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50 Italian Recipes for Vegetarians

Going meatless doesn't mean fewer Italy-inspired dishes. These vegetarian Italian recipes give you so many reasons to dish up and dig in.

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Homemade Potato Gnocchi

My Italian mother remembers her mother making this potato gnocchi recipe for special occasions. She still has the bowl Grandma mixed the dough in, which will be passed down to me someday. —Tina Repak Mirilovich, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

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Favorite Mediterranean Salad Exps Diyd21 41556 E04 27 6b 10

Favorite Mediterranean Salad

Got a crowd coming over for a backyard barbecue? This crisp, big-batch Mediterranean salad recipe makes a great accompaniment to any main dish you fix on the grill. —Pat Stevens, Granbury, Texas
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Pizza Margherita Exps Ft21 40895 F 0729 1 4

Pizza Margherita

This homemade pizza margherita, named for Queen Margherita of Italy, shows off the colors of the Italian flag with red tomatoes, white mozzarella and fresh green basil. You'll be glad the recipe makes not one but two 13-inch pizzas! —Loretta Lawrence, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
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Four Cheese Stuffed Shells Exps Cf2bz20 32209 B12 05 1b 3

Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells

More cheese, please! You'll get your fill from saucy jumbo pasta shells loaded with four kinds—ricotta, Asiago, mozzarella and cottage cheese. Do the prep work, and then freeze according to the recipe directions to have a ready-to-bake meal. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Dreamy Polenta Exps Scsbz21 190683 B01 12 4b 14

Dreamy Polenta

I grew up eating polenta, so it’s a must at my holiday gatherings. Traditional recipes require constant stirring, but using my handy slow cooker allows me to turn my attention to the lineup of other foods on my spread. —Ann Voccola, Milford, Connecticut
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Eggplant Rollatini Exps Thca19 41566 B08 07 1b 6

Eggplant Rollatini

Want to learn how to cook eggplant? Here’s where to start. These authentic eggplant roll-ups may take some time to prepare, but the end result is restaurant-quality. Your family will request this recipe time and again. —Nancy Sousley, Lafayette, Indiana
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Arborio Rice And White Bean Soup Exps Sdfm18 190100 D10 06 4b

Arborio Rice and White Bean Soup

Soup is the ultimate comfort food. This hearty, satisfying soup with arborio rice is low in fat and comes together in less than 30 minutes. —Deanna McDonald, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Summer Zucchini Pasta Exps Thjj21 259692 B02 11 10b 68

Summer Zucchini Pasta

This simple and healthy summer zucchini pasta is a wonderful side or meatless entree, but you can add shredded chicken or grilled salmon for a heartier dish. —Beth Berlin, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Marinated Cheese Exps Thca18 41873 B01 23 3b 5

Marinated Cheese

This special appetizer always makes it to our neighborhood parties and is the first to disappear at the buffet table. It's attractive, delicious—and easy! —Laurie Casper, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
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Garden Fresh Pasta Sauce Exps Tohjj20 196107 E02 07 8b 2

Garden Vegetable Tomato Sauce

I make this vegetable tomato sauce regularly and store containers of it in my freezer. It's a tasty substitute for regular pasta sauce, and the extra vegetables make it healthier. I also use it when I make pizza. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Pull Apart Herb Bread Exps Cimz19 7791 E09 06 4b 13

Pull-Apart Herb Bread

The ingredients for this recipe are so simple and the results so spectacular, I'm always willing to share the secret. It's actually a variation of a doughnut recipe I made years ago, using refrigerated biscuits. The best part of having this bread is tearing it apart and eating it warm. —Evelyn Kenney, Hamilton, New Jersey
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Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup Exps Tohfm20 193672 E07 10 7b 20

Slow-Cooker Minestrone

There's nothing quite like the comfort of warm homemade soup, and it's even better when your slow cooker does most of the work for you! This slow-cooker minestrone is easy to put together but has all the flavor of a high-effort dish. —Erin Raatjes, New Lenox, Illinois
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Ziti Bake Exps 13x9bz19 18174 B10 05 4b 15

Ziti Bake

My children have frowned upon many of my casserole recipes, but they give a cheer when they hear we're having baked ziti for supper. I've tried to incorporate more meatless meals into our menus, which is how this recipe got started. No one misses the meat. They even like the leftovers! —Charity Burkholder, Pittsboro, Indiana
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Tasty Marinated Tomatoes

My niece introduced me to this colorful recipe some time ago. I make it when I have buffets or large gatherings because it can be prepared hours ahead. This is a wonderful way to use a bumper crop of tomatoes. —Myrtle Matthews, Marietta, Georgia
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Pepper Ricotta Primavera Exps Thjj17 8919 B02 08 1b 2

Pepper Ricotta Primavera

Garlic, peppers and herbs top creamy ricotta cheese in this meatless skillet meal you can make in just 20 minutes. —Janet Boulger, Botwood, Newfoundland and Labrador
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Garlic Buttered Green Beans Exps Ft21 317 F 0908 1

Garlic-Buttered Green Beans

These dressed-up beans are simple to make but look and taste special. They're a perfect side dish for nearly any meal.
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Grilled Caprese Quesadillas

Here's a quick and easy summer lunch that makes great use of garden-grown tomatoes. Feel free to make your quesadillas heartier by adding grilled chicken. —Amy Mongiovi, Lititz, Pennsylvania
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Favorite Deep Dish Pizza Exps 5srbz20 107776 08 18 E 3b 3

Favorite Deep-Dish Pizza

My kids love to get pizza delivered, but it's expensive and not very healthy. I came up with a one-bowl pizza that is healthier than delivery and allows the kids to add the toppings of their choice. —Sara LaFountain, Rockville, Maryland
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Tuscan Portobello Stew Exps Thfm19 129040 E09 28 4b 17

Tuscan Portobello Stew

Here’s a healthy one-skillet meal that’s quick and easy to prepare yet elegant enough for company. I often take this stew to my school’s potlucks, where it is devoured by teachers and students alike. —Jane Siemon, Viroqua, Wisconsin
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Sweet Potato Panzanella Exps Hca18 89192 D09 29 4b 1

Sweet Potato Panzanella

This is my favorite lunch dish during the fall season. Every bite is filled with flavor and texture, but it isn't too high in calories. —Mary M. Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
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Olive Oil Dip Exps Hmgrds18 43787 C06 21 3b 5

Olive Oil Dip

Combine a blend of herbs to create this mouthwatering mix. Plumping the herbs in water before stirring into olive oil enhances the flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Homemade Manicotti Exps H13x917 6485 B06 23 5b 2

Homemade Manicotti

These tender manicotti are much easier to stuff than the purchased variety. People are always amazed when I say I make my own noodles. My son fixed this recipe for several of his friends, and they were extremely impressed with his cooking skills. —Sue Ann Bunt, Painted Post, New York
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Homemade Meatless Spaghetti Sauce Exps Cwjj18 454 D01 26 4b 2

Homemade Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

When my tomatoes ripen, the first things I make are BLTs and this homemade spaghetti sauce. —Sondra Bergy, Lowell, Michigan
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Pasta All Arrabiata Exps Ft21 206794 F 0407 1

Penne All'Arrabiata

Pasta all'arrabiata, a classic Italian recipe, is my comfort food be it summer or winter. My kids and I love sprinkling "pangrattato" (fried bread crumbs) on top of the arrabiata sauce. —Smitha Haridasan, Ganapathy, AE
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Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Saute Exps Sdas17 37159 C04 06 2b 3

Cherry Tomato Mozzarella Saute

This side dish is full of flavor and so quick to put together. The cherry tomatoes and mozzarella are perfect alongside almost any main dish you can think of. —Summer Jones, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Slow Cooker Ratatouille Exps Hscbz17 41118 B07 27 3b 5

Slow-Cooker Ratatouille

Not only does this classic recipe make a phenomenal side dish, you can also serve it with sliced French bread for a warm and easy appetizer. Try it in the summer with your garden-fresh vegetables. —Jolene Walters, North Miami, Florida
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Slow Cooker Caponata Exps Edsc18 195366 B03 21 1b Basedon 8

Pressure-Cooker Caponata

This Italian eggplant dip preps quickly and actually gets better as it stands. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Try adding a little leftover caponata to scrambled eggs for a savory breakfast. —Nancy Beckman, Helena, Montana
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Caprese Salad Exps Ft20 50347 F 0610 1 Home 12

Caprese Salad

My husband and I love Caprese salad, but not the high prices we pay for it in restaurants. Here, we created our own version which tastes incredibly close, if not better, than any restaurant version we've tried. —Melissa Pearson, Sandy, Utah
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Over The Rainbow Minestrone Exps Cscs21 174716 B04 07 2b 2

Over-the-Rainbow Minestrone

This colorful soup is vegetarian-friendly and full of fresh flavors from a rainbow of vegetables. You can use any multicolored pasta in place of the spirals. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Cheesy Bruschetta Spread Exps Sdjj19 204676 E02 08 8b 10

Cheesy Bruschetta Spread

Every bite of this cheesy dip delivers tons of flavor. I have been asked over and over again for the recipe. It's so easy to make and a great appetizer for any time of year. —Maggie McDermott, Central Square, New York
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Sweet Potato Tortellini with Hazelnut Sauce

Using wonton wrappers instead of fresh pasta dough makes homemade tortellini easy to prepare. For more formal dinners, this makes an impressive vegetarian entree. —Charlene Chambers, Ormond Beach, Florida
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Artichoke Caprese Platter

I dressed up the classic Italian trio of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with marinated artichokes. It looks so yummy on a pretty platter set out on a buffet. Using fresh mozzarella is the key to its great taste. —Margaret Wilson, San Bernardino, California
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Acini Di Pepe Salad Exps Ft21 28630 F 0427 1

Acini di Pepe Salad

Looking for a quick lunch idea? Blend veggies, tiny pasta and juicy pineapple bits to make my favorite acini di pepe salad recipe. —June Herke, Watertown, South Dakota
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Ravioli With Creamy Squash Sauce Exps Dodbz20 138391 E07 21 9b 21

Ravioli with Creamy Squash Sauce

Store-bought ravioli speeds assembly of this cozy, restaurant-quality dish that tastes so good, your family won't notice it's meatless. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Vegetable Lentil Soup Exps Cwdj18 32216 D08 18 2b 3

Vegetable Lentil Soup

Here’s a healthy slow-cooker soup that's ideal for vegetarians and those watching their weight. Butternut squash and lentils make it hearty, while herbs and other veggies round out the flavor. —Mark Morgan, Waterford, Wisconsin
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Nonni S Fritole Exps Rc21 264952 B10 29 1b

Nonni's Fritole

My Italian grandmother was famous for her Fritole and made these treats for her family and friends. Years later we found her recipe card and tried making them without success for several years. We finally figured out the missing part of this recipe –the self rising flour! Now we can have these as often as we like. It brings back so many wonderful memories. — Ann Marie Eberhart, Gig Harbor, Washington
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Sicilian Steamed Leeks Exps Mcmzsp17 192473 B01 10 4b Basedon 12

Pressure-Cooker Sicilian Steamed Leeks

I love the challenge of developing recipes for my garden leeks, a delicious but underused vegetable. This Italian-flavored dish is a family favorite. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Balsamic Asiago Salad Exps Cf2bz20 28294 B12 10 5b 8

Balsamic Asiago Salad

This tasty salad comes together in 10 minutes but is special enough for a romantic dinner for two. Simply drizzle bottled dressing over the colorful blend of greens, tomato and peppers, then add a quick sprinkle of cheese and serve. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Herbed Bread Twists

A blend of herbs and a special shape dress up ordinary frozen bread dough in my unbelievably easy recipe. —Deb Stapert, Comstock Park, Michigan
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Mamma S Caponata Exps Cimzw20 40872 B09 01 2b 17

Mamma's Caponata

This is fabulous as an appetizer, but you can easily turn it into a meal. Instead of having it on bread, serve it over warm pasta. —Georgette Stubin, Canton, Michigan
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Mushroom Panzanella Exps Cwam22 87442 B11 18 8b

Mushroom Panzanella

My variation on Italian bread salad pairs nicely with grilled or roasted meats. It offers a sensational blend of tastes and textures.—Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia
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Great Garlic Bread Exps 30mincb21 181456 Bone11 02 13b

Great Garlic Bread

This tasty garlic bread topped with flavor makes a great side for any pasta dish. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Portobello Melts

We're always looking for satisfying vegetarian meals, and this one tops the list. These melts are especially delicious in the summer when we have tons of homegrown tomatoes. —Amy Smalley, Morehead, Kentucky
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Cauliflower Gnocchi

I came up with this cauliflower gnocchi recipe after trying Trader Joe's cauliflower gnocchi. This dish reminds me of cauliflower gratin, especially if you add Parmesan—but the gnocchi are also good on their own.—Ben Rogojan, Seattle, Washington
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Rosemary Focaccia Exps Ft21 15536 F 0223 1 11

Rosemary Focaccia

The savory aroma of rosemary in this classic bread is simply irresistible. This rosemary focaccia bread tastes great as a side dish with any meal, as a snack or as a pizza crust.
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Orange And Olives Salad Exps Rc21 260743 E07 22 11b 19

Orange and Olives Salad

My grandmother made sure this orange and olives salad was on our holiday table every year. It's so light and simple to make. And it looks pretty on the table! —Angela David, Lakeland, Florida
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Olive And Red Pepper Linguine Exps Sdas18 28646 C03 27  6b 1

Olive and Red Pepper Linguine

With 16 grandchildren, I find that someone is always hungry. This is a quick dish to fix when I'm busy. I sometimes serve it along with garlic bread for an easy meatless meal. —Betty Carpenter, Hookstown, Pennsylvania
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Caprese Salad Kabobs Exps Hcka19 123345 C05 11 1b 6

Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
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Hearty Italian White Bean Soup Exps Ssbz18 175005 B04 10  6b 2

Hearty Italian White Bean Soup

A bowlful of this soup is so satisfying, it's hard to believe it's actually good for you, too. I crave it all the time. With lots of beans and potatoes, it's filling and even hits the spot with meat lovers. —Kristina Krummel, Elkins, Arkansas
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Tomato Cucumber Mozzarella Salad Exps Ft20 40874 F 0604 1 Home 13

Tomato-Cucumber Mozzarella Salad

I used fresh mozzarella for the first time last year and loved it. I wanted to incorporate it into as many dishes as possible and came up with this tomato cucumber basil salad. It has quickly become a mainstay at my house. —Jennifer Klann, Corbett, Oregon

Carolyn Lewis
Carolyn Lewis is a young writer & digital media professional who grew up in Milwaukee. She loves to read graphic novels, write poetry about nature and cook Thai food while listening to podcasts. She has always been a storyteller and animal lover, thus, she has a hamster named Hamlet.