This veggie sub sandwich is topped with garlic herb tofu, cheese, and a bunch of vegetables! It's perfect for a balanced lunch or dinner and takes just a few minutes of active time to make.
If you live in the Southern US, you've probably heard of Pub Subs. That's short for Publix subs, the $5-10 customizable deli sandwiches that inspired this recipe for veggie subs with seasoned tofu.
As much as I love veggie reubens and meatball subs, there's just something about a toasted veggie-packed sub that's hard to beat.
The reason I'm making these vegetarian subs at home instead of just picking them up from the store is that I know that not everyone has access to Publix, and my store is usually out of garlic herb tofu.
The solution? I perfected my own garlic herb tofu at home and added it to Italian seasoned sub rolls with a big handful of cheese, veggies, and classic sandwich spreads.
- Quick lunch or dinner option: These subs only take a few minutes to assemble and they come together easily. The garlic herb tofu can be made up to 3 days in advance.
- Versatile: Treat these subs like a sandwich shop and add the toppings that you love!
- Balanced: Vegetarian/vegan sandwiches usually rely heavily on vegetables and skip the protein. Not here! The garlic herb tofu adds a serving of protein and flavor to these sandwiches.
- Serving ideas: One 12-inch sub roll usually makes 2 servings, depending on your appetite and how full you fill your sub. I like to serve half of a sub with chips or potato salad.
- Sub rolls: I buy the Italian seasoned 12-inch sub rolls from my Publix deli. Because many grocery stores don't have these large rolls available, you can just buy any sub or hoagie roll available in the bakery.
- Tofu: Use extra firm to super firm tofu. This tofu is seasoned with a handful of common spices and baked until golden.
- Veggies: Red onion, sliced bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, and lettuce are my go-to add ons.
- Cheese: I often use Chao vegan cheese slices because they melt well, but you can use any cheese you like.
- Other add-ons: Pickles, banana peppers, olives, and avocado are all classic pubsub additions.
- Sauces/spreads: I love adding mayo and whole seed mustard to sandwiches, but a splash of oil & balsamic vinegar is another good option. Or spread avocado or chipotle ranch dressing on the sub roll.
How to make
If the sub roll you're using is unsliced, I recommend slicing it open so that the two halves stay attached. This makes eating a lot easier.
First up: Layer the sub with triangles of cheese and tofu. Two slices of cheese per 12-inch sub is a good rule of thumb. Top with any vegetables that toast well like red onion and bell pepper.
Toast at 350F for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the vegetables are softened.
Spread each side of the sub rolls with sauces (mayo, mustard, avocado, etc.).
Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and fresh cracked pepper just before serving. Enjoy!
Tips and variations
- Leftovers: I don't recommend making these subs in advance, but they will keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours with only a small decrease in quality. I've done this many a time but I usually end up replacing the lettuce.
- Cold cuts: Most sub sandwiches have some kind of cold cuts, so why should a vegetarian sandwich be any different? Tofurkey makes great vegetarian slices. Add these below the cheese.
- Regular sandwich bread works just fine in place of sub rolls. It will be more a sandwich than a sub, but it's a good option.
Looking for more vegetarian sandwiches?
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Veggie Subs with Seasoned Tofu
- 1 recipe garlic herb tofu
- 2 12-inch sub rolls or 4 small sub rolls
- 4 slices cheese of choice I use Chao cheese or Swiss
- 1 small red onion sliced into strips
- 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper sliced into strips
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup whole seed mustard
- 1 large tomato sliced
- 1 medium cucumber sliced into rounds
- 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce or spinach
- balsamic vinegar to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- extras: pickles, banana peppers, olives, avocado
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- If the sub roll you're using is unsliced, slice it open length-wise so that the two halves stay attached at the edge.
- Slice the cheese in half to make 2 triangles. Layer each 12-inch sub with 4 triangles (2 slices) of cheese. Top each sub with ½ of the garlic herb tofu. Top with red onion and bell pepper.
- Place the subs on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and the subs are toasted.
- Spread each sub side with mayo and mustard (optional). Top with tomato, cucumber, and lettuce.
- Drizzle the lettuce with balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper. Slice each 12-inch sub in half to make 4 sandwiches. Enjoy!
- Leftovers: The subs are best enjoyed immediately after making but will keep refrigerated for up to a day. The lettuce tends to wilt and may need to be replaced or added just before eating.
- The tofu can be made 2-3 days in advance. Keep refrigerated in a closed container until ready to use.
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