Grilled Meatball Subs and Zucchini Oven Chips

I found a meatball grill basket at Williams-Sonoma for $10. I couldn't refuse. But you don't need one to grill meatballs. Most grill baskets would work. You could even fry them in a fry pan on top of the stove or even broil/bake them in the oven. These can be made a day ahead kept in barbecue sauce in a crock-pot.

Grilled Meatball Subs

From Williams-Sonoma


  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup torn pieces of crustless white bread (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 jar smoky bacon barbecue sauce
  • 4 sourdough sandwich rolls, each about 5 inches long, halved lengthwise
  • 4 slices provolone cheese, each 1 oz., cut into 1-inch strips


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.

In a large bowl, combine the milk and bread and stir until evenly moistened. Set aside.

Finely dice half of 1 onion. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 6 minutes, reducing the heat as needed to prevent browning. Let cool to room temperature.

Add the cooked onion, ground beef, parsley, thyme, the 1 tsp. salt and pepper to the bowl with the bread mixture. Using a spoon or your hands, gently mix just until the ingredients are combined.

Spray the wells of a meatball grill basket with nonstick cooking spray. Using about 3 Tbs. of the meat mixture for each meatball, form the mixture into balls in the bottom half of the wells (the side with the handle). Close the lid on the basket.

Thinly slice the remaining onions. In a bowl, stir together the onions and the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil. Transfer the onions to a mesh grill-top fry pan and place on the grill. Cover the grill and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Season the onions with salt and pepper; keep the onions on the grill. (I sauteed mine on the stove).

Place the meatball basket on the grill. Cover the grill and cook, turning the meatball basket over once, until the meatballs are cooked through, about 14 minutes total. Meanwhile, continue cooking the onions, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.

Remove the meatball basket from the grill but keep the onions on the grill. Pour the barbecue sauce into a 5-quart Dutch oven, add the meatballs to the pot and place on the grill. Heat until the sauce is warm, 2 to 3 minutes.

Arrange the sandwich rolls, cut side down, on the grill and toast until golden, 2 to 4 minutes. To assemble the sandwiches, layer the onions, meatballs and cheese on the rolls, dividing evenly; spoon on more sauce, if desired. Place the sandwiches on the unheated side of the grill, cover and heat until the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes. ( I toasted the buns and melted the cheese at the same time in the oven). Serve immediately. Serves 6 with 2 meatballs per person.

For the barbecue sauce, make or buy your favorite and add bacon and liquid smoke to it to achieve the smoky bacon flavor. I bought a bottle of Annie's smoky maple barbecue sauce and it was too spicy. I added T-Dawgs sauce to it and liquid smoke to taste. (When adding liquid smoke, start with a small amount. Add more to taste.) Instead of adding bacon to the barbecue sauce, I put bacon on the sandwiches. The meatballs can be made a day ahead and kept in enough barbecue sauce to cover them. I kept them in a crock-pot and reheated on low for several hours.

Zucchini Oven Chips
From Cooking Light
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)


  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Calories:61 (28% from fat)
Fat:1.9g (sat 1g,mono 0.5g,poly 0.2g)


Lindsay said...

This was a decadently yummy sandwich. Mmmmm.

Taryn said...

That was a treat.

Carrot Jello said...

I'd eat meatballs on anything.