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Best Vegan Meatball Subs
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5 from 14 votes

Best Vegan Meatball Subs

These Vegan Meatball Subs are the epitome of a delicious, simple lunch or weeknight meal that comes jam-packed with flavor!
Course Main Course
Keyword baked, brioche, chickpea, classic, dairy-free, easy, food, healthy, marinara, meatballs, new york, one pot, pecans, savory, spicy, tomatoes, vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

Ingredients

VEGAN MEATBALLS:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained + rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (Cook according to packaging!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup vegan bread crumbs (See Notes for Homemade!)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt + black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, for cooking + 1 Tbsp!

HOMEMADE MARINARA SAUCE:

  • 2 cups organic tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup organic vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp sea salt + black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

TOPPINGS + OTHERS:

  • 2 cups Herb Roasted Tomatoes
  • Vegan Mozzarella shreds
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, optional
  • Brioche hot dog buns

Instructions

TO MAKE THE HERB ROASTED TOMATOES:

TO MAKE THE VEGAN MEATBALLS:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a standard baking dish. Set aside.
  • 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 skillet for later.
  • 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 (or spoon), shape mixture into individual balls (further rounding them with your hands). Repeat until all meatballs are created.
  • Reheat previous skillet over medium-high heat (with all the bits left in it) and add additional olive oil if needed. Add meatballs to pan and sear until nicely golden on all sides. Remove each meatball and set aside.

TO MAKE THE TOMATO/MARINARA SAUCE:

  • In a medium 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and let it heat.
  • Add the tomato sauce, veggie stock, salt, black pepper, oregano, smoked paprika, garlic powder, parsley, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper, stirring everything together until combined. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, adding in the meatballs and allowing them to simmer in the sauce for 3-4 minutes.
  • ASSEMBLE: slightly open each hot dog bun and line them (upward with opening faced up) and fill them with vegan meatballs with the marinara sauce. Top with vegan cheese shreds and bake for 10-15 minutes or until buns are crispy and shreds have become a bit stretchy. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
  • Bon Appétit!

Notes

  • STORAGE: Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You can also freeze the meatballs for up to three months. Defrost them overnight in the fridge and reheat them on the stove or in the oven. Make some fresh tomato/marinara sauce, add the vegan meatballs, and assemble the meatball subs and serve.
  • OILS: Instead of using Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you can substitute with Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil, or Coconut Oil. 
  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To make this dish GF, simply use Gluten-Free hot dog buns and ensure that other ingredients are GF-friendly. 
  • HOMEMADE BREADCRUMBS: To make your own breadcrumbs, simply grind 1-2 cups of cubed bread into a food processor until finely chopped. Place crumbs onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 5-6 minutes in the oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Once brown + crisp, remove from oven and let cool. Continue recipe steps and store remaining breadcrumbs in a tightly sealed container.