Go Back
+ servings
5 from 1 vote
Hand Grabbing a Half of A Vegan Mexican Meatball Sub on a Plate
Vegan Tortas de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Subs)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins

A vegan meatball sub that's like a flavor explosion in your face! Spicy black bean meatballs are smothered in chipotle-tomato sauce and stuffed into crusty rolls to make these scrumptious Mexican-inspired vegan tortas!

Course: Sandwich
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 600 kcal
Author: Alissa Saenz
For the Meatballs
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • Oil mister or cooking spray
For the Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle peppers (from a can), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For Serving
  • 4 bolillo or telera rolls, sliced open
  • Diced avocado
  • Diced onion
  • Shredded lettuce
To Make the Meatballs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped and well-mixed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  3. Taste test the mixture and adjust any seasonings to your liking.

  4. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (you should get about 20-25) and arrange them on the baking sheet. Lightly spray with oil.

  5. Bake the meatballs until lightly browned, about 30 minutes, flipping once about halfway through.

To Make the Sauce
  1. While the meatballs bake, coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. When the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute, until very fragrant.

  4. Stir in the tomato sauce, fire roasted tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and oregano. 

  5. Raise the heat and bring the sauce to a simmer. Lower the heat and allow it to cook for about 25 minutes, until it thickens up just a bit.

  6. Remove the sauce from heat. Taste test and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Adjust any other seasonings to your liking (see note).

Assemble the Sandwiches
  1. Slice the rolls open and stuff with meatballs and lettuce. Ladle the sauce over top and top with avocado and onion.

  2. Serve.

Recipe Notes

For extra chipotle flavor (and heat), stir in some of the adobo sauce from your can of chipotle peppers.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Tortas de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Subs)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 600 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 2.8g14%
Sodium 1797mg75%
Potassium 1176mg34%
Carbohydrates 96.7g32%
Fiber 15.7g63%
Sugar 14.9g17%
Protein 17.4g35%
Calcium 130mg13%
Iron 7.6mg42%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.