We adore these turkey meatball subs! Basil turkey meatballs and baked in marinara and fresh mozzarella, then piled into sub rolls and toasted in the oven. Topped with lots of fresh basil, these are the perfect weeknight meal!

Hi, I’m back with meatballs!!

cheesy basil turkey meatballs subs

This should come as no surprise since we are in love with meatballs. I could create a new meatball every single week. No exaggeration. 

Meatballs are my love language! 

cheesy basil turkey meatballs

These super cheesy basil turkey meatballs are our current favorites. They are incredibly flavorful and very tender, thanks to the ricotta cheese. I like to bake them in marinara with fresh mozzarella and then spoon them into toasted buns. With more fresh basil!

Um, doesn’t that sound like comfort food heaven?

The most delicious dinner and everyone really looks forward to it. 

basil turkey meatballs

The meatballs themselves are seared and then they swim in marinara sauce for a bit in the oven. You can make these meatballs any size, and of course you can use them in any way! 

The sandwich is a go-to for us, and a meatball sub is probably one of Eddie’s favorite meals. But these can also be served with pasta, over polenta or risotto or rice – or even on salad. I have a meatball salad in The Pretty Dish and it’s perfect. 

cheesy basil turkey meatballs

I like to bake the meatballs with fresh mozzarella on top. Then I add a lot more fresh basil once they come out of the oven. This right here is the dream meal. And if I make this for dinner, sometimes we will all enjoy it in different ways. The baked meatball pot is the star of the show and from there, you have so much variety to enjoy. 

cheesy basil meatball subs

If we’re going the meatball sub route, like I’m showing here, then I like to take the baked meatballs and the cheese right from the skillet. I spoon them into sub rolls, then I throw them back in the oven just for a few minutes. This brings everything together and the bread gets toasty and warm. 

Toasty crunchy bread is also my love language. I can’t do soft bread, as weird as it sounds. 

After that quick oven nap, a big shower of more fresh basil goes on top. Then we EAT! 

cheesy basil meatball subs

These meatballs are perfect for warm weather months. They are loaded with basil flavor – both fresh and dried – and they have a hint of the herby brightness. They are very juicy and light, which is also why I like to use them for sandwiches. 

And the meatballs can also be made ahead of time and even frozen, though for freezing, I would skip the fresh mozzarella. I would wait until I’m using them and then add my cheese. 

This is such an amazing and satisfying weeknight meal. It’s easy enough for the kids to throw together, it reheats very well and you have so much versatility with the meatballs. 

cheesy basil meatball subs

My fave!

cheesy basil meatball subs

Turkey Meatball Subs

Cheesy Basil Turkey Meatball Subs

We adore these turkey meatball subs! Basil turkey meatballs and baked in marinara and fresh mozzarella, then piled into sub rolls and toasted in the oven. Topped with lots of fresh basil, these are the perfect weeknight meal!
5 from 9 votes
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  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for topping
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • olive oil for browning
  • 24 ounces marinara sauce
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • sub rolls, for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, mix together the ground turkey, egg, garlic, ricotta, parmesan, fresh basil, bread crumbs, dried basil, garlic powder, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until just combined - don’t overmix or the meatballs will be tough!
  • Heat a drop of olive oil in an oven-safe pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown all over, just until golden and seared. This will take about 10 minutes. I like to roll and flip them with a spoon to keep them from breaking apart.
  • After the meatballs are seared, pour in your marinara sauce. Top with the fresh mozzarella. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the pan and sprinkle all over with fresh basil, parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper.
  • If you’d like to make these into sandwiches, keep the oven on. Place the rolls on a baking sheet. Spoon the meatballs (and their cheese!) into the sub rolls. Stick the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes, so the buns get toasty. Remove and top with fresh basil.

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cheesy basil meatball subs

How many times can I say meatballs!