I recently fell into the world of veganism. Though I was loving many new plant-based dishes and creations, I found myself wondering when my desires for some old meat-lover favorites would surface and pull me back.
While shopping at Sprouts one day, I came across Gardein’s meatless meatballs and had an ah-ha moment: What if I could re-create one of my all-time favorites but plant-based? That’s how these awesome vegan meatball subs came to be.
These fabulous vegan meatball subs fast filled a void I assumed I’d live with when I went plant-based. Excited by how delicious these were, I’ve shared them with many friends and family and everyone has loved them. Give them a try, you’ll love ’em too!
This recipe can be made with most vegan meatballs! We used Gardein classic vegan meatballs which are now widely available at mainstream grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and even Target. These meatballs are quite firm and don’t fall apart after being cooked for a long time.
For the cheese, great options are Miyoko’s vegan mozz or Field Roast CHAO cheese slices. But you can use any plant-based cheese you can get your hands on!
Pick your favorite pasta sauce or marinara to use in this recipe! You can go with store bought sauce or homemade pasta sauce or Arrabiata. This will even work with not-so-great sauces, since you’ll be ramping up the flavor with added spices. You can freeze any leftover sauce or save it for pasta, bread dipping, or another batch of meatball subs.
You could certainly grab a jar of sauce, microwave it with vegan meatballs, throw it on a roll, and call it a day. But, dear reader, I promise the little extra TLC involved in making a simple simmer sauce and leveling up basic marinara is well worth the effort.
Simmering the sauce with onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, and spices creates the most incredible blanket of flavor for your veggie meatballs.
These vegan meatball subs make for a great dish to take to parties. For a recent football get together, I took a crock pot of my marinara meatballs and some slider rolls and they were a huge hit. They’ve now been served to countless friends and family members—vegan and omnivore alike—all with rave reviews.
Vegan meatball subs recipe by Greg Hicks and photos by Michelle Cehn for World of Vegan. Article edited by Amanda Meth. Hungry for more plant-based inspiration from Greg? Follow him on Instagram at @EmpowerVegans.