These Low-Carb Meatball Subs have everything you’d expect from a meatball sub, except the carbs. This recipe can work for lc/hf, ketogenic, diabetic, Atkins, low-carb, gluten-free, and Banting diets.


Low-Carb Meatball Subs


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These Low-Carb Meatball Subs contain Italian meatballs rich with flavors of basil, oregano, and garlic. We pour tomato sauce over these meatballs and snuggle them in provolone cheese. Then we wrap them in a crust made from mozzarella dough. We bake them until golden brown to create a meatball sub everyone can enjoy.


I have tried to end my obsession with mozzarella dough. I really have. We discovered mozzarella dough last fall. Our initial experiences with this dough were not pretty. We often ended up with gooey, oily crumble instead of dough.  


In spite of these failures, we kept working with it and altering the recipe and when we got it right, we were hooked. We had a stretchy, low-carb dough we could work with.


We tweaked the recipe for this dough over and over and developed delicious low-carb recipes for breadsticks, sticky buns, pastries and even tortilla chips.


Low-Carb Meatball Subs


At some point, I realized we had loads of recipes with mozzarella dough and needed to branch out a bit more. I have tried. Really. However, mozzarella dough makes amazing low-carb versions of the high-carb foods I crave.


I dream about mozzarella dough. I keep getting ideas for more things I crave and I NEED to try them. Meatball subs are one of those cravings. 


This recipe for Low-Carb Meatball Subs calls for pre-packaged spaghetti sauce. This can be an area where nutritional information can change dramatically.


Be sure to read the label as some brands contain sugar which greatly increases the carb content. We found a brand that had 6 grams of carbs in half a cup. Other brands had twice that!


I struggled a bit to decide on portion size for this recipe. It seems like a whole sub should be a serving, but these subs are really big and mozzarella dough is super satisfying. I found half of one to be a satisfying portion. If you like, eat a whole one. A half has only 3 net carbs, and of course, a whole has 6 net carbs. 


If you’ve been missing meatball subs, this is a must-try recipe! Pair them with a salad to make a complete lunch or dinner. Enjoy!




Low-Carb Meatball Subs


Low-Carb Meatball Subs


4.93 from 26 votes

Low-Carb Meatball Subs

These Low-Carb Meatball Subs have everything you'd expect from a meatball sub, except the carbs. This recipe can work for lc/hf, ketogenic, diabetic, Atkins, low-carb, gluten-free, and Banting diets.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Author Annissa Slusher


For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cup super fine almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder grain free and aluminum free
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ounce cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 cups finely grated, part-skim mozzarella cheese

For the assembly:

  • 4 tablespoons spaghetti sauce (check the carb content)
  • 4 slices provolone cheese cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped provolone cheese (optional)


For the meatballs:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the ground beef, garlic, basil, oregano, pepper and salt. It's easiest to use clean hands for this. Divide the mixture into about 16 equal portions. Form each portion into a ball shape

  2. Heat a large well-seasoned skillet over medium-high heat. If you do not have a well-seasoned skillet, or choose to use meat with a low-fat content, you may need to spray the pan with coconut oil before the next step.

  3. Add meatballs to the skillet and cook on medium high. Do not allow the meatballs to touch. If your skillet is too small to cook all of your meatballs without touching, cook them in batches.

  4. Brown all sides of the meatballs, then turn the heat to low and continue cooking until done in the middle. Remove meatballs to a plate and set aside. 

For the dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º Fahrenheit. Have two pieces of parchment paper, about 20 inches long, and a rolling pin available. Set up a double boiler. A saucepan with mixing bowl that fits on top  works perfectly for this purpose. Fill the lower part of the double boiler with 1-2 inches of water and place over high heat. Bring water to a boil, then turn to low heat to keep it simmering.

  2. In the bowl for the double boiler (not over heat), whisk together the almond flour, xanthan gum, salt, oregano, and baking powder. Stir in the egg. Mixture will appear mealy. Stir in the cream cheese and the mozzarella cheese. This will not combine with the rest of the ingredients at this point. 

  3. Place the bowl containing the mixture over the simmering water. Stir constantly until cheese melts and the mixture becomes dough-like. Be careful not to burn yourself from the escaping steam or the hot bowl. I use a silicone oven mitten to hold the bowl for this step. 

  4. Turn dough out onto one of the pieces of parchment. Knead a few times to throughly mix the dough. Pat dough into a rectangular shape and cover with the second sheet of parchment paper. Roll dough into a rectangle about 10" X 14". Slide the parchment containing the dough onto a cutting board. If necessary, trim off the rough edges using a serrated knife or a pizza cutter. Cut the dough in half crosswise, then in half lengthwise to create 4 equal sections.

  5. Slide the parchment containing the dough onto a cookie sheet. On each section, place two halves of the provolone cheese, then arrange 4 meatballs lengthwise over top. Spoon one tablespoon of spaghetti sauce over the the 4 meatballs on each rectangle.

  6. Pinch the edges of the short sides together. Sprinkle with the additional basil and grated provolone, if using.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1/2 a sub, or about 3.5 ounces

Per serving:

Calories: 369

Fat (g): 27

Carbs (g): 6

Fiber (g): 3

Protein (g): 28

Net carbs (g): 3