Healthy Meatball Sandwich Recipe

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!

healthy meatball sandwiches

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!

Healthier Meatball Sub Recipe

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.

Healthier Meatball Sub Recipe

3) Now on to putting together your delectable sandwich.

healthy meatball sub recipe

  • 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.

healthy meatball recipe

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.

Healthier Meatball Sub Recipe

Here’s my healthier meatball recipe. Feel free to sub ground turkey for the grass-fed beef.

Healthier Meatballs with Veggies

Yields: about 15 1.5-inch meatballs

These moist, delicious meatballs are packed full of veggies to make a healthier version.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

Freezer Meal Prep Instructions:

You have two options with this meal:

Option 1: Do not bake meatballs first.

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.

Option 2: Bake meatballs first.

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.

http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2012/10/meatball-sub-recipe-my-healthier-version/

 

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Comments

  1. These look sooo mouth-watering! Love you little guy with the stringy cheese out of his mouth. =) Thanks so much for linking up at Weekend Potluck. I love anything you can put a healthy spin on.

  2. Darcie says

    I’m excited to try these, Rach! I love all the additions. :)

  3. Janice says

    I’m really trying to serve my family healthier meals. I’ve discovered grass fed beef and have been searching for recipes for grass fed beef. My family is going to love these meatball subs and I’ll feel good serving it to them.

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  6. Brittany says

    Yummy! I’m going to have to make these for our family! Thank you for sharing.

    • Rachel says

      Hope you enjoy them. Never get a complaint with these. And that’s hard to come by! :)

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  8. Rose says

    Do you freeze the meatballs and sauce mixed together or separate?
    Just had them for dinner and my toddlers loved them!

    • Rachel says

      I freeze them in the sauce. It keeps them moist and makes it easy to warm up on the stove that way. Congrats on getting the toddlers to like these guys. I always do a little dance, well figuratively, when my little ones try a new healthy food!

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  10. Jen says

    Delicious! Had these for dinner last, and will definitely be making them again! I also added in a stalk of celery and a little green pepper. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Rachel says

      Yum! Sounds great. I’m so glad you’d enjoyed them. We had them this week too with no complaints.

  11. Sara says

    Yumm! Just made these tonight! Simple to put together & very tasty!

    • Rachel says

      Awesome, Sara. So glad! I need to make these again soon.

  12. April says

    Just wanted to say that I love your blog and all these recipes! I’ve made (and passed on) many of these recipes and these homemade meatballs are my husband’s favorite. He keeps requesting I make them like every other week and he’s never liked my cooking before. :)

    • Rachel says

      Ah, thanks. I’m blushing. :)

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