Meatball sandwich casserole

A hearty and delicious dish!

You’ll find all the flavour of a classic meatball sandwich here, but presented in a fun new format. For this new creation, I stuck with the ingredients one would find in a typical meatball sub or sandwich, but you could absolutely boost the nutritional value of this recipe by sautéing sliced carrots, mushrooms and/or peppers along with the onions before continuing to assemble the stew. As always, feel free to use gluten-free bread if you prefer. If you don’t have individual-sized ramekins or cocottes or French onion soup bowls, you can always use one larger casserole dish then serve out portions from there once the dish has been broiled. If you enjoy tasty mashups like this, you’ll likely find my French onion soup pasta casserole or this Philly cheesesteak casserole similarly appealing.



  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 g) lean ground beef (or vegetarian/vegan alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon (1.5 g) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (1 g) dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) mustard
  • 1 tablespoon (3 g) minced chives or green onion tops
  • Few pinches salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 5 large slices sourdough or crusty bread
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil


  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz (794 g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups (750 mL) low-sodium beef broth
  • Pinch baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (1 g) each dried oregano and basil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • Few drops Tabasco (to taste)
  • Few pinches salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups (340 g) shredded mozzarella, divided (or vegetarian/vegan alternative)
  • 1/2 cup (45 g) freshly grated Parmesan (or vegetarian/vegan alternative)
  • freshly-chopped parmesan, basil or chives, to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Make croutons by tossing bread cubes and oil together in a large boil. Spread out in a single layer on one of the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 7 – 9 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven (don’t turn oven off) and transfer to a clean paper-towel lined plate or bowl and set aside.  
  • While croutons are baking, make meatballs by combining in a large bowl the ground beef, garlic powder, oregano, mustard, chives and a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  • With your very clean hands, roll into small meatballs (no larger than 1 inch / 2.5 cm in diameter) and transfer to one of the prepared baking sheets.
  • Bake 15 minutes or until cooked through (internal temperature 145F). Remove from oven and transfer meatballs to a clean plate or bowl. Refrigerate until needed.
  • Make the soup: In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft and golden, 6 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir until combined, then add crushed tomatoes, broth, baking soda, oregano, basil, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and a few pinches of salt and pepper; stir again. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  • Add meatballs and let mixture come to a simmer again (increasing heat briefly if needed). Stir in half the mozzarella and all the Parmesan. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Soup can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 48 hours.
  • When ready to serve, reheat soup if it’s been refrigerated. Preheat broiler, repositioning oven rack if needed. Place six 2 cup (500 mL) oven-safe ramekins on a sturdy baking tray, then ladle soup into the ramekins. Divide croutons evenly over the soup then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and broil until browned and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with minced herbs, if using, and serve hot.

Serves 6.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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