Healthy Vegetarian Pasta Recipes

Enjoy light pasta dishes with lemon to hearty lasagnas

Many people enjoy healthy vegetarian pasta dishes whether they are vegetarians or not. Pasta is adaptable, familiar, and versatile, which makes it a comforting choice—especially for new vegetarians. If you're cooking for a mixed crowd, you can always cook a portion of meat separately to be added later. Here are some fantastic vegetarian pasta recipes—some are more traditional and inspired by Italian food, while others are unique and unusual. 

  • 01 of 10

    Simple Lemon Pine Nut Pasta With Broccoli

    Lemon pasta with pine nuts and broccoli

    Emily Hawkes for The Spruce

    Steam some broccoli, toss with lemon and pine nuts, top it all off with some fresh Parmesan cheese, and you've got yourself a complete vegetarian pasta dinner. Quick, simple, nourishing, and fast—a perfect vegetarian pasta that is sure to please the whole family. 

  • 02 of 10

    Vegan Pasta Puttanesca

    Vegan Pasta Puttanesca With Capers and Olives

     The Spruce

    Originally made with anchovies, this vegan version stays true to the recipe by including salty capers to create a similar taste—a little bit of olive brine doesn't hurt either. These two ingredients are added to the canned crushed tomatoes, along with kalamata olives, garlic, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes. The sauce is tossed with your favorite shaped pasta and you are suddenly transported to the Italian countryside.

  • 03 of 10

    Artichoke and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

    Vegetarian pasta with artichokes, black olives and sun dried tomatoes

    Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    Adding sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts to a pasta dish always seems to transform an ordinary recipe into something special. Despite the elegance of the final dish, the ingredients—including fresh basil, garlic, black olives, and red peppers—are simple, making this an easy and healthy vegetarian meal that will wow any dinner guest.

  • 04 of 10

    One-Pot Vegetarian Pasta With Spinach and Ricotta

    Vegetarian Pasta With Spinach and Ricotta

     The Spruce

    This great basic meatless pasta dish is just waiting to be personalized with your favorite vegetables, or whatever you have on hand. This recipe includes spinach, but another leafy green or some tomatoes would work just as well. Just add milk or soy milkricotta cheese, and pasta.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Pesto Pasta With Avocadoes

    Avocado and pesto pasta recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Emily Hawkes

    It may seem odd to add avocados to a warm pasta dish, much less to a pesto pasta. But this California-style healthy pesto pasta with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese is tasty and easy to make. Simply blend the pesto ingredients in the food processor, toss with pasta, and then add the avocado.  

  • 06 of 10

    Chickpea Pasta

    Chickpea Pasta

    Anita Schecter 

    This vegan chickpea pasta has a creamy, decadent sauce without the need for dairy or eggs. Puréed chickpeas or white beans, lemon, spices, and olive oil are tossed with hot pasta for a delicious, high-protein meal that's ready in just 30 minutes.

  • 07 of 10

    Vegan Pasta Primavera

    Vegan pasta primavera
    Lauri Patterson / Getty Images

    We are all familiar with a traditional pasta primavera, but did you know it can be made vegan? This recipe swaps out butter and milk for nutritional yeast and soy milk, maintaining the signature creaminess without the dairy. Load up on the veggies to make this a super healthy pasta primavera. 

  • 08 of 10

    Vegetarian Pasta With White Beans, Feta, and Olives

    Greek tortellini salad
    Frank Wieder / Getty Images

    Rather than the usual red pasta sauce, this vegetarian pasta dish combines a simple lemon and olive oil dressing with flavorful ingredients, including black olives, feta cheese, artichokes, and cannellini beans. Kids will love this recipe, and with plenty of fiber and protein, it's a nutritious choice for vegetarians.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Southwest Macaroni and Cheese

    Southwest Macaroni and Cheese

    lvinst / Getty Images

    Since this recipe begins with a box of mac and cheese, it may not exactly fit into the "healthy vegetarian," but it turns what is usually an un-nutritious dish into one that has quite a bit of protein due to the added tofu. This recipe is kicked up a notch with the flavors of the southwest, but it's still familiar enough that even the pickiest of vegetarian kids will enjoy it.

  • 10 of 10

    Vegetarian Lasagna Recipes

    Vegetarian lasagna

    The Spruce / Jolinda Hackett 

    We may not think of lasagna as healthy considering it's usually layered with meat sauce and lots of cheese. But these lasagna recipes have the advantage of being vegetarian, and while it may not eliminate the cheese, it does add some veggies. Lasagnas filled with spinach, eggplant, sweet potato, and even pumpkin will bring nutrition to what is often an empty-calorie dish.