Breadless Meatball Sub Recipe

Craving a meatball sub but don’t want the carbs? Look no further than this easy-to-make recipe.

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Many people, including myself, are trying to eat smart by finding ways to limit bad carbs and increase the nutritious value of a meal. A meatball sub is a delicious meal that screams to be eaten, but it is loaded with unhealthy carbs, fats and calories. The idea for a breadless meatball sub came from my love for zucchini pasta and meatballs. When a zucchini is hollowed out, it becomes a perfect fit for this recipe.


I took the breadless meal one step further by using ground flaxseed instead of breadcrumbs in the meatballs. The flaxseed not only adds a nice layer of flavor but also provides omega-3 fatty acids (which are good for your heart) to the meal. Although the recipe provides instructions for a simple tomato sauce, it is fine to use store-bought sauce. 

By adjusting a few key ingredients, you now have a delicious, healthy meal without sacrificing flavors. Remember, healthy cooking is the backbone of a healthy lifestyle. Without being good in the kitchen, you sabotage all the hard work at the gym.

Breadless Meatball Sub


Yields two breadless meatball subs

Meatball Ingredients:

  • ½ pound ground sirloin
  • ⅓ cup ground flaxseed
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 crushed tomato
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cut zucchini lengthwise and scoop out seeded center to make a well. Brush zucchini boats with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Place on baking sheet.
  3. In bowl, add ground sirloin, ground flaxseed, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper, to taste. Mix all ingredients until blended. Take about 1 ounce of the mixture, form into meatball and place on baking sheet (same one zucchini is placed on). The mixture yields eight meatballs. Bake zucchini and meatballs for 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in sauce pan. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook for two to three minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add crushed tomatoes, chopped basil and crushed red pepper. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Remove cooked zucchini and meatballs from oven. Place four meatballs into zucchini boat and spoon tomato sauce onto meatballs. Sprinkle with a little shredded mozzarella. Place back into oven and bake for another five to 10 minutes to melt cheese. Remove and serve warm.

Coleen Hannan is a health-conscious home cook and TeamChristmas participant from The Oxygen Challenge 2.

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