Vegan Meatball Sub Loaded With Marinara and Dairy-Free Cheese

Dig into this New York-style, plant-based meatball sub with marinara and melted vegan cheese.

Enjoy a dinner of champions with this vegan meatball sub recipe.

You can easily whip up these vegan meatballs using a variety of plant-based ingredients, such as mushrooms, kale, brown lentils, rolled oats, and sunflower seeds, as well as a food processor.

The vegan meatball sub is loaded with marinara sauce, which you can purchase from the store or make at home. It also features extra chopped mushrooms and garlic and vegan Havarti cheese all on a roll.

The plant-based sub is a more eco-friendly dinner option. Beef has the highest environmental impact of all animal protein. It is responsible for 6.5 pounds of CO2e per serving. That’s the equivalent of driving more than eight miles in a car.

On the other hand, lentils emit approximately two pounds of CO2 per pound—a major win for the planet. Lentils are the perfect swap for a more sustainable meatball sub. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, try this New York-style meatball sub with melted vegan cheese.

Make this vegan sandwich for a family dinner, or enjoy it all by yourself.

Vegan Meatball Sub Loaded With Marinara and Dairy-Free Cheese
This plant-based meatball sub is loaded with marinara and dairy-free cheese. | LIVEKINDLY

Vegan Meatball Sub


23 mins to cook
Yields 4 sandwiches



  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1/2 each yellow onion, small diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups precooked brown lentils
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For each sandwich

  • 3 vegan meatballs
  • 1 cups marinara, homemade or store bought
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Vegan Havarti cheese
  • 4 sub sandwich rolls


  1. 1
    Add the olive oil to a pan on medium heat, saute the mushrooms, kale, onion and garlic.
  2. 2
    Add them to a food processor and pulse. Then add the lentils, oats, oat flour, sunflower seeds, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in the food processor and pulse. Do not overmix. Allow mixture to set for 10 minutes.
  3. 3
    Shape mixture into 2-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  4. 4
    Bake for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  5. 5
    Allow to cool.
  6. 6
    Assemble the sandwich by placing three meatballs, marinara sauce, and cheese.

Additional Recipes

If this vegan meatball sub recipe gets your belly grumbling, you may also enjoy this vegan fish and chips dish. Made with marinated banana blossoms, serve these fishless sticks with a side of tangy tartar sauce.  

For a delicious-looking recipe that you can make any time of the day, whip up this salmon-free vegan bagel with carrot lox. The homemade vegan bagel, which features a thick and creamy dairy-free cream cheese, is made with amaranth flour. 

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