Leftover Asian Meatball Sub

$2.27 per recipe / $2.27 per serving

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This Asian Meatball Sub is the perfect way to use your leftover Asian Meatballs or Pineapple Chili Meatballs. This quick and easy meal is as filling as it is delicious!

3-ingredient asian meatballs in the crockpot as first recipe in meal planning.

Today’s Step 1 Recipe: 3-Ingredient Asian Meatballs

These 3-Ingredient Asian Meatballs are the perfect party appetizer because they’re easy to make and budget-friendly. Read on to learn how to make the leftover meatballs into a totally new meal that your family will love!

What’s to love about Asian Meatball Subs

If you’re a fan of traditional Italian meatball subs, prepare to be blown away by this unique twist – Asian Meatball Subs! Tender Asian-inspired meatballs, fragrant and loaded with flavors, are nestled in a soft sub roll. But that’s not all – the juicy meatballs are balanced by the peppery bite of arugula, a drizzle of sweet and savory Hawaiian BBQ sauce, and thinly sliced pear that adds a crisp, refreshing element to each bite.

The combination of flavors and textures in these Asian Meatball Subs is a revelation. You get the umami-packed punch from the meatballs, complemented by the crunch of arugula, and then, the unexpected zing from the pear slices that cut through the richness with a burst of juiciness.

Plus, the convenience factor here is a game-changer. These subs are a fantastic way to repurpose those delightful 3-ingredient Asian meatballs you made last night. That means you can enjoy a whole new meal without breaking a sweat. It’s a delightful mash-up that’s sure to make your taste buds dance!

Ingredients Needed

close up image of leftover asian meatball sub fusion for second meal planned recipe.

Exact measurements can be found in the printable recipe card below.

  • Sub Roll: You can use a hoagie, a baguette, or a ciabatta for this recipe.
  • Asian Meatballs: Leftovers from last night’s dinner or party appetizer will be the star of this sandwich.
  • Arugula: You can also use your favorite sandwich greens or even cabbage slaw.
  • Hawaiian BBQ Sauce: This adds a sweet and tangy tropical flair to the sub.
  • Asian Pear: Any kind of pear will work, but we love a sweet variety with a crunchy bite.

Recipe Variations

  • If you have little mouths to feed, consider making mini Asian meatball sliders on Hawaiian rolls!
  • Make it with our 3-Ingredient Pineapple Chili Meatballs for another great twist.
  • Sub sriracha for the Hawaiian BBQ sauce to give your meatball subs a spicy and less sweet flavor.

Grow Your Own

Plant arugula in your garden or in a pot on your windowsill. It’s easy to grow and will save you money when you want a fresh salad or greens to go on a sandwich.

Looking for help planning your garden?

Grab the Gardener’s Planner below!


This is an overview of the instructions. For complete directions, scroll down to the bottom.

  1. Reheat the meatballs and add to a sub with all your chosen fixings!

How to store and love your leftovers

  • Refrigerate: The meatballs can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: Frozen meatballs can be stored for up to 3 months. If you have leftover bread, consider freezing it as well, wrapped in plastic wrap and inside a freezer bag. It will last for several months and thaws quickly at room temperature when you’re ready to use it.

When you run out of meatballs, sub in slow cooker pork to make the same sandwiches again!

Make Your Bread Last

To make bread last longer, store it in a cool, dry place away from moisture, heat, and direct sunlight. Freeze any bread you won’t use immediately, or use a bread box to maintain freshness. If your bread becomes stale, repurpose it in recipes like croutons or bread crumbs to minimize waste.


Can I prepare the meatball subs in advance?

While it’s best to assemble the subs just before serving to maintain the freshness of the ingredients, you can prepare the components ahead of time and quickly assemble when you’re ready to eat.

What’s a good alternative to Hawaiian BBQ sauce?

If you don’t have Hawaiian BBQ sauce, you can use a regular BBQ sauce or a sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce for a different flavor twist. Hot sauce or Japanese mayo would also be delicious alternatives.

What makes Hawaiian BBQ sauce different from regular BBQ sauce?

Hawaiian BBQ sauce often features a sweeter profile with hints of pineapple and soy sauce, providing a unique tropical flavor that complements the meatballs nicely.

close up image of leftover asian meatball sub fusion for second meal planned recipe.

Serve with

  • Asian Slaw
  • Edamame Salad
  • Miso Soup
  • Cucumber Salad

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Asian Meatball Sub

This Asian fusion leftover recipe takes last night's 3-ingredient Asian Meatballs and turns them into a delicious meatballs sub with fresh fruity flavors and a satisfying crunch!
Katie Chase
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Recipe Cost $2.27
Recipe Servings 1 person


  • 5 meatballs leftover from Asian Meatballs
  • 2 Tablespoons Hawaiian BBQ sauce or to taste
  • 1/4 pear thinly sliced
  • 1 sub roll
  • 1/2 cup arugula


  • Reheat the meatballs in a microwave for 2 minutes, in 30-second increments. Turn them every 30 seconds for even heating.
  • Fill your sub roll with all the ingredients and enjoy!


This is written as a leftover recipe, meant for one. But increase as you desire based on the number of leftover meatballs you have!
Disclaimer: Please note all serving sizes, pricing, and nutrition is an estimate based on 2023-2024 pricing and nutrition guides. For accuracy please do your own calculations.

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