Venison Meatball Panini



Yesterday, we threw venison meatballs with tomato sauce in the crockpot and made meatball subs.

Today, we took it to the next level and used the leftovers to make venison meatball paninis.

 I was hesitant at first, thinking it would be too messy but it was actually easier to eat than the subs yesterday. We made it two ways: I wanted my meatballs cut up a little so it would flatten out, but Michael made his with whole meatballs. We slapped some pesto, provolone, and mozzarella on there and it turned out great! I was cranky before the meatball sub, and definitely came out a happier person.








  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • half an onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes (add if you want extra sauce)
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 Tbs italian seasoning
  • salt&pepper
  • parmesan
  • a spoon of sugar if you like your sauce on the sweeter side


  • 1 lb ground venison (or beef, turkey, chicken, etc)
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbs italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • salt&pepper

Sandwich setup

  • buns
  • provolone (optional)
  • mozzarella
  • pesto


  1. Make the sauce: heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Chop up the onions and garlic and add them to the pot.
  2. When the onion/garlic mixture starts looking a little dry, add the red wine. (I usually keep a box of red wine from TJ in my cabinet just for cooking. It oxidizes slower than bottled wine.)
  3. After a few more minutes of cooking the onions and garlic, add the whole tomatoes and break them up with your spatula. Then, add the crushed tomatoes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and the spices and let it simmer.
  5. While the sauce is simmering, combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl.
  6. Put enough sauce into the crockpot until the bottom is covered.
  7. Form the meat mixture into meatballs and add to the crockpot.
  8. Pour the rest of the sauce into the crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours. If the sauce is still looking thin after 6 hours, turn the crockpot to high and leave the lid off so the sauce can cook down. I also added some parmesan and it helped thicken it up a bit.
  9. Put the meatballs onto buns with provolone and mozzarella and enjoy!

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