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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.)
45. Vegan Cauliflower Gnocchi with Kale-Cashew Pesto
Is there anything cauliflower can’t do? (No. The answer is no.)
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.
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.