Best-Ever Vegan Italian Sub

January 21, 2021
I was inspired to make this vegan Italian sub by Not Another Cooking Show. The only issue with his recipe is the use of cheese, so I made some amendments and decided to come up with a vegan Italian sub recipe that is just as hearty and satisfying as one with cheese, salami, etc. The reason this sandwich works so well together is because of the balance of flavors. The crunchy eggplant contrasts with the soft zucchini and the sharp acidity of the vinaigrette is balanced out with the sweet creaminess of the red pepper paste.
To replace the cheese, I’ve decided to use red pepper paste, otherwise known as ajvar. It has that same creaminess that burrata or mozzarella offers but without the animal products. I bought my red pepper paste from a deli, but it’s straightforward to make, so if you’d like to make your own we have a Peaceful Dumpling recipe that can show you how.
Italian Eggplant Sub on a wooden surface

Best-Ever Vegan Italian Sub

Recipe Type: Sandwiches
utensils YIELDS 2-3 subs or baguettes
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  • 2 to 3 Subs or baguettes
  • 1 tbsp Ajvar
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Vegan Mayonaise
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup Arugula
  • 1/2 Zucchini
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Plain flour
  • 1/2 cup Plant milk
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Sunflower oil
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1. If you’d like to heat up your subs, preheat your oven to 180°C or  350°F.

2. Start by cutting up your eggplant lengthways. Rub the slices in salt and then wait for the eggplants to sweat out water, dabbing with a kitchen roll.

3. After this, cut your zucchini lengthways and grill them in lemon juice on medium heat for around 10 minutes.

4. While the zucchini is cooking put the flour, milk and panko breadcrumbs into three separate dishes. In the dish that contains the bread crumbs, mix in paprika and salt.

5. Dredge the eggplant in the flour, then the milk and then the panko breadcrumbs. Repeat this with all of the eggplant slices and then heat up a pan with sunflower oil. Once hot enough, fry the eggplant for 1 to 2 minutes on either side.

6. Once you’ve finished this process, lay your eggplant on some paper towels to soak up the extra oil. 

7. While you’re waiting for your eggplant to cool down, toast your subs in the oven for around five to seven minutes and assemble your vinaigrette. 

8. To make the vinaigrette; whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise. 

9. When the sub is ready to assemble, start by spreading the red pepper paste (ajvar) on one side and the balsamic vinaigrette on the other. Then place two eggplant cutlets into the sub followed by the zucchini and then the arugula. The amazing thing about subs is that you can make them your own so if you want to add red onion, tomato, cucumber you can do so and it will taste just as good.

Also by Hannah: Thai-Style Vegan Fish Cakes

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Photo: Hannah Roberts

Hannah Roberts
Hannah has been vegan for three years and loves experimenting with food and creating recipes to put on her blog. Her other passion is writing and she is currently studying journalism in London. You can check out her website website and Instagram.


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