15 Italian Meat-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes You Must Try

It is very likely that if you walk into any Italian restaurant you will be able to find a pasta dish, but we are also willing to guess that your options would be little more than spaghetti with marinara sauce on it and you will have to ask them to hold the cheese. Not exactly the best reflection of amazing Italian cuisine. You’ll probably find that your regular family-run Italian restaurant will only have a few options for you if you eat more plant-based foods, but you can vegetate anything – yes, anything. You can take the more cheesy of Italian dishes, like

You can take the cheesiest of Italian dishes like lasagna and turn it into a meal so good you’ll forget all about dairy. It’s easy because we can make ricotta from cashews and tofu, parmesan from almonds, and gooey mozzarella from cashews and tapioca starch.

Once you have mastered the basics of vegan cheese, you can apply it to all of your favorite Italian cheese dishes, like dumplings and pizza. We can also use plants for meat dishes! Instead of chicken parmesan, try this delicious cauliflower parmesan. Fancy some squid? This raw oyster mushroom squid has all the softness you like squid without the seafood. Desserts aren’t off the table either! This Raw Tiramisu and Coco Caramel Panna Cotta are both made dairy free and you don’t need eggs to make those Cinnamon Sugar Zeppoles or Paleo Biscotti.

If thinking about all the delicious vegan Italian dishes you can make has whetted your appetite, then One Green Planet is here to help you with these 15 Italian Dinner Recipes You Must Try.

1. Pan-fried cauliflower and chickpeas Piccata

cauliflower and chickpeas piccata

This Seared Cauliflower and Chickpea Piccata is a must-have for everyone. Cauliflower steaks are seared until golden brown on the outside. A sauce is then prepared using the “cooking juices” as you would with traditional piccata with the addition of chickpeas, wine, capers and seasonings. Each part of the recipe works together as a cohesive dish that is sure to woo family, friends and guests.

2. Calzone stuffed with hummus and vegetables


For those of you who aren’t in the know, a calzone is a giant, hot, and bubbly pocket of pizza. Yeah … that’s a big deal. This calzone stuffed with vegetables and hummus is cheese-free and only takes an hour to prepare, from start to finish! Calzones for dinner tonight, are you tempted?

3. Potato and Porcini Mushroom Ravioli in a Cream of Broccoli Sauce

potato and porcini ravioli

There are so many different varieties of dumplings you can make – the possibilities are virtually endless. This recipe for potato and porcini mushroom ravioli in a creamy broccoli sauce is super comforting. The light crunch and crunch of the broccoli combined with the smoothness of the sauce form a rather dynamic duo – not to mention that the ravioli are delicious.

4. Eggplant caponata with grilled polenta

Caponata eggplants

Warm, simmered eggplant and tomatoes with Sicilian flavors served alongside crispy polenta wedges – summer doesn’t get any better than this eggplant caponata with grilled polenta. Try to get a bite of polenta with each fork of caponata for a delicious contrast of tastes and textures. Polenta can be made the night before and these wedges are a great way to use up leftover cooked polenta.

5. Zuppa Toscana: Tuscan sausage soup

Tuscan sausage soup

The spicy vegan sausage, onion, garlic, thick cashew cream, potatoes, greens and red pepper flakes make the flavor of this soup unbeatable. This tasty Tuscan sausage soup is best served as a meal rather than an appetizer, with a side of Italian bread. You won’t want to miss a single drop.

6. Gnocchi With Lemon Chili Garlic Sauce

gnocchi with lemon chili sauce

These gnocchi with lemon garlic sauce are tasty and tasty to prepare. The light and fluffy gnocchi are coated in a tangy lemon garlic chili sauce light enough to be enjoyed on hot days. Chopped kale is added to the sauce, bringing some greens to the table and adding color to your bowl.

7. Italian yellow flat beans with olive oil, garlic and tomatoes

Italian yellow flat beans

This side of Italian yellow flat beans with olive oil, garlic and tomatoes is a must-try. It combines the simplest flavors, but they enhance tender cooked beans in a way that tastes magical. Serve with roasted cauliflower or a plump cereal bread.

8. Risotto with truffled mushrooms

risotto with truffled mushrooms

Whether you are looking for an indulgent festive meal or just a cozy evening meal at home, look no further. This truffled mushroom risotto is loaded with heady and aromatic truffles and silky and divine cuisine. And it’s very simple, which is really something to celebrate.

9. Cioppino: Italian “fish” stew


This hearty, rustic Cioppino is actually an Italian-American dish, but we’re going to give it a pass because it’s delicious. The original fish stew originated in San Francisco. Tofu replaces fish, but everything else stays the same – vegetables and herbs simmered in tasty tomato broth.

10. Pappardelle with pesto and chickpea balls with artichokes

Pesto pasta papperdelle

This pappardelle with pesto and artichokes and chickpeas is light but deeply scented. Seared artichoke hearts and chopped fresh tomatoes complete the dish. This recipe is one of those “fool yourself” recipes. It looks expensive and chic, but it’s mostly made of pantry staples. It seems to take a long time, but it is easily combined in the food processor. You’ll have delicious pasta in no time!

11. Spinach, ricotta and marinara crespelle


This recipe is for Crespelle with Spinach, Ricotta and Marinara, the Italian version of a tasty pancake. They are light, delicious and much faster to prepare than homemade pasta. They’re stuffed with a creamy ricotta made with cashews and spinach, topped with your favorite marinara sauce and even more cheese! They’re delicious, comforting, and surprisingly easy to prepare.

12. Marsala cauliflower

marsala cauliflower

Cauliflower has a wonderful neutral flavor that pairs well with almost anything. These beautiful white florets really are the heart of this Italian-American cauliflower marsala, but the wine definitely shines with the help of thyme and mushrooms. This meal looks like what you would get in a fancy restaurant, but it’s actually super easy to prepare!

13. Rosemary and Garlic Agnolotti

rosemary spelled agnolotti

Agnolotti are very similar to ravioli. They are tender, stuffed pasta shells filled with deliciousness, except that instead of cheese, agnolotti are stuffed with roasted vegetables or meat. These rosemary and garlic spelled agnolotti are filled with a creamy white bean garnish with herbs and served with a mesclun pesto. It’s like a dish from a fancy Italian restaurant, only better, because they are homemade!

14. Marinara sandwich with lentils and meatballs

lentil meatball marinara

This carbohydrate-rich Italian-American lentil marinara sandwich starts with vegetarian lentil-based meatballs spiced with Italian herbs and spices, then baked in the oven so they’re a little crispy in the oven. ‘outside and warm inside. You can stop there and enjoy them with pasta, but the best things in life are served on bread. They are stuffed in a hoagie with a smear of savory marinara sauce, fresh basil sauce and vegan cheese. Yum!

15. Hearty Bolognese with Lentils and Broccoli

bolognese with lentils and broccoli

This hearty lentil and broccoli bolognese sauce is so tasty, satisfying and filling, and you can make a lot of it and freeze it for future meals. Broccoli goes well with tomato sauce, but you can leave it out or replace it with cauliflower or kale, if you like. Serve over the pasta of your choice with a side salad and toast. Perfection!

16. Lentil and cheese lasagna

lentil and cheese lasagna

This meaty lentil and cheese lasagna features layers of hearty lentil bolognese, creamy cashew cheese and pasta. And if you prepare a few key ingredients ahead of time, like lentils and nut cheese, you can put this dish together in just a few minutes. Yum!

17. Cauliflower Alfredo

cauliflower alfredo

This Alfredo cauliflower is a heartwarming treat. Rich, creamy and full of flavor, it’s like a sophisticated mac and cheese. The sauce gets its robust flavor from a combination of cauliflower and potato with fresh onion and garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and various seasonings. Serve it over any pasta of your choice, with mixed fresh greens.

18. Zucchini Noodles Carbonara

Zucchini carbonara

Carbonara is a creamy pasta dish loaded with eggs, cheese and bacon. How to make this dish healthy? Simple – make this zucchini noodle carbonara! It is made with cashew nut cream, mushroom bacon and zucchini noodles! This spiral veggie dish is creamy, comforting, and way more energizing than the original.

19. Rigatoni With Avocado Alfredo And Vegetables

rigatoni with avocado Alfredo

There are several ways you can make Alfredo without dairy products? Yes you can! This quick rigatoni with Avocado Alfredo and vegetables is the perfect weekday meal. The creamy sauce in this recipe is made with ripe avocado, which provides the texture, nutritional yeast for the cheese, cashews and coconut milk. If you’re making this for serving, don’t worry if the avocado browns the sauce – a squeeze of lemon juice makes it worthy of a presentation.

20. Spelled Foccacia with Za’atar Rosemary

spelled fougasse

There is something special about baking your own bread; the time and attention that goes into creating something delicious is worth celebrating, but also suitable as a special treat for a handful of people. This Za’atar Rosemary Spelled Focaccia is a great party snack served with a bowl of extra virgin olive oil for dipping or as a main meal with a large side salad. Best fresh out of the oven, but leftovers can be reheated or grilled a few days after cooking.

We could eat food like this all day, every day and never get bored. What is your favorite Italian cuisine? Tell us in the comments!

Featured Image Source: Spinach, Ricotta & Marinara Crespelle

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