I’ve made these Spicy Chicken Meatball Subs countless times over the past few months and they are comforting, full of flavor and don’t require a ton of specialty ingredients. While traditionally meatball subs are made with beef, I wanted to create a version that used chicken and amp up the flavors by using spices like coriander, and garam masala. You’ll find more traditional ingredients in these like parmesan, parsley and oregano as well which strikes the perfect balance in this Indian Italian fusion recipe! Before you make these, read a few of my tips below and if you have any questions drop them in the comments! And once you’ve made them, be sure to tag me on @thechutneylife so I  can see all of your hard work!

Few bits of advice before making these:

  1. This recipe makes 5 subs, using about 9 inch rolls. I highly suggest using the freshest baked rolls you can find. Usually  you can pick loose rolls from the bakery section of your local grocery store. These work best as the interior is fluffy and the exterior will be nice and crisp without being overly hard!
  2. Try to get good sliced cheese, like the one from behind the deli counter. Ive used pepper jack slices here but Cooper’s Sharp works very well too.
  3. You can skip the garlic butter step to save some time- although its delicious- its not terribly necessary!
  4. Use a a high quality marinara like Rao’s Arrabiatta Sauce! Its  fresh and has a nice kick of spice!
  5. I’ve left instructions on how to assemble these subs in the oven but once the meatballs are baked, you can assemble and pop these in the air fryer all at once to help melt the cheese and toast up the rolls as well- I  find this method to be much quicker!

How to prepare these in advance:

  1. The garlic butter for the bread can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge. Just bring it to room temperature before spreading on the rolls.
  2. Peeling and mincing your garlic in a small food processor a day or two in advance will speed things up!
  3.  The ground chicken mixture can be made and kept in the fridge one day in advance.

Hope you enjoy this recipe! Happy Eating 🙂


Spicy Chicken Meatball Subs

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Servings 5 Subs


  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 serranos, finely diced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated on a microplane
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan, divided
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Hoagie Rolls (about 8-9 inches in size)
  • 1.5 cups marinara sauce (I love Rao's Arrabiatta)
  • 10 slices Pepperjack cheese or sliced cheese of choice

Garlic Butter, mix together the following in small bowl:

  • 8 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano


Make the Meatballs:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a medium skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Once the oil is hot add the serrano peppers along with the diced onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, while stirring, until the onions are soft and slightly golden at the edges.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and add the garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, garlic, ginger and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the garlic and ginger are fragrant. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
  • Place the ground chicken In a large bowl and to it add the onion mixture, oregano, garlic powder, 1/3 cup of the parmesan , panko, egg, 2 tbsp of the parsley, and salt and use your hands to combine all of the ingredients well.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and use lightly oiled hands to form about 1 inch meatballs. Place the meatballs about 1/2 inch a part from each other. You should have 20 meatballs in total.
  • Place the meatballs in the oven and let them cook for about 12-15 minutes or until the center of a meatball is completely cooked and no longer pink. Remove from the oven and transfer the meatballs to a large dish, and replace the parchment paper and set meatballs aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Assemble the subs:

  • Cut each hoagie roll down the middle about 3/4 way through lengthwise ,being sure to not slice all the way through. Gently spread about 1 tbsp of the garlic butter inside each roll. Place the rolls onto the parchment lined baking sheet and place in the oven for about 3-5 minutes until the rolls are slightly toasty. (oven temps may vary so keep an eye on these). (NOTE: You can also assemble these in an air fryer for ease!)
  • Take the rolls out of the oven, lay 2 slices of cheese in the center of each roll, slightly overlapping the slices, then top with 1/4 cup of marinara, and about 5 meatballs and gently press everything together. Place back in the oven for 5 more minutes until cheese is melted and meatballs are heated through.
  • Remove from the oven, and garnish each meatball sub with the remaining grated parmesan and parsley. Enjoy hot!