Vegetarian Pasta Recipes | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content


Pasta - whole-wheat, spinach, and many other varieties - combine perfectly with vegetables, sauces and beans for healthy, tasty and easy-to-make dinners.
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Tempeh Bolognese

Tempeh maintains its integrity even when ground, making it the perfect high-protein base for chili, stuffing and a wonderful tomato sauce. This recipe is an adaptation of the original, which comes from Bologna in northern Italy. The final product should be thick and chunky—somewhere between a tomato sauce and a stew. If you can resist the temptation to consume the entire recipe right from the pot, try it served over rice or spaghetti.

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Ziti with Vodka Tomato Sauce

Sauté strips of yellow bell peppers, 1-inch pieces asparagus and cherry tomato halves, then add them to the sauce when combining with the pasta.

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Pasta with White Beans, Broccoli Rabe and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

For a change of pace (or for the gluten-sensitive) try using quinoa or spelt spirals in this rich pasta dish. Blanching the broccoli rabe before sauteing cuts the bitter edge. Meal plan: Buy a crusty loaf of bread and cut it into thin crostini. Spread it with olive tapenade. Have a scoop of lemon sorbet for dessert.

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Penne with Asparagus

This lovely pasta recipe reminds us that spring is just around the corner, when local asparagus becomes available. For the freshest flavor, choose a simple tomato sauce–one flavored with onion and garlic and not too much else. If you prefer a nondairy dish, replace the half-and-half with soy milk.MEAL PLAN: Serve with crusty Italian or French bread to mop up the sauce. Also make a simple salad, pairing a mild lettuce with a spicy green like arugula.

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Lentil-Orzo Casserole

I started making this hearty preparation when I was cooking in a bare-bones studio kitchen while vacationing in Greece. The minimart in the tranquil seaside village carried more suntan lotion and beach supplies than food, but I could always count on finding pasta, lentils, tomatoes and great olive oil. I continue to enjoy this combination at home and find it’s the perfect antidote to a chilly winter evening in Vermont.

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Pasta with Portobello Mushrooms in Mustard Sauce

30 minutes or fewer
Talk about fusion! This recipe combines Italian pasta and a French-style pan sauce flavored with Japanese mirinall cooked in a Chinese wok. It also proves you can use this implement for just about anything. For best results, choose a short pasta shape that will hold the sauce.

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Penne with Pesto and Vegetables

Pasta with pesto sauce is a terrific standby for weeknight dinners. But how do you moisten and bind pesto without adding loads of olive oil? Tofu to the rescue. Silken tofu magnifies the flavor of a small amount of olive oil to create an exceptionally creamy, healthful pesto. To make this dish even more substantial and nutritious, I've added steamed potatoes and green beans. The leftover steaming water produces a tasty vitamin-packed broth, which is perfect for thinning and warming the pesto. For a variation, substitute flat-leaf parsley and walnuts for the basil and pine nuts.