After our recent Dairy-Free Mozzarella Taste Test, I had some extra cheese alternative to use up. Just five bags or so. No big deal. So I scoured online for ideas and came across my husband’s favorite Subway order: meatball subs. He hasn’t had them in years, since they contain dairy, so we thought it would be fun to whip up our own. And he says these homemade dairy-free meatball subs are better than the sandwich shop!
Homemade Dairy-Free Meatball Subs that Rival Subway
We used my dairy-free Italian meatballs recipe for these easy subs. You can make the meatballs ahead, freeze them, and toss with the sauce whenever hunger strikes. Or, you can cook the batch fresh and let them simmer in the sauce before ladling into the sandwiches. The choice is yours!
The Best Cheese Alternatives
In the picture shown, we used Follow Your Heart Mozzarella. But we also tested these dairy-free meatball subs with Miyoko’s liquid mozzarella. Miyoko’s was our favorite of the two, but it wasn’t as “pretty.” See our Dairy-Free Mozzarella Taste Test for our top cheesy recommendations.
Meatball Sub Dairy-Free Topping Options
You can keep your dairy-free meatball subs simple, with just the homemade dairy-free meatballs, marinara, and cheese alternative. Or, you can dress it up a bit with some extra toppings. Here are some of our favorite:
- Sliced Olives
- Baby Spinach
- Sliced Pepperoncini Pepers
- Fresh Chopped Parsley
- Chopped Roasted Red Pepper
- Sautéed Bell Peppers
- Sautéed Onions
- Crushed Red Pepper
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Meatball Subs
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free. Just be sure to choose the bread, marinara, and cheese alternative that suit your dietary needs.
- 6 dairy-free hoagie buns or 6-inch baguette pieces, sliced lengthwise to open (can use gluten-free, if needed)
- ½ batch (24)cooked dairy-free Italian meatballs
- 1 (28-ounce) jar dairy-free marinara sauce or 2½ cups homemade marinara
- Dairy-free mozzarella shreds, to taste
- Toppings (see post above for suggestions)
- Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the meatballs in a large skillet and pour the marinara over top.
- Put the skillet over medium heat and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Place the open buns or baguettes on your prepared baking sheet, cut sides up.
- Bake for 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Leave the oven on.
- Place 4 meatballs on the bottom half of each open bun or baguette. Spoon on additional sauce, as desired. Sprinkle with cheese alternative, as desired.
- Bake the meatballs subs for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese alternative is melty.
- Top with additional toppings of choice. Close the subs and serve.