Sheet Pan Lager Meatball & Veggie Subs

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Light beer
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  • Difficulty 3
  • Prep Time 35 mins
  • Cook Time 25 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Difficulty 3
  • Prep Time 35 mins
  • Cook Time 25 mins
  • Serves 4
Your favourite lager helps keep these homemade turkey meatballs juicy and delicious. Ricotta and Parmesan cheese give them a pillowy-soft texture, while chopped herbs add a fresh edge. Tuck the meatballs into individual-sized sub buns, top with ready-made marinara and more cheese, and you have a fun feast that’s easy to pull off.

Ingredients for the Meatballs and Veggies

  • 1-1/2 tbsp (22.5 mL) olive oil (approx), divided
  • 454 g ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) full-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped basil (or 3/4 tsp/4 mL dried)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped parsley (or 3/4 tsp/4 mL dried)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) light lager
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, divided
  • 2 large red, orange or yellow peppers (or a combination), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) garlic powder
  • Pinch pepper

Ingredients for the Subs

  • 1 650 mL jar marinara sauce (see tips)
  • 4 individual-size sub rolls (each about 6 inches long)
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, halved
  • 1 cup (250 mL) shredded mozzarella or grated Parmesan cheese (approx), see tips

Directions for the Meatballs and Veggies

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and rub all over with 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Set aside.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, gently mix together turkey, ricotta, basil, parsley, Parmesan, lager and 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt. (Do not overmix; the mixture will feel airier than a typical meatball.) Roll into 12 balls and arrange, about 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheet.
  3. 3. In a medium bowl, toss together peppers, remaining 1/2 tbsp (7.5 mL) oil, garlic powder, remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt and the pepper. Scatter evenly around meatballs on baking sheet.
  4. 4. Brush meatballs with a little more oil. Bake in preheated oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into centres reads 165°F, about 20 minutes.

Directions for the Subs

  1. 1. Meanwhile, warm marinara sauce on the stovetop or in the microwave. Halve sub rolls horizontally and arrange on a clean baking sheet. Brush cut sides with oil. When meatballs are done, toast buns in oven until warm and just barely toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. 2. Preheat broiler on high. Rub toasted buns with garlic. Set aside top buns. Spoon about 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the marinara sauce onto each bottom bun on baking sheet. Top with meatballs and peppers. Spoon 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 mL) more marinara sauce over each (save any leftover sauce for another use). Top each sub with about 1/4 cup (60 mL) mozzarella.
  3. 3. Broil bottoms just until cheese is melted, watching carefully to prevent burning, for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Sandwich with top buns and serve immediately.


  • Baked meatballs aren’t golden brown and crusty like pan-fried ones. If you prefer a little more colour, simply broil the meatballs and veggies for a minute or two once they’re done cooking.
  • Since marinara has a starring role in this dish, look for a good-quality sauce with minimal ingredients and no (or little) added sugar. Real Italian marinara is worth the splurge.
  • These subs are topped with a satisfying amount of mozzarella or Parmesan, but you can always add more if you like them extra-cheesy.

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