In this post I’ll be addressing all, or almost all, your questions and concerns about whether pasta is suitable for vegans or not. We’ll be looking at the primary ingredients of both fresh and dry pasta and discussing gluten free and whole grain pasta options as well. We’ll also attempt to answer some of the more common FAQs about pasta and whether or not it is vegan. (Spoiler alert: It is.)
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A question we’re often asked on many of our pasta recipes is “Which pasta is vegan?” or “Is pasta vegan?”
I think part of this seems to come from our TV-glamourized misconceptions of food. Many people seem to have this memory, whether it’s real or created by a plethora of TV advertisements and episodes, of the dear Italian nonna gently breaking eggs into the middle of a mound of flour preparing to make her homemade, traditional pasta by hand.
But with 6 billion pounds of pasta being eaten a year by Americans in the US alone, that would take A LOT of nonnas!
We all have our favorite pasta shape and our favorite pasta dish. Almost every family has a weekly pasta night. And almost everyone (or maybe it’s just me) keeps a spare box of pasta and jar of sauce for when those pasta cravings hit and, whether topped with tomato sauce or drizzled with olive oil, nothing else will do.
To many, pasta is an absolute comfort food, and so I understand the concern by those who follow a vegan diet about whether or not one of your weekly favorites contains any animal products.
Is Pasta Vegan?
Good news! For the most part, shelf-stable, store-bought varieties of regular pasta options, from angel hair to ziti, are vegan. Even some fresh pasta is vegan friendly.
In all its different shapes, dry pasta is almost always just semolina and/or durum wheat flour as the main ingredient. That durum semolina flour is mixed with water and possibly some added vitamins and minerals.
Honestly, from angel hair to ziti, whole-wheat pasta or the gluten-free alternative, I actually had a more difficult time finding dried pasta that wasn’t vegan-friendly.
Is All Pasta Vegan?
There is, of course, some dry pasta that does contain eggs or egg whites.
Egg noodles are an obvious example, and we like to use “macaroni dumpling noodles” when a recipe calls for the former. But there is also “egg fettuccine” and some oven-ready lasagna noodles that also list egg in the ingredients.
De Cecco brand, for example, also sells a full line of egg pastas as well as their regular egg-free pastas. These are recognizable by the yellow package instead of blue and the Italian phrase “all’uovo” (uovo is Italian for “egg”) on the package.
Certain types of pasta, like pappardelle, are traditionally made with egg, but we have found plant-based pasta alternatives to these even in our local Shop Rite grocery store. If you are looking to expand your pasta profile and are trying new brands or shapes of pasta, just be sure to check for any non-vegan ingredients.
Is Fresh Pasta Vegan?
Where things get tricky is with fresh pasta. The kind you might find in the deli section of your grocery store or at some Italian restaurants. These are the kinds of pasta you’re thinking of when you think of nonna.
Many of these “homemade” pastas do indeed contain eggs. Some even contain trace amounts of dairy. There are some egg-free versions of these fresh pastas available, but they’re much more rare.
Keywords to watch out for when selecting fresh pasta are terms like “homemade”; “fresh-made”; “traditional style” and the like. My recommendation with regard to fresh pasta is to just always, always read the ingredients.
One other animal-based ingredient I had completely forgotten about sometimes being present in pasta, especially black or purple pasta, is squid ink. Yes, squid ink is a classic ingredient in some dark-colored Italian pastas. It’s kind of rare these days and has been replaced with alternatives, but I did see one package on the shelf at our local grocery stores that listed it in the ingredients.
Plant-Based Pasta Brands
This is a list of just some of the various plant-based pasta brands available at most common supermarkets across the United States.There are so, so many brands, and new ones are popping up every day to meet the dietary needs of the consumer.
Always check ingredients of any brands unfamiliar to you to ensure vegan suitability. Availabilities of brands will of course vary by region/market.
List of Vegan Pastas
- Ancient Harvest – Ancient Harvest’s line of GF pastas include varieties made from quinoa, corn, and brown rice.
- Anna – Most of Anna pasta is vegan, but they do make an egg fettuccine.
- Banza – Probably the most popular chickpea-based pasta line, Banza is entirely gluten free and vegan.
- Barilla – Barilla makes traditional pasta as well as a selection of whole grain, gluten free, and veggie-based pastas that are all vegan-friendly
- De Cecco – DeCecco also carries an entire line of egg-based pasta recognizable by their yellow rather than blue boxes.
- Mueller’s – Established in 1867, this company carries traditional pasta as well as gluten free, whole grain, and “hidden veggie” lines of pasta.
- Rao’s Homemade – Even Rao’s Homemade pasta line is egg-free and suitable for a plant-based diet
- Ronzoni – Ronzoni makes some egg-based pastas. Their oven-ready lasagna noodles contain egg, and their spinach fettuccine comes in both an egg and egg-free variety.
- Rummo – Rummo has a wide variety of options in traditional and GF pastas. They do have a couple pastas in their line, like their pappardelle, that contains egg.
- San Giorgio – That old, familiar red box. San Giorgio recently introduced a line of oven-ready pasta, like lasagna, that also includes eggs. Their basic pastas are all semolina-based and vegan.
- Veggiecraft Farms – This line of veggie-based pasta has varieties made from cauliflower, sweet potatoes, or zucchini.
- Store Brands – Many stores have their own product brands and now make their own pasta that is just as good as many of their competitors. Check your local store brands, but we’ve found that most are egg-free!
Vegan Pasta FAQ
Here are some common plant-based pasta questions and our best answers. If you have more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!
Why do vegans not eat pasta?
Okay, let’s begin by clearing this little bit of misinformation. Vegans DO eat pasta, and the particular vegan writing this post eats a LOT of it. The only thing is sometimes, and that’s a rare sometimes, pasta can contain egg, but, as we’ve laid out in this post, most store-bought pasta is vegan and yes, we eat it.
Is Whole Wheat Pasta Vegan?
Whole wheat pasta is considered to be a healthier alternative to white pasta. It’s basically the same exact recipe and ingredients with a whole grain, less-refined flour and therefore contains more nutrients than its white flour counterpart. Every major pasta brand offers whole wheat, vegan-friendly versions of a variety of their pasta.
Is Gluten-Free Pasta Vegan?
Even those with a gluten intolerance who follow a plant-based lifestyle can find a plethora of pasta options available to them. Gluten-free noodles made with everything from red lentils to black beans that are both GF and vegan friendly have been increasing in availability over recent years.
Of course, chickpea pasta is extremely popular, but there are also a variety of corn-based pasta and other bean-based noodle brands among the gluten-free products that are definitely worthy of your attention.
Is Barilla Pasta Vegan?
Yes! Barilla, the most popular-selling brand in the US, also has a wide array of whole grain, gluten free and garden-plant-based pasta available at most supermarkets. Each package is distinctly different making it easy to know which is which.
Can you buy plant-based pasta?
If by plant-based you mean egg-free and vegan, then yes! There are many vegan pasta options at your local grocery store. Recently there has been a large influx of veggie and plant based pasta products introduced to the market as well, and almost every major brand is jumping on board.
Is Ronzoni pasta vegan?
Most pasta made by Ronzoni is vegan. However, they do make a couple of products that contain egg. You can check the manufacturer’s website for nutritional information, including ingredients, of each type of pasta. But I noticed they do sometimes make mistakes.
Ronzoni lists their oven-ready lasagna noodles as vegan on their website but also as containing eggs. (Also, the Ronzoni oven ready lasagna noodles states on the front of the package with an actual picture of eggs that it is made with egg.)
So your best bet is to be sure to check the ingredient list rather than just if it says “vegan” to be certain.
Is plant-based pasta healthy?
Vegan wheat-based pasta has no cholesterol and is just made from wheat and flour. If by plant-based you mean veggie-based pasta, that is generally considered healthier than its wheat-based counterpart.
It often has a higher fiber content, higher protein content, and higher vitamin content per serving. Just be mindful that some plant-based pastas are really a mix of flour or flours with a touch of veggie puree.
What is plant based pasta made of?
Vegan pasta is made with just flour and water. If by plant-based, you mean veggie-based rather than wheat-based, this is made with everything from grains to greens. There’s everything from brown rice pasta to zucchini pasta.
Is all dry pasta vegan?
The short answer is no, not ALL dry pasta is vegan. But most are. Again, certain “oven-ready” pastas and traditional pastas are made with egg.
Is pasta sauce vegan?
This depends on the brand and type of pasta sauce. Most of the basic tomato and marinara sauces are vegan, but check the ingredients any time you’re thinking of trying a new brand of jarred sauce. If you’re looking to make a fresh Homemade Marinara Sauce, check out our recipe.
Is De Cecco pasta vegan?
DeCecco offers a full line of both egg and egg-free pastas. The line containing eggs is recognizable by the golden package instead of blue and the Italian phrase “all’uovo” on the package. Uovo is Italian for “egg”.
Is Banza pasta vegan?
Yes. Banza’s entire line of chickpea-based GF pasta is vegan.
Is pesto pasta vegan?
“Pesto pasta” or pasta tossed in a pesto sauce is usually not vegan because most pesto contains dairy in the form of romano or parmesan cheese. For a delicious vegan friendly pesto, check out our recipe for a cheesy vegan pesto you’re sure to love.
Is pasta salad vegan?
This depends on the particular pasta salad. Some cold pasta salads contain grated cheese or might even have bits of meat or dairy in it from the Italian dressing used to flavor the dish. We have a fantastic recipe for vegan pasta salad here on the site.
Is chickpea pasta vegan?
Chickpea pasta is both vegan and also GF when made with just chickpeas and without durum or semolina.
Does all pasta have eggs?
No, not all pasta has eggs. But some specific varieties of dried pasta and quite a few brands of fresh pasta do.
Is fresh pasta vegan?
A lot of fresh pasta contains egg. So be sure to check the ingredients until you’ve settled on a favorite brand.
Is lentil pasta vegan?
Most lentil pasta is vegan and Barilla makes a great one! It contains 23 grams of protein per serving and is made entirely from red lentils.
Is pasta primavera vegan?
Pasta Primavera can easily be made vegan, and I’ve often found such versions when out. But the traditional method utilizes parmesan and the sauce for the dish may often contain chicken stock and/or cream as well. Always ask before ordering!
Is rasta pasta vegan?
Traditional rasta pasta is made with a jerk spice and cream-based sauce and will most likely contain dairy.
Vegan Pasta Dinner Ideas
Over here at Plant Power Couple, we love, LOVE pasta in all its forms and, as I said in the beginning, have quite a number of vegan pasta recipes available. I’ve listed some of our favorite recipes, sauces, and sides below.
- Creamy Vegan Broccoli Pasta
- Vegan Penne alla Vodka
- Vegan Baked Feta Pasta
- Vegetable Aglio Olio
- Avocado Tequila Lime Pasta
- Restaurant-Style Vegan Chicken Parm
- Plant-Based Pasta Salad
- Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Vegan Ravioli
Plant-Based Pasta Sauce
There are almost as many vegan sauce options as there are varieties of pasta. Okay, maybe not quite, but from store-bought to homemade with all natural ingredients, you’re sure to find something that suits your tastes.
Whether you like light sauce or heavy sauce on your pasta, we’ve listed quite a few options here that you are sure to like.
Store-Bought Vegan Pasta Sauce
- Classico, Ragu, and Prego all offer vegan options of your traditional jarred sauce
- If you’re looking for something a little higher quality in the jarred sauce venue, check out Rao’s Homemade sauces or Victoria. Along with their superbly flavorful tomato sauces, Victoria also offers a full line of vegan friendly sauces like a vegan Alfredo (3 kinds actually) AND a vegan vodka sauce.
- If vegan pesto is what you’re looking for, Gotham Greens has one of the best vegan store bought pesto sauces I’ve tasted as well as a variety of other vegan products.
- Botticelli, famous for their olive oils, also makes a “meaty” vegan bolognese that will have your tastebuds dancing the tarantella!
Homemade Vegan Pasta Sauce Recipes
As you can see, there are a plethora of pastas and a surfeit of sauces available for those following a vegan lifestyle. Whether you are gluten friendly or gluten free, you’re sure to find quite a few available options as you peruse the pasta aisle.
I do hope you have found this article helpful. If you have enjoyed it or have any questions, leave a comment in the section below.