Delicious Gluten-Free Meatball Subs Recipe

Welcome to my gluten-free kitchen! As a nutritionist and food blogger, I’m always on the lookout for easy, healthy and delicious recipes that will nourish your body and soul. Today, I’m excited to share with you one of my all-time favorites: gluten-free open faced meatball subs recipe.

Nothing beats the taste of a classic meatball sub, but it’s not always easy to find a gluten-free version that is both tasty and hearty. That’s why I came up with this recipe – made with wholesome ingredients, such as ground turkey or beef, fresh vegetables, and homemade marinara sauce. Not only is it gluten-free, but it’s also dairy-free and loaded with nutrients to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

This recipe is perfect for a casual weeknight dinner or even as a game-day snack. Get ready to chow down on this delicious open-faced meatball sub sandwich! So roll up your sleeves and let’s start cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Gluten Free Open Faced Meatball Subs
Gluten Free Open Faced Meatball Subs

Are you tired of sacrificing flavor for health? Look no further! This Gluten-Free Open Faced Meatball Subs Recipe is a perfect balance of both.

Firstly, this recipe uses gluten-free ingredients to accommodate those who avoid gluten in their diet. We know gluten intolerance can be tough and sometimes frustrating when craving our favorite dishes, but fear not! This recipe will save the day.

Secondly, these open-faced meatball subs are loaded with wholesome ingredients like garlic cloves, celery, and onion. These simple ingredients will boost not only the taste, but also the nutrients in your meal. Don’t underestimate the power of a few vegetables to take your dish up several notches!

Moreover, nothing screams comfort food like meatball subs. We all have memories of biting into that juicy meatball submerged in marinara sauce top with mozzarella cheese in a bread roll. This recipe takes it up an extra notch. The open face style allows you to enjoy every ingredient’s flavor individually and create a perfect bite each time.

So fix yourself up this amazing sandwich recipe that has everything you love about a hearty meatball sub – minus the feeling of guilt after eating it! Trust me; it’s so delicious you won’t even know it’s good for you.

Ingredient List

“The ultimate gluten-free comfort food: Open Faced Meatball Sub!”

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this Gluten Free Open Faced Meatball Subs Recipe:

– 1 pound of ground meat (you can use beef, turkey or vegan meatball)
– 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (or substitute with flour)
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 large egg
– 1/4 cup diced celery
– 1/4 cup diced onion
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tsp Italian seasoning
– Salt and pepper to taste

Marinara Sauce:
– 1 jar of pasta sauce (make sure it is gluten-free)
– 1/4 cup diced onion
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 tbsp olive oil

Open Faced Subs:
– Gluten-free bread slices (we recommend using a hearty bread like focaccia or sourdough)
– Mozzarella cheese, shredded (use vegan cheese if dairy-free)
– Iceberg lettuce, chopped

(Optional) Garlic Toast:
– Sliced bread loaf (again, we recommend a hearty bread like sourdough or Italian)
– Olive oil
– Garlic cloves, minced

The Recipe How-To

“Say goodbye to bland gluten-free meals with these tasty meatballs!”

Now that we have listed all the ingredients needed to make this delicious gluten-free open-faced meatball sub, it’s time to start cooking!

Step 1: Prep the ingredients
1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
2. Dice a small onion into small pieces and mince 2 garlic cloves.
3. In a large bowl, combine the diced onion, minced garlic, 1 pound of ground beef or turkey, 1/4 cup of bread crumbs (or flour instead of breadcrumbs for a gluten-free option), and 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning. Mix well until combined.

Step 2: Shape the meatballs
1. Use your palms to shape the mixture into small meatballs, approximately 1-2 inches in diameter.
2. Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Once heated, cook the meatballs in batches for about 3-4 minutes per side until browned on all sides.

Step 3: Add the marinara sauce
1. Pour marinara sauce (approximately 1 cup) onto the bottom of a kettle or oven-friendly dish.
2. Place the meatballs on top of the sauce (make sure they are not touching each other).
3. Spoon another layer of marinara sauce on top of each meatball.

Step 4: Bake your open-faced meatball subs
1. Place your dish in the preheated oven and broil on high for about 2-3 minutes until nicely caramelized.
2. Cut iceberg lettuce, celery, and fresh mozzarella cheese into strips.
3. Toast some gluten-free bread slices in a toaster oven until desired crispiness is reached.
4. Serve by laying out toasted gluten-free bread slices on individual plates and place a couple spoonfuls of the warm marinara sauce on each slice.
5. Place one meatball onto each bread slice, followed by a strip of lettuce, celery and fresh mozzarella cheese.
6. Lastly, drizzle the top of the meatballs with extra marinara sauce.

This gluten-free open-faced meatball sub sandwich recipe takes only 45 minutes to make, from start to finish, and serves 4 people. It’s perfect for a cozy weekend dinner or your lunch meal prep for the week!

Enjoy your delicious gluten-free open-faced meatball subs!

Substitutions and Variations

“Make mealtime fun with these easy-to-make meatball subs!”

There are a multitude of possibilities to switch up this recipe to fit your dietary needs or taste preferences. Here are some substitutions and variations to consider:

– Gluten-free bread crumbs: If you don’t have gluten-free bread crumbs on hand or would prefer not to use them, you can use flour instead. Simply roll the meatballs in flour before browning.

– Vegan meatballs: For a vegan version of this recipe, swap the ground beef for a plant-based protein like soy crumbles, lentils, or chickpeas. You can also try pre-made vegan meatballs found at many grocery stores.

– Turkey meatballs: If you prefer turkey over beef, this recipe can easily be adapted. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef and follow the same steps for making the meatballs.

– Subway-style marinara sauce: For a classic Subway-style marinara sauce, replace the pasta sauce with a tomato sauce. You can also add some Italian seasoning and garlic powder to achieve that classic flavor.

– Garlic toast: Instead of using plain bread for the base of the sub sandwiches, try making some garlic toast. Simply slice a baguette or loaf of bread into 1-inch thick slices and brush each piece with olive oil and minced garlic. Toast in the oven until golden brown.

– Iceberg lettuce wrap: For a healthier option, skip the bread altogether and wrap your meatballs in lettuce cups. Crunchy iceberg lettuce is perfect for this and adds a refreshing texture to the savory meatballs.

– Homemade meatballs: While using pre-made frozen meatballs can be a time-saver, making your own meatballs from scratch is always worth it. Use your favorite recipe or add in some diced celery and onion for extra flavor.

Try out these substitutions and variations to make this gluten-free open-faced meatball sub recipe truly your own!

Serving and Pairing

“Who says gluten-free can’t be mouth-wateringly delicious?!”

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the serving and pairing section! Now it’s finally time to sit down and enjoy your delicious gluten-free open-faced meatball subs.

These subs are incredibly versatile and pair well with a variety of sides and beverages. Here are a few of my personal recommendations:

1. Sides: Since these subs are already quite filling, I recommend pairing them with a light side dish or salad. A simple side salad with iceberg lettuce, celery, and onions would be perfect. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try making some homemade garlic bread or garlic toast to complement the flavors in the subs.

2. Beverages: When it comes to drinks, you can’t go wrong with a classic soda or sparkling water. If you want to keep things healthy, try serving the subs with a tasty smoothie or freshly squeezed juice.

3. Presentation: These meatball subs look great on any plate, but I particularly love serving them on a wooden platter for a rustic touch. Garnish with some fresh herbs like basil or parsley for an added pop of color.

4. Variations: For those who don’t eat meat or prefer vegan options, you can easily swap out the meatballs for vegan meatballs made from chickpeas or lentils. If you’re looking for a lighter option, try using turkey meatballs instead of beef.

Overall, these open-faced meatball subs are perfect for lunch or dinner and can be dressed up or down depending on your preferences. So go ahead and experiment with different sides and drinks to find your perfect pairing!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“A delicious twist on a classic meatball sub!”

One of the best things about this gluten-free open-faced meatball subs recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer for later use. If you’re hosting a party or just want to have a few meals ready to go, this recipe is perfect for you.

To make ahead, simply assemble the subs as directed and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap. You can then store them in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours or freeze them for up to two weeks. When you’re ready to serve, simply unwrap them and follow the reheating instructions below.

To reheat, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the subs on a baking sheet and bake them for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. If you prefer your subs toasted, place them in a toaster oven or under the broiler for 2-3 minutes on each side.

When it comes to storing leftovers, it’s best to keep the meatballs and marinara sauce separate from the rest of the ingredients. This will help prevent sogginess and keep everything fresh. You can store leftover meatballs and sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze them for up to three months.

If you’re reheating leftover meatballs and sauce, simply warm them up in a microwave-safe bowl or on the stove over medium heat. Once heated through, assemble your subs as directed and enjoy!

With these tips, you can easily make this delicious gluten-free open-faced meatball subs recipe ahead of time, store leftovers properly, and enjoy delicious subs any time you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Get your protein fix with these gluten-free meatball subs!”

If you want to make the best gluten-free open-faced meatball subs recipe, then you’re on the right track! Here are some tips and tricks that will help you achieve perfect results.

Firstly, make sure to dice small the onions, celery and garlic cloves. This will ensure that they cook evenly and blend well with the other ingredients. You can use a food processor instead of a knife to save time and make smaller pieces.

Secondly, when making the gluten-free meatballs, you can use flour instead of breadcrumbs as a binding agent. Gluten-free breadcrumbs may not hold together as well as regular breadcrumbs, so using flour will ensure they stay intact.

Thirdly, when broiling the meatballs on an open-face sandwich, it is important to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Set your oven to broil for 2-3 minutes maximum. You want to cook them long enough so the cheese becomes melted and bubbly but not too long that it ruins your sandwich.

Next, choose quality ingredients for your marinara sauce top. You can use homemade or store-bought pasta sauce as long its gluten free.

If you prefer vegan or turkey instead of beef meatballs, make sure to adjust ingredient proportions accordingly so they hold together properly.

Additionally, if you want a little extra kick in flavor, sprinkle extra Italian seasoning on top of the dish right before serving it.

Finally, if you have leftover gluten-free meatballs, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for later use either as filling for another sandwich recipe, or add in spaghetti tomato sauce for another dish.

These tips are meant to be advice that allows anyone to experiment with different combinations and tweak recipes according to your requirement without feeling afraid! So go ahead and get started with the perfect gluten-free open-faced meatball subs recipe for any occasion.


Now that you know how to make these delicious gluten-free open-faced meatball subs, it’s time to tackle some common questions and concerns. I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help make sure your recipe comes out perfect every time. So before you get started, be sure to read through these tips and tricks for making the most out of this recipe.

Can you use flour instead of breadcrumbs for meatballs?

If you’re in the mood for some golden brown exterior, you might be tempted to swap breadcrumbs for flour when coating your cutlets, but be mindful that the latter can produce a paste-like mixture when used as a binder for meatballs or meatloaf, which is far from savory. While flour might come handy if you’re planning to make a sauce in the same pan, it’s best avoided if you intend to create a delicious meat-based dish.

How do you keep meatball subs from getting soggy?

Time to add a cheesy twist to these buns! Pop them out of the oven and lay down some provolone slices to deliberately overlap, ensuring complete coverage of the entire bun. This layer of cheese will act as a barrier, guarding against any meatball and sauce leaks that may otherwise make the bun soggy.

What kind of sauce is on meatball subs at Subway?

One of Subway’s classic sandwiches that many people love is the Meatball Marinara. This sandwich is made with savory meatballs crafted from beef and pork, and then smothered in a tasty marinara sauce.

How to make Joey’s meatball sub?

If you’re aiming to relive the glorious moment of having Joey’s sandwich from the television series, we’ll need to bake and wrap it up in aluminium foil. Begin by slicing your bread rolls in half and situating your meatballs on the flat bottom half of the roll. Afterward, add some marinara sauce and throw as much mozzarella cheese on top as your heart desires.

Bottom Line

Now that you’ve learned how to make delicious, gluten-free open faced meatball subs, it’s time to start cooking! This recipe offers a healthy take on a classic sandwich that is perfect for anyone who wants to eat well without sacrificing flavor.

Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a satisfying dinner, these meatball subs are sure to hit the spot. With their mouth-watering combination of meatballs, marinara sauce, and melted cheese on top of crispy garlic toast, they’re bound to become a new favorite in your household.

Plus, with the versatility of using different meat options and flour substitutions, this recipe can easily be tailored to meet your dietary needs and preferences.

So go ahead and give this recipe a try – your taste buds (and your body) will thank you for it!

Gluten Free Open Faced Meatball Subs

Gluten Free Open Faced Meatball Subs Recipe

My lazy day, no inspiration dinner used to be Subway. Now that we're gluten free that's out and I found myself missing meatball subs. This dinner tasted exactly like a meatball sub except cheaper and just about as fast.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 110.6 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 1 large red pepper, diced small
  • 3 stalks celery, diced small
  • 1/4 cup italian seasoning (or spagetti seasoning)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (or a tablespoon)
  • 28 ounces four cheese pasta sauce (or homemade)
  • 24 small meatballs, cooked
  • 4 gluten-free hamburger buns
  • 1 lb iceberg lettuce, salad bag


  • Heat olive oil in large frying pan on medium. Add celery and onion and saute until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add pepper and continue to saute five more minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and stir well. Open can of pasta sauce then add garlic to pan. When you can smell the garlic, about 1 minute, add the pasta sauce and meatballs, stir them in and cover. If you like them, diced zucchini and or chopped spinach would be good in this and should be added now. Cook until the meatballs are hot, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Toast and butter buns and put on plate. Cover each bun with a quarter of the salad. Put six meatballs on top of each salad and divide sauce evenly over that.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 231gCalories: 110.6kcalCarbohydrates: 11.5gProtein: 2.2gFat: 7.1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 37.9mgFiber: 3.2gSugar: 5.9g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Easy, Free Of..., Kid-Friendly, Lunch, One-Dish Meal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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