You may remember my Italian Parmesan Chicken Dinner earlier this month, featuring Fresh Take from Kraft. Several bloggers along with myself were invited to be part of their Fresh Take Flavor Makers blogging program, thereby challenging us to come up with new and easy ways to use their Fresh Takes product.
My second challenge:
Use the Italian Parmesan Fresh Take variety, create a sandwich with a little BBQ side sauce flair and include my favorite vegetable as a side dish.
I had to think long and hard about this challenge. Creating sandwiches with Fresh Take is very easy but thinking of a way to combine the flavors within the Italian Parmesan variety and barbecue sauce was not. The one way that stood out for me was meatballs and so I created these BBQ Meatball Subs.
This recipe takes surprisingly very few ingredients and can be prepared in 35 minutes or less. Feel free to use any Fresh Take variety that you think would work well such as FRESH TAKE Smokey Mesquite BBQ Cheese or Classic Four Cheese.
I decided to use a combination of both hamburger and Italian sausage but you could just as easily use one or other, depending upon your family’s preference. With Kraft Fresh Take the breadcrumbs, cheese and seasonings are all build right in. For this recipe, I mixed the the breadcrumb and cheese mixture and added it to my meat mixture. I also added a little water to help the ingredients blend and stick.
While the mix easily makes 12 large meatballs that are 1 1/2 inches, I find it is easier to eat meatball subs when the meatballs are more bite size, especially for my younger kids. I was able to get 34 smaller balls each but for this recipe size really isn’t all that important as long as they are uniform.
After about 16 minutes, my meatballs had reached a temperature of at least 160 degrees and were just begging to be eaten! (Not quite yet little meatballs. We have to dress you up a bit first!)
I purchased a footlong hoagie buns from my local warehouse club store but any sub shaped bun will do. Just be sure to not cut the buns all the way in half or clear to the end. This way your meatballs will rest nicely in their new little *home* and won’t be escaping.
I poured some Kraft barbecue sauce into the bottom of the bun, added my meatballs and then brushed some of the sauce over the tops of them as well. I added the sauteed onion on one side and shredded cheddar cheese on the other but you can also choose whatever cheese variety or other toppings you like.
After baking these in the oven for a few minutes to heat up the sauce and melt the cheese, I brushed a little butter over the tops of my hoagie buns and served. Yum!
Here is that recipe again, in an easy to read and print format.
- ½ lb. lean ground beef
- ½ lb. bulk Italian sausage
- 1 pkg. (6 oz.) FRESH TAKE Italian Parmesan, mixed together
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1 cup Kraft Original barbecue sauce
- ½ large red onion, sliced and halved
- 1 cup Kraft mild cheddar shredded cheese
- 2-3 footlong or 5-6 6 inch hoagie rolls
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Mix meat, Fresh Take mixture and water well with hands until completely blended. Shape into small, bite sized balls approximately ½ inch. Place on foil-covered rimmed baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or on silicone lined baking sheet.
- Bake 15 to 18 min. or until done (160ºF). Meanwhile, sautee onion in a little butter or olive oil until crisp tender.
- Slice hoagie rolls to create a pocket. Do not cut all the way through or to the ends.
- Fill rolls with some barbeque sauce; add cooked meatballs, onions and cheese. Brush barbecue sauce over meatballs and bake on baking sheet with sides in 375 degree oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
- Serve hot.
This worked great as a Sunday meal for my family and the meatballs had a ton of flavor!
My favorite sides for virtually any barbecue meal include coleslaw and corn on the cob. While the fresh corn on the cob was certainly a splurge given the time of year, it was a welcome change. Frozen sweet corn just wouldn’t have been the same.
The coleslaw uses a homemade sauce that I never measure. I simply dump ingredients until the consistency and taste is right before adding my coleslaw mix, diced apple and dried cranberries. My husband and I are big fans of the sweetness/crunch of the apple along with the tart and chewy texture of the cranberries.
What would be your sides for this meal?
You can join in on the larger conversation by using the #KraftFreshTake hashtag on Twitter and Pinterest and find more great recipes at Kraft!
Be sure to watch for my post next week which will also include a giveaway!
*Kraft has offered compensation for my time in creating this recipe however all thoughts are my own.