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Meatballs on Texas Toast

Meatballs on Texas Toast combines savory meatballs, pizza sauce, and crispy, garlic-buttery Texas Toast, layered with melted provolone cheese. It’s the perfect quick and comforting side dish that pairs wonderfully with your favorite soups and salads, bringing a unique Italian-inspired twist to any meal. Also makes a fun appetizer.

Overhead view of two Meatballs on Texas Toast on a cutting board.

Why I think you’ll love these little toasts

I often fix these as sides to a big salad, especially when I want to flip the deck on a meal. And by that I mean, instead of spaghetti and meatballs being the featured dish with a small side salad, the salad becomes the main course, with two of these toasts on the side. It’s the perfect light dinner on hot summer days!

And of course, they’re built to be sides to soup, when you need just a little extra something nibbly to go with your hot bowl of comfort food.

I’d also make the pitch for appetizers! One of the great things about this recipe is that you can easily scale it up or down — it’s basically three meatballs per Texas toast — so you can make a party’s worth on one baking sheet.

I love the thought of these on game night or movie night, when you can sit comfortably with a small plate to hold your Meatballs on Texas Toast, alongside a big bowl of chips and dip.

The flavor combo of garlic bread and meatballs in pizza sauce just can’t be beat!

Side-angled view of a pair of Meatballs on Texas Toast on a wooden serving board.

Ingredients, Preparation Notes, and Substitutions

Texas Toast — What is Texas toast anyway? Texas toast is similar to garlic bread, except that instead of being a loaf that’s sliced in half across the equator, it’s sold in the form of thick slices of bread that are buttered and seasoned on both sides. Texas toast is easy to find in the frozen foods section of most U.S. grocery stores.

Can you substitute regular garlic bread here? Flavor-wise, yes. But Texas toast is uniquely perfect for this recipe because each slice forms a sort of bowl in which the meatballs can sit without rolling around and falling off: We flatten the soft interior of each slice, while the sturdy crust maintains a wall around it (see the step-by-steps below).

The small, open-faced nature of Meatballs on Texas Toast is part of the charm of the dish. Otherwise, you’re just making a regular meatball sub.

Meatballs — You have a lot of options for your meatball selection. I use frozen meatballs for speed and ease, and it’s what the recipe below describes.

You can definitely use fresh or homemade meatballs, too, but plan on a longer cooking time: they need to be cooked thoroughly and warmed with the pizza sauce before assembling.

Keep in mind that meatballs come in all kinds of sizes, even frozen. Meatballs that are about 1 1/2″ across are perfect. Some brands sell large frozen meatballs that are meant to sit atop a pile of spaghetti and need to be cut with a knife. I haven’t tried them, but I think it would make the toasts too awkward to bite into. Small meatballs are perfect.

Cheese — Sliced provolone is my go-to cheese here because it melts beautifully over the meatballs. But you could also use shredded mozzarella. Burrata would be super tempting … but also super messy (worth it? You decide!).

Pizza sauce — Use your favorite pizza sauce, or any thick marina sauce.

How to Make Meatballs on Texas Toast with Step-by-Step Photos

Ready to make the recipe? Skip to the recipe card now to get the full ingredient list, quantities, prep/cooking times, and detailed instructions. Or, keep scrolling for a visual walk-through of making this dish.

Step 1: Bake the Texas toasts

Baking and prepping the Texas Toast for the meatballs.

Referring to the package directions for your Texas toasts, preheat your oven to the proper temperature.

Arrange four Texas toasts on a baking sheet. Line the pan with foil or parchment paper for easy clean-up!

Bake according to package directions. Note that you can use the air fryer to bake your Texas toasts, although the advantage of using a regular oven is that it’s already hot when you go to melt the provolone (although you can certainly use the broiler to quickly melt the cheese).

When the slices are golden and toasty, remove from the oven and, using a spoon, press down on the soft centers of each slice to create a bowl in the bread. Leave the toasts on the baking sheet.

Step 2: Cook the Meatballs

A photo duo of searing the meatballs and then cooking them in the sauce.

Note that my recipe assumes frozen, precooked meatballs for ease and speed of preparation. You can absolutely make your own meatballs for this recipe (here are my favorite homemade meatballs, found within this soup recipe), or use fresh meatballs from the grocery store. Cooking and prep times will be longer and are not accounted for in this recipe.

Heat the meatballs according to package directions — most brands give you several options. My own preferred method is to place the meatballs on a microwaveable plate and cook them for 5 minutes on full power. Then transfer them to a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat and let the meatballs sear for a few minutes.

When you’ve heated the meatballs to a safe temperature, add your pizza sauce and heat until the sauce is just starting to bubble.

Step 3: Assemble the toasts and melt the cheese

A quad photo collage for assembling the open-faced toasts: adding the meatballs, sauce and cheese, with a final photo of the melted cheese.

When both the Texas toasts and meatballs have cooked through, spoon the meatballs into the little bowls of the Texas toasts. For the brand of Texas toast that I use, three meatballs fit perfectly on each toast. Repeat with the remaining toasts

Spoon a little sauce over the meatballs. Top each toast with a slice of provolone cheese. I usually fold the round slices in half so that none is wasted when the cheese melts over the bread.

Place the baking sheet back in the still-hot oven and bake just until the cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately!

A side-angled view of two Meatballs on Texas Toast on a wooden serving board.

Meatballs on Texas Toast is a lovely side to salads and soups, and a fun game night — or Game Day! — appetizer. I hope you’ll try it and love it!

Karen xo
Side angled view of Meatballs on Texas Toast on a wooden board.
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Meatballs on Texas Toast Recipe

This Meatballs on Texas Toast recipe is a simple and satisfying way to enjoy Italian-inspired flavors. Tender meatballs simmered in marinara sauce are nestled on garlic butter Texas toast and topped with melted provolone cheese for a delicious appetizer or side to soup or a salad.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: garlic bread meatball sub, meatballs on texas toast, texas toast meatballs
Servings: 4
Author: Karen Gibson


  • 4 slices Texas toast (frozen)
  • 12-16 frozen meatballs*
  • 14 ounces pizza sauce (or thick marinara sauce)
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • Dried Italian herb blend


  • Following the instructions on the package of your Texas toasts, preheat your oven and bake the toasts on a lined backing sheet. When toasty and golden, remove from the oven. Use a large spoon to flatten the centers of each toast, leaving the crispy crusts upright. This creates a “bowl” for the meatballs. Leave the oven on.
  • While the toasts bake in the oven, heat the meatballs to a safe eating temperature. Most brands give several options for heating the meatballs. I usually microwave them on a plate for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a skillet to sear for a few minutes over medium heat.
  • In a large skillet with the cooked meatballs, add the pizza sauce and heat through until just starting to bubble.
  • Spoon 3 or 4 meatballs into each toast so they fit in a single layer in the “bowl” you created with the spoon. For the brand of meatballs I use, 3 will fit in each toast (for a total of 12 meatballs).
  • Place one slice of provolone over each of the toasts. I usually fold the slice in half, and it covers the toast just fine (but it will depend on the side of the bread).
  • Put the baking sheet back in the oven and bake until the cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove and sprinkle the Italian herb blend over each of the toasts.


* The quantity of meatballs will depend on the sizes of the meatballs and the Texas toast, since there really is no standard size among them. Before you begin cooking, eyeball the toasts and the meatballs and determine how many fit on each slice of bread, and go from there. Packages of frozen meatballs usually have at least 20 in them, so you should have plenty for 4 toasts. Texas toast is often packaged in boxes of 8.
Nutritional information, if shown, is provided as a courtesy only, and is not to be taken as medical information or advice. The nutritional values of your preparation of this recipe are impacted by several factors, including, but not limited to, the ingredient brands you use, any substitutions or measurement changes you make, and measuring accuracy.
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