Pasta is always a crowd-pleaser, but it’s also a great vehicle for getting loads of lovely veg into your diet. There are plenty of delicious meaty Italian dishes, but Italian food is also a total celebration of veg. These vegetarian pasta recipes are super satisfying and packed with flavour – just swap in your favourite vegetarian cheese as needed. From 5-ingredient sauces to veg-layered lasagnes, we bet you’ll recreate these easy, veggie pasta dishes at home time and time again. Buon appetito!
Orzo, or ‘little pasta’, works a treat here, soaking up a lovely sauce of sweet roasted tomatoes, smoky harissa, garlic and herbs. Broad beans complete the party in this sophisticated dish that’s bursting with flavour. It’s super simple to make, but sure to impress.
Cauliflower cheese pasta
Creamy, cheesy pasta is a no-brainer when you’re looking for a quick and comforting meal. Jamie uses the whole cauliflower and turns the leaves into a crunchy garlicky crumb topping. The sauce works as a great principle recipe to experiment with, so have a go with your favourite veg.
Scruffy aubergine lasagne
Turn soft and silky aubergine into a scrumptious sauce that’s guaranteed to make you smile. Garlic, sage and lemon are a brilliant trio of flavours that give the whole thing a lift. This shortcut vegetarian lasagne recipe is totally delicious and a breeze to make — what a winner!
Nonna Teresa’s pasta
A quick pangrattato (flavoured crispy breadcrumbs) takes a bowl of pasta to a whole new level and provides another layer of texture and flavour. The crunchy crumb in this punchy pasta recipe has the warmth of chilli and a kick of garlic, adding gorgeous depth of flavour. Plus, it’s on the table in 15 minutes — happy days.
Sweet leek carbonara
Make sure you cook the leeks low and slow as the recipe says — it’s well worth taking the extra time to give them that gorgeous sweetness that makes the dish so good. Just make sure to swap out the Parmesan for a vegetarian-friendly hard cheese.
Rocket & pistachio pesto pasta
Elevate the flavours in a simple pasta dish with homemade pistachio pesto and asparagus ribbons — it’s so easy and delicious, and will be on the table in under 20 minutes. Colourful, fresh and strikingly elegant, this is joyful cooking at its best.
Super green spaghetti
Kind of like spaghetti and homemade pesto; but with loads of good-for-you greens thrown in. Transform hardy cavolo nero into a wonderfully silky pasta sauce for a simple-but-so-good weeknight wonder. Feel free to experiment and swap in your favourite cheese.
Lemony courgette linguine
Courgettes are in peak season from June until October, making this the ideal summer veggie pasta dish that’ll win anyone over. Paired with a squeeze of lemon, mint, grated cheese and, of course, linguine, it’s a recipe that gives maximum flavour with minimum fuss.
MORE: BEST COURGETTE RECIPES
Squash & ricotta ravioli
Sweet butternut squash, silky homemade pasta and creamy ricotta… It’s a timeless Italian dish and a fabulous vegetarian pasta recipe we know you’ll love — this gorgeous flavour-packed dish is worth the wait!
WATCH: ASPARAGUS & RICOTTA RAVIOLI
The best pasta salad
Pasta salad has a bad rep, but this one might just change your mind. It’s fresh and tangy, with bright and juicy cherry tomatoes, salty black olives and a punchy garlicky dressing. Ready in a mere 15 minutes, it would be welcome at any picnic!
Spelt pasta doesn’t just give you a fantastic nutty taste, being high in wheat bran fibre means it also helps keep our cholesterol levels under control. This is a simple veggie pasta recipe that’s good for the soul, mixing beautifully fresh ingredients including vine tomatoes, chilli and lemon to create the perfect summer dish.
Aubergine penne arrabbiata
If you like it hot, this is the recipe for you. Made using just five key ingredients with aubergine taking centre stage, this is an incredibly easy, vegan dish to make and could become a new staple midweek meal to add to the list.
Mushroom & lentil pappardelle Bolognese
This intensely flavoursome vegetarian Bolognese recipe is the ultimate in comfort food. Puy lentils add lovely texture, while tomato purée and mushrooms give an amazing umami kick. With a good grating of your preferred hard cheese, it’s bound to become a firm family favourite.
WATCH: VEGGIE SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE
Summer veg lasagne
It’s difficult to think of Italian food without thinking of lasagne, and this veg-packed version is a lovely lighter alternative to the original. Just skip the anchovies to make this suitable for vegetarians.
Classic tomato spaghetti
Simplicity at its finest — this is best made when tomatoes are at their peak, so wait until you find some that are perfectly ripe. This is a great principle recipe to work with because it’s easy to transform and take up a notch with other ingredients — get creative by adding spinach, prawns, tuna or whatever you fancy.
Garlic mushroom pasta
Another five-ingredient wonder, this garlic mushroom pasta is one you could easily cook up week after week. The mixed mushrooms take the dish to another level, packing in earthy, umami flavours alongside a gorgeous garlic hum — it’s (almost) unbeatable.
WATCH: TOMATO, AUBERGINE & RICOTTA PASTA
Sicilian spaghetti alla Norma
This is a beautifully simple, classic Italian pasta recipe. With silky aubergine, salty capers and tangy cheese mixed into a sweet tomato sauce, it’s like a hug in a bowl. Flecks of dried chilli add a gentle warmth, it’s incredibly satisfying, full of flavour, and it contains two of your 5-a-day!
Easy peasy tomato tagliatelle
Bursting with freshness, you really can’t beat a tomato pasta sauce like this. The asparagus spears add extra nutrients while the garlic, basil and tomatoes come together to work their magic. Experiment and swap in your favourite seasonal veg to enjoy this year round!
To really impress your friends, why not try making your own pasta at home?
Learn more about the wonderful world of veg, head to the Vegepedia!