BBQ Meatball Sub

Meatball sub lovers rejoice—you can enjoy your favorite sandwich for lunch without breaking your calorie bank, thanks to lean ground beef and lower-sugar barbecue sauce. For a quick, work-friendly lunch, make the meatballs ahead of time and reheat when you’re ready to assemble your sub. For a lower-carb option, enjoy with a side salad instead of a hoagie roll.

under 20 mins

Ingredients for servings


  • 1 pound 95% lean ground beef

  • 0.75 panko bread crumbs

  • 0.5 medium onion diced

  • 2 large eggs 50 grams each

  • 4 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • sauce

  • 1 cup barbecue sauce

  • 0.5 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar either white or apple cider

  • 5 whole grain hoagie rolls about 87 grams and 230 calories each

  • 1 cup baby spinach


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Add the ground beef, breadcrumbs, onion, eggs, chili powder and salt into a bowl, and mix until well combined. Portion the meatballs into 1-inch balls (about 40 grams each) in diameter.

  • Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the cooking oil. Add the meatballs and sear them until they develop a brown crust. Then add in water, vinegar and barbecue sauce, and stir. When the mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat down to low and simmer the meatballs for 10 minutes.

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