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Vegan 'Meatball' Subs (Chickpea 'Meatballs)

 Succulent vegan chickpea 'meatballs' in a rich marinara sauce served on a soft sub roll. Lunch like a boss!

A man holding a vegan 'meatball' sub

VEGAN 'MEATBALL' SUB (CHICKPEA MEATBALLS)

I now know what all the fuss is about when people talk about meatballs subs.

Especially when they are vegan!

Spiced chickpea 'meatballs' in a rich and tasty marinara sauce, in a soft sub roll.

It knocks lunch out of the park (I'm coming over all American, must be the 'meatballs')!

My husband was very happy when I presented him one of these for lunch.

I persuaded him to be the hand model too.

It's quite sad. The family of a food blogger always have to wait for their lunch or dinner until the photos are taken to satisfaction before they can eat.


Chickpea 'meatballs' in a cast iron shallow pan covered in marinara sauce

WHERE DID MEATBALLS COME FROM ORIGINALLY?

The type of 'meatball' in these subs and the way of serving them is very American.

Italian-American to be precise.

They are thought to have been invented by immigrants from Italy, arriving in America in the late 19th to early 20th century.

Just like spaghetti bolognese, it's not authentic Italian food, but that's where its roots come from.

Meatballs in Italy are much smaller and called polpettes. They are popular in the south of Italy and are never served with a marinara sauce, with spaghetti or in a sub.
  

CHICKPEA 'MEATBALLS'

I used my homemade chickpea 'meatballs' to make the filling of this sub.

The chickpea 'meatballs' are made from chickpeas, rice, spices and a few other basic ingredients. They are easy to make and taste fabulous.

The vegan 'meatballs' are coated in a homemade marinara sauce

Don't they look amazing?

Of course, you can use shop-bought vegan 'meatballs' and shop-bought marinara sauce, but they always taste better when you make them yourself.

Don't you think?

Make a batch of chickpea 'meatballs' and homemade marinara sauce and you can have it for dinner with spaghetti one night and for lunch or dinner in subs the next day.

TIP : After making them a few times, I've decided the 'meatablls are better baked than grilled or shallow fried. Just a little tip


two sub rolls

WHAT IS A SUB?

A Sub is a long soft roll used for sandwiches or in this case a vegan 'meatball' sandwich.

They can sometimes be referred to as Hoagies* (a type of sandwich popular with Italian workers on Hog Island in Pennsylvania) or a Grinder* (a term popular with dockworkers in America).

I'm sure there are more regional differences if you ask around.

Here in Scotland, we'd call this a sub roll or long roll.

I gave a shout-out in my Facebook group asking what they would call these rolls and the answers came rolling (see what I did there?) in. 

Here's what people may also call these rolls.

  • Rolls
  • Brioche buns
  • Hotdog rolls
  • Sub rolls
  • Bridge rolls
  • Finger rolls
  • Hoagie buns
  • Baps
  • Submarine rolls
  • Shoes (I think this one was a joke, they do look a bit like clown shoes)
  • Sun rolls

They are lovely soft rolls that go gloriously well with vegan 'meatballs', but you could also slice them in half and toast the inside before filling them.

My husband prefers them toasted.


TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT


Once you've tried this in a sub, why not change it up and use the filling (vegan 'meatballs', cheese and fresh herbs) in a different way.

  1. Add them to a wrap and grill it for a toastie outside
  2. Add them to a crisp bread toastie
  3. Toast them in a panini
  4. Add them to spaghetti
  5. Break it up and mix through cooked macaroni
  6. Add to a baguette for a crisper bite
  7. Serve them on a bed of mashed potatoes
  8. Serve them on creamy polenta
  9. Serve them on noodles
  10. Fill bell peppers and top with cheese then bake


close up of a vegan 'meatball' sub

HOW TO SERVE A VEGAN 'MEATBALL SUB'

I kept the filling quite simple.

I spooned the vegan 'meatballs' in marinara sauce straight onto the soft sub roll, then topped them with grated parmesan and a few fresh basil leaves.

Here are some filling ideas

  • Vegan mozzarella
  • Vegan cream cheese
  • Grated vegan parmesan
  • Grated vegan cheddar
  • Melted vegan cheddar
  • Salad leaves
  • Spinach
  • Fresh herbs
  • Dried oregano
  • Green pepper
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Raw red onions slices
  • Fried onions


WHAT TO SERVE ALONGSIDE A VEGAN 'MEATBALL SUB?


You can serve these subs as they are. They are pretty substantial for a meal, but just in case you want some ideas, here you go:

  • A napkin and not your best linen napkins, these are messy
  • A bib (I'm joking, but hey these really can be messy to eat
  • A green salad (you can never go wrong with a salad)
  • Corn of the cob rolled in vegan butter and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Vegan coleslaw
  • Vegan dill potato salad
  • Fries
  • Potato wedges
  • Crisps (potato chips)

MORE SANDWICHES TO TRY


Here are a few more vegan sandwiches to try:

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A vegan meatballs sub. A soft sub stuffed with chickpea 'meatballs' in a marinara sauce
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vegan meatball sub, vegan meatball hoagie, vegan meatball grinder, vegan meatball sandwich, vegan sandwiches
lunch
Italian, American, vegan
Yield: 2
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Vegan 'Meatball' Subs (Chickpea 'Meatballs)

Vegan 'Meatball' Subs (Chickpea 'Meatballs)

Succulent chickpea 'meatballs in a rich marinara sauce served on a soft sub roll. Lunch like a boss!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 10 Min

Ingredients

  • 2 sub rolls
  • 8 chickpea 'meatballs
  • 1 cup marinara sauce (or as much as you'd like to use)
  • A good grinding of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegan parmesan 
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Cut your sub rolls and toast (broil) the inside so they are crisp on the inside (optional). You can also use a grill pan.
  2. Heat your vegan 'meatballs' in the marinara sauce in the microwave or in a pot.
  3. Spoon the 'meatballs carefully onto the sub rolls.
  4. Add a grinding of black pepper.
  5. Add a generous sprinkle of grated vegan parmesan and top with fresh basil leaves.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
  7. Remember that napkin!

Notes:

You can toast the roll or leave it soft. It's up to you.

Instead of vegan parmesan, you could use grated vegan mozzarella or cheddar.

You can use shop-bought vegan 'meatballs' and marinara sauce.

Calories

548.9

Fat (grams)

14.89

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.31

Carbs (grams)

69.64

Fiber (grams)

7.56

Net carbs

56.1

Sugar (grams)

9.79

Protein (grams)

22.03

Sodium (milligrams)

269.01

Cholesterol (grams)

2.27


* Reference Hoagies vs. Grinders vs Sub(marine) Sandwiches - Houston Press

15 comments

  1. These chickpea meatballs were so delicious! They came out perfect and tasted great with the sauce.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you just try them with spaghetti, the way I share back in November or in a sub?

      Delete
  2. This is so creative. i would love to try this vegan meatball soon. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Delicious and flavorful. Marinara sauce takes this dish to the next level. Have to try it out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an epic vegan lunch option. Super comforting and I think the kids will love it too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha yes but a bit messy which of course means they will love it more.

      Delete
  5. This vegan meatball sub looks amazing! Chickpea meatballs are so good and I love that you used them in this sandwich.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes chickpea meatballs are fab. This is just an extra treat.

      Delete
  6. Oh, I love this vegan option to alternate meal for our family! It seems easy to make delicious to eat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they are super simple to make and you can use shop-boughtvegan meatballs and marinara sauce for a short cut.

      Delete
  7. That looks so good. I definitely want it for dinner soon. Jill

    ReplyDelete
  8. My kids looved this!! The marinara sauce made it a bit messy but it was so worth it :)

    ReplyDelete

I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x