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Cheesy Vegan Meatball Subs

Cheesy Vegan Meatball Subs

How to make a meatball sandwich even more awesome? Add 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.
Course Main Course, Snacks
Cuisine American, Vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 938kcal
Author Bianca Haun | Elephantastic Vegan


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

Additional Ingredients

  • 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.

Additional Instructions

  • 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!


Calories: 938kcal | Carbohydrates: 129g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 2674mg | Potassium: 888mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 5.9mg | Calcium: 223mg | Iron: 9.8mg