Beanball Subs

I have to admit, this recipe seemed daunting at first. There’s a recipe for the beanballs AND a recipe for the pine nut cream, and THEN you make the subs?? But it was actually pretty easy to make, and these were excellent! I made the pine nut cream in the morning (SO good!), and then the beanballs right before dinner. I used a jarred marinara sauce. I pan-fried the beanballs, and then I tasted one. It had a great flavor, and was good because it was creamy on the inside, but had a crunchy outside. So the recipe says to put the beanballs in a pan, cover with some marinara and then the pine nut cream and bake. This turned out well, except the beanballs no longer had that crunchy outside! Next time I make this, I am going to skip the baking part, and just pan-fry the bean balls, put them on a toasted sub roll, then slather with the pine nut cream and marinara.

rating: 9

Beanball Sub
(Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero)

serves 5
time needed: 40 min.

1 recipe Beanballs
marinara sauce
1 recipe pine nut cream
4 hoagie rolls, split open
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, well washed


1 (20-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (about 3 cups)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp steak sauce or tomato paste (I used tomato paste)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus additional for frying or baking
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced finely
1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp fried thyme


Mash the kidney beans in a mixing bowl until no whole beans are left. You don’t want them to be completely smooth, you should still be able to recognize that they are kidney beans. Add the soy sauce, steak sauce, 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, bread crumbs, wheat gluten, and herbs, and use a fork to mix everything together. Use your hands to knead the mixture for about a minute, until everything is really well combined and firm,

Roll the bean mixture into walnut-sized balls (you should have 12-15 of them). But don’t make them too big; smaller makes for the best texture.

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Pour about 1/4″ of olive oil into the pan, then add your beanballs. Cook for about 15 minutes, tossing them often, until browned on all sides.


1 pound silken tofu
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1 clove garlic
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
white pepper

In a food processor, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until a creamy paste forms. Add the tofu, garlic, arrowroot, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Blend until creamy and smooth.

Prepared the recipes for the beanballs and the pine nut cream. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place beanballs on a tray and top with about 1 cup of the marinara and all of the pine nut cream. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pine nut cream is lightly browned, Spread more marinara sauce on one side of each roll and distribute the beanballs evenly among the sandwiches, layering the spinach leaves over top. Top liberally with more marinara sauce. Close your sandwiches, slice in half on the diagonal, and serve.


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One Response to Beanball Subs

  1. veghotpot says:

    That looks amazing!! I have that cook book but haven’t tried this one yet. I might take your advice and skip the baking part so the bean balls are all nice n cripsy! Yum!

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