Is Pasta Vegan? The Essential Guide for Choosing Plant-Based Pasta

Plenty of pastas are plant-based. Our guide helps you pick the best ones.

Penne with tomato sauce
Cris Cantón / Getty Images

Is pasta safe for vegans to eat? Fortunately, most traditional boxed pasta contains only one or two plant-based ingredients, such as semolina and enriched wheat flour. There are more creative varieties, as well; some manufacturers make pasta from rice, beans, legumes, sea kelp, and sweet potatoes, among other vegan ingredients.

Still, not every pasta product is vegan, and the type of sauce you get with a pasta dish at a restaurant is a whole other story. Here, we explore this culinary delight and determine vegan from non-vegan pastas.

When Is Pasta Vegan?

Pasta is typically made by blending a few basic ingredients—usually semolina and a grain such as enriched wheat flour. The resulting dough is then placed into a continuous, high-capacity auger extruder, which can be equipped with various die plates to create a range of pasta types—from spaghetti to penne, and everything in between.

Most boxed pastas are vegan. Some are made with additional plant-based ingredients, like beans, vegetables, sea kelp, and others. Make sure to double-check the ingredients lists on your favorite pasta boxes.

When Is Pasta Not Vegan?

Anything labeled as "egg pasta" (conspicuously or otherwise) is a no-go for vegans. Likewise, many stuffed ravioli and tortellini products contain cheese. animal protein, and other non-vegan ingredients.

At restaurants, how pasta is prepared will vary, as will the ingredients in sauces. Check with your server on these details before ordering and see if they can make accommodations if needed.

Types of Vegan Pasta

Many boxed pasta brands you grew up with, along with trendy artisanal brands, offer a variety of plant-based pastas. However, these brands also may carry varieties that contain eggs, egg whites, honey, and dairy. Look for the specifically vegan products under these names:

  • Barilla
  • San Giorgio
  • Ronzoni
  • Mueller's
  • Skinner
  • Creamettes

Specialty Pasta Products That Are Vegan

Feeling fancy? Mix things up with one of the unique, plant-based pastas here. Many contain a range of vegetables and organic plant ingredients.

  • Banza Pasta chickpea-based noodles
  • Rio Bertolini's Vegan Ravioli (Butternut Squash, Roast Chickpea and Garlic, Sweet Potato and Coconut, and Tuscan White Bean and Basil)
  • Explore Cuisine's certified plant-based vegan pasta (made from beans, edamame, and lentils)
  • Annie's Vegan Mac and Cheese (made with organic wheat flour and a plant-based "cheese" sauce)
  • Thrive Market pastas
  • The Only Bean pastas
  • Cybele’s Free to Eat Pastas (made with a range of lentils and vegetables)
  • Trader Joe's Hearts of Palm Pasta
  • Tinkyada Rice Pasta (a kosher pasta made with brown rice)
  • Modern Table Pasta (made with peas, lentils, and rice)
  • Ancient Harvest Pasta (made from organic corn flour and organic quinoa flour)
  • Thai Kitchen Rice Noodles
  • Jovial Grain-Free Casava Penne

Non-Vegan Pastas

Even with the wealth of plant-based pasta offerings at every price point, there are some brands and varieties vegan eaters need to steer clear of.

  • Buitoni
  • No Yolk Pasta (There are still egg whites in the recipe.)
  • Barilla Oven-Ready Lasagna Noodles
  • San Giorgio Homestyle Pasta
  • Creamette Homestyle Pasta
  • WholeFoods 365 Organic Pasta Rings in Tomato Sauce (Cheese is one of the ingredients.)
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What kinds of pasta are vegan?

    Many types of pasta are vegan or can be made vegan. When grocery shopping, check the label on boxed pasta for simple ingredients lists and avoid products that include eggs, dairy, or other non-vegan products.

  • Is penne pasta vegan?

    Boxed penne pasta is usually vegan, but check the ingredients list to make sure. (Note: Vodka sauce used in penne vodka typically contains cream and is non-vegan.)

  • Is dry pasta vegan?

    Dry pasta is more likely to exclude eggs than fresh pasta at a specialty Italian market or at a restaurant. Alas, while most dry pastas are vegan, not all of them are without sneaky animal ingredients.