Inspired by the classic dish, these Salisbury Steak Meatball Subs feature homemade beef meatballs coated in rich gravy and topped with velvety cheese. Pop the whole roll under the broiler for a perfectly toasted, melty irresistible meatball sub.
For more meatballs coated in luscious gravy, don’t miss our Swedish Meatballs Recipe!
A Delicious Twist On Salisbury Steak
These Salisbury steak meatball subs were inspired by my classic Salisbury steak recipe, which is a huge family-favorite. So I decided to take the components and flavors and serve it as a meatball sub sandwich. We loved them!
These meatball subs feature all of the best parts of Salisbury steak – perfectly seasoned ground beef coated in a savory rich gravy. I added some cheese (because what’s a meatball sub without cheese?) and quickly toasted the hoagie roll. The end result is perfection.
These Salisbury steak meatball subs are made with more or less the same ingredients as traditional Salisbury steak.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Ground beef – A lean ground beef, such as 80/20, is ideal for this recipe. Ground turkey would also work.
- Breadcrumbs – Panko breadcrumbs give the meatballs texture and help to hold them together.
- Egg – Egg acts as a binder to hold the meatballs together.
- Ketchup – Used in the meatballs and also the gravy, for a sweet, lightly acidic flavor.
- Dijon mustard – For flavor.
- Seasoning – Garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper season these Salisbury steak meatballs.
- Olive oil – For the skillet.
- Butter – Adds a rich, creaminess to the gravy.
- Flour – Helps thicken the gravy.
- Beef stock – Adds way more flavor to the gravy than using water.
- Worcestershire sauce – Adds a lot of savory depth to the gravy.
- Cheese – Freshly shredded cheese that melts well, such as gruyere, provolone, or mozzarella.
- Hoagie Rolls – These are traditional rolls used for sub sandwiches.
How to Make Salisbury Steak Meatball Subs
These Salisbury steak meatballs make an easy and flavorful weeknight dinner as they require just a few steps to prepare.
(Scroll down to the printable recipe card for details and measurements, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Shape the meatballs. Mix all of the meatball ingredients, until just combined. Shape into 1 & 1/2-inch balls with a cookie scoop.
- Chill. Refrigerate the meatballs for 30 minutes, if possible.
- Cook the meatballs. Cook the meatballs in the olive oil over medium-high heat, turning continuously until browned on all sides. Set aside.
- Make the gravy. In the same skillet, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, until no lumps remain. Pour in the beef broth, whisking well, followed by the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to let the sauce thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the meatballs. Return the meatballs to the skillet. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Assemble the sandwiches. Open the hoagie rolls and place them under the broiler until they are light golden brown. Add 3 meatballs, top with shredded cheese, and broil until the cheese is melted.
- Enjoy. Finish with fresh thyme or parsley and enjoy!
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips for making the best Salisbury steak meatballs.
- Do I have to chill them first? If you absolutely don’t have time, you can make these Salisbury steak meatballs without chilling them but if you do have time, I recommend it as it helps them hold their shape.
- Stir the meatballs while cooking. When you first cook the meatballs, the goal is to brown them on all sides, not necessarily cook them completely. You want them to develop a nice crust, they’ll finish cooking when added to the gravy.
- Take care not to burn the rolls. When toasting the rolls under the broiler, keep a close eye on them as there is a thin line between golden brown and burnt when it comes to broiling!
Video: Salisbury Steak Meatball Sub Sandwiches
To keep things simple, I usually serve this meatball sub sandwich with coleslaw, chips, or french fries. If you want to serve the meatballs without the hoagie roll, you can also enjoy these Salisbury steak meatballs the traditional way, over mashed potatoes or noodles. Either way, it’s delicious!
- Storing leftovers. Any leftover meatballs should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can either pop them in the microwave to reheat or warm them up on the stove, then assemble and broil the sandwich as normal.
- To freeze. These meatballs freeze very well. Allow any leftover meatballs and gravy to cool completely, transfer to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, reheat on the stovetop, and assemble and broil the meatball sub.
More Homemade Meatball Recipes:
Salisbury Steak Meatball Subs
For the Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (for the skillet)
For the Gravy
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 & 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 8 ounces freshly shredded melty cheese (such as gruyere, provolone, or mozzarella)
- 6 hoagie rolls
- Fresh finely chopped thyme or parsley
- In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients with your hands (except the oil) until just combined.
- Using a cookie scoop, shape the mixture into 1 & 1/2-inch balls (about 2 tablespoons each) rolling briefly between the palms of your hands.
- Place on a clean platter, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, if possible – this helps them retain their round shape when cooking.
- In a large nonstick skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until browned on all sides, about 5-6 minutes (reducing the heat if they're browning too much.) Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and in the same skillet with the drippings, add the butter. Once melted, add in the flour and whisk constantly until combined and no lumps remain.
- Slowly pour in the beef stock, whisking well. Add in the ketchup, Worcestershire, onion powder, whisking to combine; bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to a gentle bubble and let the sauce thicken, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add the partially cooked meatballs back to the skillet and nestle into the gravy; cover and cook another 8 to 10 minutes until cooked through (with an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.)
Assemble the Sandwiches
- Slice open the hoagie rolls and place under the broiler on low until they are light golden brown (watch very closely so they don’t burn!) OR just put them in the oven to get crisp and golden.
- Arrange 3 meatballs on one side of each hoagie, top with a handful of shredded cheese, broil (or bake) on low until the cheese is melty.
- Garnish with a little finely chopped fresh thyme or parsley and serve immediately.