Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford
Hands-on Time
29 Mins
Total Time
29 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 sandwich)

These meaty, saucy, two-napkin sandwiches are destined for heavy dinnertime rotation.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat broiler to high.

Step 2

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl; mix gently. Working with damp hands, gently shape beef mixture into 16 meatballs. Arrange meatballs in a single layer on a heavy-duty baking sheet coated with cooking spray, leaving 6 inches of open space on one end. Place bell pepper halves, skin sides up, on open space on pan. Broil 6 inches from heat for 7 minutes, turning meatballs once. Remove pan from oven. Place peppers in a small paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove peppers from bag. Peel and slice into 1/4-inch-thick strips.

Step 3

Bring marinara sauce to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-low heat; add meatballs, tossing to coat. Keep warm.

Step 4

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion slices; cook 4 minutes on each side or until charred. Remove onion from pan.

Step 5

Coat insides of buns with cooking spray, and broil 2 minutes or until toasted. Top each bun with 4 meatballs and 1/3 cup sauce. Divide peppers, onions, and cheese evenly among sandwiches; broil sandwiches 2 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Garnish with basil, if desired.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

daneanp's Review

February 24, 2014
I probably shouldn't review these because I altered the prep, though used all the exact same ingredients. I opted to shape the meat into patties vs. balls (less messy to eat) and saute the onion and pepper in a skillet, foregoing the need to peel the pepper. I also toasted the split hoagie rolls in the toaster vs. under the broiler. They were just ok, flavor-wise. I think the meat could definitely use some flavor-boosting - maybe some red pepper flakes next time. Love the fresh mozzarella though!

JLBrooks321's Review

December 17, 2013
This is really delicious, but it's a little harder than it looks. I often need someone to keep an eye on the rolls for me, because I've burned them SEVERAL times in the past. And the whole bell-peppers-in-a-paper-bag-fiasco never really works out for me. Is it supposed to steam the skins off of them? Lastly, this recipe makes for A LOT of dirty dishes. Speaking from a taste stance, these are excellent, but they're a surprising amount of work for a weeknight dinner.

lynn770's Review

October 24, 2013
My husband & I loved these subs. We did eat them with a fork instead of picking them up because they were too big. Not sure what size I used, the grocery store only had 1 size of hoagie roll and it came in a pack of six. Luckily I only put 2 of them in the oven because I did burn my bread the first time around. Apparently my broiler on high will burn a hoagie in less than a minute so 2 minutes was way too long. I didn't have any problems with the sauce making the hoagie soggy, if anything I may add more marinara next time because there wasn't enough sauce leftover for the next day and they were a little dry as leftovers.

cupcakemuffin's Review

September 24, 2013
I made this recipe as mini sliders (i.e. on tiny buns with one meatball per bun), and really loved it. I just sauteed the peppers and onion together because this seemed easier than doing roasted peppers + grilled onions, and the results were really tasty. I thought the meatballs were flavorful and tender, and the broiling method was easier and less messy than pan frying. Fun!

SunnyHuny1's Review

September 04, 2013
I don't know what the other reviewers are talking about, my husband and I both LOVED this dish!! The meatballs are tasty and the peppers are particularly delicious. It was easy to prepare, the directions were simple and the taste was yummy. This a good, solid recipe that I'll be making time and time again.

JeffandMelissa's Review

September 02, 2013
We followed the recipe for the most part. However, we made 24 meatballs, instead of 16. The smaller meatballs are easier to get on the rolls, and they were cooked through in 7 minutes. We used split deli rolls that were about 2.5 oz. each. Ultimately, it does get kind of messy, but the recipe suggested that it would. Our kids did not care. Our 12 year old, who is typically a procrastinator at the dinner table, was the first to finish her sandwich.

GayFord's Review

September 02, 2013
This recipe had several bad reviews which luckily I read before making it. (Thanks for posting them!) So, I just made my own meatballs: hamburger, salt, black pepper, onion powder, minced garlic, egg, Italian breadcrumbs, oregano, and thyme. After frying in olive oil, drained and added a jar of Prego marinara sauce. (I think spaghetti sauce would be better...not sure what the difference is.) Bought these football shaped loaves of bread from the bakery dept at Kroger....not sure what they're called. Split the loaves (partially), took out some of the inside bread to make room, buttered them inside and out and sprinkled with garlic powder and toasted them in the broiler, then stuffed them with the meatballs, sauce, sautéed yellow peppers and topped with both mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Might be good to add black olives if you like that sort of thing. Made this way, it was very good!

jmeleeS's Review

August 27, 2013
When a recipe ends with you cursing in lieu of smiling and enjoying your dinner, you know it's bad. I agree with the first post - C.L. absolutely did not test this recipe out for the sizes and proportions stated. The hoagies are WAY to small to hold in all the meatball, sauce, pepper, onion and cheese that is allocated to each sandwich. Also, even after toasting, the hoagies became soggy and a mess to eat. When I broiled on the last stage, my bun separated and the meatball side of the hoagie toppled leaving nicely broiled cheese on my pan instead of on my sandwich. Not great in terms of flavor (though I added more garlic, used fresh basil in my favorite pasta sauce, and mixed in spicy pork sausage with the beef) and certainly frustrating to make, assemble and then to try and eat. Not a keeper for us in the slightest...

Pamysue's Review

August 26, 2013
I used leftover homemade marinara sauce, and we enjoyed the meatballs. However, the whole-wheat mini hoagie buns didn't hold up to the meatballs and sauce and it became a big of a soggy mess. In the end I guess we would have preferred spaghetti over the sandwiches.

crosscourt's Review

August 25, 2013
I agree with previous review. The meatballs were pretty good. We didn't like the marinara sauce. The peppers weren't that good. After doing it cooking light's way i made a sandwich with just the onions, meatballs, & some mayo. Now that was good.