Devin Alexander’s Meatball Lovers’ Must-Have Family-Sized Meatball Parmesan Sub

March 04, 2013

Delicious meatballs and marinara sauce

Devin’s Tips: This sub is so jam-packed with meatballs, no one will ever guess it came from a healthy cookbook. In fact, it has so many meatballs, it’s almost hard to get them all stuffed into the baguette—just the way I love it!

This recipe makes 4 servings.

Meatball Lovers’ Must-Have Family-Sized Meatball Parmesan Sub Ingredients:
1 (8-ounce) whole wheat or multigrain baguette
*New Favorite Meatballs (see below)
1 1/2 cups **Main Event Marinara Sauce (see below)
1 1/2 tablespoons grated reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

Meatball Lovers’ Must-Have Family-Sized Meatball Parmesan Sub Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut a piece of aluminum foil a couple of inches longer than the baguette.
Turn the baguette on its side and cut the entire length, not cutting all of the way through, as you would cut a roll to make a sandwich. Wrap the baguette in the foil so it is completely covered.
Place the baguette in the oven to warm, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick saucepan over low heat or in a large microwave-safe bowl or dish in the microwave, reheat the meatballs in the sauce until hot.
Unwrap the baguette. Open it carefully, being sure not to burn yourself or break apart the 2 halves. Spoon the warmed meatballs and sauce into the baguette.
Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the meatballs. Cut crosswise into 4 equal sandwiches and serve.

Nutritional info per serving: 395 calories, 34 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat (2 g saturated), 63 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 644 mg sodium.

*New Favorite Meatballs

Devin’s tips: A lot of people opt for turkey or chicken meatballs and sausage, thinking that they’re much leaner than beef. If you buy them pre-prepared, that does tend to be the case. But even the chicken and turkey meatballs and sausage you find at the grocery store or in restaurants derive at least 50% of their calories from fat and contain an insane amount of sodium. Yikes, right? That’s why I make my own—they taste better and I can use real beef or real pork when I want. And if you and your family don’t truly enjoy these meatballs more than the packaged chicken or turkey ones, I’ll be shocked!

New Favorite Meatballs Ingredients:
Olive oil spray
2 egg whites
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound 96% lean ground beef

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a large nonstick baking sheet with the olive oil spray.
In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix together the egg whites, oats, and milk until well combined.
Add the parsley, onion, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes and mix until combined.
Mix in the beef until well combined.
Make 32 uniform meatballs, each about 1 1/4" diameter (use a cookie scoop or 2 tablespoons for ease).
Roll the balls with your hands and arrange, not touching, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink inside.

This recipe makes 4 (8-meatball) servings.

Nutritional info per serving: 194 calories, 26 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 60 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 252 mg sodium.

**Main Event Marinara Sauce

Devin’s tips: Canned tomatoes will always vary slightly in taste depending on where they were packed, what time of year they were harvested, etc. So sometimes the same recipe for sauce might require a touch of salt, while another may require a hint of sweetener. Here, we added very little of each and loved the results based on our canned tomatoes. If you need to, feel free to add another hint of salt or honey. Just be sure not to overdo it.

Main Event Marinara Sauce Ingredients:
Olive oil spray
1 cup minced yellow or white onion
2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
2 teaspoons honey 1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste (optional)

Spray a medium nonstick saucepan with the olive oil spray and place over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook until just becoming tender (they should not brown), 4 to 6 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and with a wooden spoon stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, honey, oregano, basil, and pepper flakes until well combined.
Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour. Season with salt, if needed.

Makes 7 (1/2-cup) servings; about 31/2 cups sauce.

Nutritional info per serving: 63 calories, 3 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, less than 1 g fat (trace saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 156 mg sodium.


Devin travels the country lecturing and consulting for major U.S. food and cookware companies. She’s on the Advisory Board of the American Culinary Federation’s Chef Child Foundation, Larry King Foundation’s Go-To-Chef to speak on “Obesity in America”, she recently returned from the White House as part of Michelle Obama’s, Chefs Move To Schools Program; and we are proud to have her as a contributor to - you can find her recipes and tips every Tuesday and visit her at


Reprinted from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook by Chef Devin Alexander and the Biggest Loser Experts and Cast (c) 2009 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. The Biggest Loser (TM)and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.