Was anyone else seriously disappointed with the new launch of gluten free Subway earlier this month? The gluten free bread might come pre-packed and the servers may change their gloves and use new boards, but in my opinion there are too many cross contamination risks for it to be coeliac safe. For starters, they’d have to use a completely different preparation area and new fillings that haven’t touched ‘normal’ bread. But hey, who needs a gluten free Subway when you can make your own!?
Want to get straight to it? Skip to the recipe.
And TRUST ME, you’re going to want to make this gluten free Subway Meatball Marinara dupe. Or, as I know many call it – a gluten free Meatball Sub! I used the Promise gluten free bread rolls as in my mind, they’re the right shape and size for what I want a gluten free Subway to be. However, there are lots of different gluten free rolls out there – BFree, Sainsbury’s and M&S all have some bread rolls that would fit the gluten free Subway bill!
My gluten free Meatball Marinara is super easy to make too. You could make your own gluten free meatballs, but I opted for shop-brought one because it’s easier and I’m lazy. Plus most supermarkets do gluten free beef meatballs nowadays anyway! I whipped up the marinara sauce while the meatballs cooked in the oven. Then I melted some gouda cheese slices onto the bread before loading it up and sprinkling with parmesan. Honestly, I’ve never tried a Subway, but I reckon this is better!
So what’s the deal with gluten free Subway?
In case you’ve read the above and have no clue what I am on about, basically Subway stores in the UK have launched a new gluten free roll. This comes in pre-packaged and servers have supposedly received training on things such as changing gloves, boards, etc.
But, in my eyes, it’s too much of a risk to try a gluten free Subway if you have coeliac disease. For starters, there is SO much bread in the air. Unless they have a completely separate room for making gluten free food, it’s likely to be contaminated. And even though they change gloves, they’re still dipping their hands into Subway fillings that would have had their gluten-y hands in before.
So is the gluten free Subway safe for coeliacs?
I’ve heard some stores are making a really good effort, but I’ve also been messaged by people who work in Subway stores who’ve said they wouldn’t risk it. And if that’s not a clear enough message, I don’t know what is. But in the interests of fairness, I put my queries to Subway, who responded with this very generic, can’t guarantee allergens statement:
“Due to the fact that we handle products containing gluten in the same environment, we can not guarantee a 100% gluten free end product. However, the bread itself is gluten free. We have many precautions in place in order to minimise the risk of cross contamination.”
Of course, it’s the same old response that I’m quite frankly tired of hearing. But this, my friends, is why I have decided to just create my own gluten free Subway! That way I know exactly what goes into it, I can flavour it to suit my tastes and I don’t have to pay anywhere near as much. Happy days!
My meatball marinara gluten free Subway recipe
Here it is – get ready to make the gluten free Subway of your dreams! My gluten free meatball sub is the perfect lunchtime treat. This recipe makes enough for four meatball marinara subs – if you want less you can freeze the meatball marinara, or use it in a pasta dish for dinner! I love seeing it when you make my recipes, so don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and use #theglutenfreeblogger if you give this a go!
- 12 gluten free beef meatballs, (I used Asda ones)
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large white onion, (peeled and finely chopped)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, (crushed)
- 400 g tinned whole tomatoes
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, (chopped)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 gluten free sub rolls, (I used Promise gluten free white rolls)
- 8 slices gouda cheese
- grated parmesan , (optional - to finish)
- Preheat the oven and cook the meatballs in the oven as per the pack instructions (usually around 25 minutes) while you make the sauce.
- Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium heat and then add the onion and garlic. Fry on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until soft (do not burn).
- Add the whole and tinned tomatoes to the pan (NOTE: you might want to remove the 'stalky' bits before adding the whole tomatoes if you don't like these!). Fill each tin with a dash of water (approx 1/8 of the tin) and slosh around to catch any leftover juices. Add this to the pan.
- Add the basil, oregano, chilli flakes and salt to the pan, stir and bring to the boil. Turn down slightly to a simmer, and leave for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Each time you stir, use the spoon to 'smush' the whole tomatoes down. Once the meatballs are cooked, add them to the sauce and stir well.
- Slice your bread rolls in half lengthways (so you can open them up but they are still joined at the bottom) and place on a separate baking tray. Place 2 slices of cheese on each roll and bake in the oven for 1-2 minutes until the cheese has just melted.
- Remove the rolls from the oven, then spoon 3 meatballs and a good helping of sauce into each sub (if you're doing this for 3 people then you can put 4 meatballs in per person). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.
TIP: If you're making this for 1-2 people, you can freeze the sauce and meatballs and defrost as needed, or keep in the fridge for 1-2 days after making. Alternatively, this also goes amazingly with gluten free pasta so you can enjoy meatballs for lunch and dinner!
Need some more gluten free recipe inspiration?
Want to have a go at making some more easy gluten free meals? Give some of these other gluten free recipes a try! There are plenty to choose from – here are a couple to get you going:
- Gluten free Ikea-style meatballs
- Gluten free chow mein
- Gluten free Singapore rice
- Gluten free turkey bolognese
If you do make this recipe please let me know! I’d love to see your photos using #theglutenfreeblogger, share them in my Facebook group or tag me on Instagram. And if you have any recipe suggestions, please let me know in the comments what you’d like to see next! Oh – and don’t forget to sign up for my e-newsletter where you’ll know about all my latest posts and competitions first!