Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs

This Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs recipe is truly something special and is the perfect rendition of the traditional New York Marinara Sub. Loaded with savory, spicy and sweet flavors, these ‘meatball subs’ made from only veggies are moist, flavorful, and tender; wrapped in a toasted pretzel hot dog bun and topped with melted vegan mozzarella. This dish is the perfect meal for lunch or dinner for the entire family on any given day.

Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs

I couldn’t be more excited to share this recipe with you all! For starters, this recipe pays homage to such a popular dish here in NYC so it’s a pretty big deal! Haha.

Much like Hero Sandwiches, these subs are super simple in ingredients but nothing short of flavor.

Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs

For these savory little bites, I used quinoa and chickpeas. I know.

It sounds a bit crazy since most people like to use zucchini or mushrooms or something else which they feel hold together a lot better, but these two worked just fine!

It’s definitely important to ensure that you use the correct amounts to avoid a mushy meatball or one that falls apart easily.

A matter of fact, the meatballs that I used for these Vegan subs are similar to those in our Vegan Chickpea + Quinoa ‘Meatballs’ + Polenta recipe.

Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs

If you’re a lover of quinoa like myself, then you’ll really enjoy these Spicy BBQ Lentil Quinoa Vegan BurgersThey are certainly the new way to enjoy a nice hearty meal without the meat.

They’re just as good as they look and the hint of spice adds a great balance to the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.

Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs

While my family and I don’t eat Vegan meals daily, we do try to incorporate it as much as we can for the week.

However, the key for me is to create tasty meals, especially on days where we eat vegan foods so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out!

Turning your faves into healthier options is the motto for Orchids + Sweet Tea and will always be. Are you just transitioning to a Vegan or Plant-based diet and need help staying the course?

No worries—check out these few tips on How to Best Transition into a Plant-Based or Vegan Diet.

In addition, I’ve gathered together a list of amazing Healthy Sugar Alternatives + Substitutes that you can incorporate into your diet as well!

Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs

OK, now let’s talk about a few Vegan food ideas that you can incorporate into your weekly meals.

I’ve looked through a few of our most popular ones and this Vegan Sweet Potato Pasta w/ Kale + Spinach dish is something that we’ve made recently and love it!

It’s the perfect way to enjoy a good plate of creamy pasta much like the classic Alfredo version, without the dairy and cheese and of course with the amazing texture of Pappardelle noddles.

Another great meal idea—This Healthy Pesto Veggie Bowl is the epitome of eating clean. Packed with a ton of flavor and boasting with gently roasted veggies, this bowl highlights red potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and dressed with our delicious Avocado Kale Spinach Pesto Sauce.

OUR MOST POPULAR RECIPE VIDEO! VEGAN WAFFLES MADE USING A BLENDER!

 

Then there’s this Healthy Veggie Vegan Lasagna Soup recipe which is something truly spectacular. The warmth of great flavors and succulent taste of the soft lentil green lasagna pasta makes this bowl of goodness completely irresistible.

Loaded with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and topped with a generous amount of vegan mozzarella cheese; this recipe reminds you of a good plate of homemade lasagna without the fork.

Lastly, this Healthy Loaded Kale Salad with Spicy Chickpeas recipe is truly a bowl full of goodness! It’s the perfect meal for any occasion and is made with whole, real ingredients.

It comes fully loaded with roasted veggies, brown rice, quinoa, kale, and spicy chickpeas and tossed in your favorite vegan dressing. 

Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs

Now, let’s dig right into this recipe shall we?

Start by adding onions and garlic cloves to a heated skillet (with 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil) and sautéing them until they are fragrant and translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the cooked quinoa, pecans, and sautéed onions and garlic to a food processor and pulse for 1 minute or so. Add the chickpeas, nutritional yeast, olive oil, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, dried parsley, black pepper, sea salt, and bread crumbs, processing everything until it grounds into a thick mixture.

Using an ice cream scoop, shape mixture into individual balls (further rounding them with your hands) and LIGHTLY roll them in extra virgin olive oil before placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all meatballs are created.

Bake meatballs for 15 minutes until golden.

Once done, remove meatballs from oven (keeping the oven on) and prep the subs.

In a medium skillet, add pretzel hot dog buns side by side (centers opened up) and top with meatballs, then homemade marinara sauce, and vegan mozzarella cheese. Add skillet with subs to the preheated oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly.

Remove from oven and sprinkle dried parsley, if desired and enjoy.

Bon Appetite!

Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs
Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs

Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (Cook according to packaging!)
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 (15 oz. can) chickpeas, drained + rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 purple onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil + 1 Tbsp (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Chickpea Bread Crumbs by Watusee Organic)

Toppings:

  • Homemade Marinara Sauce (See Notes!)
  • Vegan Mozzarella Cheese
  • dried parsley, optional

Instructions

  • Start by adding onions and garlic cloves to a heated skillet (with 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil) and sautéing them until they are fragrant and translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add the cooked quinoa, pecans, and sautéed onions and garlic to a food processor and pulse for 1 minute or so. Add the chickpeas, nutritional yeast, olive oil, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, dried parsley, black pepper, sea salt, and bread crumbs, processing everything until it grounds into a thick mixture.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, shape mixture into individual balls (further rounding them with your hands) and LIGHTLY roll them in extra virgin olive oil before placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all meatballs are created.
  • Bake meatballs for 15 minutes until golden.
  • Once done, remove meatballs from oven (keeping the oven on) and prep the subs.
  • In a medium skillet, add pretzel hot dog buns side by side (centers opened up) and top with meatballs, then homemade marinara sauce, and vegan mozzarella cheese. Add skillet with subs to the preheated oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle dried parsley, if desired and enjoy.
  • Bon Appetite!

Tips & Tricks

HOMEMADE MARINARA SAUCE: Ingredients—15 oz. can of organic tomato sauce, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp rosemary, and 1 tsp smoked paprika. Directions—Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat and whisk together until it begins to boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and let everything simmer for about 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Once thickened enough to desired consistency, remove from heat and let cool. Set aside until ready to use or store remainder in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.**
OILS: Instead of using Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you can substitute with Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, or Coconut Oil. 

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Homemade Vegan Chickpea Quinoa Meatball Subs.

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  1. OMG these look awesome! I love me a meatball sub but never made them at home, especially the vegan version!! Will try this this weekend! Cant wait!

    • Thanks so much, Aly! I totally understand! I’ve had the same issue in the past also. However, I found that adding more breadcrumbs and ensuring that your quinoa is more ‘dried out’ when cooked helps to make things less mushy! I enjoyed this one!

    • Thanks so much, Danielle! I definitely recommend trying Vegan meatballs! They are so good!

    • Haha! Thanks so much, Adrianne! I’m so obsessed with savory and spicy flavors too! Hope that you get a chance to try this one!

  2. What a great way to make a vegan version of the classic meatball subs, such a perfect recipe to make when my vegan friends come over but that everyone will enjoy equally!

    • It’s definitely worth trying whether you are Vegan or not! Such a great break from meat every once in awhile!

  3. I haven’t had a good meatball sub in forever! I love how you have created a delicious meat free option that everyone can enjoy. I have never tried making meatballs with chickpeas and quinoa and I can’t wait to try it.

    • Yes, I second that Vicky! I rarely eat the meat version, but this one is definitely a favorite in my house! I hope that you enjoy it!

  4. Made this for dinner and it was nowhere near as complicated as I feared it would be. Turned out amazing, thank you!

    • I’m so glad that you had an easy time with this recipe, Ivana! It’s definitely one to keep on your list for those Summer days ahead!