Looking for vegan pasta recipes? You’ll be amazed at the amount of flavor you can achieve using only plant based ingredients.
Vegan pasta recipes can be just as delicious as their creamy and cheesy counterparts! If you’re eating more plant-based recipes, join the crowd. Per the New York Times, 40% of Americans are now looking to eat more plant based recipes. And there’s no need to use massive amounts of dairy to flavor your pasta dishes.
Here’s a list of the most flavor-popping, drool-worthy vegan pasta recipes to add to your dinner table. There’s the “famous” vegan fettuccine alfredo, a creamy, dreamy alfredo sauce made with cauliflower and cashews. And vegan lasagna, a crowd-pleaser that gets big flavor from a secret ingredient (hummus!). And then vegan pesto pasta, made with the most delicious homemade vegan basil pesto. Really…you’re going to want to make all of them!
Your noodles are destined for greatness with this vegan pasta alfredo! The impossibly creamy sauce is a healthy spin on the traditionally rich pasta. It’s made with nutrient-dense cauliflower and protein-packed cashews instead of dairy. Said one reader: “YUM! I love it! It’s super easy to make. I made it again 2 days later!”
Just WOW! No matter how you eat, this vegan lasagna will be a hit. Promise. We had a few friends over to try it, and here’s what we heard: “This is so good. I can’t stop eating it. I need another piece!” It's smothered in a zesty marinara sauce, layered with spinach, mushrooms, and our secret ingredient: hummus! Top with a sprinkling of "Parmesan" and it's a favorite that pleases everyone at the table. We guarantee it!
This eggplant pasta has got it all! This vegan recipe is packed with savory and zesty flavor: tender roasted eggplant, zesty marinara sauce, peppery basil, and salty capers. This Mediterranean-style dinner is incredibly versatile: it works for weeknights and for serving to company! It’s cozy yet elegant all at once. We used a pasta shape called mafaldine, but you can use any shape you have on hand, long or short.
Ready for a veggie-filled pasta that tastes incredible with no need for cheese? Meet this vegan pasta primavera. Pasta primavera is all about fresh, green spring veggies and a delicate, light flavor. It’s everything that a heavy mac and cheese or lasagna are not. Here’s our spin on the classic: chock full of spring veggies like asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, and green peas.
The best recipes are the simplest, in our minds. And the simplicity of pesto pasta with homemade vegan basil pesto and ripe juicy tomatoes can’t be beat. With seasonal ingredients, it will always, always taste beautiful and fresh. And that’s something we can’t get tired of! The silky smooth, savory basil pesto coats the tender pasta, punctuated by the pop of the cherry tomatoes. It's one of our favorite vegan pasta recipes.
This vegan noodle bowl is everything that’s great about a spring roll, in bowl form! There’s the crisp veggies, tender noodles, and crunchy peanuts. Savory marinated tofu contrasts with an herbaceous punch from the trio of basil, cilantro and mint. Then a zingy garlic lime sauce infuses ginger citrus goodness throughout. This one works for weeknights or entertaining, and saves well for lunches throughout the week.
Here's a fast and easy vegan pasta recipe, and it couldn't be simpler. It's ultra flavorful, with a tangy sweetness from fire-roasted tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar. To add a hit of nutrients and make it into an easy weeknight meal, throw in a few handfuls of spinach. It all comes together into a cozy plant based dinner that everyone around the table loves.
Here's a fabulous vegan pasta salad recipe! Essentially a mashup of an Italian chopped salad and pasta, crunchy romaine contrasts against salty Kalamata olives, capers, and pepperoncini. Add to that a smattering of colorful vegetables: tomatoes, zucchini, and red onion. This vegan pasta comes together in 30 minutes, perfect for weeknights or make-ahead lunches.
These vegan meatballs are made simply of oats, potatoes, walnuts, garlic and a few spices. The flavor is simply outstanding! You’ve got to serve this one with the most high quality marinara sauce you can find (or even the homemade marinara above). Sprinkle with Vegan Parmesan cheese and you've got a tasty dinner!
Weeknight Hack: To make this on a weeknight, cook the meatballs in advance; you can keep them refrigerated and then heat them before serving.
Here's one of our old standbys: creamy vegan marinara! It’s so simple to put together and the tangy, creamy flavor of the marinara sauce is out of this world good. It's similar to a tomato sauce with cream added, like a Vodka Sauce. But for the vegan version, we used cashews to make it creamy and it’s just as good! This one’s 5 stars in our book!
Weeknight Hack: The cashews need a 1 hour soak, but you can also can soak them overnight to make the prep even quicker.
Vegan pasta recipes aren't just Italian style pasta! This Korean ramen recipe is so delicious and full of flavor: gochujang (Korean chili paste), peanut butter, and miso make for a standout vegan ramen broth. The noodles are topped with quick pickled cucumbers that have been marinated with sugar, miso, lime, and some black sesame seeds. The flavor is standout good!
Weeknight Hack: To speed up prep for a weeknight, you can make the quick pickles in advance and chop the veggies. This cuts down significantly on prep time and you can make the ramen in 30 minutes.
This vegan peanut noodles recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner! Peanut butter, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce come together into a sauce with huge flavor. To make it even easier, we've used our favorite trick for "cooking" veggies without cooking them at all. When you drain the noodles, place the chopped veggies in the strainer and pour the boiling water on top! It flash cooks them without dirtying another pan!
Last but not least in our vegan pasta recipes: creamy almond milk pasta! It's covered in a creamy sauce made with almond milk, shallot, garlic and herbs to make the flavor pop. This one features orecchiette pasta, a small cup shaped pasta. In Italian, orecchiette means “small ears.” It's a tasty way to enjoy this delicious sauce: or you could use any short type of pasta you like (penne, rotini, bowties, or shells).
How to cook pasta to al dente
The most important skill you’ll need for these vegan pasta recipes? Cook pasta like an Italian: to al dente? In Italian it means “to the bite,” and refers to pasta that is still firm on the inside when cooked. Here’s the ideal al dente texture: tender exterior balanced by a firm bite, with a fleck of white at its core. Here’s how to achieve the perfect pasta:
Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water.
While cooking, check pasta continually for doneness. (Yes, taste it with a fork!) Check sooner than indicated on your package instructions; the timing on most packages overcooks the pasta.
Once the pasta is tender but still has a fleck of white at its core, drain it immediately!
Make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until it is al dente (start tasting a few minutes before the package recommends: you want it to be tender but still a little firm on the inside). Then drain the pasta and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, start the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven, pot, or saucepan (that has a cover) over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and cashews and saute for 4 minutes until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the vegetable broth, onion powder, black pepper, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook 6 to 7 minutes on medium high heat until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork.
Blend the sauce: Carefully transfer the contents to a blender and add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon more black pepper. Blend on high until a smooth sauce forms.
Serve: Pour about 5 cups into 1 pound pasta (1 cup will be left over), or use it to taste. Top with finely chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Keywords: Vegan Pasta Recipes, Vegan Pasta Alfredo
More plant based & vegan resources
A few more plant based resources for fitting vegan recipes into your everyday:
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.