13 Vegetarian Italian Recipes So Good You Won't Miss the Meat
Summer Spaghetti Salad
This vegetarian spaghetti recipe is not your usual noodle and marinara combo. It’s a rainbow-hue, potluck-perfect mix of noodles, zoodles, string cheese strands, and veggies. (Opt for vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to keep the dish 100% vegetarian.) This is one of the freshest pasta salad recipes you’ll ever twirl up.
Vegetarian Barley-Stuffed Peppers
Who needs sausage or beef when you can bake up tasty vegetarian Italian stuffed peppers with 13 grams of protein each? Piles of veggies, whole grain barley, mozzarella cheese, and herbs pack each pepper half for a meal with mountains of vitamins and fresh flavors. If you can’t find—or don’t love—barley, try wheat berries or farro.
Original Pizza Margherita
The classic Mediterranean flatbread is a brilliant blank slate for many vegetarian Italian foods. Marinara, mozzarella, garlic, and basil—plus 30 minutes—are all you need to jazz up store-bought crust. If you have extra time, start by making our All-Purpose Pizza Dough or Gluten-Free Zucchini-Sage Crust for the foundation.
Related: 16 Healthy Pizza Recipes
Eggs in Spicy Tomato Marinara
Wake up to a better breakfast. Instead of a bowl of sugary cereal, start your day with this slow cooker Italian vegetarian recipe that practically preps itself overnight. Set and forget the garlicky tomato sauce as you catch some z's. After the alarm sounds, stir in fresh basil, crack in the eggs, and bake for 30 more minutes ... then dig in and dunk away with crusty bread!
Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Olives
Craving a large portion? Bulk up whole wheat pasta with veggies for double the serving for a few more calories. This vegetarian spaghetti squash recipe gets a sweet-savory boost via golden raisins and green olives. Fresh basil, tomatoes, and feta cheese join the party for a lot of deliciousness in a fiber-rich package.
Cucumber Caprese Flatbreads
This Greek-Italian fusion meal requires only 10 minutes of oven time before hitting the dinner table. Stack a toasted flatbread high with hummus, a caprese salad-inspired blend, and feta cheese to complete the vegetarian Italian recipe. Once you’ve mastered the classic, customize with your favorite flavor of bean dip (Beet Hummus would be fun) and try goat cheese or blue cheese instead of the feta.
Creamy Polenta with Portobello Mushroom Sauce
Gluten-free, meat-free, yet full of savory Mediterranean goodness, this entrée is perfect for a chilly winter night or a warm summer evening. (Simply opt for canned tomatoes when fresh aren’t in season.) Shredded Havarti keeps the polenta creamy for a yummy base for the chunky portobello mushroom and tomato sauce in this Italian vegetarian main course.
Tomato-Basil Cavatelli Skillet
One-pot pasta for the win! To make this Italian vegetarian pasta recipe, you need a cast-iron skillet or other sturdy, deep skillet. Dump in the dry cavatelli and sauce ingredients, simmer for 20 minutes, shower with cheese, and cook for 10 minutes more. Dinner, done.
You can serve this hearty bean, pasta, and vegetable minestrone immediately or chill it overnight to allow the flavors to blend so it tastes even more like the restaurant version you crave. If you like, serve the vegetarian Italian recipe country-style over thick slices of toasted Italian bread.
Step aside, greasy delivery pizza. This vegetarian Italian recipe showcases puckery lemons and licorice-y fennel on rich ricotta. If you’re feeling salty, pile on sliced olives. For a heartier slice, stack on roasted sliced potatoes. Any way you slice it, this is one delicious dinner!
Spaghetti with Seared Asparagus
Baked Penne Florentine
You can enjoy bubbling comfort food casseroles while eating vegetarian. This one is full of nutrition from spinach, beans, and multigrain pasta. If you're serving folks who like things spicy, pass a bottle of hot sauce with the dish.