we get to have 2 fresh starts. School starting and January 1st. I do like it for that reason!
      Thanks for your sweet comment :)

  5. says

    I had to laugh at this because we are on week two of school and all the newness of the first week has definitely worn off here. All three of our kids have been slacking so far this week…I’m scared of what week 3 will bring. I really do need to get on the dinner planning bandwagon…it’s a fast food night here after soccer practice is over. Those subs do look pretty incredible.

    • says

      Um – is there something wrong with that? Chipotle every night would be my dream. In fact, I think I may need to throw what I had planned out the window and head to chipotle!

  6. says

    I’ve been meal planning a bit more lately in an attempt to curb the pregnancy weight gain and it’s amazing how much healthier we eat when we plan ahead!! PS: I love the lip gloss in her backpack!!

  7. Karen says

    Sorry but I feel the need to apologize – I was the extremely organized mom of previously young children who had warm breakfast, warm lunches (yea! left-overs and thermos!) and dinner on the table at 6:30 every night. (Prior to the stay at home gig I was an extremely organized corporate executive.) I also was a stay at home mom when they were little so once they go to school what do you have to do with your time other than clean, cook and volunteer? Yeah. No, I’m not from the 50’s, my youngest just entered college (yea!!!) – one thing I learned – when they become teenagers you will get the above photo again, they’ll just be older, and more put together and telling you what angle to get the photo from!! And you’ll love it. My God teenagers bathe more than anyone I’ve ever met. I’m glad my 3 are now in college and the universities are paying their water bill!! Good luck with the school year. I kinda miss it. Except for the projects. Any teacher that gives regular projects should be shot. Those late night runs for poster board did get old! (and you’ll miss it someday) Enjoy. You have a beautiful family. Purchasing pre-made meatballs is okay (I know you didn’t) – but it’s still okay. Sanity is sometimes purchased.

    • says

      Are you familiar with FlyLady? When I had my first two kids, I was the “leader” of a local FlyLady meetup group where we’d talk about organization and etc. I used to be insanely organized. Not sure what happened after #3 and #4 were born, but that lady is no where to be found. I miss her!

      Totally agree about projects just to give projects. I’m all on board with you on that one! Have you seen the post “Worst End of School Mom, ever” by Jen Hattmaker? You will love it!

    • says

      Love it!! My organizer is still sitting in the shopping cart on Erin Condren. I didn’t get it ordered to have it ship in time for August, so now I’m trying to decide if I can live with an organizer starting on September or October? It’s bugging me.

  8. says

    Ok, I have never made meatballs. I know, what?!? I have no idea why, but I know all sudden feel I need to make some meatballs! These sandwiches look incredible. I am sure everyone was in love with them!!

    Oh and seriously, you kids are so cute!

      • says

        LOl! Yes, something I have not done! Actually, there are many things. I have a long list!!

        Thanks for linking my subs! Can’t believe I scrolled over that before!

  9. says

    I need to take your lead and start menu planning. I may not have a family, but I am exhausted after a long day of work and don’t want to spend much time figuring out dinner. Love your meatball subs! I need to add this to my don’t-want-pasta-again list. (P.S. thanks for including my recipe!)

    • says

      Menu planning really does make a big difference. Single, married, kids, no kids… I highly recommend it! (PS got you back on the safe train! :) )

  10. says

    We totally subscribe to the organized chaos methodology, but I love those morning and afternoon checklists you shared. I’m thinking I need to make a version for my kiddos. Oh, and those meatball subs look amazing — definitely making them soon!

  11. says

    I am with you on the menu planning-an absolute must! As for being organized, I know if I’m not on top of everything, everything falls apart! But I guess that’s part of what makes me mom. It’s total job security too! I think my job would be very secure if I made these subs too! Seriously good!

  12. says

    Such cute kids! I don’t know what its like yet to be sending my kids off to school, but menu planning is already saving us from ‘snack dinners’ which Im terribly guilty of sometimes, and extra trips to the grocery store. (though I feel like Im always doing that anyways?) These meatball subs look and sound wonderful! My husband would be in 7th heaven!


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