This Vegan Meatball Sub is stuffed with hearty meatballs, saucy marinara and gooey plant-based cheese. It’s even better than Subway’s Meatball Marinara Sub and will have everyone coming back for seconds and thirds!
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!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s quick and simple. In order to keep this Subway copycat recipe as convenient as possible, I used frozen meatballs. Once defrosted, these vegan sandwiches come together in just 25 minutes! Easy peasy.
- Easy to make for 1 or a crowd. As written, this recipe will make 1 good-sized sandwich. However, if you’re cooking for a crowd, it’s easy to increase the measurements and make a bunch of sandwiches at once without much added effort.
- Gluten-free friendly. If you swap out the Italian sandwich rolls with your favourite gluten-free sub roll and use Beyond Meatballs, this vegan meatball sub is gluten-free!
- Ultimate game-day food. If you’ve been looking for a new sandwich that’ll satisfy both vegans and meat eaters on game days, look no further. This comfort food sandwich is the perfect thing.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
There are 4 main components to a good vegan meatball sandwich:
- Plant-based meatballs – Any meatless meatballs will work here. Store-bought or homemade Lentil Meatballs or Cheese-Stuffed Oven Baked Meatballs would be delicious! I like to use Beyond Meatballs, Yves brand or The Very Good Butchers. You can also roll your own vegan meatballs using vegan ground beef.
- Marinara sauce – Use your favourite store-bought marinara sauce or make a homemade marinara sauce. I love to add in additional diced white onion, minced garlic, and a little fresh basil to help level up any plain store-bought marinara.
- Vegan cheese – Either vegan mozzarella cheese shreds or cheese slices can work. I find oil-based cheeses to melt best. Mix them with your favourite plain plant-based milk to melt it until smooth and gooey. I personally used cashew milk.
- The bun – Choosing a good bun really is a major part of what makes any sandwich stand out above the rest. Get yourself a fresh bun or hoagie roll at your local bakery for this cheesy vegan meatball sub.
How to Make Vegan Meatball Subs
- Cook the meatballs. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add a drizzle of oil and heat until warm. Add in your vegan meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.
- Cook the onions. Add in the white onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions and translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the marinara. Lower the heat to low-medium. Add the marinara sauce and simmer the vegan meatballs in the marinara sauce until well coated and the marinara is heated throughout. Once warm, remove the frying pan from the heat and set aside.
- Make the garlic butter. While the sauce simmers, add the vegan butter to a small mixing bowl along with the garlic and chives. Microwave in 30 second bursts until the butter has melted. Liberally brush the bun thoroughly with the butter mixture and set aside.
- Melt the vegan cheese. In a small pot over medium heat, add the plant-based milk, vegan cheese, and parsley. Stir rapidly until the cheese is fully melted and smooth.
- Build your vegan meatball sub. On the buttered bun, layer on the meatballs, marinara sauce, and melted vegan cheese.
- Bake until bubbly and golden brown. Place the sub into the preheated oven on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the bun is golden on the edges.
- Enjoy! Let the meatball sub cool slightly then enjoy topped with fresh parsley, vegan parmesan and your favourite potato chips or french fries on the side.
How to Store
This vegan meatball sub recipe will keep when stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in foil for 1-2 days.
If you’re making meatball subs for meal prep, it is best to store the vegan cheese sauce, marinara sauce and meatballs separately from the bread. When stored separately, these ingredients will keep for up to 4 days.
Reheat each ingredient separately then build your vegan meatball sub sandwich right before enjoying!
Does Subway have Beyond Meat?
Yes! Subway has partnered with Beyond Meat to bring the Beyond Meatball Marinara Sub to Subways at select locations across the United States and Canada. It’s also reportedly a permanent menu item at the fast-food chain’s locations in the UK.
Is the Subway Meatless Meatball Marinara vegan?
When ordered without cheese on standard Italian bread or 9-grain wheat bread, the Subway Marinara Sub is vegan.
Is there vegan cheese at Subway?
As of now, there is no vegan cheese option at Subway in the United States or Canada. If you’re dining out, bring your own cheese or stay home and make an even better version at home!
More Recipes Using Frozen Meatballs to Try Next
- The Easiest Vegan Honey Garlic Meatballs
- Vegan Swedish Meatballs-Inspired Pasta Skillet
- Herb Meatball and Dumpling Soup
- Meatball Pasta Bake
- Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs