vegetarian meatball subs baking in oven

Meatless Meatball Sub Sandwich in Marinara - Perfect for Kids & Busy Families

We found the best vegetarian meatballs and used them to create a meatless meatball sub sandwich. Our version is slathered with a mouth-watering homemade marinara sauce, topped with melted provolone cheese, and all nestled in a Dutch crunch roll. This meal will be a hit for kids and perfect for busy family weeknight dinners.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword marinara sauce, sub sandwich
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Calories 639 kcal
Author Stacy


  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 package Gardein Meatless Meatballs each cut in half
  • provolone cheese sliced
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • 6 Dutch crunch rolls


  1. Saute onions with 2 Tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat about 7 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

    vegetarian meatball sub sandwich onions being seasoned with herbs in a pan
  2. Add garlic and cook for approximately one more minute, until the mixture is fragrant.

  3. Deglaze the saucepan by adding 1.5 cups of water. This loosens the food product that has settled into the bottom of the skillet, but keep the water in your pan and don’t dump it out because that layer is packed with flavor that will incorporate nicely into the sauce.
  4. Add tomato paste and dried herbs and stir until smooth. Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Cook the meatballs in a separate large skillet pan with some olive oil over medium heat until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Flip the meatballs occasionally to ensure even browning.

    vegetarian meatball sub sandwich faux meat being cooked on stovetop
  6. Season tomato sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Add water as necessary to adjust the sauce to your desired thickness. Combine sauce with meatballs and toss to coat.
  7. Arrange split Dutch crunch rolls on a baking sheet, add meatballs and sauce, then lay on cheese slices and some fresh ground pepper.
  8. Place under a preheated broiler for 2-4 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is nicely toasted. Be sure to monitor closely because broilers heat food at a very fast rate and can quickly burn your food if left unattended too long. Remove and serve hot.
    vegetarian meatball subs baking in oven

Recipe Notes

Substitutions & Variations:
Our choice of provolone cheese is a little bit on the fancy side, but you can always go with the more traditional choice of mozzarella cheese if desired.
You can also turn this into a vegan meatball sub recipe by using soy/vegan cheese.
If you have trouble finding Dutch crunch rolls or simply want a softer bread choice, hoagie rolls work perfectly find for this recipe.
As mentioned above, you can play around with the marinara sauce recipe and modify it to suit your preferences by changing the mix of herbs used. For example, you can try basil and rosemary instead.
As easy as this recipe is already, one way to drastically reduce the cooking time even more on this recipe is to use your favorite jarred marinara or spaghetti sauce instead of following all the steps to make the homemade tomato sauce. Just be sure that it isn’t too watery as you want it to stay mostly in the sandwich. You can always add more tomato paste to thicken up a store-bought sauce if needed.