Chicken Parm Meatball Subs

These Chicken Parm Meatball Subs are perfect for gameday!

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These Chicken Parm Meatball Subs are perfect for gameday!Have you ever noticed how different areas of the U.S. have their own food specialties?  I’ve had the good fortune of living up and down the east coast, and every region has it’s own foodie culture.  Charleston, SC was low country shrimp and clam boils.  (And Jalapeno Cheddar Grits, of course!)  Southern Louisiana knows its food.  Cajun food is one of my favorites…particularly these Creole Red Beans & Rice and this Cinnamon King Cake.  And then there’s upstate New York.  What type of food does upstate New York pride itself on?  Well, there’s a pizza shop (or three) on nearly every corner.  But it’s not pizza.  Nope, upstate New York knows Italian food.  More specifically, upstate New York knows chicken parm.

Before we moved up here, I had no idea that this area of the United States had such a strong Italian influence.  Sure, I knew about the Italian influence down in NYC, but I didn’t realize that it extended all the way up the Hudson Valley into the Albany area.  It took all of about 2 days to notice the Italian influence…and I couldn’t have been happier!  Italian food is probably my all-time favorite, and we have access to some really great Italian markets and grocery stores here.

These Chicken Parm Meatball Subs are perfect for gameday!We moved to upstate New York in the dead of Winter several years ago, and I remember one of our first meals was at a classic Italian restaurant.  (To be fair, we didn’t realize the place was a local legend until after we’d eaten there.)  This was no Olive Garden, folks.  The ceilings were low, and it was dark inside.  There was some sort of Italian wedding reception going in a back ballroom.  And there was a never-ending stream of Italian bread coming out of the kitchen.  That’s how I knew it was my kinda place!  We both ordered chicken parmesan, and we both came home with enough leftovers for a small army.

It didn’t take long before we realized that every restaurant in this area has chicken parm on the menu.  I love chicken parmesan, but it’s kinda become a running joke in our house.  Not sure what to order when you go out?  Well, there’s always chicken parm!  Seriously.  Nice steak house?  There’s chicken parm on the menu.  Asian buffet around the corner?  Yup, chicken parm.  As plentiful as chicken parmesan is around here, I don’t order it that often.  Like the rest of the world, we’ve been trying to watch what we eat around here after the holidays.  That’s when it hit me.  Let’s make a healthier version of chicken parm!

These Chicken Parm Meatball Subs are perfect for gameday!Chicken Parm Meatball Subs

These Chicken Parm Meatball Subs were a huge hit in our house.  We even had to mute the nightly news that was running in the background so we could comment on how delicious these bad boys were.  Instead of frying the chicken, I turned it into meatballs and baked them.  Once cooked, I dropped those baked meatballs into a sub roll along with some marinara sauce, mozzarella and of a bit of fresh basil.  The result?  Well, let’s just say these sandwiches didn’t last long around here.

With the Super Bowl coming up, these Chicken Parm Meatball Subs are a perfect gameday meal.  The best part is you can make the meatballs ahead of time.  Just heat ’em back up and then make the subs once your guests arrive.  Easy peasy.  You won’t miss any of the game….or the commercials!

Did you make a batch of these Chicken Parm Meatball Subs at home?  Leave a comment, or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

These Chicken Parm Meatball Subs are perfect for gameday!

Chicken Parm Meatball Subs

These Chicken Parm Meatball Subs are perfect for gameday!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 subs
Calories: 611kcal


For the Chicken Meatballs

For the Subs

  • 4 sub rolls unsliced
  • Favorite marinara sauce homemade or store-bought
  • cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil chopped


  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil or nonstick spray; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the Chicken Meatballs (chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, basil and Parmesan). Mix until well combined.
  • Form the mixture into 1¼”-1½” meatballs. Place meatballs on the foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake meatballs at 450°F for 17-18 minutes, or until juices run clear. (Note: An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read at least 165°F.)
  • Cut a wedge into the tops of the sub rolls and remove a bit of the bread from the middle of the rolls. Place rolls under a broiler until slightly crispy (2-3 minutes). (Note: Watch the rolls closely to keep them from burning!)
  • Spread 2 Tbsp of marinara sauce into each of the rolls. Add the cooked chicken meatballs and top each roll with another 2-3 Tbsp of marinara sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and chopped basil evenly across the tops of the rolls. Place subs on a baking tray and return to broiler until cheese has melted (1-2 minutes, but watch closely!).

Looking for more tasty sandwich recipes?  Check out some of these other favorites, too:

Starting with a classic chuck roast, these Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches make for an easy and delicious comfort food meal!Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

These Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are layered with salami, provolone and mozzarella...and they make for one epic sandwich on a chilly winter day!Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Holy sandwich, Batman!  These Southern Meatloaf Sandwiches are the perfect comfort food on cold winter days!Southern Meatloaf Sandwiches

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    1. Haha…thanks, Mike! I gotta admit these subs didn’t last long around here. They’re pretty much the very definition of tasty comfort food…and I hear they taste even better when football is on tv!

  1. David, your Asian buffet around the corner has chicken parm?! That’s hilarious!! love that you made this healthier and turned it into a meatball sub!!! Delicious and like you said, perfect for game day!! love this!

    1. I know, Alice! It’s some kind of strange Italian-Asian-Upstate NY fusion thing going on…but hey, I’m not complaining! (But I’m also not saying that I would get chicken parm from an Asian buffet either….haha!)

    1. Tell me about it, Becca! I can’t comment on the quality of said Asian Chicken Parm because…well…just because it sounds a little funny to me. 🙂

  2. I love Italian food too! Chicken parm is a favorite as well as eggplant parm, lasagna, spaghetti, meatball subs. You get the picture. 🙂 You’ve outdone youself combining two classic Italian meals into a sub. Love it!

    1. Oh man, reading that list of deliciousness just made me hungry for Italian food today, Tamara!! It’s the best comfort food ever in my opinion! 🙂

  3. Wait – even the Asian Buffet has Chicken Parm?!?!?! So – am curious – how did it stack up against the version at the steak house?
    These basil scented chicken-parm meatballs won’t even make it onto a sub in our house!

    1. Well, I would actually have to sample the chicken parm at the Asian buffet and the steak house in order to tell ya, Shashi. Call me crazy, but I haven’t order chicken parm at either place…yet! And yes, these meatballs barely made it onto a sub with these pics. The leftovers never even saw a sub! Haha! 🙂

  4. These are definitely on the menu for Super Bowl day munching. The trick for me is to find a good sub roll, but I will. Although when you mentioned Jalapeno Cheddar Grits I started salivating…. love grits! #WolfpackEats

    1. Oh man, those Jalapeno Cheddar Grits are delicious, Kevin! It’s been a while since I’ve made a batch…maybe I need to make those happen again soon. And yes, a good sub roll is the key to a good sandwich!

    1. Thanks, Christina! I couldn’t agree more…meatball subs are some serious comfort food (especially on snowy nights when there’s football on tv…haha!)

    1. You better like chicken parm if you’re starting your food tour of America in my area! Haha! Oh, and you wouldn’t have to suffer the entire game…there’s some great commercials in there, too. And multiple trips to the snack table.

  5. You are so right!! Upstate NY does know Italian food and was one thing that was surprising to me when I moved up here from the Midwest. Even Wegmans makes a killer Chicken Parm sub! So glad you created yours. I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Hey, I’m not complaining about all of the delicious Italian food up here…it’s one of my favorite types of food! I’m just saying it’s a little odd that EVERYWHERE has chicken parm. If we had a Wegmans, I’d have to get their chicken parm sub. But we don’t. Thanks for reminding me of that one, Zainab! Also, next time you are in Wegmans, ask them to build a store over here? 🙂

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