Pasta is perhaps the single most important dish a cook can have in their repertoire. Comforting, filling, easy to toss together—let's be honest, we could go on and on about pasta's many virtues. Given its versatility, pasta is a useful ally for anyone who finds themselves following niche diets. Need it to be gluten-free? No problem. Have an allergy? There's a pasta recipe that can help you avoid whatever you need to. Want something vegetarian or vegan? It's cool—pasta's got your back.
Maybe you're considering a plant-based diet or perhaps you're in need of a recipe that's just right for a vegan guest. Take a deep breath—as stated previously, there is no problem pasta can't fix. In case you were under the impression that vegan cooking is difficult, we are here to prove you totally wrong with five recipes that artfully blend pasta and veggies. A meal without animal products can indeed be easy to make, filling, and affordable.
Keep reading for five vegan pasta recipes that you can throw together in no time without sacrificing taste (or fullness).
Vegan Skillet Lasagna
This genius recipe for vegan skillet lasagna, created by Laura of The First Mess, is made with brown rice noodles, fresh spinach walnut pesto, and hearty lentils. Topped with homemade almond ricotta, this comforting vegan pasta dish is so good even staunch carnivores will be asking for seconds (and thirds).
Rustic Pasta With "Cheesy" Chickpea Crumble
Another creation from Laura of The First Mess, this delicious recipe for rustic pasta with heirloom tomatoes features a deliciously "cheesy" chickpea crumble. Simply toss roasted chickpeas, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and lemon zest into a food processor to whip up this decadent, vegan-friendly topping.
Vegan Alfredo Garlic Pasta
Dana, the home cook behind the wildly popular food blog Minimalist Baker, has created a recipe for vegan alfredo garlic pasta that expertly transforms almond milk into a decadently creamy sauce. The alfredo gets its smooth, thick texture from the addition of nutritional yeast, arrowroot starch, and white wine.
Golden Sun-Dried Tomato Red Lentil Pasta
A generous helping of golden sun-dried tomatoes and fire-roasted tomatoes mix to create a thick, creamy sauce that puts vegan-friendly red lentil pasta to good use. Ready in just 40 minutes from start to finish, this is a recipe to keep bookmarked for busy weeknights. Follow recipe creator Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest's lead and sprinkle with nutritional yeast before serving.
Rainbow Thai Basil Noodle Salad
Sweet slices of mango, citrusy lemongrass, and herbaceous basil create a dish bursting with fresh flavors. Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest, this Thai basil noodle salad blends tangy lemon juice and spicy chili flakes to give the vegan-friendly rice noodles a little lift. Serve warm or chilled, whichever you prefer.
Now that dinner's covered, indulge your sweet tooth with nine irresistible vegan desserts.
This story was originally published on January 4, 2017, and has since been updated.