This healthier version of a Meatball Sub is hands down one of my favorite sandwiches of all time. And, more importantly, my whole family from ages 1 to 40 loves it! That’s a rare treat at this stage of life. Not only is this Meatball Sub Sandwich delicious, but like many of my recipes, it’s full of hidden veggies. Bonus!
Here’s what I did to make our healthier Meatball Sub:
1) Using my grass-fed, organic ground beef (here’s why I only buy this kind of beef), I made my meatballs using the recipe below. These meatballs are delicious, moist, and full of vegetables!
2) Next, I split and toasted some whole wheat rolls or subs under the broiler for 1 minute. I’ve used both, as you’ll see in these pictures.
3) Now on to putting together your delectable sandwich.
- First a meatball (or two if you’re using a sub) on top of the toasted bread. You may have to cut them in half if they don’t fit easily on your sub roll.
- Next top the meatballs with a healthy marinara sauce. I also love Newman’s Own Marinara because of its simple ingredients, great flavor, and affordable price.
- Lastly, lay 1 slice of Provolone or Mozzarella cheese (cut it in pieces to fit) over the top of the sauce.
4) Toast your sandwich in a 350 degree oven until sandwich is warmed through and cheese is melted–about 10 minutes.
Fast Week Night Tip: To make these on busy week nights, I make a huge batch of meatballs and sauce in advance on the weekend. Then, the sauce and meatballs are ready to go. Putting the sandwich together and toasting it takes less than 15 minutes that way! I freeze any sauce and meatballs are leftover or use them over spaghetti the next night.
Here’s my healthier meatball recipe. Feel free to sub ground turkey for the grass-fed beef.
These moist, delicious meatballs are packed full of veggies to make a healthier version.
- 1 medium carrot, finely shredded or minced in food processor
- ½ small onion, finely chopped or minced in food processor
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (by hand or in food processor)
- ⅓ cup fresh loosely packed parsley, finely chopped or minced in food processor
- ½ cup fresh, finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (How to make your own)
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound ground beef
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a sheet pan that has sides or a 9x13 casserole dish with parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up.
2) In a large bowl, combine the carrot, onion, garlic, parsley, Parmesan, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, salt and pepper.
3) Mix in the ground beef. Use your hands to combine well.
4) Roll meat mixture into meatballs, using about 2 tablespoons of mixture per meatball. They will be about 1½ inches in diameter. Place on sheet pan, leaving a little room between each one.
5) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Cut one open and make sure there is no pink in the middle to assure doneness or internal temp should be 160 degrees F.
You have two options with this meal:
After rolling out meatballs (step 4), freeze in a freezer bag or container in a single layer. Or, if stacking meatballs in a container, divide single layers with parchment paper.
When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then bake according to directions (step 5). Or, if cooking directly from frozen, increase baking time by about 30 minutes (total baking time: about 50 minutes); cover with foil if they are getting too brown on the outside.
After baking meatballs (step 5), freeze in a freezer bag or container in a single layer. Or, if stacking meatballs in a container, divide single layers with parchment paper.
When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then warm up over low to medium-low heat on the stove in some marinara sauce. If you warm frozen meatballs in sauce it will take longer, so stir continually so sauce doesn’t scorch. Another option, although not the preferred method, is to warm frozen meatballs by themselves in the microwave in 30 second increments until warmed through, being careful not to overcook.
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