Mushroom Quinoa Meatball Sandwich

This Mushroom Quinoa Meatball Sandwich recipe is a great meatless alternative to your favorite meatball sub! Enjoy it with a glass of wine for an easy vegetarian dinner!

Hi friends!

Meet Liz! She’s the blogger behind Pumpkins and Peanut Butter, another blog I’ve fallen in love with this year! She shares delicious creations like this Southwestern Veggie Bowl with Black Bean Hummus, these Baked Chocolate Donuts and this Green Goddess Miso Noodle Soup. Also, these Burrito Bowl Loaded Potato Skins? Brilliant! Be sure to go check out here blog!

Hi everyone! My name is Liz and I’m the blogger behind Pumpkin & Peanut Butter, a {mostly} plant-based food blog dedicated to simple, healthy eats, and of course, all things peanut butter! I absolutely adore Lindsay’s blog and was beyond excited when she asked me to guest post on The Lean Green Bean today. Lindsay’s recipes are always so approachable, and not to mention how beautiful her photography is, so I feel honored to share her space today!

Today I’m sharing one of my guilty pleasures, even since becoming a vegetarian five years ago— meatball sandwiches!! I swear these babies are one of my all-time-favorite comfort foods to this day. Tender, flavorful meatballs smothered in tangy tomato sauce, all sandwiched between two thick slices of Italian bread. Mmmmm this is the stuff from my dreams!

But now as a {mostly} vegetarian, I’m not at all into the processed “fake meat”, so those prepackaged meatless meatballs just don’t fit the bill in my house. I have to use alternatives to get my meatball fix on— my favorite way being a combination of meaty mushrooms with hearty quinoa. Aka what we’re making today!

I think the reason I like meatball sandwiches so much is because of, well, what they’re served ON. As many of you already know, I’m a bread FANATIC, and would seriously eat hunk upon hunk of crusty Italian bread (dipped in olive oil and balsamic) ALL DAY LONG.

But alas, my body just cannot survive solely on enriched white flour, so I guess I just have to squeeze decadent meals like these into my weekend rotation. The good news is we’re pairing this luscious sourdough bread with all good-for-you ingredients, like quinoa, mushrooms, onions, basil, and tomatoes.

The result is a crispy, hearty, {almost} meat-like ball that literally melts in your mouth with each bite. These meatballs are also PACKED with flavor, thanks to that fresh basil, garlic, and red chili flakes, so you’re never left feeling unsatisfied.

Another great thing about this recipe is it’s an awesome make-ahead meal. I like to whip up a big batch of these “meat”balls on the weekends and throw them in the fridge for the week. We eat them on bread, with pasta, spaghetti squash, zoodles, or all by themselves (with lots of red sauce of course)! Oh, and a good glass of wine 😉


Mushroom Quinoa Meatball Sandwich

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This Mushroom Quinoa Meatball Sandwich recipe is a great meatless alternative to your favorite meatball sub! Enjoy it with a glass of wine for an easy vegetarian dinner!

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 15 large balls 1x



  • ¾ cup of quinoa, dry (I used white, but any color will work)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8oz button mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • bread of choice (I used sourdough)
  • red sauce of choice (I used Trader Joe’s brand)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Boil 1 1/2 cups water with 3/4 cup dry quinoa. Turn down to a low simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked and water is completely absorbed.
  2. In the meantime, drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and add in diced yellow onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add in diced mushrooms. Sauté for another 5 minutes, or until onions and mushrooms are cooked. Sprinkle in minced garlic and spices (except fresh basil), then cook for one additional minute. Remove from heat.
  3. Once the quinoa is cooked, pour it into the cooked onion and mushroom skillet. Add in 3 tbsp tomato paste and stir to coat everything. Finally stir in fresh basil and any additional salt and pepper desired. Form mixture into 1 1/2 in “meatballs” and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. This should make about 15 large balls 😉
  4. Bake quinoa balls for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy on the outside. When my meatballs were almost done, I brushed some olive oil onto my sourdough bread slices and threw them in the oven for 5-6 minutes to get crunchy and warm. I also heated up my sauce on the stove so I was ready to make my sandwiches right away!
  5. Layer 3-4 balls on one slice of bread, top with a generous amount of sauce and fresh basil, then add on your second slice of bread (or eat open face). Dig in!


  • Serving Size: 3-4 meatballs

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Have a beautiful rest of your week everyone and thanks again to Lindsay for inviting here to this wonderful corner of the internet!

Be sure to follow Liz on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest for more great recipes!

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