Spinach Turkey Meatball Subs

Spinach Turkey Meatball Subs

Looking for an easy, healthy meal that is both kid and guy-friendly? Look no further than these spinach turkey meatball subs.

While I love trying out creative, new recipes, sometimes you need a classic go-to meal that takes less than 30 minutes to put together. These meatball subs fit the bill perfectly. Not only are they easy to make, but Bry loves them and you get a dose of spinach without tasting it (perfect for anyone with picky eaters at home). Plus you only need 9 ingredients – and that’s including salt, pepper, and hamburger buns.

And did I mention no need to heat your kitchen up by turning on the oven? Instead of baking or frying, these meatballs are made by simmering them in sauce. Back in college when I was flying back to Boston after being home in Denver for Thanksgiving, Bry surprised me by having dinner ready by the time the taxi dropped me off. And he made one of my favorites: meatball subs. But instead of baking the meatballs like I usually did, he found a recipe that called for simmering them in marinara sauce. Holy moisture! Ever since then I always make my meatballs in sauce as they stay perfectly moist and flavorful.

Meatball bite

But let’s back up for a second. To make these meatballs, start by pulsing whole oats in a food processor (just a few pulses, you want the oats to get smaller but not quite a flour).  You could also use plain quick cooking oats if you don’t have a food processor. Place oats into a large mixing bowl. Next, add ½ of a 9 or 10-oz bag of spinach into food processor and pulse until chopped up. Or use a knife to chop your spinach. Add spinach into bowl with the oats. Stir in ½ tsp of Italian seasoning, a few dashes of salt and pepper, and a whisked whole egg. Add in lean ground turkey and combine well.

Place ½ jar of pasta sauce into a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, roll turkey mixture into balls (you want them as evenly-sized as possible for uniform cooking) and carefully place in sauce. Once all your meatballs are in the sauce, top with remaining ½ of tomato sauce, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15-25 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Serve in hotdog buns and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.Meatball sub

As with most Italian food, these meatballs taste even better as leftovers! (These would also be awesome for dinner St. Patrick’s Day as the inside of the meatballs are a bright green thanks to the spinach!)

So here’s a toast to putting my own spin-ich on meatballs 😉

Turkey Spinach Meatball Subs

These turkey spinach meatballs are a sneaky way to eat more leafy greens. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy, Kid-Friendly, Meatballs, Sandwich, Spinach, Turkey
Servings: 4
Author: The Healthy Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 5- oz baby spinach rinsed and dried
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 6 hot dog buns
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions

  • start by pulsing whole oats in a food processor (just a few pulses, you want the oats to get smaller but not quite a flour). You could also use plain quick cooking oats if you don’t have a food processor. Place oats into a large mixing bowl.
  • Next, add ½ of a 9 or 10-oz bag of spinach into food processor and pulse until chopped up. Or use a knife to chop your spinach. Add spinach into bowl with the oats.
  • Stir in ½ tsp of Italian seasoning, a few dashes of salt and pepper, and a whisked whole egg. Add in lean ground turkey and combine well.
  • Place ½ jar of pasta sauce into a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, roll turkey mixture into balls (you want them as evenly-sized as possible for uniform cooking) and carefully place in sauce.
  • Once all your meatballs are in the sauce, top with remaining ½ of tomato sauce, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15-25 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
  • Serve in hot dog buns and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Notes

I ended up with 18 meatballs, so 3 meatballs per sub.
Nutrition for 1/6 of recipe (not including cheese): 320 calories, 8 g fat, 30 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 21 g protein

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3 Comments

  • David E RD AvatarDavid E RD4 years ago

    I want this! I may need two. I’m a grown man haha. Nice work. love that you have the nutritionals.

    • The Healthy Toast AvatarThe Healthy Toast4 years ago

      Haha no judgement here for eating two 😉 Glad you’re enjoying the site David!

  • Donna VB AvatarDonna VB4 years ago

    FYI those meatballs Bryan made came from his mother’s house ( Lol! ). The traditional style of cooking any type of meatballs for Italians is starting them in a crock pot and simmer them in fresh Tomatoe sauce for 6 hours. Meat adds extract flavoring into the sauce that you don’t have to add many ingredients and it gives the sauce a more thicker substance which comes from the southern region of cooking in Italy. Also if you have leftovers freezing them in the sauce., Helps maintain their freshness. This recipe is awesome for it takes down the fat content significantly and almost feels like I am cheating but eating healthy.

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

    Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

    Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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