Meatball Hoagie Sandwiches are savory meatballs simmered in flavorful marinara sauce until tender, and then nested on a toasted sandwich roll and topped with smoky cheese.
After having a snowless, green Christmas here up north, Old Man Winter has finally made a grand entrance with over a foot of fluffy flakes over the past two weeks. We couldn’t be more ready. Our skis and snowboards are waxed and sharpened, snowshoes lined up and ready, and the sleds are already getting an ample amount of use. The Sons have also been wanting to build a real-live igloo for as long as I can remember. For the most part, I’ve pacified them by digging a labyrinth of snow tunnels through the plow piles along the driveway. Since the new house sits on a few acres of land in the country, I acquiesced to the idea of building and igloo this year…after they completed a fair amount of research on structure and building methods to report back to me. (hashtag: homeschool kid problems)
The Sons, along with a couple of eager friends, spent a few hours researching igloos, weather patterns, etc. Honestly, they did way more research than I had anticipated. As it turns out, Northern Michigan doesn’t get the “right kind of snow” to build a structurally sound igloo. Rather, our abundance of lake effect snow is better suited to building quinzee snow shelters. Quinzee shelters are more of a survival shelter than a residential proposition, which suits our purposes just fine. The boys spent an entire weekend concentrating snow by the shovelful into one huge pile in the yard. From that pile, they carved out a semi-roomy interior, inside of which 3 man-ish sized teenage boys can fit comfortably.
The boys were so dedicated to their snow shelter cause that they ate in shifts of one so that the others could continue working on the project. I quickly found myself with six freezing kids, and two extra man-sized appetites to feed in addition to my crew. Teenage boys eat like men on a good day. Active teenage boys eat like ravenous wolves every day. Lunch was a no-brainer: ten minute tomato soup, perfect grilled cheese, and malted hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows. I doubled all batches as I poured and ladled and grilled for the better part of the afternoon. Eventually, all necessary parties were satiated and returned to the tundra-like work.
I finished the kitchen clean up just about as darkness began to fall. Right about that time, they kids trickled in to procure headlamps and emergency flashlights to continue the building process. It was then that I realized that: 1) I would have to feel them all over again, and 2) I’d have to feed everyone something a little more hearty when they finally called it quits for the day and came back inside. Oh, and 3) I was already completely whipped from feeding them the first time.
Enter my ace-in-the-whole-hearty-man-food meal of choice…the Meatball Hoagie Sub Sandwich. Meatball Hoagie Sub Sandwiches are full of tender, filling meatballs, zippy marinara sauce, and gooey smoked cheese piled on a toasted bun. Thankfully, Meatball Hoagie Subs come together in a flash because they’re made from common pantry and freezer ingredients in about 30 minutes. Not only are the subs time friendly, they are also budget friendly, weighing in at about $1.22 per serving. The key ingredient in these hearty sammies is the cheese. Parmesan cheese is a perfect to flavor the inside of the meatballs, and the smoked provolone topper gives the entire sandwich a nice, smoky finish. Seriously…seek out smoked provolone for these Meatball Hoagie Sub Sandwiches and you will be so glad that you did. (Look for smoked provolone in the refrigerated section of the deli at the local market.)
The next time that you find yourself with a hungry crew of snow shelter builders or just a house full of hungry friends chilled from the freezing temperatures outside, know that the recipe is easily doubled or tripled to feed a real crowd. If you have more notice and are able to plan ahead, the meatballs are even tastier when made ahead and served the next day.
I am honored to be a Dairy Ambassador for Milk Means More – United Dairy Industry of Michigan. I’m committed to developing recipes using Michigan dairy products. All opinions are my own. Milk Means More represents the dedicated, hard working Michigan dairy farmers that are passionate about providing fresh, wholesome milk, cheese, and yogurt for you and your family. Hug a farmer, y’all!