Keto Bell Pepper Meatball Subs combine homemade low carb Italian meatballs with a marinara sauce and flavored with Parmesan cheese, dried parsley and basil. The meatballs are then stuffed into cooked bell peppers with a slice of melted provolone cheese for a great low carb alternative to the more regular bread sub roll.
Keto Bell Pepper Meatball Subs
My guys LOVE homemade meatballs, meatball sliders, and my Weight Watchers Stuffed Peppers, so I created a combination of the three. This delicious Keto friendly recipe is easy to prepare and my Keto Bell Pepper Meatball Subs recipe has become a family favorite!
This is one of my favorite Stuffed Sweet Peppers recipes. They are Stuffed Pepper with a twist as I use the bell peppers in place of a bread roll to make this a delicious keto meatball sub alternative.
When making low carb Italian meatballs, I swap regular flour for almond flour to bind the meatballs together, you could also use another nut flour like coconut flour.
As I’ve used a nut flour, this also makes this Keto meatball sub sandwich suitable for celiacs or anyone following a gluten free diet too.
How to make Keto Bell Pepper Meatball Subs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, add meatball ingredients and combine using clean hands.
- Form the mixture into 16 meatballs.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- After the pan is heated through and oil is hot, add all of the meatballs and cook for 10 minutes – turning them every few minutes to ensure equal browning.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and pour the jar of marinara sauce over the meatballs.
- Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Place bell peppers (cut side facing up) on a baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Place a piece of provolone on four of the pepper halves and place in the oven for 7 or so minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
- Remove the peppers from the oven, and add 4 meatballs on top of the cheesy pepper halves.
- Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.
- Top with another bell pepper half to finish the sub sandwich.
- Enjoy warm.
For the meatballs:
- BEEF: I use 1 lb ground beef and this will be enough to serve 8.
- FLOUR: I use almond flour to bind the meatballs, you could also use coconut flour which is another great nut based flour suitable on a keto diet.
- CHEESE: Salty Parmesan cheese is finely shredded into the meatball mixture which adds great flavor.
- EGG: 1 egg is used in the meatball mix to help bind it together.
- DRIED HERBS: I use a combination of dried parsley and basil to flavor the meatball.
- SEASONING: Black pepper, Himalayan pink salt, garlic powder and onion powder flavor the meatballs.
- SAUCE: I use a jar of marinara sauce, but you can use any tomato based sauce, eg an arrabiata if you like your food a little spicier.
For the subs:
- BELL PEPPERS: I use bell peppers with the stems removed and sliced vertically in half.
- CHEESE: I use 4 slices of provolone cheese as it not only tastes great but melts really well too.
- Swap the ground beef, for ground lamb, pork, turkey or chicken. Or use a combination of meats, eg combine ground beef and ground pork.
- You can use any color of bell pepper, whatever you have in the refrigerator.
- Dried oregano or Italian mixed herbs are great dried herb options too.
- Add some chili heat by with some red pepper flakes, some chili powder or a finely diced red chili.
- A splash of Worcestershire sauce adds great savory flavor to the meatball mixture.
- I’ve used provolone cheese as it melts well, but you could also use slices of mozzarella or even Gruyere.
This recipe serves 8 and makes a great tasting lunch of dinner main. There is so much flavor in these keto meatball subs that I keep any side dishes simple, a green salad or tomato salad would be ideal.
Recipe hints & tips:
- Don’t be heavy handed when shaping the meatballs, overworking the meatball mixture will only result in tough meatballs.
- Take time to properly brown the meatballs first, this will make all the difference to the flavor of the finished dish.
- Ensure your meatballs are evenly sized, this will ensure they all take the same time to cook.
- If pushed for time, a convenient swap is to use a good quality store bought meatball instead.
Can I make ahead the Italian Meatballs?
The Italian meatballs in this recipe can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until you are ready to serve.
I don’t recommend making ahead the bell pepper subs as the peppers will go soft if left to sit, they are best made fresh.
Can I freeze Italian Meatballs?
Yes, once cooked and cooled the Italian marinara meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, before heating up to piping hot.
Try these other great Keto recipes here at When is Dinner:
- Keto Taco Cups & Jalapeno Cilantro Sauce
- Keto Skillet Pizza
- Instant Pot Keto BBQ Chicken Wings
- Easy Keto Chinese Chicken Salad
- Keto Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
- For the meatballs:
- 1 lb ground beef
- ⅓ cup almond flour
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- For the subs:
- 4 bell peppers stems removed and slice horizontally in half
- 4 slices provolone cheese
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 338mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 22g
These are a few items I find helpful in my own kitchen when preparing this Keto Bell Pepper Meatball Subs Recipe:
OXO Good Grips Mixing Bowl Set with Black Handles, 3-PieceT-fal B3629064 Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe Jumbo Cooker Saute Pan with Glass Lid Cookware, 5-Quart, BlackRecipes for Stuffed Bell Peppers: Stuffed Green, Yellow, Red or Orange Bell Peppers CookbookThe Complete Keto Diet Cookbook For Beginners: 600 Easy and Delicious Recipes – 21- Day Meal Plan – Lose Up to 20 Pounds in 3 WeeksKeto Diet Cookbook For Beginners: 550 Recipes For Busy People on Keto Diet (Keto Diet for Beginners)The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes for Busy People on the Keto Diet