I love the flavors in Italian wedding soup, and I love a good meatball sandwich, so naturally when I had the idea to make Italian Wedding Soup Sandwiches I knew it was going to be a winner. Just think about it for a second. A ton of tiny meatballs loaded up inside a garlic bread roll. Lots of provolone, parmesan, and broccoli rabe to compliment the meatballs. Perfection in every bite!
How did I come up with the Italian Wedding Soup Sandwich?
After I made the Italian Beef Sandwich into a soup, someone suggested I make Italian wedding soup into a sandwich. I have been making sandwiches into soups and vice versa since the beginning of this website, so I was excited by the idea. I actually thought I had done it before, so I looked into the archives but couldn’t find anything.
These came out really fun and I think the tiny meatballs were the key. I debated adding couscous but I think the bread was perfect to replace the starch of the meal.
Making the mini meatballs
It’s all about the tiny baby meatballs. Definitely the most important part of the recipe. Mini meatballs are the best part of Italian wedding soup, so I knew they needed to be in the sandwich!
Aren’t they just so cute? Ingredients in the mini meatballs–
- ground beef
- ground pork
- minced parsley
- garlic minced
- panko breadcrumbs
- grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
Poaching the meatballs
To cook the meatballs, I got some chicken stock boiling and poached the meatballs right in the broth! This helped the meatballs get the sand flavor they would have in the soup, and it also added a ton of flavor to the broth itself for dipping later.
Sauté the broccoli rabe
Normally the sandwich has escarole which is fairly bland and fragile. This needed a more hearty green to be able to stand up in the sandwiches flavor-wise, and not wither away to nothing when it is cooked. I love the Philly pork sandwiches with broccoli rabe, so I decided to try it here since it has an established sandwich reputation. I just cooked it in a pan with some olive oil and garlic.
Lets build the Italian Wedding Soup Sandwiches!
Pull out some of the bread in the center, then brush it with garlic and oil. Toast a bit, then add the provolone!
Then goes the greens, then all the meatballs. So good!
People who brag about large meatballs are dumb. I would rather have 30 tiny meatballs than 1 huge one. Take your ball of meatloaf and go home.
The broth tastes so good with all the meatball juices in there and the sturdy baguette is the perfect bread for dipping.
Twists on the Italian Wedding Soup Sandwich
You could make these with bigger meatballs, or store bought meatballs. It would have a similar flavor. I LOVE the little tiny baby meatballs personally, but if it is a barrier for you to making this sandwich, then go with the regular sized ones!
You could also do pretty much any green instead of the broccoli rabe. I think this would also taste great as a panini instead of a sub!
Italian Wedding Soup Sandwich
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup minced parsley
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 2 cup chicken stock
- olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large bunch broccoli rabe stems removed, leaves torn
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- 2 baguettes
- 8 slices provolone
- grated parm
- Mix the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix until really well combined. Form tiny meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
- Bring the stock to a boil. In batches, Cook the meatballs for about 3 minutes in the broth until cooked through. There are plenty of meatballs, so feel free to open some to make sure they are cooked and snack on them as you go.
- Add some olive oil to a pan over medium heat and add in half of the garlic. Cook 1 minute and add in the broccoli rabe. Stir and cook 2 minutes until wilted and reduced in size. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the baguettes into sandwich sized pieces. Cut the top off the baguette and scoop out a lot of the inside. (NOTE: you technically could use this part for the meatball breadcrumbs but I made the meatballs early and didnt want the bread to get stale)
- Put some olive oil in a bowl and add the remaining minced garlic, as well as a little garlic powder and italian seasoning. Brush it on to the insides of the bread. Toast the bread under the broiler for a few minutes. Add the cheese to the bread, then the broccoli rabe. Next load it up with meatballs. Add some parm on top.
- Serve the sandwiches with a half cup of the broth you cooked the meatballs in.