50 Vegetarian Pasta Recipes That Go Beyond Buttered Noodles

Whether you’re a meat eater or strictly vegetarian, we can all agree that it’s pretty damn hard to beat a bowl of pasta. Comforting, satisfying and easy to make, it has the magical ability to dress up anything you pair it with, from good old Parmesan cheese to the random veggies you have stashed in your fridge. With that in mind, here are 50 vegetarian pasta recipes that everyone will gobble up—no meat required.

14 Kid-Friendly Pasta Recipes the Whole Family Will Devour

1. Skillet Pasta With Summer Squash, Ricotta And Basil

This dish manages to be light, filling, fresh and comforting all at the same time. There’s also minimal cleanup (just saying).

2. Pasta Alla Norma

Pour a glass of wine and pretend you’re in Sicily.

3. Buckwheat Gnocchi With Cabbage, Potatoes And Fontina

This take on a northern Italian classic is hearty, cheesy and so much better than the sum of its parts. Plus, it’s ready to eat in 40 minutes.

4. Cheesy Kale Farfalle Pasta

Proof that it’s not difficult to dress up pasta without a ton of effort. Bless you, Parmesan cheese.

5. Goat Cheese Pasta With Spinach And Artichokes

Maria Lichty’s secret to a creamy yet easy pasta? Goat cheese, which melts into a sauce almost immediately.

6. Creamy Vegan Pasta With Swiss Chard And Tomatoes

We had to double-check that it truly doesn’t have dairy. (Psst: It takes 20 minutes from start to finish.)

7. Butternut Squash And Goat Cheese Pasta Salad

Another thing we love about pasta? Its versatility. Case in point, cold pasta is just as good as warm pasta.

8. Creamy Sweet Corn Pappardelle

It’s plant-based but crowd-pleasing, thanks to sweet corn and a sneaky cashew cream sauce.

9. Gluten-free Cauliflower Gnocchi Pomodoro

Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi is great. This homemade version is even better—cheesy pillows of heaven, guys.

10. Mac And Cheese With Crispy Parmesan-phyllo Crust

We replaced the bread crumbs with Parmesan-laced phyllo. Is it weird that we want to marry this dish?

11. Spaghetti In Poblano Salsa

When you need a respite from red sauce, this bright green garlicky pepper sauce will do the trick. A bit of Mexican crema and cotija cheese make it extra creamy.

12. Cacio E Pepe

You’re six ingredients and 20 minutes from a restaurant-quality dinner.

13. One-pot, 15-minute Pasta Limone

Most of the ingredients are in your pantry and it takes less time than an episode of Seinfeld. Need more convincing?

14. Smoky Eggplant Pasta With Pounded Walnut Relish, Mozzarella And Basil

An easy, rustic dinner that’s as delicious as if you went out to eat. This beats jarred sauce any day.

15. Carrot Pasta

It’s colorful, nutritious and ready in under an hour, which is all we can ask for in a dinner.

16. Ina Garten’s Baked Pasta With Tomatoes And Eggplant

Of course Ina Garten has an effortless, elegant baked pasta dish. This one is ready in 30 minutes, so we have plenty of time to watch Barefoot Contessa reruns while we eat.

17. Zucchini Carbonara With Parsnip ‘pancetta’

This healthy-ish spin on a well-loved favorite is both kid- and adult-approved.

18. One-pot Tomato Basil Pasta

Save this one for nights when you don’t want to deal with a time-consuming dinner. You just toss everything in the pot and it’s ready 15 minutes later. (Ooh, magic.)

19. 15-minute Lemony Broccolini Pasta

It feels elevated enough to serve at your next dinner party, but not too fancy for a family dinner on a Thursday.

20. Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni And Cheese

When you want to be virtuous but also want a heaping plate of cheese, this is the ticket.

21. Apple, Grape And Pecan Pasta Salad

This modern pasta salad hits all the right notes: chewy, sweet, crunchy, herby and carby.

22. Easy Skillet Linguine With Trumpet Mushroom ‘scallops’

Give yourself just 25 minutes and you can have a fancy-pants dinner on the table. Pass the white wine.

23. Jalapeño-avocado Mac And Cheese

It’s mac and cheese with an attitude.

24. Orecchiette With Burrata, Tomatoes And Almond Pesto

If you can, use a mix of red and yellow tomatoes for a nice color and flavor contrast. And whatever you do, don’t skimp on the burrata.

25. Lightened-up Fettuccine With Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

This tastes like our favorite childhood order from a certain Italian restaurant chain…but it’s so much tastier (and better for you too).

26. Curry Noodles With Broccoli Rabe And Purple Cabbage

In the same amount of time it takes to order in, you can spice up spaghetti with some Thai-inspired staples. Takeout who?

27. Orecchiette With Spring Greens

Don’t save this one for spring. You can use frozen peas in a pinch; just thaw them before cooking.

28. Vegan Butternut Mac And ‘cheese’ With Smoky Shiitake ‘bacon’

We’ll never get tired of butternut squash, especially when it’s masquerading as cheese sauce. Genius.

29. Macaroni And Cheese In Acorn Squash Bowls

Boxed mac and cheese, we’ll see you on the flip side.

30. Sweet Potato Gnocchi In Herbed White Wine Sauce

If you’re intimidated by homemade gnocchi, don’t be. The pasta in this dish requires five ingredients and three easy steps.

31. Summer Skillet Gnocchi With Grilled Corn And Burrata

On the other hand, we won’t judge if you pick up a package of store-bought gnocchi and whip up this beauty instead.

32. Avocado And Black Bean Pasta Salad

Name a dish that avocado doesn’t improve. We’ll wait.

33. Hearty Spaghetti With Lentils And Marinara Sauce

Ground beef? We don’t know her.

34. Romesco Sauce Rigatoni With Buttered Parmesan Herb Bread Crumbs

Romesco is a traditional Catalonian sauce made with tomatoes, peppers, garlic and toasted nuts. Are you drooling yet?

35. Basil Vinaigrette Pasta

Think of this as pesto with a twist. The splash of red wine vinegar is key.

36. Crock-pot Vegetable Lasagna

It tastes like it took a lot of effort, but you don’t even have to boil the noodles in advance.

vegetarian pasta recipes burrata topped english pea and basil pistachio pesto with linguine recipe
Spoon Fork Bacon

37. Burrata-topped English Pea And Basil Pistachio Pesto With Linguine

The contrast between zippy pea pesto and cool, creamy burrata is pretty hard to top.

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38. Penne With Five (or Six) Cheeses

It’s called gilding the lily. Ever heard of it?

39. Vegetarian Spinach Pumpkin Lasagna

Stash your leftovers in the freezer. They’ll come in handy on a lazy weeknight.

40. Creamy Parmesan Orecchiette With Butternut Squash And Broccolini

Creamy but not gloppy, and it’s full of good-for-you greens. Can we make this every night?

vegetarian pasta recipes five ingredient weeknight tomato sauce recipe
So Much Food

41. Five-ingredient Weeknight Tomato Sauce

It turns out, a rich tomato sauce doesn’t need a lot of time or effort. You just need to add butter.

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42. Spicy Peanut Noodles With Chili Garlic Oil

Confession: We’ll eat just about anything that’s smothered in peanut sauce.

43. Cheesy Pasta Alla Vodka

The alcohol in the vodka cooks out, so this one is totally safe to serve to your kids. (They’re going to love it.)

44. One-pot Creamy Tuscan Pesto And Artichoke Pasta

We can’t decide what we love more: the pasta or the three seconds of cleanup.

45. Vegan Cauliflower Gnocchi With Kale-cashew Pesto

Is there anything cauliflower can’t do? (No. The answer is no.)

vegetarian pasta recipes grilled lemon and collard green pasta with mushrooms recipe
A Better Happier St. Sebastian

46. Grilled Lemon And Collard Green Pasta With Mushrooms

The slight char on the lemons adds a certain je ne sais quoi that we can’t get enough of.

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47. Pan-roasted Honeynut Squash With Creamy Garlicky Pasta

FYI, honeynut squash is like a baby butternut. If you can’t find ’em, swap ’em.

48. Cheesy Kale Pasta

Raw kale can be a little, um, aggressive. Wilted into cheesy noodles, on the other hand, it’s delightful in every way.

49. Mushroom Lovers Pasta

Oh, you’re not a mushroom lover? Well, you’re about to be. (Blame it on the balsamic butter sauce.)

50. Caprese Gnocchi

If our two favorite Italian foods got together and had a very delicious baby, this would be it.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...