American and Canadian

Vegan Meatball Sub

This vegan meatball sub sandwich is super hearty, super flavourful and chock-full of veggies. Baked lentil and mushroom meatballs smothered in marinara sauce and served up in a crusty bun stuffed with spinach, onion and peppers. You might need a knife and fork to get these bad boys in your mouth!

This vegan meatball sub sandwich is super hearty, super flavourful and chock full of veggies. Baked lentil and mushroom meatballs smothered in marinara sauce and served up in a crusty bun stuffed with spinach, onion and peppers. You might need a knife and fork to get these bad boys in your mouth!

There are a gazillion and one ways to make a vegan meatball, but I always make them the same way (boring, I know!): with lentils and mushroom. I came up with this mixture while attempting to create a vegan choripan burger with chimichurri sauce.

I used all the same spices and seasonings as in a regular chorizo sausage, but replaced the meat with lentils and mushrooms. It turned out super good and my husband declared it the best vegan burger recipe we’d tried to date. Ever since then it’s been my go-to recipe for anything patty, burger or meatball-like.

In fact I’ve used the same meatball recipe in my vegan meatball banh mi sandwiches, the only difference being the garnishes: pickled carrot and radish, fresh cucumber and cilantro, and an ah-mazing aquafaba-based sriracha mayonnaise.

This vegan meatball sub sandwich is super hearty, super flavourful and chock full of veggies. Baked lentil and mushroom meatballs smothered in marinara sauce and served up in a crusty bun stuffed with spinach, onion and peppers. You might need a knife and fork to get these bad boys in your mouth!

For this vegan meatball sub I’ve replaced the garnishes with a little simple wilted spinach and sautéed onions and peppers. Easy peasy! Let’s not forget the marinara sauce, because it wouldn’t be a meatball sub if they weren’t drowning in tomato sauce!

Let’s be real, making meatballs takes a bit of time so I went out and bought a jar of marinara sauce for this recipe. But you can certainly save money by making your own. And if you’ve got a killer marinara sauce recipe, let me know in the comments below, I don’t have one yet!

This vegan meatball sub sandwich is super hearty, super flavourful and chock full of veggies. Baked lentil and mushroom meatballs smothered in marinara sauce and served up in a crusty bun stuffed with spinach, onion and peppers. You might need a knife and fork to get these bad boys in your mouth!

Depending on how big you roll your meatballs, this vegan meatball sub recipe will make you a good five or six sandwiches so they’re great to take on a picnic and share with all your friends! If not you can easily half the recipe or freeze the leftover vegan meatballs for another day.

Serves 5 or 6 subs

Vegan Meatball Sub

This vegan meatball sub sandwich is super hearty, super flavourful and chock full of veggies. Baked lentil and mushroom meatballs smothered in marinara sauce and served up in a crusty bun stuffed with spinach, onion and peppers. You might need a knife and fork to get these bad boys in your mouth!

15 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe
    For the vegan meatballs
  • 1 1/2 cups (175 grams) cooked lentils
  • 1 tablespoon water or oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Half a green pepper, diced
  • 12 button mushrooms, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 3/4 cup (250 grams) breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) crushed walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoons red pepper flakes or chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • For everything else
  • A few tablespoons of water or oil for sautéing
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Half a green pepper, sliced
  • Half a red pepper, sliced
  • A big bag (300 grams / 10.5 ounces) fresh spinach
  • A jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 5 or 6 sub buns (depends how big they are)
    Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and brush with a tiny bit of oil.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add a splash of water or a tablespoon of oil and sautee the onion, garlic and green pepper until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and fry until soft and brown. Add in the red wine and simmer for a minute to evaporate the alcohol. While the vegetables are frying, puree the lentils in a food processor and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. When the vegetables are soft, transfer to the food processor and pulse a couple of times. Don’t puree them completely; you want to keep a bit of texture. Add the veggies to bowl with the lentils along with the remaining meatball ingredients and mix well.
  4. Roll your meatballs using about a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of the mixture for each ball. Place them on the lined baking sheet and bake until browned – about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile prepare the veggies. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add a couple tablespoons of water or oil. Sautee the onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Add the balsamic and salt and stir well. Remove the onions to a plate.
  6. Add a couple more tablespoons of water to the pan if necessary and add the peppers. Sautee until soft and remove to the plate with the onions.
  7. Add the spinach to the pan and cover until the spinach is wilted. Remove to a plate.
  8. Finally, once the meatballs are baked, pour the marinara sauce into the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the meatballs to the sauce and gently stir to coat them well.
  9. Place some spinach and peppers into each bun, add the vegan meatballs and top with onions.
7.6.5
262
http://www.cilantroandcitronella.com/vegan-meatball-sub/

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    pat
    December 27, 2016 at 12:30 am When I saw this recipe, I thought, "These look amazing! I have got to make them!" I made them today and they were indeed AMAZING! Husband and teen son gave them the thumbs up:-) Thanks for a great new recipe to add to my meatless meals list!
    • Reply
      Melissa
      December 27, 2016 at 7:07 pm Oh wonderful! So glad you enjoyed them, thank you for your lovely comment!
  • Reply
    Tange
    January 13, 2017 at 6:35 am I made these tonight and they were amazing. My husband (who is not vegan) was surprised. I'm a new vegan and lentils are now my new fav. Recipes like this make it easy for me to keep moving ahead. Thank you for this flavorful recipe.
    • Reply
      Melissa
      January 13, 2017 at 11:41 am Thank you, you're comment makes me so happy! I didn't really get into lentils until after turning vegan but I quickly discovered how amazing they are. Good luck on your vegan journey, you're sure to discover lots of new and wonderful things!
  • Reply
    Lesley
    March 6, 2017 at 8:22 am Hi, these look great. What colour lentils do you use?
    • Reply
      Melissa
      March 7, 2017 at 11:15 am Just regular brown lentils.
  • Reply
    Kathy
    March 7, 2017 at 11:03 am This looks like a wonderful recipe! I'm going to try it soon. Wondered if you realize how distracting your ads are? They are overtaking your blog, with pictures over each of your beautiful photos that I have to "x" out, they pop up all over the place. Can they really add that much revenue to make it worth it? Please rethink, you may chase folks away with too much.
    • Reply
      Melissa
      March 7, 2017 at 11:22 am Yes, advertising is necessary for most full-time bloggers. The display advertising covers all the costs of running a blog, which is quite substantial. Not only do I buy the ingredients, I also pay for the web hosting, security backups, multilingual and other plugins, and web design. I also have a DSLR camera and a macro lens and regularly purchase props and backgrounds for the photos. Without the revenue from display advertising, I would not be able to operate the blog at all and provide my recipes for free on the internet.
  • Reply
    Kathy
    March 7, 2017 at 11:06 am The print button isn't working either. Sorry!
    • Reply
      Melissa
      March 7, 2017 at 11:24 am What happens when you click the button? It´s working for me on my end so I'm not sure what the problem might be.

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