7 Vegetarian Versions Of Your Favorite Meaty Pasta Dishes

Though it may not seem like it, not everyone is eating Paleo or ketogenic or Whole30. Some of us prefer not to chow down on all that meat and to chow down on all that pasta. If that describes you, you’ve come to the right place. These 7 vegetarian pasta recipes are genius riffs on their meaty counterparts.

1. Lentil Bolognese With Spaghetti.

Anyone who’s accused vegetarian Bolognese recipes of not having enough flavor clearly hasn’t tasted this sauce. Loaded with two meatless yet meaty ingredients (red lentils and mushrooms) and a medley of veggies to liven up the tomato base, this protein-packed pasta topper is a perfect last-minute dinner.

2. Ricotta Zucchini “Meatballs”.

Goodness, gracious, great balls of ricotta! While many vegetarian meatball recipes look to the likes of lentils and mushrooms to beef themselves up (sans beef, of course), this recipe turns to creamy ricotta and grated veggies to create some of the most pillowy meatless balls we ever did dig into.

3. Easy Vegetable Lasagna.

Looking to load up on veggies but can’t stomach another salad? Make things more fun (and filling) by stacking layers of veg between piles of cheese and lasagna noodles. The result is a week’s worth of leftovers—unless you’re hosting a dinner party—and a heck of a lot of flavor.

4. Vegan Meat Sauce.

The best vegetarian substitute for ground meat isn’t a vegetarian protein. It’s actually cauliflower florets. (And you thought cauliflower rice was impressive.) Mixed with chopped walnuts and a handful of spices, this meat-free meat sauce is so filling and flavorful we often end up eating it simply by the spoonful.

5. Broccoli Cauliflower Tetrazzini.

What’s crunchy, creamy, and dreamy and packed with greens too? Broccoli tetrazzini, of course. Traditionally made with chicken or turkey, this tetrazzini gets its “meat” from none other than sliced mushrooms. Broccoli and cauliflower florets give it extra veggie oomph, and Parmesan cheese and milk create a rich sauce that’s perfected with a golden panko topping.

6. Orecchiette Pasta With Broccoli Sauce.

Broccoli rabe, spicy sausage, and orecchiette is a classic. But just because it’s classic doesn’t mean it can’t (or shouldn’t) be tweaked. This recipe skips the meat and uses broccoli to create a blissfully green sauce that makes the pasta feel just as special as the original. Chili flakes and garlic provide the flavor kick you’re looking for, and veggie broth makes it that much more savory.

7. Sugo Finto With Handmade Pici.

Sugo finto literally means “fake sauce.” (And by fake, we mean meatless.) Made with tomatoes, onion, celery, carrot, and red wine, this sauce tastes far from fake. While we love making fresh pasta when the mood strikes, this recipe can be easily adjusted to include any kind of dry noodles.