Vegan Meatball Sub w/ Italian Lentil Meatballs + Homemade Heirloom Marinara Sauce

Vegan Meatball Sub w/ Italian Lentil Meatballs + Homemade Heirloom Marinara Sauce

Difficulty: 3/5 (5 being hardest)
Spice Level: 1/3 (3 being spiciest)

Prep & Cook Time: 45-55 minutes
Servings: 4 subs

The Challenge: Meatball Sub

Meatball subs. Nuff said.

I wanted to make a vegan rendition of meatball subs that I've always seen meat-eaters enjoying. The first question was how to tackle those pesky "meatballs". I had two major options - lentils + tempeh. I went with the prior because I thought the flavor and texture was more in line with what I wanted. I wanted something that would be a bit softer in a sandwich. Tempeh seemed like it might be slightly too dense.

To make these lentils shine, we wanted to pack them full of fresh herbs + spices. We wanted to coat them in a salty, cheesy, garlic crust, and we wanted to top them with a kickASS sauce. I highly recommend fresh herbs in both the meatballs + the sauce. Fresh herbs are 100% better than dried, but they are more expensive and less convenient, so if you want to use dried ... I understand. Cut them by roughly 1/3 in the recipe.

Slow-cooked heirloom marinara sound good? Oh yes it does. We slowcook the marinara the entire recipe, so it is packed full of flavor, yummy as heck, and the perfect complement to these meatballs.  

We take the balls, shove them between a bun, slather on the sauce, and lattice spread the cheese. I used the Chao from Field Roast (not a promotion). I like this product a lot. Place that in the broiler...get ready for vegan magic my homies.

Got to say this sub doesn't disappoint and was amazing!

Let's get into it.

 

Ingredients:


Lentil Meatballs

  • 1 cup green lentils, dry, rinsed
  • 2 cup low-sodium veggie broth
  • 1 tbl flaxmeal + 2.5 tbl water
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, fine diced
  • 3 tbl organic tomato paste
  • 3 tbl nutritional yeast
  • Spices: 1/2 cup fresh parsley, diced roughly, 1/2 cup basil, diced roughly, 2 tbl fresh oregano, diced, 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbl pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • extra 1/4 cup nutritional yeast + 1 tbl garlic salt, to roll balls in

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1.5 tbl olive oil
  • 28-30oz of organic tomato sauce (try to find a low sodium option...heirloom tomato sauce is even better)
  • 3 tbl organic tomato paste
  • 2 medium yellow heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • Spices: 1/2 cup fresh basil, diced, 2 tbl fresh oregano, diced, pinch of sage, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, 1 tbl coconut sugar

Other

  • 4 crusty hoagie buns
  • few slices of Field Roast Chao provolone slices

Equipment You'll Need:

Cutting Board . Sharp Cutting Knife . Measuring Cups . Measuring Spoons . Parchment Paper or Silpat . One Large Shallow Bowl . Two Large Plates . Large Oven Pan . Large Pot . Potato Masher . Spatula


Before You Cook:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Wash and cut all fresh ingredients
 1. Place your lentils in veggie broth, bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until softened. You want a little tiny bit of crunch still.

1. Place your lentils in veggie broth, bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until softened. You want a little tiny bit of crunch still.

 2. While the lentils are cooking, start your sauce by cooking shallots and garlic with olive oil on stove top in medium castiron pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes then add spices and cook for 60 seconds.

2. While the lentils are cooking, start your sauce by cooking shallots and garlic with olive oil on stove top in medium castiron pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes then add spices and cook for 60 seconds.

 3. Next for the sauce, pour in tomato sauce, add diced tomato, and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low and let simmer. We'll let this simmer till we're done with the rest of the recipe.

3. Next for the sauce, pour in tomato sauce, add diced tomato, and tomato paste. Reduce heat to low and let simmer. We'll let this simmer till we're done with the rest of the recipe.

 4. While the sauce simmers, add flaxmeal to water for the meatballs and let it sit in a small bowl. This will form a flax "egg."

4. While the sauce simmers, add flaxmeal to water for the meatballs and let it sit in a small bowl. This will form a flax "egg."

 5. Next, add the onions + garlic for meatballs to a medium pan and saute for 5-6 minutes. When done, add to a food processor with the rest of the meatball ingredients.

5. Next, add the onions + garlic for meatballs to a medium pan and saute for 5-6 minutes. When done, add to a food processor with the rest of the meatball ingredients.

 6.  While the onions + garlic cook, add all the meatball ingredients to food processor except the extra nut yeast + garlic salt. Add the cooked lentils + onion/garlic once done. Spin the processor several times till you get anice blend. Don't overwork it.

6.  While the onions + garlic cook, add all the meatball ingredients to food processor except the extra nut yeast + garlic salt. Add the cooked lentils + onion/garlic once done. Spin the processor several times till you get anice blend. Don't overwork it.

 7. Scoop out an overflowing tablespoon of the mixture. Roll the ball in your hand to get a meatball, then roll in the nutrtional yeast + garlic salt to get nice coating and place on parchment-lined oven pan. I made 20 meatballs. Put into oven at 400F for roughly 18 minutes. Do not discard parchment-lined pan. We'll reuse it to broil.

7. Scoop out an overflowing tablespoon of the mixture. Roll the ball in your hand to get a meatball, then roll in the nutrtional yeast + garlic salt to get nice coating and place on parchment-lined oven pan. I made 20 meatballs. Put into oven at 400F for roughly 18 minutes. Do not discard parchment-lined pan. We'll reuse it to broil.

 8. To form the sub, slice the hoagie in the middle. Place in the balls (5 of them). Drench in the sauce.

8. To form the sub, slice the hoagie in the middle. Place in the balls (5 of them). Drench in the sauce.

 9. Slice your vegan provolone into thin strips and lattice across the top to form a nice cheesy layer. Put back into the oven on broil 525F on the parchment-lined baking pan. Broil for 5 minutes.

9. Slice your vegan provolone into thin strips and lattice across the top to form a nice cheesy layer. Put back into the oven on broil 525F on the parchment-lined baking pan. Broil for 5 minutes.

 10. After broil, sprinkle with fresh herbs if you like. Eat. Enjoy!

10. After broil, sprinkle with fresh herbs if you like. Eat. Enjoy!


Vegan Meatball Sub w/ Italian Lentil Meatballs + Homemade Heirloom Marinara Sauce Meatball subs. Nuff said. I wanted to make a vegan rendition of meatball subs that I've always seen meat-eaters enjoying. The first question was how to tackle those pesky "meatballs". I had two major options - lentils + tempeh. I went with the prior because I thought the flavor and texture was more in line with what I wanted. I wanted something that would be a bit softer in a sandwich. Tempeh seemed like it might be slightly too dense. To make these lentils shine, we wanted to pack them full of fresh herbs + spices. We wanted to coat them in a salty, cheesy, garlic crust, and we wanted to top them with a kickASS sauce. I highly recommend fresh herbs in both the meatballs + the sauce. Fresh herbs are 100% better than dried, but they are more expensive and less convenient, so if you want to use dried ... I understand. Cut them by roughly 1/3 in the recipe.Slow-cooked heirloom marinara sound good? Oh yes it does. We slowcook the marinara the entire recipe, so it is packed full of flavor, yummy as heck, and the perfect complement to these meatballs.   Aggregate rating will show here Serves 4 subs Ingredients: Lentil Meatballs, Heirloom Tomato Marinara Sauce, Crusty Hoagie Buns, Chao Vegan Provolone Slices, Fresh Basil + Oregano,
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