Aloha Subs

Aloha Subs are your favorite sweet, tangy, spicy Hawaiian flavors packed in a juicy sub sandwich!   

These Aloha Subs are loaded with tender Hawaiian meatballs layered on a bed of fresh pineapple, smothered with melty pepper Jack cheese, and topped with fresh crunchy snow pea slaw.  These meatball subs are a tantalizing, exotic flavor, texture explosion in every bite! Be excited.  Be very excited. I’ve included how to prep Aloha Subs ahead of time, how to make meatballs ahead and how to freeze meatballs so these Aloha Subs can come together in minutes!  

I am excited for you!

up close of an Aloha Sub Sandwich with Hawaiian Meatballs in a hoagie bun


How to Make Aloha Subs

When I dream up a new recipe, I expect it to be good, otherwise I wouldn’t make it and definitely wouldn’t share it.  But my jaw dropped in giddy disbelief at just how good these Aloha sub sandwiches are.  The whole thing, it just works.

The star of the Aloha Meatball Subs are the moist, tender, flavorful Hawaiian meatballs spiced with soy sauce, pineapple juice, ginger, onion, and panko breadcrumbs that bake for 12 minutes then simmer in a simple pineapple based sauce to drink up even more flavor.

showing how to make Aloha Subs by cooking Hawaiian Meatballs in sauce in a skillet

While the meatballs are becoming paradisaically delicious,  you whip up an easy Sweet Chili Aïoli of mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha and spread it lightly on your subs.  Then line the bottom of the subs with fresh, sweet pineapple to fit.

showing how to make Aloha Subs by  lining buns with pineapple and Hawaiian meatballs

Next, top with your juicy Hawaiian Meatballs and pepper Jack cheese.

Then broil to bubbly, cheesy golden deliciousness.

showing how to make Aloha Subs by melting pepper Jack cheese on top

Finally, top with refreshing, crunchy Snow Pea Slaw of snow peas, carrots, red bell peppers, green onions and splashes of mayonnaise, pineapple juice, lime juice and rice vinegar.

Aloha Meatball Subs.  Paradise awaits.

Can I use Canned Pineapple?

Absolutely!  While fresh pineapple delivers sweet juicy Aloha Subs, you can certainly substitute with canned pineapple.  Take care you drain and pat dry the pineapple so it doesn’t make the buns soggy.  

CAN I Make Aloha Subs inAdvance?

Yes! You can prep all the ingredients for your Aloha Subs in advance so they can come together super quickly at dinner time.  Prep your Hawaiian Meatballs, Aloha Sauce, Easy Sweet Chili Aioli, and Snow Pea Slaw according to directions and refrigerate them in separate airtight containers.  Read on on how to store meatballs.


You bet!  Allow your cooked Hawaiian Meatballs to cool to room temperature.  Then, place your meatballs in an airtight container or in a plastic freezer bag, decompressing the air, and refrigerate for 3-4 days. 


  • place your Hawaiian Meatballs in a microwave-safe bowl
  • cover with a damp paper towel to help retain moisture
  • reheat in intervals of 30-60 seconds, until desired temperature is reached
showing how to make Aloha subs by piling with slaw


Of course, you can!   You can either freeze leftover Hawaiian Meatballs or make the meatballs specifically to freeze them so you your Aloha Subs can come together in minutes!

To freeze meatballs:

  • allow your Aloha Meatballs to cool to room temperature while still on the baking sheet
  •  place the baking sheet in your freezer for about one hour or until meatballs are solid
  • Remove from the freezer and place your meatballs in an airtight container or in a heavy-duty freezer bag.
  • If bagging, make sure to remove all the air to prevent freezer burn.
  • Lastly, label and store your meatballs for up to 3 months.


  • preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
  • place your Aloha Meatballs on a foil-lined baking sheet (for easy cleanup!)
  • place another layer of foil over the top of the meatballs to prevent them from drying out while reheating
  • warm meatballs for approximately 20 minutes, or until completely defrosted


There are several side dishes on my site that team up well with these Aloha Subs.  Some of my favorites parings are: 


Looking for more Meatball Recipes?

Aloha Subs

Aloha Subs are your favorite sweet, tangy, spicy Hawaiian flavors packed in a juicy sub sandwich! These Aloha Meatball Subs are loaded with tender Hawaiian meatballs layered on a bed of fresh pineapple, smothered with melty pepper Jack cheese, and topped with fresh crunchy snow pea slaw. These meatball subs are a tantalizing, exotic flavor, texture explosion in every bite! Be excited. Be very excited.
Servings: 4 -6
Total Time: 37 minutes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!


  • 4-6 hoagie/sub rolls (number depends on size/how many meatballs will fit on roll)
  • 4 pineapple rings, cut in half lenghtwise
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese


Aloha Pineapple Sauce

Easy Sweet Chili Aioli

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Asian/Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (like Mae Ploy)
  • A few dashes Sriracha/Asian hot chili sauce

Snow Pea Slaw

  • 12 snow peas, ends trimmed, thinly sliced and cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced and cut in half
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Meatballs: Preheat the oven to 450F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, then set aside. Add the meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix until evenly combined. Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts, then roll each part into 4 balls (so you have 16 meatballs) and place on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 12 minutes.
  • Snow Pea Slaw: While the meatballs are baking, combine the Slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Sweet Chili Aioli: Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl and lightly brush on both sides of the rolls. Top the bottom side of the rolls with a single layer of pineapple, cutting to fit the rings as needed. (I used a ¾ ring for each roll). Set aside.
  • Aloha Pineapple Sauce: Whisk together the pineapple juice, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a medium bowl, then set aside. Heat 1 teaspoon olive/coconut oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds Add combined Aloha Sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer. Once the sauce begins to thicken, add the baked meatballs, reduce to medium-low, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes, spooning the sauce over the meatballs as it simmers.
  • Assemble: Top the pineapple-lined rolls with 3-4 meatballs (or whatever fits your roll). Sprinkle evenly with cheese and broil until the buns are golden and the cheese is melted. Top with the Snow Pea Slaw and devour!

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Carlsbad Cravings Original

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    • Jen says

      I am so glad it is “drool wothy!” Thank you so much Rina!

      • Kelly Braun says

        I never comment but needed to…these were so delicious!! I was a little lazy and used pre-packaged Broccoli Slaw instead of cutting up cabbage. This will be made many times in my house. Thanks!

        • Jen says

          YAY! I am SO happy you did take the time to comment to make my day – thank you! So happy you enjoyed them!

  1. Sheila says

    Hello Jen, I received a repy to my comment today and you asked a question in response to my question to you about a cookbook in the future, however the email I received from you would not allow a response (automated reply) so I am replying here. You asked if I was I was interested in a book compiled of the recipes on your site or new ones. I am interested in both! And, I encourage you to do a cookbook as soon as you can as your recipes are wonderful and the photography is goegeous. I made the smothered chicken with the avocado-tomatillo-ranch dressing last night…….so delicious! So good I used the sauce on a salad tonight! So, if you cannot do a cookbook maybe you could let me know when a property next door to you is available and I will be your taste tester LOL! Really, you NEED to do a cookbook!

    • Jen says

      Hi Sheila, sorry for the delay, I was out of the country without internet for 8 days and I am still playing catchup! I love hearing that you love my recipes, especially the “smothered chicken” – as it seems to be one of the “forgotten recipes” and I absolutely adore it. I If you are in the market for a house in San Diego – I could definitely use a taste tester 🙂 How fun would that be?! As far as a cookbook, I really do need to think about it. I guess I am nervous about how much work it would be. I might start with an E-book compilation of recipes and go from there. thank you for the encouragement and kind words, I REALLY appreciate it!!

  2. Amanda says

    I swear, every time I’m browsing on Pinterest and I see a picture that makes me do a double take and think “um, wow I need to eat that!!”, it’s always one of your recipes! 🙂 You’re so creative, I love it. This recipe looks amazing, we’ll have to try it for sure 😀

    • Jen says

      Sorry for the delay in getting back you Amanda as I was out of the country for over a week without internet but was so happy to see your comment when I got returned! I try and put a creative spin on all my recipes and make them “the best” by thinking out side the box so I am so happy to hear you are enjoying them! hope you love these!

    • Jen says

      LOL! you are hilarious. I wish you lived next store and we could each give each other half of our recipes 🙂

    • Jen says

      Oh good! Can’t go wrong with fresh pineapple! I hope you both get to enjoy it soon! Thanks Jennie!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Suzy! I love all things tropical – especially in the summer! I am so glad you commented so I could discover your blog – your photos are stunning and your recipes delicious! I am now following you everywhere 🙂

  3. Adam says

    So I just finished eating my “healthy” lunch and after reading all this I’m instantly hungry again. Love the recipe and your blog 🙂

    • Jen says

      You are too kind Adam, thank you! I just checked out your blog – and I am drooling over your beautiful Pesto Chicken and Sriracha Fire Drumsticks – yum!!

  4. Kathryn says

    Super good, I couldn’t get my meatballs as round but the family still loved them haha

    • Jen says

      haha – meatballs can be funny that way but I’m glad everyone still loved them! I’m having fun reading your comments and seeing which recipes you are trying – looks like you are enjoying the Asian ones which is awesome- some of my favs!

      • Deborah says

        Can I use ground ginger instead of fresh ginger? What amount would I use??

        • Jen says

          Yes! The general rule is 3X fresh to dried/ground – so 1 teaspoon would be 1/3 teaspoon but that doesn’t exist so a heaping 1/4 teaspoon

  5. Layne says

    Yum! Loved the juicy pineapple with the tangy meat and soft bread. Really good!

    • Jen says

      I am so happy you made this recipe Layne! Its so good but doesn’t get all the love it deserves as far as people trying it so I especially love hearing that you liked it! thank you!

  6. Jenny says

    Oh! My! Word!
    I just made this tonight. So, so good!!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Jenny, I’m so happy you enjoyed them!

  7. Lisa says

    Yummy! This was exactly what I was looking for. I had prepared teriyaki chicken and pineapple meatballs and wanted to make sandwiches. I followed everything else in this recipe. Delicious!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Lisa! I’m so pleased these Aloha Subs were a winner!

  8. Cheryl says

    Another hit! You are my go to for all recipes. You never disappoint! My family thinks I am a great cook and I have to thank you!!! I’ve learned so much from you.

    • Jen says

      I’m sure you are a great cook! I am thrilled you have found so many recipes that you enjoy!