Are you vegan and worried you’ll miss out on the mouthwatering tastes of Italy? If so, worry not! While some Italian dishes are already vegan in nature, others have vegan alternatives.
Naturally Vegan Italian Food
Although several traditional Italian recipes involve meat, many pasta and pizza dishes feature only vegan ingredients — and they’re just as tasty as non-vegan Italian meals.
Before we dive into some delicious Vegan Italian meals and recipes, let’s make a note of some critical Italian ingredients, as well as some of their vegan alternatives. Once familiar with traditional Italian ingredients and their vegan substitutes, the kitchen will be your oyster when it comes to concocting any vegan Italian meal you desire. Classic staples of Italian cuisine include olives, red and green peppers, fresh or dried herbs, and summer squash. Other fundamental ingredients found in Italian cooking are:
- Pasta: While most dried pasta varieties are naturally vegan, nearly all fresh pasta contains eggs. The vegan alternative, in this case, would be fresh vegan linguine or ravioli, or dried pasta. Dried pasta is incredibly affordable and easy to make.
- Onions and garlic: To prepare onions the traditional Italian way, sauté chopped onions in olive oil over low heat for about 20 minutes. With garlic, try skinning and mincing a few cloves before sautéeing in for a couple of minutes in olive oil.
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar: “Extra virgin” olive oil is your best bet when looking for oil made from fresh olives. An excellent tip for making an Italian-inspired dip for fresh bread is to mix balsamic vinegar with olive oil. This concoction is also ideal for salad dressings.
- Meats and cheeses: Since sausages and meatballs make up a significant portion of classic Italian meals, it isn’t very easy to forego them altogether. Luckily, many supermarkets carry vegan varieties. Companies like Field Roast, Quorn and Tofurkey produce high-quality, delicious vegan sausages. Also, although there are many excellent kinds of cheese on the market today, there’s one surefire trick that can keep your spaghetti tasting just as savory as traditional Italian varieties. Simply sprinkle a tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast on your marinara-topped spaghetti and voila!
- Nightshades: Of the nightshades, tomatoes serve as the foundation of several classic Italian dishes. Nearly all manicotti, lasagna, and pizza entrées use tomato sauce. Marinara sauce made from scratch from fresh, ripe tomatoes is incomparable. Eggplant, another Italian vegetable from the nightshade family, is a common Italian lasagna ingredient. To make a classic Italian casserole vegan, replace the Parmesan with tasty vegan cheese.
Vegan Recipes: Alternatives to Italian Food
When compared to other cuisines, Italian cooking is one of the easiest to veganize without compromising rich, authentic flavors. The Internet features an abundance of vegan Italian recipes sure to make your mouth water. Some of our favorites are:
Vegan Italian Side Dishes
Vegan side dishes can add nutritional balance to any meal. Themed side dishes are both tasty and essential to a well-rounded Italian meal. In addition to delectable vegan sauces like vegan basil pesto and vegan Alfredo sauce with mushrooms, these vegan Italian side dishes will leave you coming back for more:
- Tuscan Bread, or Pane Toscano
- Vegan Orange Almond Biscotti
- Vegan Minestrone Soup
- Garlicky Pasta with Snow Peas and New Potatoes
- Vegan Lasagna Dip and Chips
Order Delicious Vegan Italian Meals at Allora
At Allora Restaurant, we believe everyone should indulge in high-quality Italian cuisine. We offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free versions of some of our tastiest authentic Italian dishes — because no one should be left out!
Come down to TWELVE Hotel Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia, to experience Allora’s Italian classics plated in a modern way. Or, reserve a table online and we’ll be more than happy to accommodate you.