Despite the health benefits and the personal satisfaction it brings, being a vegetarian can be hard.
Luckily, these delicious vegetarian pasta recipes make it a little bit easier.
Pasta is ridiculously versatile, and with or without meat, there’s almost no end to the recipes you can create. Your imagination is the limit.
I’ve rounded up 20 of my favorite meatless pasta dishes.
Whether you’re looking for something quick and easy, a filling dish for the family, or a romantic dinner for two, you should be able to find something to suit your tastes and needs.
This pasta is the healthier, homemade alternative to a box of Suddenly Salad.
You can use whatever pasta you like, but I prefer rotini or fusilli. (They’re practically the same thing.)
If you have the time, use the provided recipe to make homemade pesto.
It has a more intense flavor than its store-bought counterpart.
The thing that sets this apart from boxed Suddenly Salad is all the vegetables you’ll add to it – onions, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes.
You can add more if you want.
I throw in some diced green peppers and black olives, as well.
Although it takes a little time and effort to make, vegetarian lasagna is incredible and well worth the energy you put into it.
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate how delicious it is.
It contains layers upon layers of yummy ingredients, and I’m not just talking about the faux-ricotta filling, mozzarella, and marinara.
There are also leeks, fennel, red onions, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, cherry tomatoes, kale, and all kinds of herbs and spices.
This lasagna has more diverse flavors than traditional meat lasagna, and it’s fresher and less greasy.
Plus, it smells amazing while it’s cooking.
Spinach and ricotta stuffed shells are another hearty, flavorful option if you need a filling vegetarian dinner.
You’ll stuff each jumbo shell with a mixture of ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, spinach, garlic, and other seasonings.
Top the whole thing in marinara sauce and bake it for less than 30 minutes, and you’ll have a bold-flavored meal sure to please everyone.
Bolognese without meat?! That can’t be right!
Actually, you read that correctly, and this bolognese sauce tastes so good, you won’t even notice it’s meatless.
The veggies and spices give the sauce a sensational savory flavor, and the walnuts add a wonderful texture that’s a pleasure to eat.
It tastes great on pasta and even better slathered on garlic bread.
Requiring only 10 ingredients and about 30 minutes to make, this pasta dish is bold, creamy, and vegan-friendly.
Its strong taste comes from the onions, garlic, oregano, and vodka, and the tomatoes and cashews add a splash of color and texture.
This pasta goes perfectly with a house salad and a glass of Italian red wine.
Baked ziti takes about an hour to cook, so give yourself plenty of time if you’re serving it for dinner.
Luckily, you can prep it ahead of time to cut down on the total time.
It’s cheesy and tender, and the roasted veggies give it a fresh, light taste that you just don’t get from meat-heavy pasta dishes.
One suggestion I would make is to add a little garlic.
I’m not sure why the original recipe doesn’t call for it, but I haven’t found a pasta dish yet that doesn’t taste better with garlic.
A few red pepper flakes wouldn’t hurt either.
Pasta primavera is a classic pasta dish that’s naturally meatless.
This recipe is one of my favorites, but feel free to be creative and add whatever seasonal veggies you like best.
The secret to spectacular pasta primavera is really in the creamy lemon sauce. It’s smooth, tangy-sweet, and delicious.
This recipe takes a slightly different approach and uses fresh lemon juice and parmesan cheese instead of the traditional lemon sauce.
It really works for me.
It’s a light, refreshing dish that’s perfect for spring or summer.
This dish is quite similar to pasta primavera, but you’ll use grilled veggies instead of sauteed, and there’s no lemon flavor.
Most of its flavor comes from the veggies – especially the onions – garlic, basil, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
The most work you’ll have to put into making this scrumptious pasta salad is boiling the pasta and sauteeing a few veggies.
The recipe calls for several veggies, but again, this is one where you can use whatever is fresh, seasonal, and on-hand.
Mix the veggies and pasta, then toss them all in your favorite Italian or balsamic dressing.
You can eat it immediately, but I prefer to refrigerate it and serve it cold.
10. Veggie Spaghetti
This robust spaghetti features homemade tomato sauce and more than a half-dozen fresh veggies.
It has an incredible, garden-fresh flavor spaghetti and meatballs simply can’t touch.
It’s also gorgeous. I love all the bold, contrasting colors. It’s one of my favorite pastas to serve when entertaining.
This unique spaghetti dish is unlike anything I’ve ever tried. You’ll make it without sauce and top it with fresh veggies.
It’s an original and inspiring way to serve pasta.
Aside from the noodles, all you’ll need to make it is garlic, olive oil, green peas, parsley, and vegan parmesan.
You can also add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to suit your tastes.
It’s a simple dish with mild, natural flavors. A dry white wine would complement it perfectly.
For this yummy dish, you’ll simply add a few broccoli florets to the traditional fettuccine alfredo recipe.
It’s warm, creamy, full-flavored, and delicious. Plus, there’s broccoli!
Broccoli = Healthy.
This cheesy, nutritious dish takes less than an hour to make and features all kinds of fantastic ingredients that are both tasty and good for you.
There’s mozzarella cheese, walnuts, baby greens, marinara, onions, garlic, and more.
If you like your food spicy, go a little heavy on the red pepper flakes. It gives it much more of a kick.
Another superb vegetarian ravioli dish combines white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, basil, and tomato paste for a tasty, filling meal.
Each piece of ravioli is soft, tender, and brimming with flavor.
It’s another dish anyone will appreciate, whether or not they’re vegetarian.
If you’re looking for an appetizing, colorful summer salad, try this rainbow orzo salad.
The base of orzo and garbanzo beans is mild and filling.
The bell peppers, onions, and cucumbers add a delightful crunch.
The pine nuts add to that, as well, while also providing an earthy, nutty flavor.
You’ll also add garlic for flavor and diced mango for just a hint of sweetness.
Finally, the homemade tahini dressing adds both spice and flavor.
With such diverse ingredients, it has just as much complexity in taste as it does in colors. It’s one of my favorites for summer.
Vegetarian baked penne takes about an hour to prepare and cook, and the ingredients list looks intense at first glance.
Despite all that, it’s not difficult to fix, and it tastes insanely good, so it’s definitely worth the effort.
It’s super cheesy, and the made-from-scratch tomato sauce is unbeatable.
It’s also surprisingly filling even though it has no meat in it.
Orecchiette is one pasta I don’t cook with regularly. However, once I discovered this recipe, I just had to try it.
It’s soooo gooooood.
The cheese, broccoli, shallots, miso, lemon zest, and all the seasonings come together to make a truly unforgettable meal that’s filling, flavorful, and just a bit tangy.
Although this recipe is vegan-friendly, it’s not one you’ll want to try if you’re on a low-carb or keto diet.
Just the thought of combining potatoes and spaghetti noodles will probably knock you out of ketosis.
However, if you’re looking for a mild but delicious meal that’s comforting and feels like something your mom would make, this is a must-try.
The ingredients are relatively simple. The main dish only calls for potatoes, spaghetti, and green beans.
Most of the work goes into making the pesto.
For that, you’ll combine avocados, basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until you get a smooth, creamy consistency.
Pour the pesto over the three main ingredients, and enjoy!
19. Pasta Alla Norma
This yummy dish may look like a five-star entree that takes hours to make, but in reality, it’s ready to eat in about 35 minutes.
It’s also a fan-favorite in my house.
The tomato sauce is bold, garlic-y, and slightly sweet, thanks to the added sugar, and the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses make a tasty addition overall.
Plus, it has both eggplant and whole tomatoes, so it’s healthy, too.
This gluten-free, veggie-heavy pasta takes only 30 minutes to prepare and is full of robust flavors that all complement each other perfectly.
It has garlic and red pepper flakes, tomatoes and olives, spinach and artichokes, and so much more.
This is one pasta dish that has all your daily veggie servings covered!
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