Homemade Meatball Sub (Gluten-free)

Homemade Meatball Subs With Mozzarella

Hello out there! It’s been so long since I posted! Break out the tiny violins and don’t unfriend me when I tell you how I have struggled through June… More photos and recipes to come soon but we started June with two glorious weeks touring around Ireland. Pinch me. I tried to post a few photos to Facebook every couple of days as we traveled around but my photos could not even touch upon how beautiful the countryside really was.

Slea Head Beach, Ireland
On the beach … Slea Head Beach, Ireland, with Baby Keegan

No sooner were we back from Ireland that I was knee deep in laundry and helping the kids pack up for our summer in Massachusetts. And now here I sit. Kids are settled, beach towels folded (somewhat) for tomorrow, peaches ready to be sliced, sandwiches stacked in the fridge ready for the cooler. Summer living. Can’t beat it. This was my view this morning when I walked Noelle down to sail at 8am … Like I said, tiny violins. This fog stayed with us all day and you could see and feel it as it rolled in waves across the harbor.

Fog in Scituate Harbor
Fog in the harbor

One of the best things about living near the beach is that every day is a beach day – no matter what the weather. Sun, rain, or fog – you will find all of my children outside exploring something or swimming or kayaking or hitting balls against a beat-up backboard. And every day, no matter the weather, I will have to cajole and corral them back to the house to eat dinner and maybe take a shower. Dinner has got to be quick and easy. Dinner plans are often decided on our 7 minute meandering drive back to the house. Our current system is to have everyone holler out ideas in a rapid-fire brainstorm fashion. So far, so good. One week in and no one has gone hungry yet or been too disgruntled with the end choice.

Tennis at the backboards, SHYC
Maybe not Wimbledon approved attire…

In my tiny little beach town, there is a tiny little sub shop called Maria’s. During the summer months, any day of the week, from about 11 to 1, there is a line out the door. Cash only. No lettuce. You better know what you want to order when you get to the front of the line. Italian with everything – yes to hots, oil, and spices. Maybe a tuna salad with pickles. Extra mayo. Or, perhaps, the day is demanding a meatball sub. With cheese. Toasted. Extra sauce.

Homemade Meatball Sub (Gluten-free)
Homemade Meatball Sub (Gluten-free!)

If you don’t have access to a fantastic tiny little sub shop that serves amazing meatball subs, or, if you are gluten-free and need to avoid the breadcrumbs in just about every meatball you’ll ever encounter, you might need to make your own. When my son suggested this for dinner the other night, I couldn’t believe that I didn’t think of this as a meal sooner. Dinner was so quiet. No one could talk – their little faces were too full of homemade meatball subs.

To make our homemade meatball sub, I started by buying 2 long loaves of gluten-free baguettes from Schar – these loaves are sealed in plastic and kept in a regular food section, not the freezer section. These are our go-to baguettes for making homemade garlic bread. SO GOOD. I knew that it would toast well. You also need to get your hands on some meatballs, sauce, and fresh mozzarella. That’s it!

If you are a savvy, make-ahead kitchen maven, perhaps you have meatballs stored in your freezer. Get ’em out! If not, make your own meatballs or grab some from your favorite local spot. For sauce, you just need any marinara or other spaghetti sauce you have on hand, but when it comes to the cheese, I highly recommend a good mozzarella. I have been in love with the burrata from buf and I can pick it up at our Whole Foods. Burrata is a little bit creamier than regular pulled mozzarella.

Layer on your ingredients – meatballs, sauce, cheese – maybe a little extra sauce – and then put them on a cookie sheet and toast them at 350 to 400 degrees, on an oven rack close to the heat source, for about 5 to 10 minutes. That’s it! I like to top mine with some chopped pickles and onions but you can eat them unadorned as well.

These easy homemade meatball subs are definitely going to be in our dinner rotation. Who else makes these for dinner? I feel like I am late to the meatball sub game!

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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