Cheesy Garlic Bread and Meatball Rolls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 24 rolls
Buttery rolls are hallowed out, made into garlic bread and then stuffed with meatballs, sauce and cheese. They're basically a compact meatball sub, and perfect for parties!
  • 2 packages King's Hawaiian butter rolls
  • 3 Tlbs. butter
  • 5½ garlic cloves, divided (four cloves should me minced for the bread, 1 should be grated for the meatballs and then remaining half should be grated for the sauce)
  • ¾ tsp. garlic salt
  • ½ pound 90% lean ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1¼ tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup crushed breadsticks, saltine crackers, or buttery cracker
  • 1 medium onion, half grated in to mixture and half finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1½ tsp. fennel seed
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
  • 1 Tlbs. olive oil
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup red wine
  • 6 oz. water
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a medium baking sheet.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut holes in the tops of each roll. (I traced around a tablespoon). Remove bread so you have a hole big enough to fit meatballs.
  3. Add butter and garlic to a a small saucepan. Turn the heat on medium-low and cook until the garlic is softened, about 1-2 minutes. Use a pastry brush to brush the insides of the rolls with garlic butter. Sprinkle the inside of rolls evenly with garlic salt. Place on baking sheet and bake until slightly golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. While the rolls cook, make the meatballs. Add beef, pork, 1 garlic clove, minced, 1 tsp salt, egg, crushed crackers or breadsticks, onion, parmesan cheese, fennel, red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp. Italian seasoning to a bowl. Use your hands to combine the meat with the rest of the ingredients, do not over mix.
  5. Form into 24 meatballs. Add 2 tsp of olive oil to a large skillet. Brown half of the meatballs. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Remove meatballs from pan and pour in red wine. Use a wooden spoon to get any brown bits off the bottom. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste, water, sugar, and remaining salt and Italian seasoning. Whisk to combine. Add meatballs in to sauce, cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 7 minutes.
  6. Once meatballs are cooked through and rolls are crisp, spoon a little bit of sauce in to each roll. Evenly divide ½ the cheese in the hold of each roll. Nestle meatballs in rolls. Cover with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake until cheese is melted, about 7-8 minutes.
Recipe by Cooking for Keeps at