Make Ahead Meatball Subs

DH is a teacher and the boys generally covet his lunches. He does take great lunches! One of the things the kids especially love about the teacher's lunches is that they get to use the microwave so the kids live vicariously through the lovely warm smells.

Today I made some meatball subs to put in the freezer so DH can just pull one out and take it. This works best especially this time of the year when school is sooo busy for him.

This is what I did:
1. A couple of nights ago I realized I had a large can - probably 28 oz. - of tomato sauce. I diced up half of a small onion and added that to some olive oil and a clove of garlic. Actually I use preminced garlic because it can sit in my fridge until I'm ready for it, ya know.
2. Once the onion and garlic were softened, I added the tomato sauce and brought it up to a boil.
3. After it boiled I turned it down to a simmer, added some oregano in the palm of my hand - and the same amount of basil.
4. Stir it up, cover and simmer for an hour or so.
5. Let it cool and put it away or use it right away.

You could just use a jar of marinara or pasta sauce but I didn't have any on hand and this can of tomato sauce was looking kinda nekkid, which was why it got doctored up a bit.

Today I got the jar of my sauce out an put it in the crockpot with a bunch of frozen meatballs from Costco and put them on low. I stirred them a couple of times over 4 hours but it wouldn't have been necessary. I did it because I know my crockpot has a 'hot side' and I didn't want those to get too hard.

Once all the meatballs were done, I opened up 8 sub rolls [also from Costco] on a baking sheet lined with foil and put 4 meatballs on each roll and added some sauce to each sandwich. Then I sprinkled shredded cheese over each. I used the shredded cheese blend that Costco has because we always have it on hand and we use it for everything but use whatever works for you. Total, I don't think used much more than a cup of cheese.

Pop these in a warm oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Let cool and wrap in plastic wrap and then put in a freezer bag before putting in the freezer. DH now has 8 lunches and it probably took me 20 minutes of total attention time today and another 20 minutes of time for the sauce.

One of the things I like about doing meals like this is that I've used item from my pantry and I'll have less overall waste of items bought. Sometimes sub rolls go bad before we eat them because they come in such a large quantity and there's only the 2 of us going through them. This way they'll keep in the freezer as part of the meal and not turn moldy! A definitely bonus and a perfectly Cool Idea!


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