10 delicious, vegetarian pasta recipes that are secretly great for gut health

March 06, 2020 at 06:00PM by CWC

Some nights, nothing beats a big bowl of pasta. There’s a reason why spaghetti, mac-and-cheese, and pasta bakes are all classic comfort foods. And perhaps the best part of pasta: It’s naturally vegetarian, making it easy to adapt classic recipes to a more plant-based lifestyle. (Yes, even Nonna’s meatballs.)

Rounded up here are ten completely vegetarian pasta recipes. In all the dishes, plants are a primary ingredient, which ensures that you get a big serving of fiber—the gold standard for gut health— alongside that pasta. And most of the recipes let you use any noodle you like, from whole wheat to red lentil and chickpea—which ups the fiber even more. There are so many pasta-bilities!

10 vegetarian pasta recipes that are full of veggies

vegetarian pasta with veggies
Photo: Wholesomelicious

1. Vegetable garden pasta

The easiest way to add more plants to your pasta dish: mix them right in when you’re prepping. That’s the idea behind this recipe for a baked vegetable garden pasta from Wholesomelicious. Besides the penne, fresh cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and corn are all included.

spinach and broccoli pasta
Photo: Cookie + Kate

2. Spinach pasta with roasted broccoli and bell pepper 

Spinach and broccoli are two veggies that are *full* of fiber, so if you want to make some additions that really bring a lot to the table, so to speak, these are great ones to go for in a vegetarian pasta. Bell peppers have fiber too, along with vitamins A and C, and potassium.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJIyAiLh4IU]

3. Vegetarian “meat” ball soup

In the third episode of Well+Good’s new cooking show, Cook With Us, celebrity nutritionist Kelly Leveque shares her recipe for a vegan Italian meatball soup. The starring ingredients: zucchini noodles and lentil “meat” balls. Watch the video above to see the step-by-step on how to make it.

vegetarian cheesy pasta
Photo: Easy Cheesy Vegetarian

4. One pot creamy veggie pasta

If you’re more into cream-based sauces than tomato-based ones, you’ll love this meal—and you’ll only have to wash one dish when you’re done making it. The recipe calls for mushrooms, frozen peas, and frozen sweet corn, but there’s a long list of other vegetables that taste yummy with the sauce too. Really whatever you have in the crisper will work!

basil pesto pasta
Photo: Joyful Healthy Eats

5. Basil pesto pasta with roasted vegetables

Get your roasted veggies in the oven so they can cook while the pasta is boiling, and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Don’t skimp on the fresh basil at the end—it’s the flavor that brings everything together.

lemon butter pasta
Photo: The Kitchn

6. Lemon butter pasta and veggies

The lemon and butter alone make this pasta dish delicious, but it’s the roasted yellow zucchini and grape tomatoes that add even more flavors to your plate. This recipe also goes heavy on the basil, giving another way to reap the benefits of the herb.

vegan spaghetti and meatballs recipe
Photo: Vegan Heaven

7. Vegan spaghetti and meatballs

What would a pasta roundup be without the classic spaghetti and meatballs, right? By swapping out meatballs made with, well, meat, for a plant-based version, you’re instantly upping your fiber. This recipe makes them with canned kidney beans, rolled oats, and a few key spices.

vegetable lasagna recipe
Photo: The Seasoned Mom

8. Quick and easy vegetable lasagna

You absolutely don’t need to go big on meat to make a delicious, satisfying lasagna. The layers of noodles and cheese are secretly loaded with vegetables, which make the dish a lot heartier (and nutrient-rich) than it would be without them. The best part: It only takes 20 minutes of active prep time.

veggie mac-and-cheese
Photo: Gimme Some Oven

9. Roasted veggie mac-and-cheese

Plant-based intel every healthy eater should know: sweet potatoes taste *amazing* with mac-and-cheese. (Red bell peppers, yellow squash, and onion are also included in this dish, too.) This recipe also calls for paprika and cayenne to add some unexpected kick to your big bowl of creamy deliciousness.

pesto mac-and-cheese recipe
Photo: Oh My Veggies

10. Stovetop pesto mac

If you can’t decide between mac-and-cheese and pesto, why not have them both? This recipe includes a big serving of broccoli, too. If you want a baked mac-and-cheese taste without actually popping your pasta into the oven, toast some panko to add on top; it has a similar effect and takes a fraction of the time.

More in the mood for Mexican? Here are ten vegetarian recipes that will satisfy your craving. And for more healthy eating inspiration, join Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.

Author Emily Laurence | Well and Good
Selected by CWC

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