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You will love an air fryer subway meatball sub. A lighter and a cheaper version than the typical meatball subs at subway and they taste amazing too.

Perfect for your Friday night fakeaway and loaded with homemade tomato sauce, skinny meatballs, and plenty of cheese. Not forgetting the part baked bread rolls that really give these subway meatball subs the wow factor.

Our air fryer meatball sub is the original. It was first shared in 2016, updated in 2019 and this is the new and better version with new photos and even more tips and tricks to make the best subway meatball sub in the air fryer.

air fryer subway meatball sub recipe
Air Fryer Subway Meatball Sub Recipe
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Subway Meatball Sub

Before I share with you my Subway Meatball Sub recipe, I want to tell you the story of the one and only time that I visited a Subway shop……

It was the summer of 2007 and there was a Sub takeaway to the side of the car park of our local Walmart. I went in with the plan to get us a Sub each. As none of us had ever tried one and we were curious about all the hype surrounding the Subway Meatball Sub.

I was also thirsty so planned to get a drink too. There was just one member of staff working and he was working slow and having three customers in front of me I expected to be there about half an hour.

I was in front view of the counter of food and the toppings you could use in the Subway Meatball Sub. I saw the cheese and it reminded me of that low quality cheese that looks incredibly processed and cheap that you tend to avoid. The meatballs looked really fatty and the tomato sauce was clear because of all the fat in it. The only thing that looked edible was the bread and the salad.

I bought a bottle of water and then left. And I have not been in a Subway since.

I may point out that at the time I was obese. I weighed in at 15 stone, had a BMI in the 30’s and had about four takeaways a week. The rest of the week my food intake was processed foods. There was the ready meals from Iceland, the chicken nuggets from Walmart and all kinds of other things that I have not eaten for years.

So, if the Subway bothered me as an obese, unhealthy person god knows what I would make of it now I am a good few stone lighter and follow a healthy lifestyle.

But you never know whether that Subway was a rogue one. It could have just been leftover food that needed replacing; a teen left in charge and didn’t get quality or all kind of reasons.

But after leaving I have heard many times over the years now many processed foods go into a Sub or the fact of the high calorie intake as it is still takeaway food. That is why I love to make a copycat Subway Meatball Sub at home, it can be healthier but still taste great!

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Can You Air Fry A Sub Sandwich?

Yes, you can cook a sub sandwich in the air fryer. You can also mix and match subway fillings too depending on what you like/dislike at Subway.

Of course, my favourite is a meatball sandwich from Subway. Nothing even comes close to this.

And today we will be sharing with you how easy it is to make an air fryer meatball sub.

Are Frozen Meatballs Good In The Air Fryer?

Yes, they are. Frozen meatballs in the air fryer are delicious, they are fact cooking and you can make a big batch of air fryer frozen meatballs at once.

But in today’s air fryer meatball subs we are using thawed beef meatballs because we had just headed back from Aldi with them and didn’t need to use the freezer supply.

How Do You Cook An Air Fryer Sub?

Air fryer meatball subs are stripped into a few simple stages. That way you can get it right fast and without feeling like you have to do a zillion things at once.

Firstly, we almost cook the meatballs. That way they wont overcook when we cook them for the second time in the bread rolls.

Secondly, whilst the meatballs are in the air fryer, we use a blender (I used this soup maker) to make a quick tomato sauce. Made with tinned tomatoes, garlic and a few extras it tastes amazing with your meatballs.

Thirdly, when the air fryer beeps, the meatballs are tossed in the tomato sauce. This ensures a great coating and again, prevents your meatballs from going dry.

Fourth, the part baked bread rolls are loaded into the air fryer basket and warmed through.

Fifth, the meatballs are loaded into the bread rolls and coated with plenty of grated cheese. They are then ready to be air fried for the final time before serving.

As you can see these 5 steps makes your homemade meatball sub so much easier to prep, cook and then serve.

How Many Meatballs In A Subway Sandwich?

I recommend 3 meatballs per subway sandwich. We are following our air fryer part baked bread recipe and they are the smaller version that fits in the air fryer and more than 3 meatballs, and it will struggle to stay together.

Plus, the skinny meatballs from Aldi that we are using, come in a pack of 12, which is perfect for 4 meatball subs.

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Subway Meatball Ingredients

Subway Meatball Ingredients

Bread – You could use hotdog rolls, but I much prefer to use part baked bread rolls as warm, they are the best bread ever.

Meatballs – Then for the meatballs I recommend the skinny meatballs from Aldi. They taste delicious, are lower in calories, and best of all don’t make as much of a mess of your air fryer compared to the high fat alternatives.

Sauce. Whilst we have used shop bought meatballs, we do love to put together a quick tomato sauce. Into a blender went tinned tomatoes, ketchup, garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, and salt and pepper.

Cheese – For the cheese, any grated cheese on top will make for a delicious copycat subway meatball sub. Personally, I love white cheddar or some parmesan the most.

Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this air fryer meatball sub it has just been our Cosori Air Fryer. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of air fryer recipes.

Plus, we recommend you head over to our air fryer recipes category as we have more than 500 tried and tested air fryer recipes and have been air frying for 10 years.

How To Make A Meatball Sub?

air fryer subway meatball sub step by step
  • Cook. Start by loading meatballs into the air fryer basket and cooking for 8 minutes at 180c/360f.
  • Blend. Into a blender add your tomato sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Coat. Place the tomato sauce into a shallow dish and toss the meatballs in the sauce.
  • Cook. Load the part baked bread into the air fryer basket and cook for 3 minutes at the same temperature.
  • Load. Next load the meatballs in tomato sauce into the bread rolls and cover with grated cheese. Then air fry for a further 3 minutes before serving.

And I am sure you can see now how easy it is to cook air fryer meatball subs and why you should be doing it too!

How To Reheat A Subway Sandwich?

Not only can you make a homemade meatball sub using the air fryer, but you can also use the air fryer to reheat your subway sandwich.

Simply place your subway sandwich (already loaded up with meatballs etc) into the air fryer basket and air fry for 6 minutes at 160c/320f.

You could also follow this for making meatball subs with your leftover meatballs from dinner the day before. If you do this, then simply skip the step of cooking the meatballs.

Meatball Sub Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Use a shallow bowl for mixing your meatballs in. It creates a fantastic all round coating on your meatballs, plus, it’s a fantastic place to store leftover tomato sauce.
  • I have found that the best bread is part baked bread rolls. It makes a wonderful crispy bread roll and feels like you have just bought a meatball sub from a street food van.
  • You can use a shop bought tomato sauce, but I prefer to make my own and its so quick and simple.
  • Depending on your air fryer size, you will be able to fit between 3 and 6 meatball subs at once.

Top Air Fryer Trick – You can also use the air fryer to reheat your leftover meatball subs. They taste just as good and you can also add extra cheese when you go for the reheat.

More Air Fryer Comfort Food Favourites

Air Fryer Subway Meatball Sub

Your meatball sub air fryer recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.

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Air Fryer Subway Meatball Sub

You will love an air fryer subway meatball sub. A lighter and a cheaper version than the typical meatball subs at subway and they taste amazing too.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 4
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  • 12 Skinny Meatballs
  • 4 Part Baked Bread Rolls
  • 28 g Grated Cheese

Subway Marinara Sauce

Kitchen Gadgets


  • Load your meatballs into the air fryer basket. Then air fry for 8 minutes at 180c/360f.
    How Do You Cook An Air Fryer Sub?
  • Whilst the meatballs are air frying, load all the tomato sauce ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
    How Do You Cook An Air Fryer Sub?
  • Pour the tomato sauce into a shallow bowl and then add your meatballs. Mix with a spoon until well coated in tomato sauce.
    How Do You Cook An Air Fryer Sub?
  • In the air fryer add the part baked bread rolls and slice in half length ways and then cook for 3 minutes at the same temperature.
    How Do You Cook An Air Fryer Sub?
  • When the air fryer beeps, add 3 meatballs to each bread roll and then top with grated cheese.
    How Do You Cook An Air Fryer Sub?
  • Air fry for a further 3 minutes at the same temperature or until the cheese has melted.
    How Do You Cook An Air Fryer Sub?


Quantity. The ingredients above, made enough for 4 subway meatball subs. I then did a second batch of another 3 that was enough for our family size. You can do as few or as many as you want. Swaps. If you want homemade then check out my aunt Sheila’s party meatballs.
Thanks for reading our air fryer meatball sub recipe on Recipe This. We have many more air fryer recipes for you to check out next. Though if you would like to try more fakeaway meals then try our air fryer salt and pepper chicken recipe.


Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 597mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 2mg
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About Sam & Dom

Hi! I am Sam and along with my chef hubby Dom we love sharing with you easy everyday recipes using kitchen gadgets. We are also the authors of The Complete Air Fryer Cookbook, an amazing air fryer cookbook filled with 140+ everyday air fryer recipes.

Beyond the air fryer we also love the instant pot, slow cooker, soup maker, ninja foodi, pie marker and several other kitchen gadgets.

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Something about a hot, melty, saucy meatball sub, man. They’re irresistible! And these are no exception. Cannot wait to try these!