Hearty Pasta Dishes

Vegan Mac and Cheese

vegan mac & cheese

This easy vegan mac and cheese is rich and comforting. Using pureed silken tofu as a base makes it super creamy. Boost the nutrition of this comfort food meal by serving with plenty of fresh veggies — this goes well with simply prepared broccoli or kale — and a colorful salad or platter of fresh cut vegetables with dip. For an even healthier sauce, try our Almost-Raw Cheez Sauce, based on baby carrots, raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and other nutrient-dense ingredient more→

Pappardelle with Chard and White Beans

Pappardelle with chard

Pappardelle, a flat ribbon noodle, is an elegant backdrop for chard, beans, and squash. It’s a substantial yet not-too-heavy main dish to serve at a company or holiday dinner or take to a gathering to share. If you do transport it, put it in a large covered casserole dish after allowing it to cool somewhat. Before serving, borrow your host’s oven, set at 350º F. to warm the dish up for 15 to 20 minutes; or microwave on High for 5 minutes to reheat. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin. more→

Vegan Mushroom-Seitan Stroganoff

Vegan Seitan Stroganoff recipe

Here’s a hearty pasta dish featuring a healthier, nondairy version of cream-filled Alfredo sauce. This dish also has some serious plant-based “beefiness” courtesy of seitan. Serve with plenty of green vegetables (like broccoli, greens, or green beans) and a simple salad for an any-night-of-the-week meal, or even as a company dish. Recipe adapted from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas (©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission). Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

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Mushroom Carbonara Bowl

Mushroom Carbonara Bowl cropped

At the end of the night, a restaurant staff usually wants something to eat, so the cooks come up with simple family-style dishes that use readily available ingredients. This is how mushroom carbonara came to be. Veganizing the original carbonara recipe takes a few steps, but the result is a creamy pasta dish complete with vegan bacon.Recipe and photos from Vegan Bowls: Perfect Harmony in Cozy One-Bowl Meals© 2015 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.

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Penne alla Vodka with Fresh Tomatoes

Vegan Penne alla Vodka

It doesn’t take a lot to veganize the classic Italian-American recipe for penne alla vodka — simply replace the heavy cream that’s traditionally used in the recipe with nondairy milk or creamer. Most often, recipes for this dish call for canned tomatoes, but this one relies on fresh tomatoes, making it an appealing and easy meal for summer. Serve with a colorful salad and a steamed green veggie — broccoli or green beans are particularly good. Photos by Evan Atlas.

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Pasta with White Bean Sauce and Chard

Chard and White bean pasta recipe

Chard is a beloved kitchen-garden vegetable in Italian cuisine. Combined with white beans and tomatoes, this stick-to-your-ribs pasta dish will satisfy the heartiest of appetites. This is nice with ribbon noodles, but you can use any short shape you’d like. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.

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Pasta Primavera

Vegan Pasta Primavera

Though this plant-based Pasta Primavera uses only a half-pound of pasta, it’s so chockfull of vegetables that it makes quite a heaping helping. You can serve it any time of year, but it’s an especially nice way to welcome spring, as its name implies. It’s also a pleasing main dish at spring holiday or special occasion meals, such as Easter or Mother’s Day. Serve with a simple salad of fresh greens.

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Kasha Varnitchkes

Kasha Varnitchkes

Kasha Varnitchkes is a classic Jewish dish of buckwheat groats combined with pasta. I’m not sure that bow tie pasta (farfalle) has always been the traditional choice, but it’s the contemporary favorite. If you’re a kasha fan, you’ll enjoy this simple dish; it doesn’t set of any flavor fireworks, but it’s easy and comforting, like many an Eastern European specialty. Photos by Evan Atlas.

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Pasta alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma recipe

Pasta alla Norma is one of those great classic Italian recipes that’s simple and healthy. Its basic embellishments are eggplant, onion, garlic, and basil. It’s quick, too — in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta, the sauce is started and finished. Be generous with the red pepper flakes if you like a little spice to your pasta dishes— they really give the flavor a boost. Serve with a colorful salad to which chickpeas are added for extra protein. more→

Pasta with Hearty Lentil and Spinach Sauce

Pasta with hearty spinach and lentil sauce

This recipe, satisfying combination of pasta, lentils, and spinach (or other greens) is a longtime family favorite. Easy and substantial, this can easily become your go-to plant-powered pasta dish. Recipe from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas. ©2014, published by HarperOne, reprinted by permission. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.   more→

Mom’s Meatless Meatballs

Mum Mums Vegan Meatballs by Christina Cavanaugh from Begin Within Nutrition

My mom created the most delicious vegan meatballs! I almost spit out the first bite I took because I thought she was playing a horribly mean joke on me, they tasted so meaty! The original recipe uses eggs and parmesan cheese. To veganize the recipe we used a “chia egg” instead and omitted the cheese. To make them gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free pasta.  You can use store-bought marinara sauce or make your own. This recipe is a bit involved, as you need to prepare the ingredients and let them sit over night.  It’s worth the wait…trust meRecipe and photos contributed by Cristina Cavanaugh, from Begin Within Nutrition. 

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Roasted Sweet Potato Macaroni and “Cheese”

Sweet potato vegan mac n cheese1

This mac and cheese is 100% vegan and so healthy! The ‘cheese’ in this recipe is a combination of roasted sweet potato, mustard, and nutritional yeast. The result is a nostalgic mac and cheese with a grown up edge and a rich, creamy, and satisfying dish! This recipe utilizes gluten-free pasta, but if that’s not a concern for you, any whole-grain short chunky shaped pasta will work. Recipe and photos contributed by Sophia Zergiotis of Love and Lentils. more→

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