BBQ Meatless Meatball Sandwiches

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Breville for Conagra.

I love a good "cowboy" style burger with bbq sauce and onion rings, so I decided it would be fun to do a twist on this with meatballs. This way you can really smother the meatballs in BBQ sauce for a boost of flavor. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the Gardein Meatless Meatballs which is a big deal deal coming from this meatball loving Italian American. The texture, juiciness, and flavor are all there for me in a big way!

For the sauce, I mixed store bought BBQ sauce with some pickle juice and sriracha and let it simmer while the meatballs cooked in the Breville Combi Wave Oven. I had yet to try making onion rings in an air frier so that was an interesting task as well. You need to toast the breadcrumbs a bit before coating the onions with them just to add that toasted fried flavor to the rings.

I wanted a non-traditional bread for this sandwich instead of doing a classic sub roll and eventually settled on thick slices of buttery Texas toast. Some pickles finished it off and added a bright tart contrast to the rest of the sandwich.

I cooked the meatballs on the fast-combi setting and they were ready from frozen in only a few minutes.
Meatballs come out of the oven and right into the sauce.
Bread the onions with flour first, then egg, and finally breadcrumbs that I toasted on the stovetop with a little olive oil.
Air fry while the meatballs simmer in the sauce.
Then build up the sandwich. Meatballs first, then extra sauce, then a few slices of mozzarella cheese.
Finally pickles and some onion rings.
An amazing sandwich loaded with lots of flavors and textures!

BBQ Meatless Meatball Sandwiches

  • 1 package Gardein Meatless Meatballs
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Pickle Juice
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 large Onion
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 teasoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 loaf bread, thickly sliced
  • Butter
  • mozzarella cheese slices 2 per sandwich
  • Diced Pickles 5 per sandwich


  1. Makes 2 or 3 large sandwiches.
  2. Put the meatballs into the Breville Combi Wave oven on fast combi and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the bbq sauce, pickle juice, and sriracha in a frying pan and bring to a simmer. When the meatballs are done, add them to the pan and continue to simmer on low while you prepare the other ingredients.
  4. Add the breadcrumbs to a small frying pan with the vegetable oil. Cook on medium, stirring often, until uniformly browned to your desired shade.
  5. Slice the onion into rings, about 1/2 inch thick. Choose medium sized rings to use, you only need about 4 rings per sandwich.
  6. Mix the flour in a bowl with the paprika, pepper, and garlic powder and season with salt. Add the egg to another bowl and the breadcrumbs to a third bowl.
  7. Bread the rings by first lightly coating them with the flour mixture, then the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Gently press them to help the breadcrumbs stick. Place on a plate while finishing the rest.
  8. Preheat the Breville to air fry on 450 and add the onion rings. Cook for 10 minutes.
  9. Finally, toast the bread and spread butter lightly on one side.
  10. Build the sandwich with the first piece of toast butter side up, then add the meatballs. Place the cheese on the meatballs and place it back into the air fryer for about a minute to melt.
  11. Top with the pickles, then onion rings, and then the top piece of bread. Serve.