How to make a meatball sandwich even more awesome? Add a layer of ooey-gooey melted cheese! But you don’t need meat or dairy for it. The entire sandwich is plant-based and for that, we’re making meatballs and the cheese sauce from scratch. I know you will love these Cheesy Vegan Meatball Subs!
The Main Components for the Cheesy Vegan Meatball Subs
This is the Ultimate Cheesy Vegan Meatball Sub consisting of:
- homemade meatballs with a base of kidney beans and oats
- flavorful tomato sauce
- from-scratch cheese sauce (it’s nut-free and you don’t need a blender for it)
- and a baguette
This Meatball Sandwich SHOULD be messy. The messier, the better, actually. Just don’t wear white, okay?
You’ll end up with more meatballs than you need for the subs, but they freeze well and you can use them in wraps, serve them on a salad or with pasta.
Homemade Vegan Cheese Sauce
The cheese sauce is amazing:
- no nuts
- no blender needed
- just a pot
- can be made in 5 minutes
Give it a try! It’s perfect for lasagna, pizza, as a dip too!
Cheesy Vegan Meatball Subs
Ingredients for the Meatballs (makes 35 meatballs - you can freeze the rest!)
- 3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
- 1 large red onion roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups canned kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs + more for coating
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Ingredients for the tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato passata
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Ingredients for the vegan Cheese Sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or vegan butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika powder
- ground pepper
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 baguette - cut in half and sliced open
- 1 teaspoon fresh chives
Instructions for the Meatballs
- Start by caramelizing the chopped garlic cloves and red onion in a lightly oiled pan. Add a pinch of salt to help the softening process. If they start sticking to the pan, add a splash of water, let them cook on medium to high heat until softened and brown.
- To a food processor add the kidney beans, rolled oats, caramelized garlic and onion, the spices and breadcrumbs. Pulse until it all comes together. Scrape down the sides if you need to. You don’t want it super smooth, but it should stick together.
- Now form the meatballs - you should end up with approximately 35 meatballs. Coat them in breadcrumbs and let them chill in the fridge while you’re preparing the cheese sauce.
- Coat the bottom of a large pan with oil and pan-fry the meatballs on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes, while flipping them around every couple of minutes or so until they are brown and crispy on all sides. Reduce the heat and add the tomato passata, salt, oregano, and basil. Stir to coat them in the quick marinara sauce.
Instructions for the Cheese Sauce
- Heat the coconut oil or butter in a small pot over low heat.
- Add the salt, curry powder, and paprika powder. Whisk.
- Add in the flour and tapioca starch. Whisk.
- Add nutritional yeast, whisk again until clumpy.
- Add the water and whisk on low heat for a few minutes until it gets gooey. Lastly, add in the sriracha (more or less to taste). If the cheese gets too thick you can add a little bit more water and whisk again. Set aside.
- Add meatballs to the baguette (I used a size of 5 meatballs long for 1 person), drizzle with the cheesy sauce and sprinkle with fresh chives. Enjoy!
Did you make these Cheesy Vegan Meatball Subs? Leave a comment and please rate the recipe for other users! If you post a photo on instagram, use the hashtag #elephantasticvegan and tag me via @elephantasticvegan to make sure I’ll see it ^.^ I love to see all your lovely creations! Thanks! <3