healthy meatball recipe

Healthy Meatball Sandwich Recipe

By Rachel Tiemeyer
October 9, 2012

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 with Veggies. 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 either our Homemade Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce or an all-natural or organic sauce from the store. I like 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 F oven until sandwich is warmed through and cheese is melted–about 5-10 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


Healthy Meatball Sandwich Recipe

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: Makes: 4 servings
  • Category: Sandwich
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


Turn our delicious Meatballs with Veggies into these simple hot sandwiches that are sure to be hit in your home. Using whole grain bread, our sneaky meatballs, and our homemade or an organic sauce makes these extra nutritious.


  • 4 whole wheat subs or 8 dinner rolls
  • 1216 cooked meatballs
  • 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
  • 6 slices Provolone cheese


  1. 1) Preheat the broiler. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. 2) Split open and lay subs or rolls open on the sheet pan. Toast under the broiler for about 1 minute. Watch closely so they don’t burn.
  3. 3) Turn oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. 3) While oven preheats, put together sandwiches like this:
  5. – Add 3-4 meatballs on the subs or 1-2 on dinner rolls. If needed, cut some of the meatballs in half to fit on your sub roll.
  6. – Top with enough marinara sauce to cover meatballs.
  7. – Lay Provolone slices over the top of the sauce, so sandwiches are entirely covered. If needed, cut slices in half to fit properly.
  8. 4) Toast sandwiches until sandwich is warmed through and cheese is melted–about 5-10 minutes.

Freezer Meal Prep Instructions:

  1. Freeze cooked meatballs, sauce, cheese, and subs all in freezer bags. Be sure to remove as much air as possible from the bags.
  2. Thaw in the fridge overnight or, for a quicker method, run (tightly closed) freezer bags under cold water. Do not defrost in the microwave. Then, follow cooking instructions. If meatballs are still slightly frozen, cover sandwiches with foil (so they don’t burn) and warm longer in the oven until heated through.


  • Serving Size: 1 sub sandwich or 2 dinner roll sandwiches

Check out our other healthy beef recipes!

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22 replies
  1. 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. 🙂

  2. 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:

      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!

  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.

  4. The Better Baker says:

    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.