Italian food is some of the world’s best food, but a lot of Italian recipes involve meat. There are meatballs, ragu sauces, and countless types of salami and dry cured meat cuts. On the other hand, what is more Italian than pasta or pizza? There are so many vegan recipes featuring these two popular dishes alone! So if you’re vegan, don’t despair! Here are 10 vegan Italian recipes that taste amazing and will suit your vegan lifestyle.
Vegan Artichoke Arancini
Arancini are an extremely popular Italian food. They are creamy rice balls that are typically stuffed with meat or cheese and then deep fried. However, it is possible to enjoy this Italian favorite the vegan way. Chef Giada De Laurentiis shares a delightful Vegan Artichoke Arancini recipe on Food Network that uses no cream or cheese and is instead centered around artichoke and basil. Don’t worry, though, she still manages to maintain the level of creaminess every arancini needs!
Pea Pesto Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Arugula
Basil pesto sauce usually involves a little bit of cheese to achieve a somewhat creamy texture, but this vegan recipe by Minimalist Baker uses peas instead. The peas also add extra protein to this pasta dish, which is very important for vegans!
Neapolitan Pizza Marinara
In America, we think of pizza as involving three cardinal components: dough, cheese and sauce. However, in Naples, where the pizza was first made, this isn’t necessarily the case. There are two classic types of Neapolitan pizza, one of which is the Marinara, which doesn’t feature any cheese at all! Yup, just pizza dough, sauce, garlic, basil and olive oil. Want to know what the 10 Best Pizzerias in Naples are?
Focaccia bread is another Italian food favorite. It comes from Northern Italy, specifically the Liguria region. While most Americans think strictly of garlic bread to go with their Italian meal, focaccia bread is a top contender—and it’s entirely vegan! Focaccia is a chewy bread that is crispy on the outside and typically flavored with garlic, olive oil, and rosemary. Check out more popular dishes in Northern Italy.
Eggplant, Caramelized Onion & Tomato Pasta
Fortunately for people who wish to live the vegan lifestyle, Sicily is all about eggplant. This recipe from Well Vegan for Eggplant, Caramelized Onion & Tomato Pasta is exactly like a common dish one would find in Sicily. Really, the more deeply you delve into Italian cuisine, the more you’ll find that vegan recipes aren’t as scarce as you think.
Baked Ziti with Cashew Cheese
Traditionalists aren’t fond of replacing cheese from cow’s milk or sheep’s milk with a nut-based cheese to make vegan food. Some argue that it takes away from the authenticity of the dish while others declare it simply doesn’t taste the same, despite never having tried it. But when meat-eaters do try vegan “dairy” products, they are often surprised at how wrong they were! If you’re fiending for baked ziti, try it with this Nora Cooks recipe that calls for cashew cheese.
Bruschetta & Arugula Flatbread with Balsamic Glaze
Living the vegan lifestyle can be difficult, but this flatbread recipe is an easy recipe that is full of flavor. If you’re not feeling ambitious enough to make a big vegan meal with tons of ingredients, start off with this simple recipe for Bruschetta & Arugula Flatbread with Balsamic Glaze. Also check out our aged balsamic vinegar.
Lemon Asparagus Risotto
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make vegan risotto after checking out this Food52 recipe for Lemon Asparagus Risotto. Usually, people associate creamy textures with, well, cream or cheese. However, this dish achieves that same desired creaminess with just vegetable stock! Because of the lemon and asparagus, this vegan food recipe also has a very fresh, bright taste.
Vegan Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
Puttanesca is a classic Italian tomato-based sauce. However, it is traditionally made with anchovies. But if you want to turn this Italian food into vegan food, all you have to do is not use that one ingredient. Aside from the fishy taste of anchovies, the main reason it is used is for its salt content. But this recipe from Cookie and Kate has all the salt you need with its emphasis on Kalamata olives.
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
Tired of the same old tomato sauce? You’re in luck! This vegan roasted red pepper sauce is a rich, delicious, creamy substitute. Feel free to use whatever type of pasta you like (tagliatelle, rigatoni—you name it!) when following this Pasta-Based recipe.