Italian fare is almost always a crowd-pleaser, and is certainly one of the easier types of “ethnic” food to introduce to those with limited likes or particular palates.
Although best known for the ever-popular pizza and pasta, Italian cuisine is actually extremely diverse! There’s a whole world of pestos, picattas, panna cottas, and other delicious dishes to explore.
And despite its cheesy reputation, it’s really quite simple to veganize many Italian dishes. There are tons of great vegan cheese substitutes, both commercially available, and recipes to make your own mouthwatering ricottas and parmesans. Nutritional yeast, nuts, and plant-based oils can be combined to make some pretty amazing creamy sauces and fillings, and many flavorful, traditionally Italian ingredients (like sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and capers) are already vegan!
Here are 10 of our favorite vegan Italian dishes. It’s quite a diverse collection we hope you’ll enjoy!
Recipe by Robin Robertson: Cookbook Author
- 1 head cauliflower, cored
- Olive oil, for cooking
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons capers
- 4 paper-thin slices lemon
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons chilled vegan butter, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board, cored side down and cut it into 1/2-inch slices, as if you were cutting a loaf of bread.
- Arrange the cauliflower slices on a lightly oiled baking pan (you may need more than one) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast until tender and nicely browned, about 30 minutes, turning once with a large metal spatula about halfway through. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the sauce.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 3 minutes, then stir in the mushrooms, if using, and cook 2 minutes longer. Add the wine, lemon juice, and capers and cook, stirring, until the liquid reduces slightly. Just before serving, add the parsley and lemon slices, then stir in the vegan butter, if using, stirring to melt it into the sauce.
- To serve, arrange the cauliflower on plates and spoon the hot sauce on top. Serve hot.
- Artichoke and Olive Pizza
- Vegan Lasagna
- Quinoa with Secret Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Butternut Squash Lasagna with Smokey Marinara Sauce and “Ricotta” with Kale Pesto
- Gnocchi with Vegan Sausage and Spinach
- Golden Beet Ravioli with Sundried Tomato and Italian Herb Filling
- Zucchini Pasta with Chunky Tomato Sauce
- Lime and Coconut Panna Cotta
- Peach and Raspberry Tart with Raw Mascarpone
For even more delicious Italian-inspired vegan recipes, check out Sicilian Family Roots: Four Delicious Italian Vegan Recipes from Christina Pirello!
What’s your favorite vegan Italian recipe? Share it with us!