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Cheesy Vegan Italian Meatball Sub


This Cheesy Vegan Italian Meatball Sub is packed to the brim with flavour, meaty texture and gooey cheese that will have you going back for seconds (or thirds if you’re anything like me)!

The Inspiration…

This recipe comes as a partnership from one of my very favourite plant-based brands “The Very Good Butchers”. They were kind enough to send me a sample of their now widely available plant-based meatballs and I’m still shocked at how tasty they were, with some of the closest similarities to real meatballs that I’ve yet to try! Of course, any home made meatball will do just fine for this recipe. And check out my wife Liv’s Cheese-Stuffed Oven Baked Meatballs if you want to take this recipe up one more notch!

Look no further if you want a Cheesy Vegan Italian Meatball Sub, because let me tell you, this will be hitting my weeknight dinner rotation from now on!

So what sets this This Cheesy Vegan Meatball Sub apart?

Well for starters, IT’S ALL VEGAN! I know for most of you seeing this post, that doesn’t come as a surprise! But for anyone stumbling across this in your search for weeknight dinner ideas, I know it can be deceiving – but trust me! This Cheesy Vegan Italian Meatball Sub is all plant-based, loaded with sweet basil marinara, herbs, melted-down-to-perfection gooey vegan cheese. All of that, loaded onto a fresh bakery sub bun is what meatless Monday dreams are made of!

So how does it taste though?! Well, remember your first diner experience where you ordered a meatball sub? You might have been on a vacation with your family or friends. Pulled over to the side of the road on a hot summer day, stumbling into the restaurant just to get some AC and belly grumbling after a long drive. You take that first bite and the flavour hits you like a freight train to the taste buds and you black out until all of a sudden your plate is clean without a crumb to be seen.

No? Okay just me then.

Let’s talk about how it’s made!

This  Cheesy Vegan Italian Meatball Sub recipe  really is as quick and easy as you might hope! You can complicate it if you like (complicating a recipe isn’t always a bad thing, believe it or not). Sometimes an extra texture or flavour profile is just what you need to make something perfect for one’s own taste! But for this, I decided to keep it relatively quick and simple for convenience purposes.

The meatballs are the key! That’s probably obvious, but I honestly couldn’t have been more impressed by the meaty texture of “The Very Good Butchers Product” ! Any vegan meatball option will do, so choose your favourite and follow along with the rest of the recipe!

Fine tune a store-bought marinara sauce to your liking! Maybe it’s just me, but I LOVE to add flavours and textures into store-bought products such as marinara. If you haven’t seen how often I mix several store bought ingredients together, get used to it because it’s becoming a common theme. So with this Cheesy Vegan Italian Meatball Sub, I minced some garlic, diced some white onion, chopped a little fresh basil, and a added salt and pepper to an inexpensive, plain marinara. It really levels it up!

By now, you’re probably wondering about my buns…

Well, let me put your questions to rest! I made sure I went out early on the morning of filming to our local bakery so that I could grab a few fresh buns! Make sure you ask for the vegan option of course if you follow a plant-based diet. But it should come as no surprise to know that the bun really is a major part of what makes any sandwich stand out above the rest! Get yourself a fresh bun for this This Cheesy Vegan Italian Meatball Sub and you’re already half way to greatness.

Let’s talk about vegan cheese quickly shall we. I’ve had a lot of time to deliberate over vegan cheeses since becoming a dairy-free food blogger. One could say it’s developed into a professional hobby. But to make this really easy on you all – I chose to simply melt down vegan cheese shreds with some cashew milk and spices in order to get that gooey cheese we’re all looking for. TIP: I find oil-based cheeses to be the best for any baked or grilled sandwich, where as I usually choose to stick to cashew/nut based cheeses for any cold dish or charcuterie!

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Cheesy Vegan Italian Meatball Sub

  • Author: Gregs Vegan Gourmet
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 1 meatball sub


This Cheesy Vegan Italian Meatball Sub is packed to the brim with flavour, meaty texture and gooey stretchy cheese all layered on a fresh sub bun for the perfect punch of Italian flavour!


For the meatballs

  • 5 small store-bought or homemade meatballs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/4 jar of store-bought marinara sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the cheese

  • 1/3 cup vegan cheese shreds
  • 1/4 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 tsp parsley

For the bun

  • 1 store bought fresh sub bun
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tsp minced garlic


  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
  2. Over medium heat, add your vegan meatballs to a frying pan with a drizzle of oil. Cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove lid and add the white onion, garlic and salt & pepper. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are translucent.
  4. Lower heat to low-medium. Add marinara and let simmer 5 minutes until the meatballs are well coated and heated throughout. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, in the microwave, melt the butter in a small bowl with garlic and chives. Brush the bun thoroughly with butter mixture. Set aside.
  6. To a small pot over medium heat, add the plant-based milk, vegan cheese and parsley. Continue to stir rapidly until cheese is fully melted and no chunks remain. Stir periodically to keep from setting.
  7. On the bun, begin to layer on the meatballs, marinara sauce, and vegan cheese. Place into preheated oven for 7-8 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and bun is golden brown.
  8. Let cool slightly and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10

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