Vegan Zucchini Meatball Sub

Vegan Meatball Sub with Bunny-shaped Meatballs

♫ Listening to: You Held the World in Your Arms by Idlewild ♫

Who else is having a zucchini problem at their house? I only have one zucchini plant, and I’m getting almost a zucchini a day! It’s a lot to use up! I went on a road trip to Portland this summer, and when I got back, I felt like I needed to start charging the zucchinis rent for all the space they were taking up! This recipe uses up 4 (normal sized) zucchini, and if you make zucchini chips on the side, you can use up even more! If that’s a little too much zucchini for you, I also recommend serving this with a side of my colorful potato salad.

This recipe makes 4 vegan meatball subs.

Vegan Blue Bread Dough Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar or sucanat
  • 1 packet (or 2 ¼ teaspoons) of instant yeast
  • 1 ⅓ cup filtered water, heated to 110º
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vegan yogurt (unsweetened, unflavored)
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt (I use pink salt, because it has more nutrients in it.)
  • wilton sky blue gel color (optional, for the bread to be blue)
  • 3 cups unbleached flour

Vegan Blue Bread Dough Directions

Mix the sugar, yeast, and warm water, and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast dissolves.

Add the salt, yogurt, and optional wilton sky blue gel color and mix more. You can check out my list of vegan food coloring for other bread-coloring options.

Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing in between each addition (I used a dough hook fitted in the stand mixer ).

Mix the dough using the dough hook (or your hands if you don’t have a stand mixer) for 2-3 minutes. If the dough gets too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Shape into 4 rolls and place onto a baking stone or parchment paper covered baking sheets. You can use utensils or foil or whatever you have to keep them from spreading too much while they rise.

Vegan Blue Bread Dough

Cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for 45-60 minutes. If your house is colder than 80º, you may need to set the bowl on the stove while your oven heats up. I’ve also set dough on top of my clothes dryer while it was running.

Heat your oven to 360º.

Bake the rolls for 16 minutes.

Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.

Vegan Zucchini Meatballs Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil (if you avoid oil, replace with water)
  • half an onion, finely diced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 4 average-sized zucchinis, finely diced
  • ½ cup vegan broth
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (I use pink salt, because it has more nutrients in it.)
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning (or use a combination of whatever you have, like oregano, basil, and thyme)
  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten (I buy the organic kind in bulk at rainbow grocery)

Vegan Zucchini Meatballs Directions

Dollhouse Shortcut

Use a food processor fitted with the S blade to diced the veggies.

Sauté the finely diced veggies in olive oil (or water if you avoid oil).

Process 1 ⅓ cups of the sautéed veggies with the veggie broth in the food processor fitted with the S blade. If you don’t have a food processor , you can use a blender. Leave the rest of the veggies in the pan for now.

Heat your oven to 375º.

Mix the gluten with the blended mixture. There are 3 ways to do this: a food processor fitted with the S blade, a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, or by hand. This is what the dough should look like when it’s done.

Vegan Zucchini Meatball Dough

Form the dough (using your hands) into the shapes you desire. Most people like round meatballs. I chose to use an animal rice mold to make bunny-shaped meatballs.

Set the meatballs onto a baking stone or parchment paper covered baking sheets.

Bake for 40 minutes at 375º.

Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.

Vegan Zucchini Bunny Meatball

Vegan Zucchini Marinara Ingredients

  • remaining sautéed veggies (they should still be in the pan)
  • two 15-ounce cans or one 29-ounce can of organic tomato sauce*

Vegan Zucchini Marinara Directions

Add tomato sauce to the pan with the sautéed veggies.

Cover pan and heat on low-medium.

Add the meatballs to this marinara, once it thickens, to let them soak up some of the flavor.

Vegan Zucchini Meatball Sub Assembly

Cut a lengthwise slice down each bread roll.

Spoon some sauce inside each cut.

Add 3 meatballs to each sandwich, side by side.

Top with more sauce, if there’s any leftover in the pan.

Vegan Zucchini Meatball Sub

Add vegan cheese (optional).

Serve with virgin moscow mules for the best at-a-bar-but-really-at-home experience.


  • I use mostly organic ingredients when I cook, but I realize that not everyone has the disposable income to purchase all organic ingredients. Therefore, I only specify organic on the ingredients that really matter - when buying the organic version is the only way to ensure that the item is vegan.

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