Vegan Meatball Sub Sandwich w/ Cashew Parmesan & Caramelized Onions (oil-free)

June 26, 2017


By: Chris Petrellese 

Vegan Meatball Sub Sandwich w/ Cashew Parmesan & Caramelized Onions (oil-free) #oilfree #meatball #vegan #sub #hearty #caramelizedonions #homemadeparmesan #cashewparm #veganmeat
Meatball subs were a childhood favorite of mine. I had them often, and they were always reminiscent of times with family and friends. Growing up in an Italian household, they were pretty much a staple. Thankfully, we’ve created a vegan alternative, and in my opinion these vegan meatball subs are way better as they are free from cholesterol, saturated fat, and any of the harm associated with its counterpart.

Vegan Meatball Sub Sandwich w/ Cashew Parmesan & Caramelized Onions (oil-free) #oilfree #meatball #vegan #sub #hearty #caramelizedonions #homemadeparmesan #cashewparm #veganmeatOur vegan ‘meatballs’ are made from eggplant, chickpeas, and tempeh, and are ones you can feel good about making and enjoying. Paired with a fresh sourdough hoagie, a heap of caramelized onions (no oil needed!) and our homemade cashew parm, this sandwich is sure to be a favorite among family and friends.Kale Pesto Burgers with Homemade Pretzel Buns #vegan #pesto #sandwich #oilfree #burgerThis recipe is part of our monthly collaboration with our friend Caitlin, From My Bowl. The challenge was to make sandwiches, which are pretty much my favorite thing in the entire world, so I was super excited about this one. Caitlin made these epic Kale Pesto Burgers on homemade pretzel buns, talk about drool worthy!Vegan Meatball Sub Sandwich w/ Cashew Parmesan & Caramelized Onions (oil-free) #oilfree #meatball #vegan #sub #hearty #caramelizedonions #homemadeparmesan #cashewparm #veganmeatWho’s do you prefer? Our Eggplant Meatball Sub, or Caitlin’s Kale Pesto Burgers? This is gonna be a close one, for sure!

Next month’s recipe collaboration will consist of either watermelon or corn, in celebration of summer! Help us decide in the comments below! ?
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Vegan Meatball Sub Sandwich w/ Cashew Parmesan & Caramelized Onions (oil-free) #oilfree #meatball #vegan #sub #hearty #caramelizedonions #homemadeparmesan #cashewparm #veganmeat

Vegan Eggplant Meatball Sub w/ Homemade Cashew Parmesan (oil-free)

  • Author: Jasmine Briones & Chris Petrellese
  • Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
  • Yield: 3


A hearty vegan meatball sub sandwich that does not skimp out on flavor OR nutrition! It is packed with veggies and herbs, PLUS doused in marinara and a super easy parmesan, you don’t want to miss out on this!


Cashew Parmesan

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of chili powder

Pair with:

  • Three 6” sourdough hoagies
  • 1 cup oil-free marinara sauce (we use Engine 2) or pizza sauce


Cashew Parmesan

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix/pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Store in the refrigerator to keep fresh. Lasts for several weeks.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Slice open your bread if it is not already cut, and place into an oven on a baking sheet to toast for about 8-10 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on it to prevent it from getting burned! remove from oven and allow it to cool a bit before handling.
  2. Gently add your meatballs into a large mixing bowl, and pour over the marinara (or pizza sauce). Toss gently (to avoid breaking the meatballs) until they are all thoroughly coated with sauce.
  3. Divide you meatballs amongst your bread, then top with the onions and a sprinkle of parmesan. Dig in!


If you would like to make this recipe gluten-free, simply sub gluten-free bread and breadcrumbs.

You will probably have extra parmesan– it can be used on pizza, sandwiches, macro bowls, etc!

  • Prep Time: 50
  • Cook Time: 42

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

If you like sandwiches, check out our other recipes below!

Thai Peanut Roasted Veggie Sandwich {easy + oil-free} #thai #peanut #sandwich #vegan #oilfree #easyvegan

Thai Peanut Roasted Veggie Sandwich {easy + oil-free}

Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes

Easy Lentil Sloppy Joes {oil-free}

Leftover Lentil Sandwich Bread + Avocado Toast

Leftover Lentil Sandwich Bread + Avocado Toast

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links, thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Sarah says:

    Yes! This looks so good. I don’t think I’ve ever had a meatball sub (vegan or not) but this one is definitely one I’d like to try.

  2. Looks super delicious! I haven’t had a meatball sub in forever!

  3. Cassie Tran says:

    I didn’t enjoy meatball subs on the regular, but I LOVED meatballs. These meatballs look fantastic! The caramelized onions look absolutely fabulous with everything!

  4. What a great hearty sandwich! That’s how to get the boys to eat plant-based!

  5. Vegan bean balls are the best! This looks so good.

  6. Jenn says:

    Now THIS is a sandwich! I want to sink my teeth into a huge bite. And love all those caramelized onions on top!

  7. […] Be sure to check out Sweet Simple Vegan’s (aka Jasmine + Chris’) Meatball Subs: Recipe Video – Recipe – […]

  8. […] with Jasmine and Chris of Sweet Simple Vegan! My favorite vegan power couple decided to make Vegan Eggplant Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions, and there’s even a recipe for some homemade dairy-free Parmesan Cheese up in there too! Be […]

  9. Susanne says:

    Am I missing where tells how much eggplant to use ?????

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