Today I’m bringing you… meatballs. Stuffed in bread.

Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwiches I

Does this make sense? I’m still on the fence.

Growing up, both of my brothers were ob.sessed with meatball subs. Frankly, I thought they were kind of gross but I’m pretty sure that’s because of the whole I-don’t-like-tomato-sauce thing. And I don’t know, the idea of a round ball of meat stuffed inside bread just didn’t compute in my brain or something? Especially if the bun was totally sliced down the center, you know? How in the world are those meatballs supposed to STAY in the sandwich? Oh… the cheese. Figures. That’s the only part of the sandwiches I like anyway. Uh, actually? If I ever somehow ended up with one of those sandwiches in my possession, I often removed the meatballs and just ate the… bubbly cheese-coated bread. True story. For the majority of my life, I removed most meat from sandwiches. But I also used to put chipped ham, yellow mustard and cheddar cheese on a fat white bun at my grandparents’ house on Sunday afternoons and then STICK IT IN THE MICROWAVE.

Clearly I am not the authority on sandwiches.

Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwiches I

This photo makes me giggle.

Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwiches I

I have the mind of a 12-year old boy.

Also: teach me how to use my broiler.

Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwiches I

These hoagies or subs or sandwiches or whatever the heck you want to call them are quite delicious. A different twist on traditional meatballs, yes, but flavorful nonetheless. It’s like meatball subs and jalapeño poppers got together and… yep. You know I can’t keep things traditional. I guess they are sort of semi-healthy too, but who is concerned about that right now? Not me at the moment. Most definitely not my husband, who spent a good 20 minutes complaining (after he ate… three of these) over the weekend about how he is just eating soooo much and can’t keep on any weight. And we are talking over a cup of oatmeal for breakfast, made with milk, served with peanut butter, two bananas, an orange (like a big one) and eggs. All by 6am. And then his other seven or eight or ten meals over the course of the day. Oh yeah. Must be so rough living that way.

How terrible.

Anyhoo – you could totally use turkey in these here meatballs. At least, I think. I’m much more of a ground chicken fan but you can do it. Same with beef, though I just thought poultry fit the bill better. When I think beef, I think large amounts of mozzarella or blue cheese and bacon. Don’t you? Um. Yeah. I think today I will have to make bacon blue cheese meatballs. Thanks.

This is all your fault.

Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwiches I


Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwiches

Yield: makes 20 golf ball-sized meatballs, about 10 sandwiches

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


1 pound ground chicken
1 pound lean ground chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeño peppers, 1 finely diced and 1 thinly sliced
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
8-10 whole wheat sandwich buns


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a large baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine all the ground chicken with the salt, pepper, egg, panko, garlic cloves, finely diced jalapeño pepper and half (4 ounces) of the grated cheddar. Mix thoroughly to combine, trying not to over mix. Rolls into golf ball-sized meatballs. Bake for 30-35 minutes (the meatballs will release a bit of liquid, as well as some of the cheese), or until meatballs are cooked through. Remove and let cool slightly.

Slice each bun lengthwise and stuff some of the remaining cheddar in the bottom of each. Place 2 (or 3, depending on the size of your rolls) meatballs in each bun, then cover with additional cheddar. Place bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes, then broil if desired to bubble and brown the cheese on top. Cover with thinly sliced jalapeños and serve.

Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwiches I

Oooh and if you want to do this for the whole Super Bowl thing… add in one of these 135 recipes for football season. Oh my.

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92 Responses to “Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwiches.”

  1. #
    Ross @ TheFaceBaby — January 29, 2013 @ 12:07 am

    Any day that jalapeño poppers do the hibbidy-dibbidy with another food to produce a third, even yummier food … that’s a good day.


  2. #
    Kit — January 29, 2013 @ 12:57 am

    It’s like you know my husband…Cheddar, jalapenos, meatballs, AND bread. I don’t know if he’d ever agree to eat anything else ever again.


  3. #
    Alissa — January 29, 2013 @ 1:45 am

    These sounds interesting, but they just look so cute!!


  4. #
    Julie — January 29, 2013 @ 2:23 am

    You always make the best recipes but you’ve outdone yourself this time!


  5. #
    Lucy — January 29, 2013 @ 3:37 am

    My dad and his dad is like that- all my life I remember him eating and still eating two or three of everything, second helpings of meat or dessert, or cake and pasta! Cant just have one yoghurt has ti have two and so on. But!! He just about maintains his weight and same for my grandad- he’s incredibly thin. They both had fairly physical jobs but nothing overly demanding but they’re both quite nervous-energy people! So maybe that revs up their metabolism! I also know a guy who can not go lower than 4,000 calories a day or else he drops weight like flies! But he used to be an athlete / now retired. I think your recipes are great, I’m still preparing myself to make your tres leches cake! And I’m not sure if you have a recipe for one but ill be searching your site for a cheesecake recipe.


  6. #
    Núria Ventura — January 29, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    This looks delicious.
    I can’t wait to try to do it for my movie sessions! :)


  7. #
    Leah — January 29, 2013 @ 8:16 am

    Haha, I’m with you on using the broiler! If I don’t sit in front of the oven and watch with the light on, it will definitely be burnt!!
    These look DELICIOUS!


  8. #
    Kate O — January 29, 2013 @ 9:22 am

    I made these last night and got two extreme nods of approval from my roommates. I could only find one pound of ground chicken after going to THREE different grocery stores, so I settled for one pound ground chicken and one pound ground turkey. I figured they were both poultry?? Anyway, they turned out awesome!


  9. #
    Jenna — January 29, 2013 @ 9:33 am

    These look amazing


  10. #
    Kristi @ Cherry Jasmine — January 29, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    I’m definitely trying these for my next party. They look delicious!


  11. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — January 29, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    A dream come true….


  12. #
    Alyssa — January 29, 2013 @ 10:12 am

    Those buns look like little meatball beds :-) I could just snuggle up in one and never come out! I’m sure I’d break out in a “I hate you for sleeping in gluten” skin rash though ;-)


  13. #
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — January 29, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    Ohhh these look PERFECT! And “semi-healthy” is always good with me :)


  14. #
    HeatherChristo — January 29, 2013 @ 11:06 am

    THese are the cutest things I have ever seen.
    Your husband sounds just like my little brother who complains every day when he is at my house eating cookies about how his workouts and super fast metabolism just burn up like 10,000 calories. It makes me want to punch him in the face all the time :)


  15. #
    elsa — January 29, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

    What a fun idea!! Will try that one tonight, love it!

    Thanks for a interesting blog, love it! Take care and keep on baking;);)!


  16. #
    Wendy — January 29, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

    Your photos make me hungry! Thank goodness I happen to be on my way to the grocery store. Now I know what we are having for dinner :) Thanks!


  17. #
    Elinor — January 29, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

    Why do you do half ground chicken/half lean ground chicken breast?? Just curious?


    • Jessica — January 29th, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

      just to make them a bit healthier and lighter – you can def use 2 lbs of ground chicken if you want!


      • Elinor — January 29th, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

        I didn’t know they were sold separately like that! Interesting to know. I’ve only been able to find plain on old regular ground chicken. I figured you weren’t actually grinding the chicken breasts up.. ha!

  18. #
    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — January 30, 2013 @ 12:32 am

    Why do you do this to us?!?! I want about 10 of these right now.


  19. #
    Kristin Morris — January 30, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    I too giggled at the photo before I read your words. Ha. Oh what tangled thoughts we weave! ;)


  20. #
    Christina — January 30, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    I made these yesterday along with your peppermint pattie cookies. Both were delicious…a HUGE hit in this house. I love it when I find a simple recipe that is so yummy.

    Thank you!


  21. #
    karin — January 30, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

    looks great, what kind of buns/rolls work best?


  22. #
    Colette — January 30, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    They look like delicious li’l footballs!


  23. #
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — January 30, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

    I’m pretty sure this could be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Gah!


  24. #
    Nicole — February 1, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    At Subway, I used to order meatball sandwiches without the meatballs! Just bread, sauce, cheese, and Italian spices.


  25. #
    Jessica — February 5, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    Haha your story about eating the cheese bread is funny and reminds me of how I was a picky eater as a child. This recipe looks delish!


  26. #
    Diane — March 11, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    if i make the meatballs before hand, do you think they’ll freeze up well? im a single lady and i love having extras for multiple meals but i don’t want them to go bad before i get a chance to dig into them!


  27. #
    Alyssa — September 6, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    I made these last night and they were AMAZING!!!! My fiance and I loved them… I will definitely be making them again and again :)


  28. #
    Carrie M. — February 1, 2014 @ 11:57 pm

    Yur just funny. Wish you were West Coast.


  29. #
    Jessica — March 24, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

    I made these tonight. Awesome! I do recommend a sauce in the sandwich though. I just used cream cheese mixed with some seasonings, and Jalapeno popper juice. Will definitely make again!



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