Cheese Stuffed Meatball Sub recipe 

This is an interesting twist on the classic meatball sub recipe.

Juicy tender meatballs are stuffed with mozzarella then grilled on skewers like kabobs.

grilling meatballs on a skewer

When they're cooked simply slide the meatballs off the skewer into a warm garlic-toasted panini bun or baguette and smother them with shredded cheese and warmed Kentucky Bourbon BBQ sauce.

bbq meatball sub recipe

It's a pretty cool alternative to the traditional Italian meatball sub recipe that's smothered in tomato sauce and these are really easy to cook on the grill.

When you make the meatballs stuff them with pieces of mozzarella cheese string, it holds up really well to the heat and most of it stays inside the meatball.

Choose your favorite shredded cheese, I like the Italian blends that have mozzarella and provolone cheese in them.

And top it all off with our new warmed Kentucky Bourbon BBQ sauce - perfect Sweet Heat topping for these meatballs.

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› BBQ Meatball Sub recipe


Serves: 4 - 8 (makes 24 meatballs)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 - 15 minutes (or internal temperature 165F)

Direct Heat: 475F - 500F

What you'll need:

  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 6 mozzarella cheese strings
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice.
  • 8 (6") Panini rolls, small sub buns or hot dog buns.
  • 1 cup Kentucky bourbon BBQ sauce heated (or your favorite BBQ sauce, heated).
  • 8" - 10" bamboo skewers

meatball mixture

Step 1:
In a large mixing bowl combine the first 11 ingredients (not the mozzarella cheese strings). 

Blend the ingredients by hand until well mixed but don't overwork the mixture or the meat can become tough.


stuffing meatballs with cheese

Step 2:
Scoop out 1/4 cup of the meat mixture at a time and form small patties. 

Cut the cheese string into 3/4" pieces. 

Place a small piece of cheese string on each meatball patty mixture. 

Carefully fold the patty around each piece of string and form into a ball shape, lightly working it with your hands.  Again, don't overwork the meat or it can toughen.

Refrigerate the meatballs at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend and to make it easier to thread on the skewers.


meatball skewers

Step 3:
Thread 3 meatballs on each skewer keeping a slight gap between each meatball to ensure even cooking. 

You'll want to insert the skewer into each meatball until it meets resistance which is the cheese. 

This means you're also threading through each piece of cheese too which keeps the meatballs more stable on the skewer.

Preheat your grill to 475F - 500F. 

While the grill is heating up put the BBQ sauce in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. 

Turn to low and keep warm.


how to cook meatballs on the grill

Step 4:
Once the grill has reached cooking temperature place the skewered meatballs on the grates and close the lid.

Every 3 minutes gently roll each skewer a 1/4 turn so each side evenly cooks, they should have nice grill char marks on them. 


bbq meatballs stuffed with cheese

After 12-15 minutes the internal temperature of the meat (not the cheese) should be 165F and time to remove them from the grill. 

Cover with aluminum foil at least 5 minutes.

While the meatballs rest spread softened butter on each sliced panini roll and sprinkle the butter with garlic powder. 

Place buns the buttered side down on the grill for 1 - 2 minutes, just until the buns toasted and remove.

Place a meatball skewer in a bun and gently pull the skewer out of the meatballs.

Drizzle a little of the warmed BBQ sauce over the meatballs and sprinkle some shredded cheese over top.

Top everything with more warmed BBQ sauce, serve and enjoy!


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› BBQ Meatball Sub recipe

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