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Meatball Subs

Meatball Subs

  • Author: Recipe and Photo Courtesy of Ontario Bean Growers
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


A traditional meatball sub with an extra protein twist, topped with rich marinara and mozzarella, baked until melted and crisp. Serve with a fresh side salad and vinaigrette dressing for a complete meal.



1 tbsp canola oil

1 cup onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

lb lean ground beef

1 540 mL can black beans, drained, rinsed and finely chopped

1 egg

½ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp each salt and fresh cracked pepper

6 6-inch (15 cm) whole wheat sub buns

2 tbsp butter, melted

1½ cups prepared marinara sauce

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, heat canola oil. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, allow to cool 2-3 minutes.

In a large bowl add cooled onions, ground beef, black beans, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, dried oregano, salt and pepper; mix ingredients until well combined.

Using your hands, form into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls; place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165ºF (74°C).

Meanwhile, slice sub rolls down the middle, but not all the way through. Brush buns with melted butter.

Spread 2 tbsp (30 mL) sauce on the inside of each bun. Add 4 meatballs to each bun. Evenly distribute remaining marinara sauce over top of meatballs. Top with grated cheese and broil on low for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve with additional sauce for dipping if desired.


To lower sodium, use no salt added canned black beans and choose a low-sodium marinara sauce

To further lower fat content, use extra lean ground beef

Serve with a fresh side salad and vinaigrette dressing


  • Serving Size: 1 sub w/4 meatballs
  • Calories: 521
  • Sugar: 9.9 g
  • Sodium: 1,117 mg
  • Fat: 22.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.6 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 54.3 g
  • Fiber: 11.8 g
  • Protein: 26.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 86 mg