Instant Pot Meatball Sandwiches are messy, satisfying, comfort food and loved by all. Tender, juicy meatballs bathed in a quick and easy homemade tomato sauce. So easy and quick with short cut ideas included below!
Skeptics have inquired:
Do you really get as excited about food and recipes as you write about?
Indeed I do.
In fact, to prevent my children from having an identity crisis one day, I consistently hold back from saying “The birth of my children does not even compare to this (insert amazing recipe).”
But since my husband is confident in his position as my motorcycle dream man, I feel like today's recipe would be a good time to proclaim,
“THE DAY I GOT MARRIED FEELS LIKE A 7 HOUR CHEMISTRY FINAL COMPARED TO THIS LIFE CHANGING MEATBALL SANDWICH!!!”
And by the looks of that sparkle that filled his eyes while he first ate this sandwich, he might just agree, but he better not ever, EVER say that out loud ‘cuz that would just be rude.
Even the children agree on this one:
Meatball Sandwiches rule and should be on the menu every week.
WHY YOU WILL ADORE INSTANT POT MEATBALL SANDWICHES
- The meatballs alone are gonna win you over! Tender, juicy, and packed with flavor
- The simple, magical, homemade tomato sauce. Just pure, full tomato flavor, as it should be
- The cheeesssse! Pile it on and make it stretchy!
I am a sandwich lovin' girl and this one has quickly moved itself to my number one favorite. I tend to be resistant to making a big, ugly mess all over my face (as discussed in the Jerk Baby Back Ribs recipe), but stain my cheeks red with tomato sauce on this one, I'M ALL IN!
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST MEATBALL SANDWICH
- Add your meatball ingredients into a bowl
- Mix together by hand (I like to use gloves for this job)
- Use a cookie scoop to make evenly sized balls
- To make the sauce, first saute garlic in the pot
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir
- Arrange meatballs in a circular pattern, lightly stacking if needed. Cook.
- Give it a stir and add some fresh basil
- Brown bread under the oven broiler and top with meatballs, sauce, and cheese
- Melt cheese under the broiler, serve immediately
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
Cheesy, saucy, meatball heaven right there.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST MEATBALL SUB
- In a hurry? Use a bag of storebought frozen meatballs or check your meat department for some freshly made meatballs.
- Don't short cut the sauce though! This sauce is so easy to throw together, so I beg of you, save the bottled marinara sauce for another day.
- When shaping meatballs, be careful not to pack them aggressively to avoid a tough meatball situation. Pack them tight enough to hold their shape then leave them alone!
- I adore the whole tomatoes in this recipe. I crush them slightly and put big pieces on my sandwich. If you prefer smaller bites, swap for a can of diced tomatoes.
- Use a sturdy roll for this messy situation. To maximize the amount of meat and sauce, I often will tear out the insides of the roll to make more room.
MEATBALL SANDWICH VARIATIONS
- This meatballs and sauce makes a really good spaghetti and meatballs as well. Cook up your pasta separately in another pressure cooker using this Instant Pot Pasta trick or on the stovetop.
- Meatball Pizza! Seriously, it's awesome. Top your homemade pizza crust with the sauce, top with halved or quartered meatballs and fresh mozzarella cheese.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER MEATBALLS
- Store leftover meatballs and sauce in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze meatballs in the sauce for up to 3 months.
Embrace the messy! I'm 500% positive you are going to love this sandwich!
MORE SANDWICH RECIPES I LOVE
- Instant Pot French Dip
- Instant Pot Paprika Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
- Instant Pot Pepperoncini Beef Sandwiches with Chopped Giardiniera
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT MEATBALL SANDWICHPrint
Instant Pot Meatball Sandwich
Instant Pot Meatball Sandwich is quick, easy, and comforting. Plus, homemade marinara sauce for ultimate flavor.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Italian
- ½ cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- ¼ cup finely chopped pancetta or bacon
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed by hand
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
For the Sauce
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 28 oz can tomato puree
- 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- Hoagie Roll
- Provolone or mozzarella cheese sliced
- In a large mixing bowl, combine panko and milk and let it sit 1 minute to soak up a bit.
- Add ground meat, pancetta or bacon, parmesan, egg, parsley, garlic, onion flakes, oregano, fennel, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Gently mix by hand until combined.
- Using a cookie scoop, form meat into loose balls; about 2-3 tablespoons each. Set aside.
- To make sauce: Select saute on the pressure cooker and add oil. When hot, add garlic and stir until aromatic, about 1 minute.
- Add broth, tomato puree, and whole peeled tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Do not stir.
- Arrange meatballs in circular pattern on top of the sauce.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release for 10 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
- Give the meatballs a good stir. Top with torn basil.
- If a thicker sauce is preferred, use the saute function to simmer the sauce until thickened.
- To assemble the sandwich: Toast bread under the oven broiler for about 2 minutes until brown.
- Top with meatballs and a good amount of sauce. Top with cheese and place back under the broiler to melt the cheese.
- Serve hot.
- When forming meatballs, be careful not to pack them too tightly, this can lead to a tough meatballs. Form them just tight enough that they will hold their shape when placed in the sauce.
- Short cut tip: Use a bag of frozen meatballs in place of the homemade or buy the premade meatballs at your favorite meat department.
- Another short cut tip: Skip the “saute the garlic” step for the sauce. The sauce gains an extra depth of flavor with the saute step, but in a pinch, throwing minced garlic in with the sauce ingredients will work too.
- I use whole tomatoes because I love the large pieces on my sub. You can substitute with diced tomatoes if you prefer smaller bites of tomato.
- Use a substantial hoagie so it won’t fall apart. I like to pull out some of the insides of the roll so it will hold more meatballs and sauce.
- There will be a lot of sauce, it can be used over pasta if you have extra or simply add more meatballs to the pot.
Keywords: instant pot meatball sandwiches, meatball sub, italian meatballs
These meatball sandwiches look amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! I cannot wait to try this recipe!
Question – What can I use instead of breadcrumbs/ Will dairy-free milk work? The recipe sounds very yummy, but I need substitutions for those ingredients. And the whole post is so engaging! I want to make this right now 🙂
Kathir, I’ve used quick oats before and that works fine. Yep, dairy free milk will work! I’m glad you enjoyed it, haha! Just keeping it real:). Enjoy it!