Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > The ULTIMATE Vegetarian Meatball Sub | CRAZY Good & Easy to Make
All Recipes, Main Dishes / April 22, 2024

The ULTIMATE Vegetarian Meatball Sub | CRAZY Good & Easy to Make

This Vegetarian Meatball Sub is the ULTIMATE vegetarian sandwich. It’s packed with flavors, made with heart-healthy ingredients and promises to fill your body with so much goodness. Serve it next to a garden salad and a bottle of Spanish wine for a delicious meal.

Vegetarian Meatball Sub
To make the vegetarian meatballs, I made my famous chickpea meatballs. You can substitute the chickpeas for white beans, kidney beans or even pinto beans if you like. For the tomato sauce, I used canned tomato sauce, which is very similar to passata.

Vegetarian Meatball Sub
For the bread, I used typical hoogie-style bread rolls. Any type of bread can be used here. Just make sure to lightly toast it beforehand. That way once you add the vegetarian meatballs and tomato sauce, the bread doesn’t fall apart.

Vegetarian Meatball Sub

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: Important to squeeze the meatball mixture in your hands before shaping the meatballs. This will ensure that all the ingredients are well binded together, so the meatballs don’t fall apart when cooking.

Vegetarian Meatball Sub

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make this Vegetarian Meatball Sub

The ULTIMATE Vegetarian Meatball Sub

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 sandwiches
Calories 759 kcal
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork



  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 15.5 oz / 440 grams
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs 40 grams
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 small carrot (peeled)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 8 grams
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1.5 grams
  • sea salt & black pepper


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika 2.50 grams
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme .50 grams
  • 1 can tomato sauce (passata) 15 oz / 425 grams
  • sea salt & black pepper


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 60 ml
  • 2 bread rolls
  • grated cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley


  1. Drain the canned chickpeas into a colander and rinse under water, then shake off any excess water and transfer the chickpeas into a large bowl, using a potato masher or a large fork, push down on the chickpeas until they're well mashed

  2. Once the chickpeas are mashed, add in the bread crumbs, crack in the egg, add in the shallot and garlic, finely grate in the carrot, add in the parsley, cumin and season with sea salt & black pepper, mix together, once well mixed, push down on the mixture until you get a paste-like texture

  3. To shape the meatballs, grab a large spoonful of the mixture and squeeze it in your hands, then shape into a ball, a little bigger than a golf ball

  4. Heat a large fry pan with a medium heat and add in the olive oil

  5. After a couple of minutes add in the chickpea meatballs, all in a single layer, fry for 7 to 8 minutes or until golden fried all around, then remove from the pan and set aside

  6. Using the same pan with the same heat make the tomato sauce, add in the minced garlic and mix continuously, after 15 seconds and the garlic is fragrant, add in the paprika and thyme, quickly mix together, then add in the canned tomato sauce and season with sea salt & black pepper, mix together, then add the chickpea meatballs back into the pan, gently flip each one so they're coated in the sauce, lower the fire to a low heat

  7. In the meantime, cut the bread rolls in half lengthwise, without cutting them all the way through, add into a preheated oven for a few minutes so they lightly toast

  8. After simmering the chickpea meatballs for about 5 minutes and the tomato sauce has slightly thickened, remove the pan from the heat

  9. Add the chickpea meatballs into the bread rolls, top off with the tomato sauce, then add in some grated cheese and sprinkle with chopped parsley, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Spanish Olive Oil and Paprika I used to make this Recipe (10% OFF Your Order with Coupon ONAFORK)

Nutrition Facts
The ULTIMATE Vegetarian Meatball Sub
Amount Per Serving
Calories 759 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 23g
Cholesterol 93mg31%
Sodium 1068mg46%
Potassium 1512mg43%
Carbohydrates 86g29%
Fiber 18g75%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 8265IU165%
Vitamin C 61mg74%
Calcium 241mg24%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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