Smoked Meatball Sandwiches are made with the most indulgent smoked meatballs (which are also great served alone)! Top this meatball sandwich with smoked marinara sauce and melty cheese for an amazing dinner.
Let me tell you about our former neighbor, Josh. He makes the meanest, biggest, baddest meatballs ever. When smoked, they are off the hook with flavor, moisture, and texture.
Lucky us, Josh was kind enough to share his Smoked Meatball recipe with us for the blog. We’ve had to alter it just a bit to make it more conducive to fitting into a sandwich. Ours are about a third the size of Josh’s regular meatballs. But it’s a close honor to his famous meatballs.
How to Make Smoked Meatballs for the Best Meatball Sandwiches
- Start by mixing together half ground pork (hot Italian sausage is amazing) and half beef, we like this combo for our meatball sandwich instead of 100% beef like the original recipe. Then add a bacon paste, (which adds the binding the original amount of eggs would have provided). Next mix in the dense bread that has been crumbed, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper. Lightly mix the meatball ingredients and form into 2-inch balls.
- Place the meatballs on a 250 degree smoker until they reach 165 degrees internal temperature.
- Next, simmer the smoked meatballs in your smoked marinara for a few minutes. Then place them on your favorite sub roll, top with additional smoky marinara, and melt some mozzarella cheese over top under the broiler for a few minutes.
These sandwiches are out of control.
Juicy, tender, smoked meatballs surrounded by a rich smoked marinara sauce and topped with gooey melted mozzarella. I can’t even.
All I can say is please make these sandwiches and you’ll understand my enthusiasm the moment they touch your lips.
And thanks Josh, for sharing the secret to your meatballs.
Smoked Meatball Sandwich Recipe
Smoked Meatball Sandwiches
For the meatballs
- 3 pieces of bacon
- 1 lb ground beef We love Snake River Farms Ground Beef
- 1 lb ground pork We use Snake River Farms Kurobuta Pork
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups dense bread, shredded into crumbs
- 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
For 1 Sandwich
- 1 Bahn Mi roll, or your favorite sub roll
- ¼ cup marinara sauce (we use smoked marinara, see notes)
- 3-4 smoked meatballs
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded shredded
For the Smoked Meatballs
- Preheat smoker to 250 degrees F, using fruit wood.
- In a food processor add the bacon and pulse a few times, until the bacon turns into a paste.
- In a large bowl combine the bacon and the remainder of the meatball ingredients and mix well. Roll into 2-inch balls.
- Place the meatballs directly on the smoker until internal temperature reads 165 degrees using a digital thermometer.
For the Smoked Meatball Sandwich
- In a medium saucepan, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer. Gently add the meatballs to the sauce to warm up.
- Turn oven broiler on to high heat.
- Load up your bun with the sauce and 3-4 meatballs. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler for 2-4 minutes, until the cheese melts and bread starts to get toasty. Remove, dive in and enjoy!
*For the Smoked Marinara Sauce.
Wine Pairing for Meatball Sandwiches
I like a wine that had bold enough flavors to stand up to the smoky meat, but also acidity to stand up to the smoked tomatoes from the marinara sauce. Several could easily work with this dish. You can stick with Italian reds, which are a go-to with meatballs and marinara sauce, like Barbera, Chianti, Nero d’Avola, and Nebbiolo to name a few.
But since this was our Pacific NW smoky twist on a classic sub I wanted a wine from here. I wanted to make sure it was a wine with a good combination of fruit, some richness, and gusto, but also the acidity to stand up to the sauce. In Oregon we hardly have a problem with great acid in our wines, so I went with a local Tempranillo.
This wine had a nice amount of richness to balance the indulgent sandwiches, but also provided the acidity we were hoping for to stand up to the sauce and rich melted cheese.
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