Can Vegans Eat Pasta?


Can Vegans Eat Pasta

Last Updated on March 14, 2021 by admin

As of 2013, Vending Market Watch reported that many Americans make pasta a part of their weekly dinner menu, at least 59 percent of them. We’re sure that number has only gone up since. If you’ve recently begun a vegan diet, do you have to give up pasta like you have eggs, dairy, and animal byproducts?

Most pasta is vegan, with the general exception of pasta that is labeled fresh. “Fresh,” in this case, is another word for pasta that has eggs in it. Vegans should steer clear of this type of pasta and go for the regular variety instead.

In today’s post, we’ll cover the types of pasta that might be in your pantry, discussing which are vegan and which aren’t. You’re not going to want to miss it!

The Types of Pasta

There are dozens and dozens of different kinds of pasta out there. We won’t discuss them all here, just present this master list that you can refer to.

  • Malloreddus (Sardinian gnocchi)
  • Mezzeluna (shaped pasta)
  • Conchiglie (shell-shaped pasta)
  • Cannelloni (tube-shaped pasta)
  • Manicotti (large, tubular pasta)
  • Ravioli
  • Tortellini (shaped pasta)
  • Lasagna
  • Ditalini (small, tubular pasta)
  • Orzo (rice-like grain pasta)
  • Ziti (long and tubular pasta)
  • Orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta)
  • Rigatoni (tubular with ridges)
  • Rotelli (wheel-shaped pasta)
  • Penne (long and tubular with diagonal edges)
  • Gemelli (twisted pasta)
  • Farfalle (bow-shaped pasta)
  • Elbows (elbow-shaped pasta)
  • Rotini (corkscrew pasta)
  • Fusilli (spiral-shaped pasta)
  • Cavatappi (spiraling, ridged pasta)
  • Pappardelle (wide, flat pasta)
  • Linguine (skinny, stick-like pasta)
  • Spaghetti
  • Fettucine (flat, skinny pasta)
  • Angel’s hair (very thin, fine skinny pasta)

The Nutritional Value of Pasta

If you want to whip up a pasta lunch or dinner tonight, is that a healthy choice? Here’s the nutritional information for refrigerated, cooked pasta that’s 2 ounces or 57 grams:

  • 75 calories
  • 6 grams of total fat
  • 1 grams of saturated fat
  • 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat
  • 1 grams of monounsaturated fat
  • 19 milligrams of cholesterol (6 percent of your daily recommended value)
  • 3 milligrams of sodium
  • 14 milligrams of potassium
  • 14 grams of carbohydrates (4 percent of your daily recommended value)
  • 9 grams of protein (5 percent of your daily recommended value)
  • 1 percent of cobalamin
  • 3 percent of iron
  • 2 percent of magnesium

Granted, these nutrition facts are for a small serving of pasta only. The average pasta serving size is a cup to a cup and a half, which is 8 to 12 ounces. You’d have to multiply all the above numbers by quite a bit to see their true nutritional load.

Is Pasta Vegan? The Difference Between Fresh and Regular Pasta

Making pasta is fast, easy, and efficient. You only need a pot, a stovetop, and some water to boil your pasta. Then you can top it with some canned sauce, a bit of olive oil, or even some salt if you don’t feel like putting in a lot of effort.

As a vegan, can you continue to eat pasta at home or when dining out? That depends on whether the pasta is fresh or regular. Allow us to explain the difference between the two now.

What Is Fresh Pasta?

When you shop at a grocery store and see a pasta referred to as fresh, it doesn’t mean the pasta was made yesterday or something like that. Instead, the term indicates the ingredients used in the pasta production process.

Fresh pasta is made with high-gluten all-purpose flour labeled 00 as well as eggs. Those are the only two ingredients, but as a vegan, anything made with eggs is a problem.

What Is Regular Pasta?

Most pasta is considered regular, which means it’s manufactured with refined flours. One such popular type of refined flour for making pasta is wheat flour. The flour grains during milling shed the germ and the bran. A grain’s germ is its reproductive component and the bran is the grain’s outer layer.

By removing these parts, the grain loses a lot of its nutrition, which is why pasta isn’t necessarily the healthiest meal. By stripping the grain of the germ and bran, the grain also takes on a fine texture that’s crucial for making it into flour.

Pasta Dishes Vegans Can’t Eat

If you do indeed eat your pasta with tomato sauce, a dollop of olive oil, or a sprinkling of salt, we have some good news! As long as it’s regular pasta we’re talking about and not fresh pasta, this is a perfectly safe vegan dish.

Regular pasta isn’t exclusively vegan though depending on how you prepare it. Here are some pasta dishes vegans cannot enjoy.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Yes, the most classic pasta dish as it’s originally prepared is off-limits to vegans. Luckily, you can use your favorite meat substitute to make vegan meatballs and then eat this meal as intended!

Shrimp Fettucine Alfredo

The shrimp is what makes this one a no-no, as vegans omit all seafood, including fish and shellfish.

Lasagna

You’ll have to swap out dairy cheese and use vegan-friendly cheese if you want to bake an impressive lasagna.

Beef Ragu

Between the sprinkling of parmesan cheese and the thick chunks of meat, beef ragu is a regular pasta dish that vegans should steer clear of. You can make your own vegan version at home though.

Goulash

Goulash is also meaty and cheesy, so be ready to sub out the main ingredients for vegan replacements.

Smoked Salmon Pasta

This light meal has salmon, and like all fish, vegans will have to pass.

Conclusion

Regular pasta, or that made without eggs, is vegan-friendly. Make sure you carefully read your pasta labels and avoid fresh pasta, as this is made with eggs and flour.

Keep your pasta dishes simple when dining out to avoid eggs. At home, you can make lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and beef ragu vegan-friendly with substitutes.

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