Chicken Meatball Sub Sandwiches

I’m pretty sure I was supposed to be British.

English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, SOMETHING with a cool accent that makes me feel smart. I know this to be true because we’re in Downton Abbey overdrive and closing in on season two and things were so cray cray back then! I want to hear Lord Grantham say “cray cray.” HA HA HAH A HAHA. Ohhh, me.


I also know this to be true because my inner (okay, outer) monologue is a brilliant (okay, excruciating) mixture of all the regions, allowing me to criss cross dialects so that I can figure out which one best suits me.

I work from home and I’m alone and JUST LET ME HAVE THIS.


Things were sounding pretty sweet the other day as I was practicing my new Engscotwelshy accent while making these here chicken meatball submarine sandwiches. I was making excellent progress and experiencing confidence in the finest form. So fine I pretended to ride a little pony around my back yard while fetching lovely flowers for the library. I wish this was a joke.


I’m really honing my craft, you guys. As a matter of fact, this honing business is so off the chain that I decided to give you HWBSTW installation #2. That’s “How Would Bev Say That Word” for those of you who have already shoved this post to the dark corners of your cerebrum.


In this case it’s not one word, but a whole sentence. And I could not be more sorry.

But before I embarrass myself to the high heavens, I need to address two quick things:

1) Don’t let this weekend escape without chicken meatball sub sandwiches in them. This situation is dire and need not be ignored. I’m giving you my SERIOUS FACE RIGHT NOW.

2) What I am saying…okay TRYING to say in this audio clip is, “Chicken Meatball Sub Sandwich, Mr. Bates.” Mr. Bates is a character in the show and I just felt like his name was crucial to the development of my practice.

I can’t believe I’m about to do this to you.

Oh Lord.

Chicken Meatball Sub Sandwiches:

What it took for 4 subs:

* 1 pound ground chicken
* 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 cups baby spinach, finely chopped (it’s 2 cups BEFORE the chopping)
* 1 Tbs. tomato paste (obviously that’s not a full Tbs. up there. I ran out.)
* 1 egg
* 3/4 cup panko (or breadcrumbs)
* 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
* 1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes, pureed in a food processor
* 6 basil leaves, roughly torn
* 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
* 1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 4 equal sizes and sliced lengthwise
* 4 slices provolone cheese
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

In a bowl, combine the chicken, onion, garlic, spinach, tomato paste, panko, egg and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Using your hands, get everything all combined. Then form little balls out of the mixture. I got 18 balls. You can always make them smaller for more.

At this point you can stick them in the fridge, covered for as long as you need to. Or if you’re famished, let’s proceed.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Add the meatballs and brown all over, about 8 minutes total.

Pour the pureed tomatoes over the meatballs, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, cooking the meatballs all the way through. The sauce will reduce just a tad as well. At the very end, toss in the torn basil and parsley. Go ahead and season with a pinch of salt and pepper too.

Flip on the broiler and slide the bread in for about a minute. Then place 4 balls with the marinara on the bottom half, followed by a slice of provolone cheese. Stick back under the broiler until the cheese melts and starts to bubble, maybe 2 minutes. Keep an eye on it!

Serve with more basil, if desired! I obviously desired. You should probably desire.


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34 Responses to Chicken Meatball Sub Sandwiches

  1. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen March 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm #
    You nailed the "Mr. Bates" part! haha!
  2. Tony March 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm #
    Haha, you're a little nuts, but you've got a foodie heart of gold. *thumbs up* We're so trying this recipe this weekend.
  3. Meagan Wied (AZestyBite) March 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm #
    You out did yourself again! These little subs look delicious!
  4. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective March 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm #
    Oh Lord is right! This looks like dinner tonight. :)
  5. Alicia @ The Reluctant Home Cook March 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm #
    I like the idea of using ground chicken for the meatballs! Downton Abbey is so great - it's like Pride & Prejudice but with a bit of an edge ;)
  6. DessertForTwo March 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm #
    Bahahahah!! I love HWBSTW!!!! More episodes! More! And you know, I'm not a regular meat-eater. It's true. I eat sugar instead. BUT, I've been obsessed with meatball subs. I've got to try this version!
  7. kelley {mountain mama cooks} March 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm #
    I don't doubt a single part of this story. You and Mr. Bates would make a cute couple. If you weren't already married, of course. I've never said no to a meatball.
  8. Cassie March 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm #
    Paul would love these. You and your stories make my day.
  9. Jillian @ Newly Bread March 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm #
    Haha! Seriously the "Mr. Bates" part sounds perfect, you'd fit right in! I absolutely love chicken meatball subs, totes delish.
  10. Julie @ Table for Two March 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm #
    you and your funny antics crack me up!! this looks deeeelicious!
  11. Villy @ For the love of Feeding March 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm #
    When I hear meatball sandwich I immediately get the image of Joey from Friends in my head! :) This looks SPLENDID! :D
  12. Averie @ Averie Cooks March 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm #
    I am always jealous of all the great LIGHT you have in your house!
  13. Lisa [With Style and Grace] March 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm #
    ahhh, I want those meatballs!!
  14. Kelsey March 30, 2012 at 3:47 pm #
    Must remember to listen to the clip after work and also maybe not be the last person left on earth who has not seen Downton Abbey. Then I will eat some delicious meatball subs!
  15. Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen March 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm #
    Mmmm ciabatta...mmmm meatballs. I'm in!
  16. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious March 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm #
    Joey Tribbiani would love these meatball subs :)
  17. claire @ the realistic nutritionist March 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm #
    YUM!!! I could eat like 10 of those.
  18. Deanna B. March 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm #
    You accent was lovely. The only accent I can do is Fargo. And then I get stuck in it and can't turn it off. Working for British people, I've discovered that the way we say can't stands out. They soften the A. Probably makes no sense what so ever. A linguist I will never be.
  19. Margarita March 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm #
    I just streamed Downton Abbey on Netflix and finished Season 1, but 2 is not Netlfixable yet... :( I just cannot wait! Since I can't get Season 2 yet, I will settle for this amazing chicken meatball sub sandwich and serve it to my Mr. Bates.
  20. Cookin' Cowgirl March 30, 2012 at 6:28 pm #
    Awesome! I love a crusty bread sammy! This looks delicious!
  21. Deborah March 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm #
  22. Chels R. March 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm #
    This looks delicious!!! I want this in my tummy right now!
  23. Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac March 30, 2012 at 7:52 pm #
    HAHAHHA you sound like Anna! And you know she would totally bring Mr. Bates a Chicken Meatball Sandwich!
  24. Katie March 30, 2012 at 8:14 pm #
    I can't wait to steal the husband's iphone and listen to that soundbite when he gets home from work. I'll probably tackle him and wrestle his phone away before I even say hello. Then I'll whip up these little meatball subs and all will be well again...right?
  25. Kathryn March 31, 2012 at 9:17 am #
    I sometimes pretend to ride a pony round my office. You are well on the way to being British.
  26. Karriann March 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm #
    Mmm... I could eat this any time of the day ;) "Happy Cooking"
  27. Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids April 2, 2012 at 11:04 am #
    Sub sandwich perfection! Truly.
  28. shelly (cookies and cups) April 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm #
    Gimme! Must make this week!
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