10 Protein-Packed Vegetarian Pasta Ideas

protein pasta

Are you looking for a delicious, hearty meal that is also vegetarian? Whether you’re a full-time vegetarian or just trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, these recipes are sure to satisfy. 

From creamy vegan mac and cheese to veggie-filled lasagna rolls, there’s something here for everyone. 

Enjoy the convenience of one pot dishes like spaghetti with chickpeas and kale, or get creative with stuffed shells filled with mushrooms and ricotta cheese.

Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

This Zucchini Noodle Lasagna is the protein-packed vegetarian pasta dish you can feel good about eating. 

To make this delicious lasagna, begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Next, cut two large zucchini into thin noodles and place them in a 9×13 baking dish. 

In a separate bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. 

Spread half of the mixture over the zucchini noodles in the baking dish. 

Top with a layer of marinara sauce and then repeat with another layer of zucchini noodles and cheese mixture. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. 

Serve with a side of roasted vegetables or fresh salad for an extra boost of nutrients! Enjoy!

Eggplant Parmesan With Spaghetti Squash

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Cut a spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. 

Place the halves cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 45 minutes or until it’s soft. 

While the spaghetti squash is baking, heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add diced eggplant. 

Sauté until the eggplant is slightly browned and soft, about 10 minutes. Once cooked, stir in minced garlic and tomato paste.

Next, prepare a simple tomato sauce by heating olive oil in a separate skillet over medium-high heat. 

Add minced garlic and tomato sauce, stirring to combine. 

Simmer for 10 minutes before adding salt and pepper to taste.

Once the spaghetti squash is cooked through, scoop out the strands into a bowl and mix them with the eggplant mixture. 

Top with the tomato sauce, grated parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh parsley. 

Serve this delicious eggplant parmesan with spaghetti squash warm or at room temperature.

One Pot Penne And Vegetables

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. 

Add garlic and broccoli florets and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. 

Stir in bell pepper and cook for 1 minute. 

Stir in vegetable broth and penne pasta, then bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes. 

Season with oregano, salt and pepper, to taste. 

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving. 

Alternatives: Try adding other vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, or spinach. Or, you can also add some diced tomatoes for an extra boost of flavor. 

For a protein-packed meal, try topping with grilled tofu or tempeh.

Stir Fry Lo Mein

The basic recipe calls for cooked noodles, vegetables, and a flavorful sauce. 

You can make it as simple or as complicated as you like by adding your favorite proteins such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, or seitan. 

Begin by preparing your ingredients – cook the noodles according to package instructions and prepare your vegetables of choice (broccoli, bell pepper, onion, mushroom, snow peas).

Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 

Add the vegetables and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until they are tender.

Add the cooked noodles to the skillet and mix together.

Make a sauce by combining soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Pour the sauce over the noodles and vegetables and toss everything together.

Add your protein of choice and continue to stir fry for a few minutes until everything is heated through and the sauce has thickened.

Serve the lo mein hot, with extra soy sauce or chili paste on the side if desired.

Butternut Squash Ravioli Bake

Butternut Squash Ravioli Bake is a great vegetarian pasta dish that packs a punch of protein.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butternut squash cubes and season with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. 

Cook for about 8 minutes or until squash is tender. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. 

Spread half of the ravioli in the prepared baking dish. 


Top with the cooked butternut squash cubes and spread the ricotta cheese evenly over top. 

Sprinkle it with cheddar cheese and top with remaining ravioli. 

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly on top.

The protein in this dish comes from the ricotta and cheddar cheese, so feel free to add more if you’d like. 

You can also substitute different types of ravioli for a change of flavor.

Veggie Alfredo Primavera Casserole

Start by cooking the pasta according to package instructions and preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until softened. Add mushrooms and asparagus and cook for 3-4 minutes. 

Sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste. 

Add cooked pasta and Alfredo sauce to the skillet, stirring gently until combined. 

Transfer the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish. 

Top with parmesan cheese and bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. 

Let it cool before serving.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi Skillet

Making Sweet Potato Gnocchi Skillet is a great way to add some protein to your vegetarian pasta dish. 

To begin, preheat an oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick spray. 

Scrub 2-3 large sweet potatoes and slice them into small cubes about 1 inch thick. 

Place the sweet potato cubes on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 

Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper, and bake for 25 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 

Add in your favorite store-bought gnocchi or make your own from the roasted sweet potatoes. 

Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the gnocchi are light and fluffy.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté 2 cloves of garlic for 30 seconds before adding in 1 cup of sliced mushrooms and ½ cup of halved cherry tomatoes. 

Once the mushrooms are cooked and have softened, add in the cooked gnocchi along with 1/2 cup of frozen peas and 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 

Stir everything together for about 2 minutes until everything is combined.

Serve your Sweet Potato Gnocchi Skillet immediately with some extra Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Greek Orzo Salad Bowls

This delicious Greek Orzo Salad Bowls recipe is the perfect combination of creamy feta cheese, crisp cucumbers and tomatoes, and tasty orzo pasta. 

Cook orzo according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water until cooled.

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, onion, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the cooled orzo and stir to combine.

Add cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese and parsley to the orzo mixture and toss until all ingredients are evenly mixed. 

Serve in individual bowls with extra olive oil drizzled on top if desired.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Tortellini Bake

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease an 8-inch (20-cm) baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. 

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 

Add the red onion, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. 

Add the roasted red peppers and tomato paste to the skillet and cook for an additional 2 minutes. 

Remove from heat and stir in the white balsamic vinegar. 

To make the sauce, combine the almond milk, nutritional yeast, and pesto in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. 

Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the prepared baking dish. 

Layer with half of the cooked tortellini, followed by half of the remaining sauce and half of the Parmesan cheese. 

Repeat layering with the remaining tortellini and sauce, followed by the remainder of the Parmesan cheese. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve warm.

Mediterranean Chickpea Rotini

Start by heating olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 

Once the oil is hot, add red onion and garlic, cooking until the vegetables are tender. 

Next, stir in canned diced tomatoes, spinach, and oregano. 

Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes. 

Once it has thickened, stir in cooked chickpeas and rotini pasta. 

Cook until the pasta is tender, then top with fresh basil, feta cheese and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil before serving.

Savory Takeaway

Pasta can be a delicious and protein-rich meal for vegetarians. With these creative recipes, you should have no trouble finding an exciting new way to enjoy this classic Italian dish in your own kitchen. 

Whether it’s a creamy vegan Alfredo or a simple tomato sauce with added veggies, there are plenty of ways to make vegetarian pasta dishes that will keep your taste buds happy while providing essential nutrients like proteins. 

So go ahead and try one (or more!) of these tasty vegetarian pasta ideas today!