Black Bean “Meatball” Hoagie (Gluten and Dairy Free)

August is jam packed with food holidays!  Besides the fact that this month holds National Zucchini Day, S’more Day and Potato Day we are celebrating the humble sandwich all month long. Phew, I never knew that there were so many food holidays. I can always go for a sandwich (especially a veggie sandwich!) though so I had to post about it.

Ever since our gluten and dairy free transition I have been subjecting my family to new products and recipe tweaks every chance I get. Today I not only tried 2 new products out on them, but I also invented a recipe that could have been an epic failure. I am happy to say that the recipe worked and everyone agreed that the new products were really good. SCORE! There are a few things that I may play around with when I make this again but they are more about technique than flavors so I decided to share.

If you’ve tried this Black Bean Veggie Sandwich, I would be so grateful if you would rate it. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I just love hearing from you and your reviews and comments really help others that visit This Mess is Ours!


Black Bean “Meatball” Hoagie (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think about this Black Bean Veggie Sandwich in the comments below. I just love hearing from you. Your reviews/comments really help other people that visit This Mess is Ours!

  • Author: This Mess Is Ours


  • 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp.  dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice, (I used leftovers from earlier in the week)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
  • Gluten-free hot dog buns, I use Udi’s Buns
  • 1 jar of gluten-free tomato sauce, we use Trader Joe’s Arrabiata Sauce
  • Rice Shreds,  Mozzarella Flavor
  • 56 Basil leaves, cut into thin strips for garnish


Pulse oats in your food processor 3-5 times to roughly chop then add in one can of  drained and rinsed black beans. Pulse and additional 5-6 times creating a chunky paste. Add in the egg, thyme, oregano, garlic and salt and blend in the processor until most of the large pieces are gone. You will be left with a thick paste.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the remaining can of drained and rinsed black beans with the basil, cheese, white rice and the mixture from the food processor. At this point the mixture was pretty loose for me so I placed my mixing bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes so that it could firm up.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Fill a drinking glass halfway with tap water and retrieve your batter from the fridge along with a small ice cream scoop. Scoop balls of batter and place them on the prepared cookie sheet about 1- 1 1/2 inches apart dipping the scoop into the water every few “meatballs” to prevent the batter from sticking to the scoop. Once the baking sheet is full with “meatballs” place it in the fridge until the oven has preheated. This will ensure that the “meatballs” keep their form until you pop them into the oven.

* I tried to form the “meatballs” with my hands and it didn’t work out so well. Not that it matters because I covered them with sauce and rice shreds so I couldn’t see them but, I think that the ice cream scoop will help them keep their shape.

Once the oven has heated bake the meatballs for 10 minutes, rotate the baking sheet halfway and bake an additional 10 minutes. 

No matter how yours look at this state don’t fret or gloat because you are about to smother and cover them with yummy tomato goodness and the best faux cheese that I have EVER had.

Did I mention that I am a cheese snob? To learn more about that you can read here or you can trust me when I say that if you love cheese but cannot partake of it for whatever reason you should give Rice Shreds a chance. They actually melt like cheese and they taste great. We have been whipping up omelettes and quesadilla’s with this cheese substitute all week and it has yet to disappoint!

OK, enough about cheese and back to the recipe!

Heat tomato sauce in a small pan and lightly toast hot dog buns until they are warm. Spoon a small amount of sauce into the buns and place 2-3 “meat balls” depending on size into each bun. Since mine came out a little flat I rounded the top of then with a spoon after they were in the bun. Place the hoagies close together on the sheet pan so that they support each other and spoon sauce over the tops and down into the buns. Sprinkle with the Rice Shreds and red pepper flakes and place the pan under the broiler to melt.

Ahhhh….melty yummy goodness! Sprinkle basil leaves over the top and get ready to feel like you are really eating a Meatball Hoagie!

Happy National Sandwich Month everybody!

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What are the health benefits of black beans?

Black beans are filled with nutrients such as calcium and magnesium which help keep bones strong and healthy, making them a great alternative to meat for vegetarians. Combined with the low sodium content, these nutrients also help to lower blood pressure. The high amount of fiber and low amount of cholesterol in black beans help to manage diabetes and improve heart health.

Click here for more information on the health benefits of black beans.


  1. Delia June 24, 2015 at 11:07 am

    These sound good! I will try them in my mini muffin pan – I make mini lentil loaves in the mini muffin pan and eat them like “meatballs”. They come out great and only sort of take on the muffin shape but when you put them in with other food and add sauce it’s not noticeable and definitely does not affect the taste.

    Thanks, I will try these!

    1. admin November 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks so much!


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