Following a vegan lifestyle means abstaining from all foods that have any kind of animal product in them. The term vegan does not simply mean vegetarian but goes on to exclude milk and dairy from dietary choices as well. As such someone who decides to go vegan needs to acquaint themselves with vegan diet must-knows. Our concern today is with vegan pasta choices and to see if pasta is vegan. For starters, pasta is a very broad range of foods. In the north of Italy, traditionally prepared pasta will be made from ingredients like 00 flour, semolina, eggs, water, and salt. In some instances, dried vegetables may be added to give the pasta a specific color or taste.
Then there is pasta which is prepared from semolina flour as its primary ingredient. This type of pasta, native to the south of Italy uses only semolina flour, water, and salt. This combination produces a type of pasta that is whiter, lighter, and easier to digest than its egg pasta counterpart. This is because this pasta variety avoids the heaviness of egg and 00 flour. So, difficult as it may seem, when compared to other food choices, pasta is a fairly simple one as most stores bought pasta is primarily made from plant-based ingredients only. Fresh pasta, on the other hand, available at restaurants and Italian eateries is usually not vegan and is made with water, semolina flour, and eggs.
However, there are still a few considerations to keep in mind when looking for vegan pasta in stores. So, is pasta vegan?
Is Pasta Vegan?
There are many varieties of pasta available in the market. Of these spaghetti-style paste is almost always vegan and is mostly made from whole grain. When purchasing pasta from the store, make it a habit to read the ingredients carefully. For the most part, semolina white pasta and whole wheat pasta are vegan, but a product like egg noodles, of course, will never be considered vegan. A slight exception to this is if you can find “faux egg noodle “pasta, but the chances are highly unlikely. If anything, egg happens to be the most consistently found non-vegan ingredient in pasta.
Another thing to watch out for when looking for vegan pasta choices is to avoid ingredients like whey powder, butter, or egg whites as hidden non-vegan ingredients in pasta. Some manufacturers use butter to give pasta some added tenderness, but most will typically use olive or canola oil instead. So, is pasta vegan?
Choices like buckwheat noodles and soba noodles are conveniently available at most grocery stores or in Asian markets. In addition, choices like whole grain pasta made from, millet, quinoa, corn, rice, and rye ingredients all qualify as vegan pasta options.
When eating out, inform the restaurant of your dietary choices and most will accommodate vegan needs with respect to your pasta choices. If not, you can specifically ask for a vegan pasta meal and will likely be served one since organizing meals is not a difficult option for restaurants. So, is pasta vegan?
Is Veggie Pasta Healthy
When exploring the options available for vegan pasta, you may naturally be drawn toward what has come to be known as veggie pasta. These types of pasta boast of including a whole serving of veggies in their products typically by adding a powdered form of the vegetables. However, the point to keep in mind here is that when these so-called “vegetable ingredients” are added in they are completely devoid of their fiber content and offer no added nutritional value. On the contrary, they may not even match the absorption qualities of real vegetables.
This makes veggie pasta being a healthy item into somewhat of a dilemma. In fact, many health experts see veggie pasta as more of a marketing hype than a healthy alternative for consumers. Instead, to get your fill of veggies, why not choose real vegetables and pair those up with whole-grain pasta varieties for maximum nutritional benefits? So, is pasta vegan?
Vegan Pasta Brands
Coming back to the question of is pasta vegan, know that not all pasta is created equal. For the most part, vegan pasta is fairly easy to find unless specified egg pasta or cheese stuffed ravioli. Choose from the following vegan pasta brands or others that may be available in your region.
Barilla, Bertolli, Ronzoni, Mission, De Cecco, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Kroger, San Giorgio pasta including angel hair, elbow macaroni, rigatoni, rotelle and spaghetti. In addition look for Simply Asia Sesame Teriyaki Noodle Bowl or Thai Kitchen Noodles Bowls including hot and sour, mushroom roasted garlic spring onion, and Thai peanut.
While most of these brands are available nationwide, some others may only be marketed locally. To make sure that the product you buy is in fact, truly vegan, always read and check the labels thoroughly.
Vegan Pasta Sauce Brands
Since vegan pasta brands’ choices need to be paired with vegan pasta sauces, here is a look at some of the brands you can use to make a full vegan pasta meal. So, is pasta vegan?
- Classico Pasta Sauces including Marinara with Plum Tomatoes & Olive Oil, Spicy Red Pepper, Roasted Garlic, Mushroom & Ripe Olives, Spicy Tomato & Basil, Tomato & Basil, Traditional Sweet Basil, Tuscan-Inspired Olive & Garlic, Cabernet Marinara with Herbs, Fire-Roasted Tomato & Garlic, Family Favorites Traditional, and Organic Tomato, Herbs & Spices.
- Prego Pasta Bake Sauce Tomato, Garlic And Basil
- Ragú Pasta Sauce including Chunky Garden Combination; Chunky 7-Herb Tomato; Mushroom & Green Pepper; Chunky Sundried Tomato & Sweet Basil, Chunky Sautéed Onion & Garlic, Chunky Tomatoes, Chunky Super Vegetable Primavera, Garlic & Onion; Roasted Garlic; No Sugar Added Tomato Basil, Super Chunky Mushroom and Old World Style Marinara)
- Walnut Acres Low Sodium And Tomato Sauce
- Walnut Acres Tomato And Basil Sauce
- Walnut Acres Tomato And Mushroom Sauce
- Walnut Acres Zesty Basil Sauce
- Whole Foods Boscaiola Pasta Sauce
- Whole Foods Diavoliccino Pasta Sauce
- Whole Foods Fat-Free Pasta Sauce
- Whole Foods Neapolitan Pasta Sauce
- Whole Foods Puttanesca Pasta Sauce
- Whole Foods Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce
- Whole Foods Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce
Easy Vegan Pasta Recipes
The easy vegan pasta recipes section of the website is coming soon.
Image Credits For Is Pasta Vegan
Images are shared via the creative commons 2.0 license – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Image One by Kari Sullivan – https://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovemypit/4015077875/
Image Two by Lablascovemenu – https://www.flickr.com/photos/lablasco/6545808205/
Image Three by Vegan Feast Catering – https://www.flickr.com/photos/veganfeast/4707914239/