Fried Meatball Sandwich with Giardiniera

Jeff's Homemade Hot Giardiniera adds heat and zip to this meaty sandwich.

Total Time:
16 hr 45 min
25 min
16 hr
20 min

4 servings (plus sixteen 4-ounce meatballs for freezing)

  • Meatballs:
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground veal (if you don't like veal, just use more beef)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Sandwich Build:
  • 8 slices provolone
  • 4 ciabatta buns, split
  • 1 jar your favorite marinara sauce, warmed
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 cup Homemade Hot Giardiniera, roughly chopped (or store-bought)
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • For the meatballs: Preheat the oven to broil.

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, Romano, parsley, garlic, and some salt and pepper until it is all incorporated.

  • Add in the ground meats and breadcrumbs and, using your God-given hands, get after it and mix away. Do not overwork the meat or it will turn "meat-loafy." You want it loose and supple.

  • Using your hands again, make 4 loose patties to match the size of your bread. (The mixture will form at least 10 patties, depending on how big your buns are. But I like to make some patties for sandwiches and then roll the rest to make meatballs, which I then freeze so I have meatballs at the ready.)

  • Heat some oil in a large, heavy-bottomed cast-iron pan (or use a griddle pan) over medium heat. In batches, fry the patties until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

  • For the sandwich build: Place 1 slice of cheese on each side of the buns and broil in the oven until the cheese is brown and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes, but keep watch!

  • On the cheesy buns, add the patties, spoon over some marinara, top with some pepper slices and pile on some giardiniera. Then eat the hell out of them.

  • Serve with more marinara sauce on the side.

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