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The Best Lentil Meatball Subs

You’ve got to try these Lentil Meatball Subs! Homemade vegan “meatballs” made with veggies, lentils and Italian herbs, sandwiched inside of a warm ‘n toasty hoagie roll with vegan mozzarella cheese.

Meatball Subs


By Nikki Vegan

Published September, 2022 on Nikki Vegan

I love making vegan Italian food for dinner, and since you all seemed to enjoy my Tuscan Ribtollita, Vegan Baked Ziti and Creamy Truffle Parmesan Polenta I thought it would be fun to share another one of my favorites.

And good news! While these hearty Italian subs taste like comfort food, they also happen to be pretty nutrient dense thanks these 100% plant-based meatballs made from a blend of onions, carrots, mushrooms and walnuts. I mix in lentils for fiber, protein and iron and then add loads of classic Italian flavor with garlic, fresh basil and tomato sauce.


Ingredients to Make Vegan Meatball Subs

All of the measurements and instructions to make this tasty dinner recipe are located below and you can even print it out for your convenience!

  • Onions and Carrots  – An aromatic base that adds a touch of sweetness to this savory dish.
  • Mushrooms and Walnuts – adds body and texture to the meatless meatballs.
  • Cooked Lentils – black or brown lentils work best, avoid using split yellow or red lentils.
  • Vegan Worcestershire Sauce – the secret ingredient! Vegan Worcestershire sauce is made without anchovies and it adds a nice depth of flavor and umami quality to these veggie balls.
  • Garlic, Italian Herbs, and Dried Fennel – Powerful flavor boosters!
  • Chickpea Flour + Baking Soda – Binds and lifts the meatballs the way a chicken’s egg would so the meatballs stay together and keep their shape. This combo also prevents the meatballs from being mushy in the center.
  • Fresh Basil – Gives the meatballs classic Italian flavor and I sometimes tuck a few more fresh basil leaves into the sandwich too or sprinkle it on top.
  • Tomato Sauce – store-bought marinara sauce works well here.
  • Vegan Mozzarella Cheese – shredded vegan mozzarella is ideal for these subs.
  • Hoagie Rolls – I like to get fresh hoagie rolls from the bakery section of my grocery store. Hot dog buns also work well.

How to Make Vegan Lentil Meatball Subs

There’s just 8 easy steps to make perfect vegan subs! The full recipe and directions are on the printable recipe card below.

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees then add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large frying pan and set to medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Then add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Then add the garlic and walnuts and cook for 2-3 minutes, and remove from the heat.
  4. Next, add the lentils and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.
  5. Then transfer 1/3 of the mixture into a food processor with the basil leaves and remaining tbsp of olive oil. Blend + then transfer it back to the pan. Add the chickpea flour + baking soda, mix well and then form into 12 meatballs. Brush with 1 tbsp of olive oil and bake for 13- 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the meatballs to rest for 5-10 minutes and then coat each meatball in marinara sauce.
  7. Assemble each sub by spooning some warm marinara sauce onto each roll. Add 3 meatballs and a generous sprinkle of vegan mozzarella. Bake for 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese and enjoy!

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