Better than store-bought vegan meatball sub sandwich with the best marinara sauce out there! Top with a little basil pesto and you're flying!
Imagine hating vegan meatball sub sandwiches?? I'm genuinely finding it difficult to do, but it feels pretty bleak. The joy of these sandwiches is the ideal combo between crispy toasted sub rolls, meaty meatballs in a killer marinara sauce, melted cheese and fresh basil pesto!
No, this isn't a subway "fakeaway", nor is this really anything like an authentic meatball sub, but these are the guys I make at home and they are truly satisfying in ways that only the soul can understand. You ready? LET'S GO!
There are three technical processes here, so you're learning and growing every way. You're gonna learn to make delicious meatballs (that's 1), stunning marinara sauce (that's 2) AND a gorgeous sub sandwich! You can use these skills separately or combine them like a power rangers megazord in this one extremely special recipe.
Husband described this sandwich as "My favourite pasta dish but with bread instead of pasta" and that sounds about right. It's just as comforting as pasta but maybe slightly more portable - just slightly (take about 60 napkins though).
How do I make vegan meatball sub sandwiches!?
As always, the FULL RECIPE is at the bottom of the page - scroll on down if you're in a hurry. If not, hey! Welcome! You're the best!! I'm gonna talk you through the process behind a perfect vegan meatball sub sandwiches right now!
1. Start with the marinara sauce!
I've included a recipe as part of this larger recipe, but if you're using store-bought marinara sauce, you can skip this step. Tomatoes take ages to cook down properly and undercooked tomato sauce tastes acidic and sad. Make sure you start with your marinara sauce to give it time to cook and mature properly.
Also, please, please use canned san marzano tomatoes if you can get hold of them. They're simply head and shoulders above the rest and will result in a way tastier final product.
2. Make the vegan meatballs!
Let's talk about the mince (or "ground") in this vegan meatball sub sandwich. Not all vegan mince is created equal. For this recipe you'll need to fresh stuff which looks like the picture above. Brands like Beyond Meat, Impossible, Meatless Farm and Naturli all do varieties like this. It's crucial because it contains methyl cellulose which makes it soft and malleable when raw but form and meaty when cooked.
You'll also notice I use breadcrumbs in this recipe. Contrary to popular belief this isn't to "pad out" the meat. It's all about creating meaty but LIGHT meatballs. The sourdough breadcrumbs add flavour too, plus I use a traditional Italian method where the breadcrumbs are soaked in milk (soy for us!) for extra MOISTNESS (cancel him!!).
3. Form and fry your meatballs!
Forming meatballs should be done with a cookie scoop if possible. It prevents condensing the meatballs into tough little bullets by squeezing them too tightly with your massive monster/bear hands (great for hugs, bad for meatballs).
Once formed, we're going to fry off our meatballs. The more colour you can get on these bad boys the better. Nice and dark if possible!
4. Add the marinara sauce!
Here's where the vegan meatball sub magic happens! We now simmer our meatballs in the marinara sauce for a few extra minutes. This helps to reduce the marinara sauce even further (making it more suitable for a sandwich rather than pasta) and it helps the meatballs to absorb more delicious flavour!
This is a good time to do a sneaky taste test. If you've been seasoning along the way, you should be fine. If not, this is your last chance to add some salt and pepper to the sauce n balls!
5. Assemble and toast!
Finally you're going to assemble your sandwiches! You can use dedicated sub rolls or you can use big baguettes from the supermarket sliced into 4. It doesn't matter. As long as you're encasing these meatballs in nice white carbs then you're all good!
Top the meatballs with vegan cheese and whack them under the grill. Get everything nice and toasty melted before adding your vegan basil (or fresh basil leaves if you prever) and serving!
And that's how to make vegan meatball subs!
I'm screaming at the top of my lungs about how easy it is to make vegan meatball subs! Can we have a little power hug to communicate solidarity in this shared experience? 3, 2, 1, HUG!!!
WANT MORE LUNCHES!?
Why not try:
Vegan Meatball Sub Sandwich
- 1 Large Frying Pan
- Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the meatballs and fry for around 5 minutes, swirling the pan often to make sure they brown on all sides.1 batch vegan meatballs, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Once browned, reduce the heat and add the marinara sauce to the pan of meatballs. Bring to a simmer.1 batch marinara sauce
- Split the sub rolls in half and toast briefly under the grill/broiler. Top one side of each roll with 4 meatballs and a little extra marinara sauce. Top the meatballs with two slices of vegan cheese and then place back under the grill/broiler for a few minutes until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.5 sub rolls, 10 slices vegan cheese
- Spread some vegan basil pesto on the other side of the rolls then sandwich together and serve.10 tablespoon vegan pesto