Healthy Turkey Meatball Subs

Healthy Turkey Meatball Subs by simply fresh dinners

All summer long I’ve been mulling over a recipe for a turkey meatball sub in my mind but just couldn’t quite get it until recently.  I LOVE meatball subs but they are so full of bad calories that I just had to find a way to make it healthy.  Now to be honest, if you wanted to be super healthy, you’d skip the bun and though it would taste just fine, I wasn’t willing to do that on the day I made these!

Healthy Turkey Meatball Subs by simply fresh dinners

There’s a LOT going on in this meatball sub.  That’s not to say that it’s difficult or time consuming to make, not at all.  There’s just lots of flavours, textures, fresh herbs and all that good stuff.  The meatballs are gluten-free.  I did not add egg or bread crumbs and instead used a slightly different prep procedure that still allowed them to stick together beautifully.  I added lots of fresh cilantro as well.  I don’t cut it up finely because when I take a bite into my meatball, I like that explosion of flavour in my mouth and you always get that with fresh herbs.  The coriander did it’s job in ensuring every bite was extra special.

Healthy Turkey Meatball Sub by simply fresh dinners

I had a big bag of red pearl onions so I used those but a regular white sweet onion is just fine.   Don’t forget to use your parchment paper so the meatballs don’t stick to the baking sheet.

Healthy Turkey Meatball Sub by simply fresh dinners

Healthy Turkey Meatball Sub by simply fresh dinners

I love these ingredients I put together for the coleslaw.  The pineapple complements the turkey so well and the bok choy and cabbage give it some crunch and a nice colour.

Healthy Turkey Meatball Sub by simply fresh dinners

For those who want a little sauce on their meatballs, I simply combined equal parts of Greek yogurt and Smoky Chipotle Sauce.  Like I said, there are a lot of flavours going on in this sandwich!  They all come together beautifully though, and I have to say, I love the feeling of eating a guilt-free sub!

Healthy Turkey Meatball Sub by simply fresh dinners

This dish will be great year round and with football season coming up, I hope you’ll introduce it to your hungry game watchers.  Cheers!

PIN IT!

Healthy Turkey Meatball Subs | Simply Fresh Dinners

Healthy Turkey Meatball Subs
Author: Robyn
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • [b]TURKEY MEATBALLS[/b]
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 4 French-style rolls or hoagie buns, split and toasted
  • 4 slices of one ounce Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno chili peppers
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced
  • [b]COLESLAW[/b]
  • 2 heads of baby bok choy, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup of fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 red Thai chili pepper, seeded, finely chopped
  • [b]YOGURT DRESSING[/b] (Optional)
  • 1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Smoky Chipotle Sauce
Instructions
[b]TURKEY MEATBALLS[/b]
  1. Heat half the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for five minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further two minutes. Remove from the heat, tip into a bowl and leave to cool.
  2. Once the onion mixture has cooled, add the turkey and coriander and mix thoroughly. Using wet hands, shape the mixture into 8 golf-ball sized balls and then transfer to a baking tray and cover with cling film.
  3. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes; this will help the meatballs to firm and will stop them from falling apart during cooking.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F. Heat the remaining oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden-brown on all sides.
  5. Transfer the meatballs to a clean baking tray and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.
  6. While meatballs are cooking, prepare slaw
[b]COLESLAW[/b]
  1. Mix together baby bok choy, red cabbage and pineapple.
  2. In a small bowl combine apple cider vinegar, honey and chili pepper. Add to bok choy mixture, stirring well.
  3. Put cheese slices on buns and place under broiler under toasty. Add 2-3 meatballs per bun and top with coleslaw. Add sliced avocado if desired.
  4. Combine yogurt and chipotle sauce to make a creamy dressing, drizzle over meatballs if desired.

66 Comments

  • Reply
    Medeja
    September 4, 2014 at 5:36 am

    These subs look so delicious and healthy!
    Medeja recently posted…Indiškas Plovas su Žirneliais, Morkomis ir Panyru/ Pea, Carrot and Paneer PilafMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 4, 2014 at 6:28 am

      Thanks so much, Medeja. And I love your rice dish! I just checked it out and the flavours sound perfect! Thanks for visiting 🙂
      Robyn recently posted…Healthy Turkey Meatball SubsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    September 4, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Good morning Robyn!

    Sweet paprika, I think that’s the trick here for me because I use ground turkey for everything that calls for ground meat and I love it. BUT I’m looking for a boost, a new flavor, and this is it!

    Your pictures are sumptuous and the time you spend on cooking and photographing to bring us the best is well appreciated!

    Have a happy Thursday my friend! Anita

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 4, 2014 at 7:08 am

      The paprika as well as the cumin made the difference in this dish, Anita. I wanted to keep the flavours of the meatballs fairly simple because there is so much going on and I think it worked in this case.
      Thanks so much for your sweet comments, my friend, they truly made my day! 🙂
      Robyn recently posted…Healthy Turkey Meatball SubsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Crystal @ Simply Playful Fare
    September 4, 2014 at 9:28 am

    These look amazing! You had me at meatballs and cilantro! 😉 I love cooking with turkey instead of beef.
    Crystal @ Simply Playful Fare recently posted…Spinach and Mushroom Crustless QuicheMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 5, 2014 at 4:22 am

      Thanks so much, Crystal. What a pleasure it was to find your beautiful blog! Love that quiche!
      Robyn recently posted…Healthy Turkey Meatball SubsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    September 4, 2014 at 10:05 am

    So what time should I be over for supper? 🙂 These look amazing! I think I tell you that everything you make looks amazing, but these are divine! And your pictures are incredible, my friend! Well done…you have my mouth watering 🙂

    Enjoy the upcoming weekend! Hugs to you!
    Stephanie recently posted…Sweet Birdie Pillow With Matching Hanging PillowMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 5, 2014 at 4:24 am

      Awhhh you are too sweet, Stephanie! Thanks so much. I’m pretty sure you would like these 🙂 Hope your week has been fabulous! Hugs!
      Robyn recently posted…Healthy Turkey Meatball SubsMy Profile

  • Reply
    pam (Sidewalk Shoes)
    September 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Wow, I love all the flavors you have going on here!
    pam (Sidewalk Shoes) recently posted…Shake by Eric Prum and Josh WilliamsMy Profile

  • Reply
    cheri
    September 4, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Robyn, beautiful dish, love the spice combination you used. This is a keeper!
    cheri recently posted…Red Lentil and Coconut Soup with Black Rice, Turmeric and GreensMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 5, 2014 at 4:26 am

      The flavour combination turned out to be super, Cheri – luckily, lol. Thanks for popping in. I LOVE your latest soup!
      Robyn recently posted…Healthy Turkey Meatball SubsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Christine | No Gojis No Glory
    September 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Skip the bun?! Never! Then it’s just meatballs…And this just looks too delicious to deconstruct in that way. I would probably just use a whole wheat or whole grain bun. But those flavors must be outta control. I really can’t wait to try this one…
    Christine | No Gojis No Glory recently posted…Quick & Easy Sumptuous SalmonMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 5, 2014 at 4:28 am

      LOL, I know what you mean, Christine. I will use a whole grain next time but I thought the white would photograph better – ha! Thanks for your visit and kind comment. 🙂
      Robyn recently posted…Healthy Turkey Meatball SubsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Sweet Menu
    September 5, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Yum! These look like delicious subs! I just love cilantro and chipotle! I know my husband would love these.
    Jessica @ Sweet Menu recently posted…Caramel Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Donut HolesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mindy
    September 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I would have a hard time skipping the bun too : ) The combination of flavors sounds amazing and just in time for football season! You are truly one of the most creative people coming up with new dishes and flavor combinations – what a gift. Thankful you share your talent with us! Have a great weekend.
    Mindy recently posted…What I learned in AugustMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      You definitely made my week, Mindy! Thank you so much for your kind words! I guarantee I’ll be smiling all weekend Hope you enjoy yours as well, friend. xoxo
      Robyn recently posted…Healthy Turkey Meatball SubsMy Profile

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    September 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I AM TOTALLY going to make those turkey balls, they look like heaven in ball form! 🙂
    GiGi Eats recently posted…In-N-Out of My KitchenMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 6, 2014 at 8:17 am

      LOL, I’ve made many different varieties of turkey balls, GiGi, and these were one of my favourite. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Christie
    September 6, 2014 at 6:39 am

    These look AH-mazing! I can’t wait to try them for game day nibbles. YUM! Thank you for sharing with us at #FoodieFridays! Stop by next week to see if you’re featured.

  • Reply
    Marla
    September 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Great recipe and those meatballs look so tempting with such healthy ingredients. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays blog hop. Will pin & twitt
    Marla recently posted…Real Food Fridays #54 – Journey To HealthMy Profile

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    September 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    These meatball subs look delicious! Definitely know what I will be making for lunch today.. love that you used turkey especially.
    Thalia @ butter and brioche recently posted…Belgian Mocha Mousse Layer CakeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Velva
    September 7, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I would really enjoy these meatballs. Definitely a more healthy alternative to traditional meatballs. Thanks for sharing.

    Velva

  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
    September 7, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    This looks like such a perfect dinner! Your photos are beautiful. I love the idea of making subs. Pinning this! Thanks for sharing it with us at Foodie Fridays!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Alaska, Part 1My Profile

  • Reply
    La Cuisine d'Helene
    September 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I came from a linky party and so glad I did. They look incredible. My family would love, love.
    La Cuisine d’Helene recently posted…Smoked Havarti & Pear Grilled CheeseMy Profile

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    September 9, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Oh my goodness Robyn,
    These Meatball subs look fabulous! Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted…Herb Shortbread CookiesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Diane (@SimpleLivingEat)
    September 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    I love the seasoning… makes up for the lower fat. PInned.

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Robyn
    I love your healthy Sub! I use ground turkey instead of beef all the time. Your recipe sounds like a great way to add flavor and keep the bit of blandness away that sometimes happens with me when I substitute ground turkey. I’m definitely featuring this! Thank you for the nice comments on my post. I was tired and having computer issues when I originally posted it, so I’m glad people liked it! I did, however update the photo editing and added a video if you have time to see it.
    Have a blessed week, Mary

  • Reply
    Pure Grace Farms
    September 9, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Wow Robyn, you knocked it out of the park with this one. The flavor profile looks amazing. Reminds me of one of my favorite Bahn mi sandwiches. Pinning this one for Foodie Fridays and on my own site. I definitely will be trying this one soon. Thanks for sharing at Foodie Fridays, we loved having you and hope you will come by again this Thursday and share another of your fabulous recipes.
    Blessings,
    Shari
    Pure Grace Farms recently posted…Preserve the Harvest Series: How to Freeze Green BeansMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 10, 2014 at 6:21 am

      Thanks so much, Shari. Your comment sure started my day off with a smile! I hope you’ll let me know when you tried it – I really loved all these flavours. Thanks for sharing and visiting!
      Robyn recently posted…GIVEAWAY – Sweet Debbie`s Organic Treats Cookbook!My Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 11, 2014 at 4:19 am

      Thanks for the pins and the kind words, Shari! Very much appreciated.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    September 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Those look delicious! I love meatball subs. Thanks for sharing on #yuckstopshere link up.
    Nicole recently posted…The Yuck Stops Here Link Party Week 24My Profile

  • Reply
    Kristen from The Road to Domestication
    September 10, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Can I just say that your photos are amazing?! (And the recipe looks good, too, but the PHOTOS!!!) (Stopping by from The Yuck Stops Here!)
    Kristen from The Road to Domestication recently posted…Home Matters Link Party #5My Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 11, 2014 at 4:18 am

      Thanks so much, Kristen! I just popped over to your blog and joined your new link party 🙂

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    Pure Grace Farms
    September 11, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Stopping by to let you know I am featuring you on Foodie Fridays this evening. Hope to see your there.
    Blessings,
    Shari
    Pure Grace Farms recently posted…Green Beans Almondine with a Lemon TwistMy Profile

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    Shirley Wood
    September 11, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Your photos are beautiful. I’ve never seen such a desirable and yummy looking sub sandwich! I love adding smoked paprika anytime I can! These are great for football season! Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday. Pinning!
    Shirley Wood recently posted…G+ Growing Circles Hop #35My Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 13, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Thanks so much, Shirley! It’s a real pleasure to join up with your fun group. So glad you enjoyed the recipe and photos!

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    Jess @ BackroadsRebellion
    September 12, 2014 at 1:37 am

    This is definitely something I am going to have to try. The meatballs look splendid and tasty with cumin. I am also a huge sucker for Coleslaw and I had never thought about adding honey to it before.

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 13, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Thanks so much, Jess, and thanks for your visit. I was just over to visit your blog, and wow! what a fabulous site. Glad to make the connection with you 🙂

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    Chrystal @ YUM eating
    September 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Girl, you’ve done it again. The other day I was thinking about meatball subs but trying to figure out how I could freshen them up a bit.
    Chrystal @ YUM eating recently posted…Bacon Wrapped Stuffed DatesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 17, 2014 at 5:26 am

      Thanks, Chrystal! This one took a lot of thinking but they were super delicious! Time for me to go hook up with your party this morning !
      Robyn recently posted…Tuesday TidbitsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jennelise
    September 16, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    These look spectacular! My mouth is watering 🙂 Will have to try!
    Jennelise

    • Reply
      Robyn
      September 17, 2014 at 5:27 am

      Thanks so much, Jennelise – and what a beautiful name you have! I visited your blog this morning and it’s so lovely. I really appreciate you stopping by.
      Robyn recently posted…Tuesday TidbitsMy Profile

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    Jlie@Sweet and Spicy Monkey
    September 17, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Robyn, when you said are taste buds think alike, you weren’t kidding! Even your spices are similar! I love how you made yours into a meatball sandwich. Fantastic!
    Jlie@Sweet and Spicy Monkey recently posted…No Bake Lemon Chiffon PieMy Profile

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    Margaret Anne @ Natural Chow
    September 19, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    I’ve always been a huge fan of meatball subs, but I haven’t had them in years because I hadn’t thought about making them at home. I have GOT to give this recipe a try! Thanks for linking up at Natural Living Monday.
    Margaret Anne @ Natural Chow recently posted…Chipotle Gouda Queso DipMy Profile

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    Karly
    September 21, 2014 at 9:44 am

    This looks incredible! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!
    Karly recently posted…Cream Cheese Chicken Enchilada DipMy Profile

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    Anna @Family Living on a Budget
    September 22, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I could go for one of these right now! Thanks for linking up to Creative K Kids Tasty Tuesday party. I’ve pinned your recipe to our Pinterest board.
    Anna @Family Living on a Budget recently posted…20 Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or LessMy Profile

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