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Mom’s Dynamite Sandwiches

Whenever we had a family get-together and my mom had a lot of people to feed, she'd make her delicious dynamite sandwiches. I am from Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and this is a staple in this area. Dynamites are to Woonsocket what cheesesteaks are to Philadelphia. —Kathy Hewitt, Cranston, Rhode Island
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Cook: 1 hour 20 min.
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 2-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 5 medium green peppers, finely chopped
  • 4 large onions, chopped (6 cups)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 can (16 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 16 hoagie buns or other sandwich rolls, split


  • In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain.
  • Stir in all remaining ingredients except buns. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 1 hour or until desired consistency and flavors are blended, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns.
Nutrition Facts
1 sandwich: 414 calories, 13g fat (4g saturated fat), 44mg cholesterol, 1003mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 5g fiber), 24g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • Tina
    Aug 31, 2020

    I hate to give this 4 stars but I too am from Woonsocket RI and I too grew up having Dynamites all year long. We have had them at family gatherings, dinner, potluck events and anytime you need a quick crock pot dinner. The only things needed in this recipe is the red peppers. 4 green and 4 red. Hot sauce...unnecessary. As is the hot pepper flakes. Dynamites are best enjoyed, enjoying the peppers so please DO NOT finely dice your peppers. Cut peppers in half then SLICE your peppers the width of a pencil. Onions are cut the same way. This sandwich is best on a sub/grinder roll, any other roll will prove to be extremely messy.

  • Dee
    Jul 7, 2020

    I too am from Woonsocket, R.I. and was thrilled to find this all time summer favorite. My mom used to make them and put the hot mixture into a thermos container and we would take them to picnics at Colt State Park, Wallum Lake and Silver Lake. Great memories. Don’t forget the potato chips.

  • Cathy F.
    Jul 26, 2016

    Kathy, thank you for posting this Dynamites recipe! I grew up in Woonsocket, RI and this dish was present at all kinds of events throughout my childhood. Now living in the Midwest, I am making Dynamites for the first time. It is such a simple process to make these, thank you for sharing your version. This is a unique part of Northern Rhode Island culture.

    Jul 21, 2014

    Oh my, craftyroger, that is nothing like the recipe posted. I'm from Woonsocket, RI also, like the poster. The recipe posted is all cooked together to make sort of a sauce that's served on crusty rolls. They are delicious! Wish I could post a pic to show how they look all put together.

  • craftyroger
    Feb 7, 2014

    Great and easy recipe. I tweeked it though using the ground beef and adding garlic and onion powder, wistashear sauce italian bread crumbs eggs and rolled them into a hotdog like meatball. Cooked them in oven then added them to the sauce to simmer away. Also the sauce is a simple larg e can of Hunts tomoto sauce with garlic and onion powder, chile powder, small amount of pepper flakes salt pepper and sugar. Youll want to make these all the time. For exact ingrediants email me.