Sneaky Meatball Subs

As I mentioned last week, Ryan and I make a conscious effort to limit our intake of red meat. We prefer eating things like chicken and fish, which are lower in saturated fats and cholesterol. Another healthy alternative to red meat is lean ground turkey. (Not to mention, it’s usually less expensive!) I love it—Ryan, not so much. Because he’s such a good husband, he eats my favorite Herbed Turkey Burgers, but I can tell he’s not crazy about them. I’ve been determined to find something that would make Ryan happy while allowing me to make ground turkey a consistent part of our diet, and I think I finally found it. These “Sneaky Meatball Subs” from Iowa Girl Eats are incredibly yummy and the best part is, Ryan agrees!!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small zucchini
  • ¼ small white onion
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. each salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella

First, grate the onion and zucchini with a box grater. Then, combine it with the minced garlic in a small bowl.

In a separate, large bowl, add the ground turkey, egg white, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and panko bread crumbs. Mix it all together with your hands. Yes, it’s messy, but also fun!

After that, add the zucchini blend and mix it all together. (I find the ingredients are easier to combine if you keep the zucchini mixture separate at first.)

Next, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a wire rack with canola oil. Place the rack over a baking sheet to catch any juices that drip.

Start forming the meatballs. I was able to make nineteen medium-sized meatballs but I only needed twelve—meaning leftovers for the doggies. Boy, were they happy!

Space the meatballs evenly, about ½ inch apart, then bake them in the oven for 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, cut the hoagie rolls open. Go ahead and pull some of the extra bread out to make more room for the meatballs. Now is also a good time to heat up the marinara sauce on low on the stovetop. (I used Publix Premium Marinara Sauce, but feel free to make your own.)

When the meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and set the temperature to broil. Place three meatballs in each hoagie roll and top it with a big spoonful of marinara. Finally, add one ounce of mozzarella to each sub and place it in the oven on the top rack.

It won’t take more than a minute for the bread to toast and the cheese to melt, so watch them very carefully. I got distracted so mine came out a little burnt, but they were still delicious!

These meatball subs are perfect for game-day or any other casual get-together. Plus, the picky eaters in your family will never know they’re eating zucchini. I won’t tell if you don’t!

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Sneaky Meatball Subs adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.

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