Not your same-old same-old meatball sandwich! These Easy Cheesy Italian Meatball Chalupas put the fun back into the rut, can be made to suit hearty appetites to petite, and are quick and easy enough for a weeknight meal!
You are going to flip over these super fun chalupas! While doing this post for you, it made me want one all over again! Homemade meatballs, smothered in pasta sauce and cheese, all tucked neatly inside “chalupa shells”! What’s not to love?
So to get these going, you’re going to make the “hardest part” first. My homemade meatballs that you simply bake in the oven! Not hard at all!
Every time I make these, my house smells like a cute little corner Italian restaurant! I SO wish that they had “smell-o-vision”! But then we’d be drooling all over our laptops and phones!
So, you’ll just have to trust me on this. Take the little bit of extra time and make them homemade. Frozen meatballs are only good for one thing. Practicing your backswing.
Although, some are quite rubbery, and would be perfect for a ping pong tournament in the basement.
Once they’re done baking, let them drain for a minute on some paper towels, then place them into a frying pan with about a half of a jar of your favorite pasta sauce, marinara, or spaghetti sauce, and simmer for a few minutes.
Next, are the chalupa shells that I deep-fry using naan bread! You can buy the full-sized ones for hearty appetites, or the small ones for petite meals or appetizers.
Deep-fry them CAREFULLY in a pot of hot oil filled no higher than 2/3rds full using TWO pairs of tongs. Submerge them slowly and fold them in half like a taco. Hold under the oil, turning as needed, until they’re nice and golden browned.
Then remove them to a rack placed over a baking sheet inverted so that the oil can drain.
When they’ve cooled just a bit, enough to handle safely, place them into a foil-lined baking dish or pan….
…and fill them with meatballs.
Then top them generously with handfuls of shredded, Italian-blend cheese.
Then just pop them into your preheated oven and bake them, or run under a LOW broiler, just until the cheese has melted.
Then carefully transfer them to a serving platter for a crowd, or individual plates or serving baskets.
Lastly, finish them off with that extra love that says how much you care about the people you’re serving, and sprinkle the tops with some finely chopped fresh parsley!
Don’t these look wonderful? And they’re truly so easy to make! They’re also very easy to eat, too!
And MUCH less messy than a taco! The shells, though lightly crispy on the outside, are still soft on the inside making them pliable. They literally act like a crispy, warm blanket that wraps right around the filling!
So, if you’re searching the internet for something delicious to make for supper, that’s easy, quick, and doesn’t break the bank, you just found it!
These Easy Cheesy Italian Meatball Chalupas were a HUGE hit at my house! And frankly, I can’t wait to make them again! I’m sure they’ll bring smiles by the miles at your house, too! Enjoy!!
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1/3 cup italian-seasoned dry breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbl. finely grated asiago cheese, optional - but add it if you have it
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. fennel seed
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried minced onions
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 beaten egg
- 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
Rest of Ingredients:
- Italian-style pasta sauce, marinara, or spaghetti sauce
- 3- 4 naan bread rounds
- oil for deep-frying
- mozzarella-provolone blend shredded cheese such as Sargento's
- sprinkle with finely chopped fresh parsley
For Meatballs: In large bowl, mix all ingredients WELL with hands. Pat into a mound, divide into fourths, and make 3 - 4 large meatballs out of each section totaling 12 - 16, depending on how many sandwiches you would like. Place onto sprayed or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with more coarse ground black pepper. Bake in 375º oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from sheet with spoon scraping away any fat and place into a small frying pan or medium saucepan. Add about a half of a jar of spaghetti sauce, fold to coat, and heat over medium heat until sauce is hot. Remove from heat and cover.
Preheat oven to 400º F.
For Chalupa Shells: In deep, large saucepan or dutch oven, fill 2/3rds full with oil. Carefully cook each naan bread using 2 pairs of tongs. Slowly submerge chalupa shell, (one at a time), into the hot oil, fold like a taco, and fry for a few seconds until deep golden browned. (Turning as needed.) Remove to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet inverted to drain. Let cool a few seconds, then transfer to a foil-lined baking dish or pan.
Fill chalupa shells with however many meatballs you want, then top with handfuls of Italian blend shredded cheese. Pop into oven and bake just util cheese is melted. This can also be done under a broiler on LOW.
Remove, place into a basket, and top with finely chopped parsley. Serve hot and enjoy!