Eggplantball Sandwich (Vegan Meatball Sub)

July 22, 2021
I saw the most vibrantly purple eggplant in the grocery store the other day and I couldn’t resist buying it. Whenever I see this vegetable, I usually associate it with a classic eggplant parm dish. I had sub rolls on hand so I decided to stick with the Italian flavors inspired by the parm and made mock meatballs with marinara sauce.

I made my marinara from scratch but if you want to skip this step, you could just use a store-bought jar. I recommend topping this with fresh basil and you can also grate and melt some vegan cheese over it if you would like. I made a sub with my balls but they would also be delicious served over spaghetti with a bunch of sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
vegan eggplantball sub on a plate with a brown and black background

Eggplantball Sandwich (Vegan Meatball Sub)

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees Sandwiches
utensils YIELDS 6 balls
herb graphic for recipe card
  • For the eggplant balls:
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • For the marinara:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp cane sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
        graphic for recipe card


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Slice the eggplant in half down the middle. Place flesh side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and scrape flesh of eggplant from the skin into a bowl. Use a hand blender to blend until smooth. Lower oven to 350°F.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax and water and set aside to thicken.

5. Add the flax egg, breadcrumbs, oat flour, and spices to the eggplant and mix well. Set in the fridge for about ten minutes to thicken.

6. Remove from fridge and form into balls. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for 15 more minutes before removing from oven.

7. While the balls are cooking, make the marinara sauce. Add the oil to a sauce pan and heat over medium heat.

8. Add the garlic and simmer for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from heat.

9. Serve balls in a sub roll and top with marinara and fresh basil.

Get more like this—Sign up for our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!


Photo: Lauren Sacerdote

Lauren is a homebody who likes to spend time with her cat, explore new ideas in the kitchen, relax in the sun with a good book, and promote healthy living to friends and family.


always stay inspired!