Those people who aren’t vegan wrongly assume that going vegan means being subjected to an incredibly limited diet. But the truth is, you can still enjoy all kinds of different food and cuisine without having to add a single animal-derived food to your plate.
And I’m here to tell you that being ethical, avoiding animal derived foods, and going vegan certainly does not mean you only eat bland, boring food. In fact, I’ve got an amazing selection of vegan recipes to share with you today, and every one of them is bursting with flavor.
And, better yet, they’re all Italian in origin, with that famous Italian flavor profile that we all know and love. These aren’t necessarily 100% to the “traditional” versions (read: non-vegan) but there are tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, oregano, the list goes on. So yes, the flavor is there!
This dish is divine. I just love the creamy garlic cashew saw and the rainbow of healthy veggies peppered throughout the dish. It’s such a healthy dish for vegans in particular, because there’s plenty of protein available in the crunchy cashew nuts.
And there are a whopping 6 different varieties of veg included, so you can just imagine how many vitamins and minerals are in there. Not to mention all those wonderful flavors.
And instead of using cheese or cream, the sauce is based around lemon juice, which really lifts the flavors of the dish. You can use any pasta that you like (I like it with healthy whole wheat fusilli).
If you’ve never tried gnocchi before, here’s your opportunity! They’re basically little pillowy potato dumplings.
And with this recipe, you also get a stunning creamy garlic sauce, with vegan sausage, flavor-packed sun dried tomatoes, and fresh spinach.
You can make it with your favorite vegan milk, whether it’s coconut, almond, or even cashew milk.
You can whip this recipe up in less than 20 minutes, and it can serve up to 5 people.
Who says being vegan means you have to miss out on this Italian classic?
These meat-free “meatballs” are really something else. You make them with red potatoes, protein-packed cashews, garlic, and Italian herbs and seasonings.
The marina sauce recipe isn’t on this link, but don’t worry, that’s coming next.
Once the “meatballs” are made, you simply add them to your boiled spaghetti, pour over your vegan marinara sauce, and shred some vegan Parmesan cheese to serve – yum!
This vegan Italian dish is not only rich in both flavor and color, but also in nutrients, too. It does take some time to cook right, but as you may already know, low and slow is always best to get the juices to reduce for extra rich flavor.
It’s seasoned with garlic and oregano and coconut sugar, and tastes divine. It’s suitable for freezing, and can be applied to multiple vegan Italian dishes, like the meatballs and spaghetti recipe I showed you earlier!
Can you believe you can still indulge in a decadent Italian Tiramisu as a fully-fledged vegan? I could barely believe it myself, but I swear by this recipe!
The secret ingredient is aquafaba, which is the water in your chickpea can. You can whip it up to make a foamy mass that’s a perfect fluffy replacement for eggs.
And to make it an extra special treat, you can add Madeira, brandy or dark rum, which blends perfectly with fresh espresso to make the drizzle. So indulgent and creamy!
This low calorie Italian dish comes packed with healthy ingredients, including the likes of chopped kale, cannellini beans, carrot and onion.
Meanwhile, vegetable broth forms the base of the soup, and it features several ingredients to boost the flavor profile, including Italian herbs, garlic (of course), thyme, oregano, and bay leaves.
It’s ready to eat in a mere 30 minutes, makes 6 servings, and it’s less than 250 calories per serving!
If you like your comfort food, you’re gonna love this recipe! It’s such a delicious creamy sauce, and it doesn’t need as many ingredients as you might think…
First you boil the ingredients in a pan, including cauliflower, onion and garlic. Then you put them in a blender, adding a few extras like lemon juice, and soy sauce to boost the flavor.
And, hey Presto, it’s ready to be poured over your favorite pasta and enjoyed!
You really cannot go wrong with tomato and basil soup – it’s hands-down one of the most flavorful dishes you can enjoy as a vegan.
It’s packed with loads of healthy veggies, such as carrots, and onions, and there’s plenty of seasoning in the form of garlic, fresh thyme, oregano, paprika, ground cumin, and of course fresh basil leaves.
It only requires 10 minutes of prep time, but takes a further 50 minutes to cook, so it’s a good one to make on the weekend. And it can be frozen, so you can make it ahead and simply reheat to enjoy on a weekday.
This vegan pesto sauce recipe is simply to die for! It features incredibly rich flavors derived from ingredients like fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, and lemon juice.
The resulting sauce is rather thick, making it an excellent dip for carrot or celery crudités. Or alternatively, you can add more water for a thinner sauce that goes great with either pasta, or zucchini noodles.
It takes a mere 5 minutes to make, and one tablespoon is only 39 calories!
Italian pizza is generally well known for its lashings of stringy mozzarella cheese, and it can be hard to conceive that there’s a vegan version which tastes equally good, if not better.
But, I’m pleased to report that A Couple Cooks has pulled it off – their vegan pizza tastes amazing!
It’s made with homemade pizza dough, and has a variety of tasty toppings, including the likes of sauteed vegetables such as mushrooms, red onions, and chickpeas, red pepper and crushed tomatoes and spinach, with fresh basil leaves to serve.
Who says you need cheese on a pizza? Divine!
Italian Cannelloni dishes have a reputation for being one of the creamiest, indulgent Italian dishes around. And it’s hard to imagine that there’s a vegan version that can live up to the mark.
But The Simple Veganista has shown that it can indeed be done, as per this recipe.
What’s more, it only requires you to find 4 ingredients, namely cannelloni tubes, marinara sauce (such as the recipe I showed you earlier), frozen spinach, and vegan ricotta, such as cashew ricotta or tofu ricotta.
It does take some time to cook, but I promise you it’s worth the wait!
If you fancy a change from pasta, how about healthy Italian eggplant coated in crispy breadcrumbs, as per this dish from Holy Cow Vegan?
It features well loved ingredients such as garlic, onion, meatless crumbles, canned tomatoes, red wine (optional), vegan mozzarella, vegan Parmesan cheese, and oregano.
The recipe makes 8 servings, but can be frozen, so it’s a great make-ahead recipe.
OMG, this is amazing – so different from your regular lasagna recipe!
It features a stunning filling made up of tomatoes (obvs) but also mushrooms, courgette, red wine, bay leaves, garlic, celeriac, sweet potato and maple syrup.
And the equally delicious topping is a cashew cream, complete with fresh basil and a good squeeze of lime juice. Heavenly!
Panna Cotta is a famous Italian dessert, usually made from sweetened heavy cream and gelatine. But, thank goodness, here’s a panna cotta recipe that’s 100% vegan!
It’s made with coconut milk, sugar, powdered agar-agar, and vanilla. And it’s topped off with raspberries, lemon juice, and more sugar!
It only takes 5 minutes of prep time, and each serving is a mere 121 calories!
Italy is also famous for its biscotti biscuits, and here we have an amazing vegan biscotti recipe, with the delicious addition of fruity cranberries and crunchy protein-packed almonds.
They’re super easy to make, taste amazing, and are completely dairy-free.
Vegan Italian Recipes – Wrap Up
I hope you’ve enjoyed my shortlist of the best vegan Italian recipes on the net. The difficult part is deciding which one to try first – good luck!