Looking to find the best vegetarian Italian dishes that are quick and easy? You've come to the right place! We've selected 40 of our best vibrant, fresh, and easy meatless Italian meals - most of which you can serve as weeknight dinners.
Find your favorite recipe by browsing through this list, and take your pick: pasta, pizza, soups, stews, risotto, appetizers, and many more. Plus, most of these recipes are ready in less than 30 mins making them perfect for busy families with kids.
Whether you're a beginner vegetarian, omnivore or flexitarian, we're sure you'll find your new Italian favorite on this list!
BEST ITALIAN VEGETARIAN DISHES
Easy Vegetarian appetizers
These Italian vegetarian starters are simple to make, veggie-packed and guaranteed crowd-pleasers.
Best Italian Vegetarian Dinners
These vegetarian main meals are perfect for guests and family gatherings. All of our recipes include vegan and vegetarian instructions, so you can cook according to your diet preferences.
Is Italian food mostly vegetarian?
Traditional Italian food is, due to peasant tradition, influenced by vegetarian traditions such as "cucina povera": kitchen of the poor. Cucina povera refers to cooking with simple ingredients since poorer families would not have expensive or many ingredients available to them. Examples include:
- Legume-based cooking such as lentil soup, Tuscan bean soup, and bean stews.
- Bread-based meals and appetizers, such as panzanella, (bread salad), bruschetta and crostini.
- Rice instead of meat, such as rice filling in stuffed tomatoes and bell peppers.
- Naturally vegetarian pasta, such as aglio e olio, pasta pomodoro and penne arrabbiata.
Simple Italian food is amazingly flavorful. In fact, you can easily cook hundreds of tasty Italian recipes without meat and still feel satiated.
How to store Italian Vegetarian Meals
- How to store: you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- How to reheat: reheat your meal (if it's meant to be served hot) in the microwave or on a pan with a teaspoon of oil. On the second day, these meals will be stickier and less creamy.
- How to freeze: you can also freeze some of the meals for up to 3 months. To freeze, let it cool down first, then transfer them to a freezer-friendly container, leaving some space to allow it to expand. Thaw in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop. Before serving, garnish with fresh herbs, and optionally a drizzle of olive oil.
More Italian meals
If you're also a fan of Italian food, we hear you! After we moved to Italy a couple of years ago, we learned to make a lot of our favorite meals with a vegetarian spin. Here are some of our favorite Italian recipes:
- Vegan pasta recipes
- 25 Chickpea recipe ideas
- Easy tofu recipes that can replace chicken and meat.
- Add creaminess to salads and protein with these top vegan sauce recipes.
- Satisfy sweet cravings by making these indulgent vegan cakes
The Italian cuisine is fantastic, and we're eager to spread the word about Italian vegetarian cooking too. If you have questions about cooking Italian, send us a message in the comments below. We're happy to answer questions any way we can!
For many more 30-minute meal ideas, check out our 30-minute meal category page.
40 Italian Vegetarian Dishes
- Check each individual vegetarian recipe for ingredients required.
- Cook your favorite vegetarian recipe
- How to store: Keep these vegetarian meals stored in the refrigerator, ideally in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
- How to reheat: Warm it up on the stovetop or in the microwave. Before serving garnish with fresh herbs.
- How to freeze: You can also freeze the meals for up to 3 months. To freeze, let it cool down first, then transfer them to a freezer-friendly container, leaving some space to allow it to expand. Thaw in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop. Before serving, garnish with fresh herbs, and optionally a drizzle of olive oil.
If you like these Italian vegetarian recipes, you might also like: