Cheesy, saucy, and meaty, this Vegan Meatball Sub with herby, garlicky pesto stuffed in a crusty rustic bun will satisfy all your comfort food cravings! Made with vegan meatballs, rich red marinara, homemade pesto, and jalapeno cheese, this filling and indulgent sandwich is a saucy handful of delicious!
Honestly, this super easy, vegan meatball sub has become a bit of a thing at our house. Everyone is addicted to its garlicky, saucy, cheesy scrumptiousness; and I'm not mad about that. It's simple to make, super satiating, and downright delish!
As summer becomes Fall, everyone seems to be craving comfort food, and this epic sub fits the bill. It's a big flavourful handful of warm, saucy, creamy crunchiness that leaves tomato sauce dripping down your arms and a wonderful pesto and crumb filled mess around your plate. Deee-lightful!
Vegan Meatball Sub Ingredients
Meatballs: Obviously 'meat'balls are the star ingredient in this sub sandwich. They give the sub its toothsomeness. I use the Gardein Meatless Meatballs because they are amazeballs! Not even kidding - so good! But you can use your favourite store-bought or homemade meatballs.
Marinara Sauce: A classic meatball sub needs marinara sauce. I love to make my own marinara (Rich Red Marinara Sauce) and usually have some on hand; but when I don't, I use store-bought like Rao's Brand Marinara.
Pesto: Pesto is really easy to make and super versatile. A classic green pesto is made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, oil, salt, and hard cheese. This herbaceous, garlicky, tangy condiment brings a freshness and lightness to everything from pasta to pizza and sauces.
Cheese: For the cheesy, salty, umami, nuttiness in the marinara, I add my homemade parmesan (Amazing Vegan Parmesan Cheese). You can make this super quick parmesan or use whatever dairy-free parmesan you have on hand. It's optional, but another delicious layer of flavour.
More Cheese: There are so many great plant-based cheese brands available now. Availability depends on where you live obviously; but if you can find it, Miyoko's Mozz or her Sharp Farmhouse Cheese Wheel, both are excellent choices for this sandwich. Find your favourite meltable option and pile it on.
Bread: AKA, the incredible, crunchy vessel that will deliver all this deliciousness to your mouth. Choose a rustic country baguette, a sourdough or ciabatta. Something sturdy enough to hold those meatballs and saucy marinara without getting soggy - because that crunch is everything!
Optional Toppings: I love the pungency that white onions bring to this yummy meatball sub. So slice up as many as you like and add them on top. As well the fresh, peppery flavour of arugula is a flavour match made in heaven. Add a sprinkle or two of hot pepper flakes and some fresh basil ribbons to take your sub to the next level of delicious.
This saucy vegan meatball sub with garlicky pesto could easily be THE sandwich of the season. It's quick, it's delicious, it's satiating, and it's all vegan - so YAY to all that wonderfulness!
More Delicious Vegan Recipes
One-Pot Vegetable Bean Soup - stir some leftover pesto into this incredible vegetable soup.
Very Vegetarian Dagwood Sandwich is one of my most repinned sammies.
Creamy Rosé Vegetable Pasta - punch up your pasta sauce with a drizzle of homemade pesto.
Easy White Sandwich Bread - fluffy and soft, this bread is easy and delicious!
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Easy Vegan Meatball Sub with Pesto
Pesto Sauce Recipe
Meatballs, Buns, and Toppings
- 12 vegan meatballs (I used Gardein)
- 1 jar marinara sauce*
- 1 baguette, rustic country bread, split
- 8 oz vegan cheese, sliced or grated*
- red or white onion, sliced
- arugula leaves for garnish
- basil, ribbons (optional)
- red pepper flakes
Garlicky Green Pesto
Marinara + Meatballs
- Warm marinara sauce on the stove in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Add the vegan meatballs. Ensure they are covered in sauce and let them simmer while you prepare the bread.
- Marinara Sauce - use your favourite store-bought marinara (like Rao's) or make it from scratch using this simple marinara sauce recipe (freezes well).
- Meatless Meatballs - I recommend Gardein meatless meatballs, but use your favourite brand.
Putting the Meatball Subs Together
- Preheat the oven to broil with the oven rack in the top ⅓ of the oven.
- Slice or grate the cheese. I use Miyokos mozzarella or jalapeno havarti.
- Split the rustic sub/bun in half and place on a baking sheet.
- Smear one side with pesto and the other side with marinara sauce.
- Sprinkle cheese over the marinara side.
- Broil (open faced) until golden and the cheese is soft and melty. Remove from the oven.
- Add meatballs and a dollop of marinara, sliced onions, arugula, basil ribbons, and a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes.
- Slice into individual size sandwiches.
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