Side Dishes

What to Serve With Meatball Subs:13 Savory Side Dishes

Selecting sides for subs has never been simpler!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
Learn more about me
Updated November 13, 2022

If you’re struggling with what to serve with meatball subs, look no further! My list of amazing sides will round out any meal.

what to serve with meatball subs

In the United States, meatball subs are a popular sandwich. In fact, they were probably invented around 1900, and you often find them in Italian-American restaurants or sandwich shops.

To make this type of sub, you layer meatballs and marinara sauce on Italian bread or a roll. Restaurants always serve them warm, and cooks will sometimes toast the bread beforehand.

Most of the time, you can get a meatball sub with melted provolone or mozzarella cheese on top. And sometimes, you’ll see other ingredients added too, such as sliced green bell pepper or garlic.

However you make your sub, it’s delicious with traditional sandwich sides, such as fried onion rings or potato wedges. But to spice it up, you could make jalapeno poppers instead.

Or, if you want to have a healthier lunch, you could make a salad. My favorites are coleslaw or a classic Caprese salad for a full Italian meal.

what to serve with meatball subs recipe

01. Pasta Salad

Mix your Mediterranean cuisines with this Greek olive pasta salad. The fresh veggies and herbs are a perfect side because they’ll lighten up your meatball sub meal.

I love to make extra and save the leftovers for lunch the next day. In fact, I think the flavor is even better once this classic pasta salad has had a chance to sit!

Also, if you prefer to stay in Italy with your meatball sub, you can use a homemade or bottled Italian dressing to make it an Italian pasta salad.

02. Baked Potato Wedges

Skip the fast food with these delicious homemade potato wedges!

Since they’re baked, they’re a lot healthier than the wedges you can find at places like KFC. But the seasoning mix of paprika, Italian herbs, and parmesan cheese makes them irresistible.

These fries turn out beautifully golden brown without any extra fuss. But to make sure they’re extra crispy, you can soak the cut potatoes in ice water before you season and bake them.

Also, you can experiment with herbs and spices. Why not try Cajun seasoning or chili powder instead of Italian herbs?

03. Caesar Salad

There’s nothing quite like a classic Caesar salad to make eating your veggies utterly tasty. And while you can find bagged versions in the grocery store, you can’t beat freshly-toasted croutons and homemade dressing.

A traditional Caesar salad uses romaine lettuce, but you can use your favorite type. Just don’t forget the grated parmesan cheese!

Also, the crunchy texture and fresh flavors of this salad pair really well with rich meatball subs. Additionally, it’s a lot healthier than just eating French fries!

04. Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

These garlic-roasted green beans only take 15 minutes to prepare, but they’re very addictive. I always end up stealing a few off the serving plate before it leaves the kitchen.

Because this recipe uses garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, it saves you a lot of prep work. As well, you don’t have to worry as much about it burning in the oven.

Also, for a more Italian flavor, you can substitute olive oil for canola. And for a truly decadent side, drizzle the beans with truffle oil when they come out.

05. Caprese Salad

This is one of those delicious recipes that I make again and again because it’s so easy. But even though it only takes 5 minutes to make, it looks extremely elegant.

To prepare it, simply layer fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil on a plate. Then drizzle everything with olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze.

Plus, when you serve this with meatball subs, the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese perfectly complement your sandwich!

06. Kale Salad

Even if you’re not usually a fan of kale, try this crunchy kale salad! When you use the right kind of kale and massage the dressing into the leaves, this salad will please even picky eaters.

The dressing uses both lemon juice and lemon zest, so it has a great zing to it. Plus, the mustard adds a hint of heat, and the honey sweetens it up.

For the salad itself, top the massaged kale with diced apple, dried cranberries, avocado, sliced almonds, and goat cheese. Or, experiment with your own favorite toppings!

07. Fruit Salad

This fruit salad recipe is at the top of my list of healthy side dishes. But I also use it for dessert!

Of course, you can use any fruits you want (or that are in season). However, this mix of berries and tropical fruits is the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

For fun variations, swap lime juice for lemon, or add a little bit of plain yogurt to the dressing to make it creamy.

08. Zucchini Fries

You don’t have to deep-fry anything to get a tempting, crispy side dish. In this recipe, you bread slices of zucchini and then bake them for 20 minutes — so, there’s less mess!

The seasoned bread crumbs form a crunchy coating in the oven. And this texture goes really well with soft meatballs.

Also, if you want to make two crispy sides, these zucchini fries would go really well with baked potato wedges. Or, you could pair these fries with a crunchy salad to accompany your meatball subs.

09. Creamy Coleslaw

This is one of my go-to side dish recipes for meatball sandwiches because I can make it ahead of time. In fact, it’s tastier that way!

As well, using pre-made coleslaw mix really cuts down on prep time. You simply have to make the dressing and toss it with the cabbage and carrots.

However, you can shred your own veggies, and this lets you play around with your salad. For instance, you could include broccoli or kale in your coleslaw.

And if you’re really tight on time, you can use a bottled coleslaw dressing.

10. Onion Rings

Breading onion rings can be a little messy, but it’s worth the splatters! This crispy side dish is salty, savory, and a little spicy, and it goes really well with meatball subs.

I love the creole seasoning that the author makes, which includes garlic, cayenne pepper, and basil. But you can use your own favorite spice blend, such as steak seasoning, Old Bay, or curry powder!

To bake the rings evenly, the author recommends having two trays: one for small rings and one for big. That way, you won’t burn the tiny ones or overcook the large ones!

11. Jalapeno Poppers

These tiny bites pack a big punch! The cream cheese filling is studded with diced jalapeno peppers and crispy bacon.

Then, you bread little balls of filling and deep fry them to make crunchy balls of heaven. However, make sure that you freeze the filling before breading and frying, or it won’t cook properly.

Also, you can make them vegetarian simply by omitting the bacon.

When working with hot peppers, be careful not to touch your eyes. In fact, it’s a good idea to wear gloves to protect yourself.

12. Homemade Fries

Crispy fries without leaving home? Yes!
Healthy fries that still taste good? Yes, please!

When you have both together, it’s the perfect side dish.

These oven fries are soft in the middle with a crunchy exterior. And the trick is simple: use starchy potatoes and soak them in cold water.

And here are two other tips to make your fries perfect. First, make sure you dry the potato pieces thoroughly before you add the oil and seasoning.

Then, don’t crowd the pan when you’re cooking the potatoes.

12. Chocolate Brownie

This recipe is an Applebee’s copycat, and it’s called “Blue Ribbon Brownies” for a reason! These gooey squares will satisfy your strongest chocolate craving.

There are three types of chocolate in these brownies: cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, and chocolate chips. So, you know they’ll have a bold chocolate flavor.

As well, chocolate syrup is the secret ingredient for getting a fudgy texture. And you can use any bottled syrup or fudge sauce — or make your own!

13. Potato Salad

Bring a picnic classic to your sub table with this potato salad recipe. Ina Garten’s salad is creamy and flavorful, with a crunch from some fresh veggies.

For me, the dill pickle makes this salad perfect: the saltiness deepens the flavor of the dish, and it complements the fresh dill. However, you could substitute sweet pickles if you prefer those.

For fluffy potatoes, the author recommends boiling and then steaming them. That way, the salad won’t be heavy and water-logged.

What to Serve With Meatball Subs


  1. Choose your favorite sides.

  2. Make your meatball sub.

  3. Chow down!

what to serve with meatball subs - Pinterest