Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball Sandwiches.

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

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.

This photo makes me giggle.

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

Also: teach me how to use my broiler.

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.


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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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

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.