These meaty, saucy, two-napkin sandwiches are destined for heavy dinnertime rotation.
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 ounces ground sirloin (90% lean)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
2 yellow bell peppers, halved and seeded
1 1/3 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
3/4 cup sliced onion
4 (2-ounce) hoagie sandwich buns
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Thinly sliced basil (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat broiler to high.
Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl; mix gently. Working with damp hands, gently shape beef mixture into 16 meatballs. Arrange meatballs in a single layer on a heavy-duty baking sheet coated with cooking spray, leaving 6 inches of open space on one end. Place bell pepper halves, skin sides up, on open space on pan. Broil 6 inches from heat for 7 minutes, turning meatballs once. Remove pan from oven. Place peppers in a small paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove peppers from bag. Peel and slice into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
Bring marinara sauce to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-low heat; add meatballs, tossing to coat. Keep warm.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion slices; cook 4 minutes on each side or until charred. Remove onion from pan.
Coat insides of buns with cooking spray, and broil 2 minutes or until toasted. Top each bun with 4 meatballs and 1/3 cup sauce. Divide peppers, onions, and cheese evenly among sandwiches; broil sandwiches 2 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Garnish with basil, if desired.
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