Italian food is beloved around the world — it’s the ultimate comfort food. Here’s a collection of delectable vegan Italian recipes, which are so easy to make plant-based (many started that way). You’ll find soups, stews, salads, sides, and of course, plenty of pasta dishes.
Italian cuisine isn’t just about pasta and pizza (though of course there’s plenty in that realm). It’s a cuisine that also incorporates beans, greens, tomatoes, peppers, and lots more good-for-you ingredients. Let’s dig into this array of vegan Italiano!
Easy Italian Soup Recipes
Italian Pasta and Bean Soup: Italian pasta and bean soup, or pasta e fagioli, is a classic Italian soup that’s a cousin to minestrone, and one that’s naturally plant-based.
Hearty Pasta Vegetable Soup: This hearty pasta vegetable soup is an Italian-inspired medley of veggies in a light tomato base. Not quite minestrone, and definitely not ribollita, yet with a mild Italian accent, this vegan soup can be enjoyed all year round, even on cool summer evenings.
Vegan Italian Wedding Soup: Italian Wedding Soup made vegan isn’t much of a stretch. Just swap in plant-based meatballs and this vegetable-rich soup is easily transformed.
Potato and Escarole Soup with Vegan Sausage: Incredibly warming and comforting, a classic variation of this Italian soup calls for sausage. It’s so easy to make vegan, using any of the great plant-based sausage brands available.
Italian Vegetable Stew with Gnocchi: Gnocchi, dumplings made mainly of potato flour, with a little added semolina flour (the same as is used to make traditional pastas), add substance to this flavorful and naturally vegan Italian vegetable stew.
Vegan Lasagna Stew: Lasagna stew is everything you love about traditional lasagna but served in a comforting soup bowl. This vegan lasagna stew, contributed by Kim Campbell, is a plant-based twist on a contemporary classic.
Vegan Italian Pasta dishes
Italian Pasta and Lentils (Pasta e Lenticchie): Is pasta e lenticchie a Sicilian speciality, or is it Neopolitan? I’ve seen claims for both. But whatever the origin of this classic Italian lentil and pasta recipe, it’s an easy everyday kind of dish.
Tuscan-Style Pasta with Greens and Beans: Pasta with greens and beans is a classic combination in Italian cuisine, satisfying the heartiest of appetites. You can vary this dish of pasta with different beans and greens each time you make it.
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca: The characteristic ingredients of this classic Italian pasta recipe, are briny olives and capers. Naturally plant-based, it also features fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, and wine.
Pasta Puttanesca with Vegan Meatballs: The Italian classic pasta puttanesca is made more substantial with vegan meatballs for a hearty main dish.
Vegan Pasta Arrabbiata: Was the name of this classic Italian dish — pasta arrabbiata (or pasta all’ arrabbiata) — inspired by its bold red sauce and spicier-that-usual seasoning?
Pasta with Vegan Bolognese Sauce: The meaty tomato-based sauce in classic pasta Bolognese is so easy make vegan using your favorite plant-based ground or homemade crumbles made with whole foods.
Vegan Pasta and Eggplant Casserole: A basic baked vegan pasta and eggplant casserole, this is the epitome of comfort food. You might think of it as a vegan baked ziti with something extra!
Lasagna-Like Vegan Pasta Casserole: Here’s an easy vegan pasta casserole that has all the great flavors of lasagna with less hassle. And this pasta bake only needs about 20 to 25 minutes in the oven — just enough time for the (vegan) cheese to melt and the flavors to meld.
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio: The name of this recipe means “garlic and oil” and is a simple and tasty Italian pasta classic. Using plenty of fresh garlic, it’s a great dish for aficionados of the fragrant bulb!
Vegan Tetrazzini Pasta with Plant-Based Chick’n: The traditional tetrazzini recipe combines chicken with long pasta and a heavy cream-based sauce. This vegan tetrazzini pasta makes use of plant-based “chik’n” or baked tofu, and the creaminess is courtesy of silken tofu.
Vegan Pasta Carbonara with Broccoli: Traditionally made with pancetta or salami, it’s easy to make vegan pasta carbonara with a simple swap-in of plant-based bacon or pepperoni.
Vegan Stuffed Shells: Bring Italy to your table with these vegan stuffed shells, filled with a tofu-based ricotta and topped with your favorite vegan cheese shreds. From the authors of The Friendly Vegan Cookbook, Toni Okamoto and Michelle Cehn.
Budget-Friendly Vegan Pasta Primavera: The generous amount of veggies make a heaping helping of vegan pasta primavera, even though it uses less than a full pound of pasta.
Pasta alla Norma: This is one of those great classic Italian dishes that’s simple to make and satisfying to eat. With plenty of eggplant and peppers in a garlicky tomato sauce, it’s on the table quickly.
Vegan Italian main dishes (other than pastas)
Vegan Sausage and Peppers: This homestyle Italian classic is easy to update with plant-based sausage to create delicious, easy vegan sausage and peppers. It makes a hearty one-dish meal, fantastic served with pasta, grains, or soft polenta or stuffed into hero sandwiches.
Easy Gnocchi with Greens and Beans: Enveloped in marinara sauce, gnocchi with greens and beans is a hearty dinner dish that comes together quickly.
Vegan Polenta with Mushrooms & Chickpeas: Polenta is basically cooked cornmeal, and is pure comfort. Mushrooms are a classic topping for Italian-style polenta, and here we go one better by pairing them with chickpeas in balsamic glaze.
Italian Salads and side dishes
Italian Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Olives (Panzanella): A simple, herb-scented salad that’s especially welcome in the warmer months, it almost goes without saying that for best results, use the most flavorful tomatoes you can find.
Easiest Vegan Caprese Salad: It’s so easy to turn the classic Italian Caprese into a vegan Caprese salad. It’s one of those dishes that’s the very essence of simplicity — the best summer tomatoes arranged on a platter in overlapping rows with mozzarella (in our case, vegan mozzarella).
Roasted Eggplant Caponata: Scented with fresh basil, parsley, and oregano, this is best made with summer’s flavorful tomatoes and enjoyed on bruschetta or fresh bread. A classic appetizer or side dish.
Italian-Style Braised Chard with Tomatoes: Chard is beloved in Italian and Mediterranean cuisines, so it’s fitting to combine it with tomatoes, basil, and other ingredients typical to the region.
Romano Beans with Tomatoes and Cannellini: Flavored with garlic and olives, this easy side dish is perfect for midsummer and a good companion to lighter pasta dishes.
In addition to these vegan Italian recipes, let’s not forget pizza …