Meatball Sub Kolaches

I’ve had a dream to make savory kolaches for the blog for quite some time now, but just hadn’t had the right idea of what they would look like. That is until recently when all of a sudden I got the greatest idea I’ve ever come up with for the blog—even after all these years. Now, I know that’s a loaded statement right there, but if you’ve been following along for a while, then you’ll know just how much I love my mash-ups. Some of my favorites are these Pizza Doughnuts, Cheeseburger Nachos and of course, these Crema Catalana Cookies. This time around, I’m bring you these OUT OF THIS WORLD Meatball Sub Kolaches. Usually kolaches are sweet and have a cream cheese and jam filling and they’re dusted with powdered sugar. These however are straight out of my savory loving dreams and taste just like a meatball sub sandwich. They’re portable, filling and so delicious I can’t even take it. Run, don’t walk, and make them ASAP. You won’t regret it.

To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, granulated sugar, and yeast. Stir in the warm milk until well-combined, and set aside until small bubbles form at the surface, about 5 minutes.

**Note: You want to make sure your milk is warm enough to activate your yeast. It should be between 100° to 115°F. If bubbles don’t form at this stage, then that means the yeast wasn’t proofed correctly and so you should toss it and start over so that the dough rises properly.**

In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg yolks, and salt. Add to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.

Add to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, adding a cup at a time. After the third cup has been added, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, adding as much of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour as needed.

The dough should be tacky and a little greasy. It shouldn’t be sticky. If it is, add more flour a little at a time, but try not to add too much at this stage.

Knead until smooth and springy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

In the meantime, make the meatballs. In a large bowl, stir the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, milk, parmesan, salt, pepper, parsley, cloves, granulated garlic, granulated onion, dried oregano, dried basil and crushed red pepper flakes until just combined.

**Note: You don’t want to overwork the mixture as it’ll result in dry, rubbery meatballs and no one wants that!**

Divide and shape into twelve even meatballs and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil (for easy cleanup) and greased lightly with cooking spray or olive oil. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely while the dough continues to rise. It’s worth noting, that the meatballs won’t be fully cooked at this stage, but that’s intentional as they’ll continue to cook later on while the kolaches bake.

Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead a few times to release the air. Divide into 12 even pieces (roughly about 2 1/3 ounces each). Working with one at a time, pull the ends of the dough towards the center to form a tight ball and then place on your work surface (no flour should be needed at this stage) and using a cupping motion firmly roll the dough with the palm of your hand to create a smooth tight ball.

Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Continue shaping and rolling the rest of the dough, placing them all on the same baking sheet, evenly spacing them out. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for another 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Once done, use your finger tips (lightly greased to prevent sticking) to stretch the center of each slightly to create 2-inch-wide wells. Brush with egg wash and then fill the center of each with about a tablespoon of marinara. Sprinkle the centers with mozzarella and parmesan. Place a meatball in the center of each kolache.

Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parmesan and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil before serving.

The kolaches are best served warm from the oven as the dough is super soft and the cheese is melty. But leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just rewarm in the oven before serving. They’re just as delicious reheated!

These can easily be adapted into turkey or chicken meatballs, if you’re not a fan of beef. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to bake the meatballs less time (about 10 to 12 minutes) for the first baking stage, as you don’t want them to be over cooked.

These also freeze really well, which is a great snack to keep in the freezer. Flash freeze on a baking sheet and then transfer to a freezer food storage bag to freeze completely. They can be kept for up to 3 months, thawed and then rewarmed.

Of course, if you’re not feeling this savory route, the same dough recipe and method can be used to create traditional sweet kolaches. Just beat together 8ounces softened cream cheese with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, a large egg yolk, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Fill the centers with this mixture along with your choice of store-bought jam and then bake as directed. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

I don’t really like to make “all-encompassing” statements but honestly this time I think it really calls for it. This might just be the best thing I’ve ever made/come up with for the blog. I can’t stress enough how delicious they are, especially if you’re a fan of classic meatball subs and/or if you’re a fan of any of my mash-up recipes. While they do require a bit of work, the end result is well worth it. Let me know what you think below and as always I must thank you for reading and following along!

Meatball Sub Kolaches
5 from 2 votes

Meatball Sub Kolaches

These Meatball Sub Kolaches are a fun baking project to try when you want a fun and delicious mash-up recipe! They're a real showstopper!
Servings 12
Prep Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 55 mins

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • wooden spoon
  • Baking Sheet

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 (1/4-ounce) packet
  • 1 cup whole milk warmed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parlsey chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tesapoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Finishing:

  • 1 large egg whisked with a splash of water
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh basil sliced

Instructions

  • To make the dough, in a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, granulated sugar, and yeast. Stir in the warm milk until well-combined, and set aside until small bubbles form at the surface, about 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg yolks, and salt. Add to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, adding a cup at a time. After the third cup has been added, transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, adding as much of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour as needed. The dough should be tacky and a little greasy. It shouldn't be sticky. If it is, add more flour a little at a time, but try not to add too much at this stage. Knead until smooth and springy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease lightly with cooking spray or brush with oil. Set aside.
  • To make the meatballs, in a large bowl, stir the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, milk, parmesan, salt, pepper, parsley, cloves, granulated garlic, granulated onion, dried oregano, dried basil and crushed red pepper flakes until just combined. You don't want to overwork the mixture. Divide and shape into twelve even meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven to cool.
  • Once the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead a few times to release the air. Divide into 12 even pieces (roughly about 2 1/3 ounces each). Working with one at a time, pull the ends of the dough towards the center to form a tight ball and then place on your work surface (no flour should be needed at this stage) and using a cupping motion firmly roll the dough with the palm of your hand to create a smooth tight ball. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Continue shaping and rolling the rest of the dough, placing them all on the same baking sheet, evenly spacing them out. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for another 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Once done, use your finger tips (lightly greased to prevent sticking) to stretch the center of each slightly to create 2-inch-wide wells. Brush with egg wash and then fill the center of each with about a tablespoon of marinara. Sprinkle the centers with mozzarella and parmesan. Place a meatball in the center of each kolache. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parmesan and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheated before serving. Enjoy!
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Breads, Meatballs, Yeast Breads

Join the Conversation

  1. These look so good. It’s a perfect recipe for a weekend day when you have the time. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    yes, I really love your creative mash ups and remember that bagel pizza for how creative that was, kolaches are new to me but I like the ingredients how its baked, so thank you

  3. 5 stars
    These were really fun to make! And the best meatballs I’ve had in a long while. One thing I did differently was to cut the meatballs in half before placing them on the buns prior to baking. They were much easier to eat this way! And, if I was making them again, I would cut back the sugar just a bit. Otherwise, sheer perfection!

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