It's easy to make these vegetarian meatball subs at home using storebought or homemade meatballs! They are perfect for family dinners or game days.
An easy weeknight dinner recipe is priceless, and thankfully these vegetarian meatball subs are just that kind of recipe.
- diet-friendly: vegetarian, vegan optional (just use vegan cheese and butter!), soy-free and nut-free
- flavorful garlic butter makes these better than your average sub
- use homemade meatballs or storebought
- all you need is seven ingredients
- ready in 30 minutes if you use premade meatballs
What you'll need
This recipe can be easily customized but you will need several main ingredients:
- Meatless meatballs: Use homemade vegan meatballs or storebought. Cook according to package or recipe instructions before adding to the sub roll.
- Sub rolls: I use whole wheat but white also works.
- Unsalted butter can be replaced with vegan butter as needed. Olive oil also works for a lighter choice.
- Shredded mozzarella cheese for topping.
- Marinara: I keep it traditional with jarred marinara but any pasta sauce will work.
Step by step instructions
Start by melting butter and garlic powder in a microwave-safe dish. This can also be done on the stove.
Use a pastry brush (this is one of those gadgets I'm always glad to have on hand) to brush the melted butter on the inside of the sub rolls.
Toast for 3-4 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the sub insides are golden.
Meanwhile, warm pasta sauce and cooked meatballs in a saucepan.
To assemble the meatball subs: Add 3 meatballs to each sub. Drizzle with ¼ cup to ½ cup marinara sauce (it depends how saucy you like them!). Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with fresh chopped parsley for color and flavor.
You can easily make this recipe vegan by replacing shredded mozzarella with your favorite vegan shreds or by omitting cheese entirely. Use vegan butter in place of regular butter and double-check that your sub rolls are vegan.
I recommend assembling the subs as you are ready to eat them for the best quality.
Looking for more dinner ideas?
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Vegetarian Meatball Subs
- 12 cooked vegetarian meatballs homemade or storebought
- 4 whole wheat sub rolls
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 24 ounce jar traditional pasta sauce
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- chopped parsley for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine butter, garlic powder and salt in a small microwave-safe dish. Heat in the microwave until melted, about 30 seconds. Alternately, heat on the stove over medium low until melted.
- Line sub rolls facing up on a baking sheet (I line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup). Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter on the inside of each sub roll. Toast on the middle oven rack for 3-4 minutes, until the insides are golden.
- Meanwhile, combine pasta sauce and cooked meatballs in a medium sauce pan. Simmer over medium heat until pasta sauce is warmed through.
- To assemble subs: Leave toasted subs on the baking sheet. Add 3 meatballs to each toasted sub roll. Drizzle with ¼ cup to ½ cup pasta sauce (use more if you like a saucier sub). Sprinkle each sub with 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.
- Pasta sauce: You can keep things classic with a jar of traditional spaghetti sauce or use for your favorite kind of pasta sauce. I like using roasted garlic and basil or Italian seasoned pasta sauce for extra flavor.
- Make vegan: Replace shredded mozzarella with your favorite vegan shreds or by omit cheese entirely. Use vegan butter in place of regular butter and double check that your sub rolls are vegan.
- This recipe yields a slightly toasty meatball sub. If you prefer a soft sub roll, just skip the initial toasting and only toast with the meatballs and cheese.
- Have leftovers? These subs are best enjoyed just after cooking, but leftover subs can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in at 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until completely warmed through.