Meatball Subs – Plant Based and Gluten Free
I decided to try making healthier, plant based and gluten free Meatball Subs.
Well…There’s this whole “New Year, New Me” phenomenon that occurs right after New Years, when everyone is trying to come up with earth shattering resolutions.
Instead of being radical and essentially return the old me…we need a new one…
Let’s try a different thought process…
It’s not like the old me should be returned for a refund (although I do say my warranty has expired). We’ve been trying to maintain a healthy diet all along…it’s nothing “New”. Maybe we got a little sidetracked with holidays and vacations etc. I don’t know about you…I don’t want a “New Me” I want a “Healthy Me”.
How about we vote for a “Happy New Year” that’s filled with good, healthy food!
Are you a Flexitarian?
Plant Based Meatball Subs are perfect for the Flexitarian or Reducetarian who is trying to reduce the amount of meat they’re eating but doesn’t want to completely eliminate meat. It’s a good way to eat healthier without completely removing meat from the diet. I try to keep real meat products for Shabbat. It works for our family.
The Making of the Plant Based Meatball Sub
I know you’re dying to know how I came up with this extremely novel and creative recipe.
Here’s what I did.
The Plant Based/Gluten Free Meatballs
I wanted to use plant based ingredients, because I’m eating too much meat in general and want to eat less of it.
I’m eating too much meat in general and while I want to eat more of it, I need to eat less of it for a healthier diet.
Additionally, I’m lazy.
I found awesome plant based meatballs in my grocery freezer section, already made.
Well that was easy.
I’m scared of my Air Fryer
In honor of the New Year I resolved to use my air fryer.
My air fryer scares me.
It really does.
I don’t know why. I had no problem using the pressure cooker that was part of the air fryer. It came as one unit when I bought my 8-quart Instant Pot.
I think I’m having trouble with the fact that there isn’t a lot of space to spread the food out to crisp.
Sure…that’s the reason…
Then came Black Friday and every store was selling Air Fryers. And…everyone was talking about how much they love their air fryers.
Even Dear Daughter-In-Law got an air fryer for her Thanksgiving time birthday. Dear NY Cousins had an air fryer they were gushing about.
I had FOMO.
I decided to try my air fryer to cook the meatballs. I figured that they would be healthier that way. Less fat/oil/grease. My impression was that if you made something with the air fryer, the fat in the food goes to the bottom and there is a small amount that crisps the food.
I’m still not sure if that’s true, but I decided to try it anyway.
Using my air fryer didn’t end up being as traumatic or complicated as I had built it up to be. I also made some fries in the same pot after the meatballs. They came out OK…I think my convection oven actually does a better job of making fries…
Homemade Marinara Sub Sauce
Back to the healthy eating topic.
I wanted a sub sauce that was fresh tasting without additives or preservatives. While I wasn’t going to go as far as cooking down fresh tomatoes (remember that “Easy” button?), using canned tomato products was along the lines of what I was looking for. I also wanted to be able to add the seasonings that I felt would work.
Putting together the Plant Based & Gluten Free Meatball Sub
Once all the ingredients were cooked, it was time to assemble the amazing Meatball Sub.
I toasted a gluten free hot dog bun – it worked great for the sandwich, then spread some of the homemade marinara sauce on the bun. Then came the air fried, plant based meatballs, more sauce and the top of the bun.
I did try to add some plant based mozzarella on top of the last layer of sauce before adding the top of the bun, but even with microwaving it refused, refused, to melt.
Don’t ask me why.
It was delicioso!
Here’s the Meatball Sub recipe
You are the executive chef in your kitchen. If you would like to use non-plant based ingredients or glutenous buns feel free to do so. I will not be coming to your kitchen to check up on you!
With that being said, you can make this recipe even easier (gasp!) by using your favorite jarred marinara sauce, although the homemade one is amazing.Print
Meatball Subs with Homemade Marinara (Plant Based & Gluten Free) are the perfect weeknight dinner. Made with healthy, air fried, plant based Beyond Meat meatballs, fresh homemade marinara, and a toasted gluten free bun. These look complicated to make but couldn’t be easier!
For the Sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon garlic oil
For the Meatball Subs
- 1 (10-ounce) package Plant Based/GF Meatballs (12 meatballs total)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil (for air frying)
- 4 gluten free hot dog buns, toasted
- plant based mozzarella shreds
For the Meatballs
- Place the meatballs in the basket of an air fryer.
- Cook for 15 minutes at 375°F.
For the Sauce
- While the meatballs are cooking, in a medium stock pot, whisk together the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and garlic oil.
- Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spread Homemade marinara on the base of a toasted bun. Place three meatballs on the sauce.
- Top the meatballs with additional sauce. Sprinkle with plant based mozzarella if desired.
- Finish the sub by placing the top part of the toasted bun on the cheese.
- Repeat with the remaining buns.
- Serve hot with extra sauce and plant based mozzarella if desired.
If you don’t have garlic oil for the sauce, use 1 tablespoon olive oil and one clove garlic.
If you don’t have an air fryer or prefer not to use one, you can brown/cook the meatballs in a skillet or in a 375°F oven for 15 minutes.
You can use your favorite jarred marinara sauce but the fresh is best!
- Serving Size: 1 Meatball Sub
- Calories: 318
- Sugar: 11.7 g
- Sodium: 417.4 mg
- Fat: 17.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 36.2 g
- Protein: 7.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Plant Based, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Meatball Sub, Sub Sandwich
More Plant Based Recipes
- Acorn Squash with Plant Based Butter and Low Carb Pasta
- Moxtail Stew
- Three Cheese Eggplant Rolls
- Microwave Mac & Cheese
- Stir Fry Bowtie Pasta with Chickpeas and Corn
- Hearts of Palm Lasagna
- Tofu Parmesan
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