Grilled Meatball Parmesan Hero

[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

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Grilled Meatball Parmesan Hero

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:50 minutes
Special equipment:Grill
This recipe appears in: Grilling: Meatball Parmesan Hero


  • For the Sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Sugar, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 6 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or grated
  • 4 Italian hero rolls, halved
  • Type of fire: two-zone indirect
  • Grill heat: medium-high


  1. 1

    For the Sauce: place olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper in medium saucepan over medium heat. When oil starts to bubble around garlic, stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until sauce has slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in basil; season with sugar, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. 2

    For the Meatballs: In a large bowl, mix together chuck, pork, bread crumbs, egg, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes until thoroughly combined. Roll meat mixture into 16 meatballs 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Season meatballs all over liberally with salt and pepper.

  3. 3

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Brush meatballs with olive oil and place on hot side of grill and cook until well browned all over and cooked through, about 8 minutes total, 2 minutes per side. Remove to plate.

  4. 4

    Toast hero rolls on hot side of grill, cut side down, until lightly browned. Move rolls to cool side of the grill, cut side up, and fill with meatballs. Spoon sauce over meatballs and top with mozzarella cheese. Cover grill and cook until cheese has completely melted. Remove from grill and serve immediately.


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