A Healthy Ode To: Pizzana’s Grandma Joan Sub

By Juliana Pires Johnson

Photo Credit: @pizzana

When it comes to pizza and carbs in LA, few places come close to Pizzana, as I referenced on my guide to West LA. 

Aside from the mouth-watering pizzas, Pizzana often drops limited edition sandos and their Grandma Joan Meatball sub was a favorite in our house. It may have packed some extra lbs. on us so I took some inspo from this masterpiece to create my own low carb, keto version, especially now that its gone from the menu.

Enjoy this “healthier for you” at-home version to hit the spot any day of the week!

Ingredient List

Keto/ Low Carb Bread Baguette

  • 1 ½ cup almond flour
  • ⅓ cup psyllium husk
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder  
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup  apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Kelly LeVeque’s Flax Meatballs

  • 1 pound 100% grass-finished ground beef, sirloin or bison (we love Butcherbox)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup ground flax meal
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
  • 1½ teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar of Primal Kitchen Marinara Sauce (or your favorite marinara)
  • Parmesan cheese 

Directions – Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to combine (almond flour, psyllium husk, coconut flour, flax meal, 1 teaspoon salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  
  3. In a separate bowl add egg whites, eggs, buttermilk, apple cider vinegar, and water.  Whisk until frothy.
  4. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Mix well just until incorporated.
  5. Divide and portion dough into small buns, loaves, etc.  
  6. Bake for about 32 minutes until bottoms and edges are golden brown  
  7. Remove from the oven and brush tops of each roll with melted butter, then sprinkle with sea salt. Place back in the oven under a broil for 2-3 minutes until tops are golden brown.

Directions  – Meatballs + Finishing

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (it should already be perfectly heated if you’re doing this right after making the bread)
  2. In a large bowl, use your hands to combine the beef, egg, flax meal, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt and onion powder. The mixture should be smooth, but don’t overdo it.
  3. Form the mixture into meatballs about 1-2 inches in diameter depending on how you like them and place them on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
  4. Transfer the meatballs to an oven-safe baking dish. Pour the marinara over the meatballs to cover. Bake for 5 minutes to heat and thicken the sauce.
  5. Generously sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the meatballs to coat and melt
  6. Add cheesy meatballs into buns (2-3) and enjoy your sub!


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