Are Pasta and Noodles the Similar? And Are They Vegan? We've Received the Lowdown

From thick udon in Japan to macaroni and cheese within the US to child high-quality capellini in Italy, beloved pasta and noodle dishes will be discovered all around the world. However is pasta truly vegan? And are noodles and pasta the identical factor? Right here’s the whole lot you should know.

Pasta versus noodles

The phrases “pasta” and “noodles” are sometimes used interchangeably, however they imply various things. Pasta is mostly outlined as a product made with a dough of durum wheat and water and is derived from the phrase paste, referring to the unleavened dough that’s shaped into dozens of shapes.

Noodles of Asian origin will be made with totally different sorts of flour, equivalent to entire wheat or buckwheat, in addition to gluten-free varieties made with rice, candy potato starch, and shirataki constructed from the konjac plant.

The historical past of pasta and noodles 

Whereas they’re celebrated the world over, the primary recorded noodles—estimated to be 4,000 years previous—have been present in northwestern China. As a result of they’re so shut in style and texture, many consider that it was from these noodles that the Italian basic, pasta, was created. However quite a few historians preserve this isn’t truly true.

VegNews.SesameBroccoliNoodlesAshley McLaughlin

“Noodles are one factor, pasta is one other meals altogether,” the meals historian Anna Maria Pellegrino instructed Right this moment. “They mirror two separate culinary cultures and identities which have developed in parallel, the one conjunction being the necessity for nourishment and, above all, to share across the identical desk emotions and on a regular basis life occasions.”

“The way in which they’re cooked, the pots, the forms of cereals used, the preparation, elements, and toppings are fully totally different and particular to every civilization,” she added. One other meals historian, Giorgio Franchetti, agreed, calling the concept that noodles and pasta have been associated “pure nonsense.”

Franchetti famous that, lengthy earlier than Venetian explorer Marco Polo traveled to Asia and introduced noodles again house with him (one of many long-held myths round pasta’s introduction to Italy), analysis suggests historical Greeks and Romans cooked with flat pasta sheets known as laganons. 

Is pasta vegan? And what about noodles?

However sufficient about historical past, and on to the vital half: can vegans eat pasta and noodles? The reply is: generally.

VegNews.GingerGarlicNoodleSoupJessica Randhawa

European-style pasta and Asian noodles will be made with eggs within the dough, which is normally the one animal product used. When buying on the grocery retailer for Italian pasta, notice that almost all manufacturers of recent, refrigerated pasta have eggs in them except in any other case famous. Whereas boxed, dried pasta is much less more likely to have egg in it than recent, it’s nonetheless a good suggestion to verify the elements label.

Additionally notice that when eating at Italian eating places with recent pasta, it’s seemingly the dough accommodates eggs. So, except you already know in any other case, ask your server. With Asian noodles, remember that wonton, chow mein, and lo mein noodles usually comprise eggs.

Kinds of pasta

In terms of pasta, there are such a lot of differing kinds to discover. Actually, it is available in not less than 350 totally different shapes! It may be brief, it may be lengthy, it may be stretched, it may be stuffed, and it could actually even be combined with potatoes and flour to make gnocchi!  Right here’s a little bit bit extra about a few of the most scrumptious varieties you will discover on retailer cabinets at present.


1 Spaghetti

Spaghetti, which comes from the Italian phrase spaghetto (which suggests “skinny string”), hails from Sicily. It consists of lengthy, skinny strands of durum wheat pasta. Nevertheless it will also be made gluten-free with rice or bean-based noodles.


2 Fettucini

Fashionable in Rome and Tuscany, fettucini is lengthy like spaghetti, however the noodles are flatter and thicker and look extra like ribbons. They’re normally paired with cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese to kind the dish “fettuccine alfredo.”


3 Linguini

Linguini is much like spaghetti, however it comes from the Liguria area in Italy. It’s a little bit wider than spaghetti but additionally thinner than fettuccine, and it’s good for twirling round your plant-based meatballs.


4 Tubular pasta 

Because the title suggests, tubular pastas are formed like little tubes. Rigatoni, cannelloni, penne, and ziti are examples of pasta which are hole by the center. These maintain up properly to heavy sauces and lighter dairy-free cream sauces, too.


5 Tortellini

Round stuffed pasta, tortellini, which comes from Italy’s Emilia area, normally accommodates ricotta cheese, however it could actually additionally comprise prosciutto or pork meat. For that purpose, it’s not normally vegan, however there are plant-based variations accessible. Or you can also make your personal, following this vegan cheese tortellini recipe!


6 Ravioli

Much like tortellini, ravioli additionally comes from the north of Italy. Nevertheless it’s not precisely the identical factor. Ravioli has extra of a dumpling-like look and texture, and it’s normally extra square-shaped too.


7 Macaroni 

Whereas it’s normally served with a tacky sauce to kind the American favourite “mac & cheese,” macaroni truly seemingly comes from the Campania area of Italy. It consists of small tubes of dry formed pasta, that are both straight or barely curved.

Meals that style like pasta, however aren’t truly pasta 

As we’ve established already, meals historians are very clear that noodles and pasta developed individually from one another, in order that they’re not the identical factor. However noodles are nonetheless simply as scrumptious and versatile in their very own proper. Plus, we’ve additionally included dumplings on this listing, as a result of they’ve an identical style and texture to the Italian basic, ravioli.


1 Wheat noodles

Chinese language-style wheat noodles are historically made with kansui, a kind of alkaline mineral water. Add them to ramen, in fact, however they’re scrumptious anyplace you wish to use them.



These thick, gentle wheat noodles originated in Japan. These can usually be in ramen and different Asian dishes.


Rice noodles

Various from very skinny to very thick, these naturally gluten-free noodles are widespread in Asian cuisines.


4 Dumplings

Cuisines world wide have their very own dumplings, that are dough and sometimes wrapped round fillings, like potatoes, greens, and tofu. This may be Italian ravioli, Polish pierogies, and, in fact, Asian dumplings of all types.


5 Shirataki

Made with konjac yam starch, these noodles are thick and opaque, and sometimes served like rice noodles.



 A nutty, darker-hued noodle, soba is made with buckwheat (a seed) and is of course gluten-free.


Glass noodles

Also called cellophane, these clear, skinny noodles are made with starches from candy potato to mung bean and are naturally gluten-free.

Vegan pasta and noodle manufacturers to attempt 

Able to dig right into a bowl of noods or pasta? Begin right here. These manufacturers all have vegan choices. The one query is what is going to you prime your bowl with?

VegNews.VeganPasta.EdenEden Meals

1 Eden Meals

Attempt the soba, udon, and whole-grain pasta made with US-grown, natural grains. Take pleasure in Eden Meals’ 100% Buckwheat Soba with soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, scallions, and seared tofu for a filling meal.
Get it right here


2 Colavita

This world model based mostly in Italy solely sells pasta with out eggs or different animal merchandise. Colavita’s Pappardelle Nest Pasta tossed with a vegan pesto is the definition of consolation meals.
get it right here


3 Tinkyada

Tinkyada makes 18 types of Italian-style dried pasta, all gluten-free and vegan. Attempt the Brown Rice Spirals with a marinara sauce, roasted veggies, and recent basil.
get it right here


4 Barilla

A global model began in 1912, most of Barilla’s broad number of pasta is made with out animal merchandise, together with its gluten-free and Protein+ ranges.
get it right here

VegNews.VeganPasta.DeCeccoDe Cecco

5 De Cecco

Broadly accessible in large field shops throughout the nation, all of De Cecco’s wheat-based pasta are plant-based, together with the Spinach Fusilli. The excessive protein vary, just like the Purple Lentil Spaghetti, are as properly.
get it right here

VegNews.VeganPasta.365Entire Meals

6 365 by Entire Meals Market

Traditional pasta varieties like Linguine and Spaghetti are vegan as-is, made with simply durum wheat semolina flour. Make your favourite vegan mac and cheese with the Elbow macaroni pasta.
get it right here

VegNews.VeganPasta.TraderJoesDealer Joe’s

7 Dealer Joe’s

Dealer Joe’s has a full vary of natural, typical, and gluten-free pasta choices which are vegan, together with the tightly coiled Natural Fusilli Corti Bucati for a enjoyable and strange form and the gluten-free Brown Rice Penne, which is ideal for a marinara sauce or vegan pesto.
get it right here


8 Priano

Aldi US’ bronze-cut pasta in varieties like Rigatoni, Casarecce, and Conchiglie shells is made with out animal elements and brings genuine Italian style at inexpensive costs.
get it right here


9 Banza

Made with protein-packed chickpeas, Banza’s pasta in Shell, Penne, and Rotini varieties is gluten-free, vegan, and durable sufficient to face as much as any sauce.
get it right here


10 Good & Collect

Goal’s house model Good & Collect presents quite a lot of vegan pasta, together with Entire Wheat Spaghetti and Rotini.
get it right here


11 Koyo

A maker of completely vegan ramen noodles, attempt the Asian Vegetable or Garlic Pepper for a handy bowl of flavorful soup.
get it right here


12 Nissin Prime Ramen

The title that’s synonymous with on the spot ramen noodles has two vegan flavors, Soy Sauce and Chili.
get it right here

For extra on vegan pasta, learn:

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