The meatball sub (or hoagie, hero or grinder as you may call it, depending on where you live) has allegedly been a part of culinary history since the late 1900’s. And I think it’s safe to say that this sandwich has won the hearts (and taste buds) of Americans across the nation.
After all, what’s not to love about the combination of crusty Italian bread, rich tomato sauce, fresh herbs, moist meatballs and melted cheese?
But since adopting a grain-free, gluten-free lifestyle, the days of digging into this bready, delicious sandwich have become a thing of the past for me and my family.
The Ultimate Paleo Meatball Sub
Last week, I was whipping up one of my favorite things to cook – grass-fed meatballs with hearty organic tomato sauce.
While I typically serve these over spaghetti squash, my beloved meatball sub came to mind.
Could I re-create it?
Using our Better Bread Mix, I whipped up a quick batch of dough. But instead of shaping into one standard loaf, I simply divided the dough into four submarine-shaped rolls, and baked as usual. After cooling slightly, I sliced them in half and filled the center with meatballs and sauce.
The result… just like Grandma Giovanni used to make (okay, my grandmothers are not Italian, but you get the point).
While I enjoyed my Paleo meatball sub without cheese, my husband, Jon, added organic mozzarella to his for an authentic treat.
If you love submarine sandwiches, but have given up grains, I encourage you to try this simple and delicious recipe for our Paleo meatball subs.
Paleo Meatball Subs: A Quick Step-By-Step
Making the Paleo bread for our subs takes less than 10 minutes hands on. But I wanted to include a few shots of the process to familiarize you with each step. So here goes!
After you have added your Better Bread Mix to a bowl, pour in the egg whites and vinegar. Using a hand mixer, beat on low speed to combine. The “dough” will look about like this:
Now, get your water boiling. (NOTE: I do recommend you do NOT do this in the microwave due to dangerous “super-heating,” which can cause the water to boil instantly – and virtually explode – when it is removed. It has happened to me.) Pour your boiling water into the dough and mix on low speed. You will notice the mixture begin to change consistency, going from a mush-like substance to a smooth and stretchy dough that will be easy for you to pick up and work with.
Roll the dough into a ball with your hands. Then divide into four equally-sized balls (each about 150 grams apiece).
Shape each dough ball into a flattened log about 6 inches long, 2 inches across and 1 inch high. Place on a greased baking sheet. Score the dough several times across the top using a sharp knife. This will allow the subs to expand evenly.
Pop them into the oven and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. This bread is the REAL DEAL!
Of course, you can slice, stuff and fill with anything you’d like. But grass-fed beef meatballs and red sauce are a delicious choice!
Paleo Meatball Sub Recipe
- 1 Better Bread Mix
- ⅔ cup boiling water
- 2 Tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar
- 8 egg whites (or liquid equivalent)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.
- Add Better Bread Mix to a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine egg whites and apple cider vinegar. Heat water to boiling (No exceptions!).
- Add egg whites and apple cider vinegar to Better Bread mix. Blend on low speed to combine.
- Pour in boiling water and blend on medium speed until dough comes together.
- Separate dough into 4 pieces. Shape each piece into a submarine-shaped log and place on greased baking sheet (NOTE: Dough will triple in height. Create slightly-flattened 6 inch long sub rolls with 2 inch width and 1 inch height for best result). Score the top of the dough on the bias – this will help the rolls keep their shape when they rise.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes – sub rolls should be very firm.
- Let cool slightly, slice lengthwise and fill with grass-fed meatballs.
280 calories, 16 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 8 g monounsaturated fat, 4 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 700 mg sodium, 196 mg potassium, 20 g carbohydrate, 12 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 8 g protein
BONUS RECIPE: Paleo Grass-Fed Meatballs
- 1 lb.grass fed beef
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ cup organic onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. organic Italian seasoning
- 1 pastured egg, beaten
- ½ cup almond flour
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan)
- In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients (gently but thoroughly).
- Scoop out golf ball-sized amounts and form into meatballs.
- Place on baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Simmer in your favorite organic tomato sauce for one hour, then create Paleo meatball subs.