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Vegan Meatball Subs

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Sandwich fans will love these vegan meatball subs.  Not only are these lentil balls super easy to make, but also 100% plant-based, and sooo delicious!! Perfect in subs or over spaghetti. Soy-free, Nutfree.  Gluten-free option.

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If you’re a sandwich fan like me, you will LOVE this easy vegan meatball sub recipe.  Not only is it super simple to make it’s also 100 % plant-based, soy-free and and sooo delicious!!

We have baked lentil meatballs covered with marinara and melty vegan cheese served over an oven-toasted bun that gets brushed with garlic butter! YUM! Also all baked in the same pan so fewer dishes!

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The vegan meatball subs are completely made from scratch and while many plant-based meatballs use tofu, these are soy-free. The flavor comes from lots of Italian herbs, spices, and nutritional yeast. While the ingredient list for this vegan meatball sub recipe might seem rather long, at first sight, most of the ingredients are really just spices. While you can pan-fry vegan meatballs, I prefer this baked version.

And then all you need is a good marinara sauce and some Italian sandwich rolls or baguette. Let’s not forget a sprinkle of some vegan cheese and maybe some fresh parsley on top.

The perfect weeknight dinner and let me tell you, kids LOVE these! These are perfect for game days and picnics. Serve the lentil balls with spaghetti and marinara for variation.

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More vegan burgers and sandwiches:

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4.8 from 5 votes

Vegan Meatball Subs

Sandwich fans will love these vegan meatball subs.  Not only are these lentil balls super easy to make, but also 100 % plant-based, and Baked!! Perfect in subs or over spaghetti. Soyfree Nutfree recipe makes 14-16 balls
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan meatball subs, vegan meatballs
Servings: 4
Calories: 395kcal
Author: Vegan Richa

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots or red onion
  • 15 ounce (425 g) can lentils drained or 1 1/2 cup cooked lentils (green or brown)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) vegan mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup (80 g) breadcrumbs

For the subs:

  • 18 to 20 ounces (510 g) marinara sauce or pasta sauce of choice
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) vegan mozzarella cheese
  • 4 Long buns or other bread of choice

Instructions

  • For the meatballs: Heat a skillet over medium low heat. Add the olive oil and let it get hot. Then add the garlic and shallots and cook until golden then set aside.
  • To a bowl, add the lentils And mash until half of the lentils are mashed. Add the garlic and shallots and the rest of the ingredients except the breadcrumbs and mix really well.
  • Then add in 1/2 a cup of the breadcrumbs first then mix in. Then add more breadcrumbs as needed until the mixture is not overly moist or sticky. Or add in 1-2 tablespoons flour if needed
  • Line a 9 x 11 or similar size baking dish with parchment. Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out your meatball mixture. Then roll it between your hands to even it out and then place it on the parchment lined baking dish. Brush with oil (optional)
  • Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit(206 degrees C)  for 20 to 25 minutes or until the outside of the meatballs is crisp and set. Remove the meatballs from the baking dish.
  • Assemble: Add your hot dog buns to the baking dish and brush with melted vegan butter or olive oil or some vegan garlic butter. (Remove the parchment before adding the buns as some parchment papers are not broil proof and might burn)
  • Put the dish back in the oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the bread is starting to turn golden. Remove the dish from the oven, Add your meatballs to the bread.
  • Heat up your pasta sauce until it’s about hot and drizzle over the meatballs. Add a good helping of vegan cheese on top and then return the baking dish to the oven.
  • Broil again for 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese on top and then remove from the oven. Top with some fresh herbs such as basil or parsley. Serve immediately.

Notes

To make the meatballs gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs. use gluten-free bread to serve it or serve with gluten-free pasta as spaghetti and meatballs.

storage: Store the baked “meatballs” refrigerated for upto 3 days. Reheat in the oven for 5 minutes (you can put them another baking dish while broiling the bread. Then add to the bread, top with hot marinara and cheese and broil again

Nutrition does not include bread. 1 serving is 4 meatballs with bread and vegan cheese 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Meatball Subs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 395 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 658mg29%
Potassium 1168mg33%
Carbohydrates 60g20%
Fiber 15g63%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 776IU16%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 131mg13%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Ingredients:

  • the base of our meatballs are lentils – cooked and drained
  • minced fried garlic and finely chopped shallots are sauteed for some umami
  • seasoning: I like a blend of fennel seeds, pepper flakes, nutmeg, onion powder, black pepper, and Italian seasoning, oregano, and parsley
  • vegan mozzarella, vegan Worcestershire-sauce, tomato paste, and nutritional yeast are added to the meatballs for that boost of umami
  • flour and breadcrumbs help bind the mix together and flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water acts as a stand-in for the egg
  • Marinara sauce and more vegan cheese are quintessential to the classic meatball sub and this is what I add here

Tips:

  • To make the meatballs gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • You can use your favorite gluten-free bread to serve this
  • Alternatively, serve the lentil meatballs over gluten-free pasta for a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs
  • As a topping, use homemade or storebought marinara or your favorite pasta sauce of choice

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How to make vegan Meatball Subs:

For the meatballs: Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and let it get hot. Then add the garlic and shallots and cook until golden, then set aside.

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To a bowl, add the lentils And mash until half of the lentils are mashed. Add the garlic and shallots and the rest of the ingredients except the breadcrumbs and mix really well.

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Then add in 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs first then mix in. Then add more breadcrumbs as needed until the mixture is not overly moist or sticky.

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Line a 9 x 11 or similar size baking dish with parchment. Use a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out your meatball mixture. Then roll it between your hands to even it out and then place it on the parchment-lined baking dish. Brush with oil (optional)

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Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (206 degrees C)  for 20 to 25 minutes or until the outside of the meatballs is crisp and set. Remove the meatballs from the baking dish.

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Add your hot dog buns to the baking dish and brush with melted vegan butter or olive oil or some garlic butter.

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Put the dish back in the oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the bread is starting to turn golden. Remove the dish from the oven, and add your meatballs to the bread.

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Heat up your pasta sauce until it’s about hot and drizzle over the meatballs. Add a good helping of vegan cheese on top and then return the baking dish to the oven.

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Broil again for 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese on top and then remove from the oven. Top with some fresh herbs such as basil or parsley. Serve immediately.

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To Store

Store the baked “meatballs” refrigerated for upto 3 days. Reheat in the oven for 5 minutes (you can put them another baking dish while broiling the bread. Then add to the bread, top with hot marinara and cheese and broil again

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