Pasta is such an incredibly versatile dish that it can easily be integrated into a vegetarian diet. This versatility also makes it a favorite option for new vegetarians that are still getting used to their diet change. Long-time vegetarians also love pasta because they can easily change pasta-based recipes to include vegetarian products of their choosing as they try out different vegetarian ingredients.
Are you having trouble coming up with a vegetarian recipe that uses pasta? We’ve come up with a list of healthy vegetarian pasta dishes healthy vegetarian pasta dishes that are so good, even meat eaters would love to give them a try, plus a quick explanation of what makes these particular dishes so awesome.
- Pasta with Stir-fried Cherry Tomatoes
Vegetarians that can tolerate having dairy products in their diet would love this recipe because it’s quick to prepare and easy to eat. Stir-fried fresh tomatoes are more nutritious and are more affordable than store-bought tomato paste, which may contain additives. Grated cheese completes this recipe by adding some tart and a creamy texture. This healthy treat can be eaten on its own but it’s best served along with a vegetable salad.
What makes this awesome? – Cherry tomatoes may be smaller than other types of tomatoes but they pack a lot of nutrients. They’re a prime source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin A. They also taste slightly sweeter than their larger counterparts, making them more appealing to pickier eaters.
- Lemon Pine Nut Pasta with Broccoli
The perfect combination of parmesan, broccoli, lemon, and pine nuts will make both old and new vegetarians consider putting this recipe in their favorites list. The taste and texture of parmesan go well with the zest of lemon, while broccoli and pine nuts make this dish a filling and healthy dish.
What makes this awesome? – Broccoli takes the center stage when it comes to this recipe’s nutritional value. Rich in both soluble fibers (which are good for better nutrient absorption) and insoluble fibers (helps in preventing digestion-related problems), Broccoli is also a decent source of Vitamin C, A, and a substance known as Kaempferol, which helps against inflammation.
- Zucchini Spaghetti
Contrast is the name of the game for this particular vegetarian recipe. Zucchini’s rich, crispy texture brings out the best of parmesan’s creamy smooth consistency. Olive oil and basil leaves complete this dish by adding a tangy flavor that will leave vegetarians wanting for more.
What makes this awesome? – Zucchini is easily one of your best sources of potassium, which is important in relieving high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disorders, and even stress. A serving of zucchini contains more potassium than a similarly-sized serving of banana, which in itself a prime source of the nutrient.
- Squash Linguine with Sage
We’re going with something completely vegetarian this time, which means you’ll need a good alternative to milk to achieve the same creamy texture. Butternut or kabocha squash doesn’t just add the creamy texture, but also adds color to the dish. The fried sage and pepper flakes add a rich flavor that is perfect for those who prefer something spicy.
What makes this awesome? – There’s so much going for squash when it comes to nutritional content that it can easily be considered one of the healthiest ingredients around. Rich in at least 8 vitamins and 7 minerals, squash also contains a good amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that are great for people suffering from allergies, anxieties, and general cardiovascular problems.
- Spaghetti with Lentil and Mushroom Meatballs
Who said vegetarians have to miss out on meatballs? With careful preparation, lentils and sliced mushrooms are perfect for making vegetarian-based meatballs. The meatballs can then be served with pesto or your favorite choice of seasonings.
What makes this awesome? – Mushroom being fat-free, gluten-free, and cholesterol-free should be more than enough to make this dish look like a winner in your eyes. However, mushroom takes things further by containing nutrients that are more commonly found in meat such as riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin D. Last but not least, mushrooms contain very little calories, which means you have some control over your calorie count even with a pasta-based dish.
- Pasta with Spinach and Ricotta
This recipe takes full advantage of pasta’s versatile nature. Aside from the spinach and ricotta, you can add almost any other vegetable ingredient to the dish and still expect good results. In fact, this is one of the few vegetarian pasta dishes that can also be converted to non-vegetarian (but still healthy) dishes.
What makes this awesome? – Just one cup of cooked spinach is enough to cover your daily Vitamin A requirement, and it’s also one of the best sources of vitamin K. Also, those two vitamins are just two of the twenty one nutrients that can be found in what is widely considered one of the most nutritious ingredients used in vegetarian recipes. Popeye was right all along!
- Pesto Pasta with Avocado
Avocado’s one of the top trending food ingredients today, and that’s actually a good thing if you’re looking for something vegetarian that can work with pasta. Pesto Pasta with avocado is packed with omega-3 and omega-6, which greatly helps improve your heart and arteries. Also, the avocado itself provides a creamy texture, so there’s also no need to use cheese as an extra ingredient.
What makes this awesome? – With about 20 nutrients and minerals, a single 3.5oz serving of avocado is no slouch when it comes to providing health benefits. Perhaps one of the most well-known characteristic of avocado is that it has a very high amount of “good fat” – oleic acid. This substance is a type of monosaturated fatty acid often linked to reducing inflammation and lowering the risk of cancer.
There are many people who often associate the term “vegetarian” with “bland” or “boring”. However, these vegetarian pasta dishes are rich and flavorful enough to convince these people otherwise, plus they are incredibly healthy, to boot! Feel free to try out these recipes the next time you have a craving for plant-based pasta dishes!