is pasta vegan - complete guide to vegan pasta

Is Pasta Vegan? The Info You Need on Barilla & Other Brands

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As people make the transition to a vegan diet or simply want to consume more vegan foods, it seems like the question about pasta is a big one. Much like ice creams and cheeses, people wonder if transitioning to veganism is going to mean giving something up.

If you've got these same concerns, don't worry!

We've addressed all the common questions including the most noteworthy: "Is pasta vegan?" below.

For a little bit of context, we highly recommend watching this short video about how most commercial pasta is made:

Is Pasta Vegan?

First of all, most pasta that you find in supermarket boxes is vegan. This is especially true if it's a generic pasta (ziti, spaghetti, etc) and not something like gnocchi.

However, one should be wary of the following:

  • Fresh pasta, homemade or in restaurants may contain eggs in addition to the standard flour and water. Most restaurants won't make their own pasta, but you can always ask the server if you're in doubt.
  • Certain pasta recipes such as stuffed shells and lasagna traditionally call for cheese as the stuffing which is not appropriate for a vegan diet. Please note that there are plenty of vegan pasta recipes for these dishes, though! It's completely possible to make awesome ricotta cheese without animal products.

Video of simple vegan stuffed shells recipe - you can also use lasagna noodles with instead of shells!

As with every product, always check the labels and make sure. Most of the time, pasta boxes will just list semolina flour and a bunch of fortified vitamins and minerals.

Should you need more help with this check out our ingredient analysis on the bottom of this post.

Is Barilla Pasta Vegan?

Yes - most of it. The majority of boxed pastas by Barilla are Vegan as they only contain Semolina Wheat Flour. Keep in mind there are some exceptions such as their Tortellini and Protein Plus varieties. 

We made this handy chart below so that you can see the vegan status of all of Barilla's pastas being that they are one of the biggest pasta brands in the world.

List of All Vegan Pastas by Barilla

Non-Vegan Barilla Pastas

  • Barilla Collezione Tortellini**
  • Barilla Protein Plus

Click any of the links above to be redirected to shop for the vegan pastas.

Vegan Pasta FAQ

Still have more questions about pasta as part of a vegan diet? We've done our best to cover the most common ones below.

What If it says "May Contain Eggs" or a Similar Phrase?

First, lets cover the common questions about ingredients that pasta "may contain".

Many pastas are labeled that they may contain eggs. This means that some of the processing equipment that the pastas was made on is shared with that of products that contain eggs. Likely the company is just doing this as an extra allergen precaution, not because eggs were actually put into the pasta.

No eggs are actually added to the pasta unless it is specifically stated in the ingredient statement.

Therefore, same applies if it says something like "May Contain Milk" or "Processed on Shared Equipment That Uses Milk".

Worrying about potential trace ingredients isn't necessary to be vegan, so unless you're allergic to eggs or milk don't worry about it.

In contrast, if the product is labeled as eggs noodles and contains eggs as part of the ingredient statement itself, then don't buy it!

Can Fresh Pasta Be Made Without Eggs?

Next, you might be wondering if pasta can be made without eggs if you make it at home.

The answer is, absolutely! Homemade vegan pasta is easy to make, even without a pasta machine. 

Check out the video below as it shows you how to make linguini and tagliatelle. 

If you don't want the hassle of molding them, it would be very easy to make lasagna noodles with this recipes as well.

Are There Other Types of Specialty Plant Based Pastas?

Nowadays there a bunch of specialty pastas made with all sorts of ingredients including beans and legumes. This green lentil pasta contains only one ingredient. Green lentils!

Tolerant Foods - Organic Red and Green Lentil Pastas (Green Lentil, Shells)

Furthermore, pastas not made out of semolina wheat probably don't need to be fortified by law which is why you don't see any of the added vitamins and minerals.

Othere pastas like this to be on the look out for are:​

  • Edamame Pasta
  • Red Lentil Pasta
  • Black Bean Pasta

Comment below if you have a favorite alternative pasta that we missed!

How About Tomato Sauce?

Making vegan tomato sauce at home is easy and there are plenty of store bought ones! We actually did a whole post on vegan pasta sauces that's worth checking out if you like to buy the jarred stuff.

In addition, if you love pasta and/or Italian cuisine, you may want to check out our articles on vegan pesto and polenta.

Will Eating Too Much Pasta Cause Me to Gain Weight?

Many vegans worry about eating extra "carbs" once they give up meat. This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions.

Weight gain and weight loss are 99% a factor of the amount of calories you take in.​ As a result, if you're in a caloric surplus you will gain weight on vegan foods and vice versa.

While vegan weight loss (or gain) doesn't differ in that regard, here's something to keep in mind:

Dr. Fuhrman Explains the Concept of Nutrient Density

Because whole plant based foods​ tend to be less calorie dense than animal products, they can help you feel full much easier which will lead to less over-consumption. Dr. Fuhrman explains this concept well in his article on nutrient density.

Therefore, if you eat a little bit of pasta and it means you'll eat a ton of whole vegetables on the side then don't worry about it!

Where Can I Find More Vegan Recipes?

​If you're just newly transitioning to veganism and having trouble finding a meal plan that's working, picking up a vegan cookbook is a great idea. Finding the right vegan recipes to make on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis could take some time and experimentation.

As a result, having a cookbook can help introduce you to the concepts needed to craft something for your unique lifestyle.

If cookbooks aren't your thing, here are some more great vegan pasta recipes you'll love:​

Vegan Pasta Ingredient Analysis

Given their wide range of products made by Barilla, we decided to break down their entire line below so you can quickly identify which ones are vegan. All ingredient statements pulled from their website.

Barilla Pasta Classic Blue Box

This classic pasta is completely vegan. This pasta contains an ingredient statement typical of any generic pasta you might find on the shelf.

Barilla Pasta, Rotini, 16 Ounce (Pack of 12)

SEMOLINA (WHEAT), DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON (FERROUS SULFATE), THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID.

It's also made in a wide variety of shapes!

Ready Pasta

The Ready Pasta is simply the classic with added olive oil and salt that's been precooked. The final product is sold in a pouch, ready to go in only a few minutes. For those on the run, luckily its also vegan. 

Barilla Fully Cooked Ready Pasta, Penne, 8.5 Ounce (Pack of 6)

Because they didn't dry it out all the way (to help it cook faster) you'll see both flour and water on the label.

WATER, PASTA [SEMOLINA (WHEAT), DURUM WHEAT FLOUR], EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, SEA SALT.

Collezione

There are various different shapes of the Collezione pasta. Most of them are just the same ingredients as the Classic Blue box. This pasta is great because its shaped in ways that allow for an enhanced texture experience and better sauce absorption.

Barilla Collezione Pasta, Casarecce, 12 Ounce (Pack of 12)

*Please note that the stuffed Tortellini versions of this pasta aren't vegan as they contain cheese.

Whole Grain

The whole grain pasta is simply made from Whole Wheat Flour no other ingredients. Whole Grain Flour doesn't need to be fortified by regulations, hence why there aren't any vitamins and minerals like with the regular pasta.

Barilla Whole Grain Pasta, Penne, 16 Ounce (Pack of 8)

Protein Plus

As mentioned earlier, this is one type of Barilla pasta that's definitely not Vegan. Egg whites made their way into the formulation, probably to hit a certain protein threshold. 

SEMOLINA (WHEAT), GRAIN AND LEGUME FLOUR BLEND [GRAINS AND LEGUMES (LENTILS, CHICKPEAS, FLAXSEED, BARLEY, OATS, SPELT), EGG WHITES, OAT FIBER], DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON (FERROUS SULFATE), THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID.​

Had they held the eggs, this would have been an awesome pasta to try!

Pronto

Pronto pastas are meant to be cooked in just a pan without needing to go through the entire process of boiling water. You would think that they would have needed to add all sorts of crazy ingredients to achieve this, but nope!

Barilla Pronto Pasta, Rotini, 12 Ounce (Pack of 8)

This line of pastas has the same ingredients as the Classic Blue Box. They are able to achieve different cooking times and methods by the way that the pasta is shaped and cut rather than by changing the recipe or formulation.

White Fiber

The White Fiber pasta line is simply the classic formulation with resistant corn starch added in. This allows the pasta to maintain the typical taste and texture and still have approximately three times the fiber. 

Barilla White Fiber Pasta, Shells, 12 Ounce (Pack of 12)

The ingredient statement reads:

SEMOLINA (WHEAT), DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, WHOLE DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, RESISTANT CORN STARCH, NIACIN, IRON (FERROUS SULFATE), THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID.

Veggie

There's three different kind of the veggie pasta and they're all vegan! The formula is simply the classic with added vegetable powders. We're including the Rotini below but the others have some different vegetable powder blends.

Barilla Pasta, Veggie Rotini, 12 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Here's the ingredient statement for your reference:

SEMOLINA (WHEAT), DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, ZUCCHINI PUREE, (ZUCCHINICARROT, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, WATER), SPINACH PUREE, NIACIN, IRON (FERROUSE SULFATE), THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID.

Organic

The organic pastas are all vegan! Just typical flours and added vitamins:

Barilla Organic Pasta, Spaghetti & Penne, 16 Ounce (Pack of 6)

ORGANIC SEMOLINA (WHEAT), ORGANIC DURUM WHEAT FLOUR. VITAMINS/MINERALS: VITAMIN B3 (NIACIN), IRON (FERROUS SULFATE), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMINE MONONITRATE), VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), FOLIC ACID.​

Academia Barilla

The organic pastas are all vegan! Just typical flours and added vitamins.

Conclusion on Vegan Pasta

In conclusion, there are endless options to enjoy pasta as a vegan. Pay special attention to pasta boxes that have eggs or cheese and be sure to ask about any homemade pastas!

Finally, be sure to explore new ways to enjoy pasta - either with vegan cheese, loaded up with veggies, or all of the above!

Bon Appetite!​

About the Author Joey Bruno

Cooking healthy, delicious, plant-based meals has been Joey’s true passion since he went vegan in 2015. He has a masters in Nutrition and Food Science and is committed to making the internet a place of education and knowledge rather than misinformation and clickbait. He currently lives in Delaware with his wife.

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