These mouthwatering vegetarian pasta recipes are full of big, bold flavors! They make easy dinner ideas that everyone will love.
It’s hard to find meals more satisfying than pasta when it comes to vegetarian cuisine! From tortellini to lasagna, there are meatless pasta ideas for every occasion and preference. Here’s a list of all our favorite vegetarian pasta recipes that have been a hit in our household. Whether it’s roasted vegetable pasta or elegant Italian cacio e pepe, each one has a special place in our hearts…and we hope they will for you to. Let’s get to the recipes!
First up in our vegetarian pasta recipes: try this cheese tortellini in creamy marinara sauce! In just 15 minutes, you’ve got a pasta skillet that’s a literal symphony of flavor. The fresh basil-infused marinara sauce is perfectly complimented with pillows of tangy goat cheese. This one is a massive hit in our house…and we hope it will be in yours too!
No matter how many healthy, easy dinner ideas we have in our repertoire, we’re always in need of another. Here’s an idea for loading up on good stuff: meet this Vegetable Pasta! It’s a combination between cozy comfort food and a vegetable-powered healthy meal, pairing roasted vegetables with bright marinara and Parmesan cheese.
When it comes to vegetarian pasta recipes…well, this one is tops. Meet our best vegetarian lasagna with ricotta! The tomato sauce has just the right zing and garlic nuance, and the spinach ricotta cheese filling is classic and creamy. It’s scented with fresh thyme and a little lemon zest, which takes it to over the top status.
Calling all mushroom lovers! Here’s the meal for you: this Mushroom Pasta with Garlic Butter Sauce! It’s creamy and savory, harnessing the power of lemon, butter and Parmesan cheese. It makes the most of the intense umami of mushrooms: one of the most powerful ingredients in all of cooking. This dish has just the right proportion of ‘shrooms to pasta, so that each bite has a generous pop of flavor.
Here’s an Italian staple recipe that every home cook should know: Pasta Pomodoro! This classic Italian sauce is pure in its simplicity: simmering tomatoes and a few aromatic vegetables make a straightforward yet nuanced flavor. It takes a little time to simmer, but it’s well worth it for the ease of this recipe: and the bold flavor!
Here’s an Italian pasta recipe that’s simple, hearty and pleases a crowd: Stuffed Shells! Stuff pasta shells with ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan and spinach, then bake them up in a bath of garlicky tomato sauce. It makes your kitchen smell heavenly, and the first bite into one of those jumbo shells confirms it’s just as tasty as the smell.
Here’s a vegetarian pasta recipe that marries basic Italian flavors into a mess of garlicky, gooey goodness: Baked Rigatoni! It’s a pasta bake that’s got all the comfort of tomato sauce and cheese, but has intrigue and uniqueness in the flavors. The tomato sauce is full of garlic and a little fennel for meatiness, and it’s got lots of fresh peppery basil for a herbaceous kick. Cover it in gooey mozzarella cheese and you’ve got a dish that’s hearty enough to please any eater.
Next up: a fresh and healthy vegetarian pasta recipe: Pasta Primavera! Pasta primavera is all about fresh veggies and a delicate, light flavor. It’s everything that a heavy mac and cheese or lasagna are not. Primavera means spring in Italian, so this one highlights a selection of spring vegetables. It's easy to put together and veggie-packed!
Ready for the best EVER homemade mac and cheese? It's really worth pulling out the superlatives here! Making this comfort food from scratch makes it taste infinitely better than the kind from a box. Want to impress everyone? This homemade mac and cheese tastes homey and cozy, with the best gooey, cheesy sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs.
Here’s a dish that will be a winner any day of the week: Baked Ziti! This Italian American casserole is packed with savory flavor and cozy nostalgia. Its surface is filled with pockets of seasoned ricotta, lakes of garlicky tomato sauce, and punctuated by strands of gooey mozzarella. Side benefit: the wafting aroma makes your kitchen smell like a dream!
Want to whip up a pot of killer spaghetti sauce that happens to be…plant-packed? We’re going back to basics with this Vegetarian Spaghetti! It’s full of Italian-grandmother style flavor with only 8 ingredients. There are a couple flavor secrets we’ve been sitting on over here, so we thought it was time to share. You can make this as a vegetarian spaghetti sauce using plant-based crumbles
Whip up a pan of Lasagna Roll Ups! This unique spin on the iconic Italian dish is a fun way to put a spin on dinner. This recipe features a comforting vegetarian filling of spinach, basil and ricotta, topped with a garlicky easy homemade tomato sauce. Roll up the noodles and cover them in melty mozzarella cheese, and it’s fun, a crowd-pleasing dinner recipe.
This eggplant pasta has got it all! It’s packed with savory and zesty flavor: tender roasted eggplant, zesty marinara sauce, and peppery basil. This Mediterranean-style vegetarian pasta recipe is incredibly versatile: it works for weeknights and for serving to company! There’s something about it that’s cozy but elegant at the same time.
Cacio e pepe is one of the most famous vegetarian pasta recipes! A traditional Roman pasta dish, it translates to "cheese and pepper" pasta. The simple ingredient list belies the flavor: it's absolutely divine. Salty aged Pecorino Romano cheese making a silky sauce that covers the warm noodles.
Looking for a cozy, easy dinner idea where you barely have to think? Try this Baked Tortellini! This one is so simple, you don’t even have to boil the pasta. That’s right: throw the refrigerated tortellini into a dish with a tomato pasta sauce and top with melty cheese. It comes out bubbly and warm, with perfectly tender pasta pillows.
Craving a simple, cozy pasta? Try this Classic Red Sauce Pasta! Like any great Italian recipe, it features simple, classic ingredients simmered until they meld into a savory, velvety tomato sauce. This one is based on a real Italian grandmother’s recipe (so you know it’s good!). Throw it onto pasta with a little salty Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, and it’s simply divine.
Here’s a quick and simple pasta recipe that’s the perfect shortcut for weeknights: Lemon Ricotta Pasta! Mixing ricotta cheese with olive oil, Parmesan and a little pasta water makes a makeshift white sauce that’s ideal for coating on long noodles (who knew!). This quick weeknight trick has become a staple over here: the zing of the lemon zest makes it absolutely irresistible not to keep slurping down noodles.
Burrata cheese is one of life’s greatest pleasures. One of the best ways to make it into a meal? This Burrata Pasta, a beautiful example of Italian-style culinary simplicity. The majestic balls of fresh mozzarella sit atop a pasta twirls entwined with a rustic tomato basil sauce. Breaking into the cheese releases its creamy, rich interior into each bite.
This pesto cavatappi recipe is a vegetarian pasta recipe that everyone around the table will love. You’ll make a quick and easy pesto cream sauce, then drench the curly noodles and add a few handfuls of shredded Parmesan cheese. It’s simple, but it’s got mighty big flavor!
Here’s a vegetarian pasta that’s simple, stunning, and highlights the very best summer ingredients: Cherry Tomato Pasta! Just looking at these photos makes us swoon. This easy dinner idea stars blistered tomatoes, a technique of cooking tomatoes in a hot pan until the skin blisters and blackens. Mix the tomatoes with tangy balsamic vinegar, then add al dente pasta and peppery fresh basil.
Oh hey there, creamy pesto mac and cheese! This seriously cozy comfort food is just as gooey as it looks, and adding a swirl of bright green basil pesto is a total genius move. This mac and cheese features Havarti cheese for ultra creaminess.
Here’s a tasty vegetarian pasta recipe that’s comfort food with a healthy spin: this creamy cavatappi pasta! It’s cheesy but not too rich, made with a secret ingredient to infuse nutrients: cauliflower! This cauliflower sauce is like a healthy alfredo sauce that blends cauliflower with garlic, spices, and a little Parmesan.
An easy way to make pesto into a fast dinner? Pesto spaghetti! It’s herby, Parmesan-y, garlicky and always a crowd pleaser. We’ll show you the trick to getting a silky sauce covering all your noodles: no more gummy, dry pesto here! Serve them as is, or top with veggies or shrimp for a fast and easy dinner.
This 20-minute creamy goat cheese pasta is so tangy and creamy, sweet from the tomatoes and lightly peppery from the fresh basil. The secret to the creaminess is that goat cheese, which brings a body to the sauce that’s almost like a vodka sauce. Combined with chewy penne, it’s out of this world!
Here's a basic vegetarian pasta recipe that's ultra cozy: White Sauce Pasta! This is a staple recipe in our house. The basic cream sauce is so creamy and full of flavor, and get this: it doesn’t even use cream! All you need is a handful of ingredients you probably already have on hand. It takes just 10 minutes: enough time to make the pasta. Eat it straight up, as a pasta side dish, or add more raw or cooked veggies to the sauce.
Here’s a lusciously creamy vegetarian pasta that will become the meal of your dreams. Try this Lemon Pasta! It’s rich and silky, with just the right balance of sharp citrus from loads of lemon zest. Don’t consider this a health food or even a healthy spin: it’s here for when you need a properly indulgent bit of pasta.
Are you a lasagna lover? Us too. Turns out, vegan lasagna is majorly good. In fact, this is one of our favorite lasagna recipes, period. You can make this huge pan on a budget, so it’s a healthy plant based recipe that’s affordable to all! It pleases everyone (even meat eaters) and is great for holiday entertaining or a casual family dinner.
Say hello to our new favorite way to eat squash: butternut squash pasta! Puree that orange squash into a creamy sauce with garlic, spices, and goat cheese. It’s savory with a sweet undertone, ideal for covering chewy rigatoni pasta.
Dinnertime just got easier. This vegan fettuccine alfredo is a winner with everyone from kids to meat lovers: it’s just that good! 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. Make it with any type of noodle you choose (legume noodles, zoodles, etc).
Welcome to your new favorite vegetarian pasta recipe: Butternut Squash Lasagna with Sage! The flavors are impeccable: creamy ricotta, punchy Pecorino, and fresh sage envelop the sweet squash in a cozy embrace. In fact, an embrace is just what it feels like when you take a bite! Every mouthful is a bit of sweet, savory, creamy, herby, and altogether irresistible.
More vegetarian meal ideas
Want more vegetarian meal ideas? We’ve got them. We’ve been eating vegetarian meals for over a decade, and even wrote a vegan and vegetarian cookbook (Pretty Simple Cooking). Outside of these vegetarian pasta recipes, here are a few more ways to make meatless meals that everyone will love:
Boil the tortellini according to the package instructions (fresh usually takes 2 to 3 minutes and frozen takes 2 to 5 minutes to boil). Then drain it.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, place the crushed tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, kosher salt, spinach, and whole basil leaves. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer while the pasta cooks or at least 10 minutes.
When the pasta is done and drained, add it to the skillet. Crumble in the goat cheese into the sauce and stir until a creamy sauce forms (if you’d like, save out a few crumbles for topping). Serve immediately.