Are you searching for a quick, nutritious, and mouthwatering vegan meal? Look no further than this Vegan Cabbage and Spinach Pasta Stir-Fry! This delectable dish combines the earthy flavors of cabbage and spinach with the satisfying heartiness of pasta while staying true to a plant-based diet. Bursting with colors, textures, and nutrients, this recipe celebrates vibrant, wholesome ingredients that are good for you and the planet!

Vegetable stir-fry pasta is the perfect recipe when you’re staring at your refrigerator full of veggies but want something quick and easy to make. It is much healthier than takeout alternatives, only needs one pan, and doesn’t call for fancy or hard-to-find ingredients.

Everyone loves Vegetable Lo Mein takeout, including myself. Sadly, it’s not the healthiest choice because it frequently contains a lot of oil and occasionally contains contentious MSG. You can prepare an Asian pasta stir-fry at home for a fraction of the price and with much healthier ingredients while maintaining flavor!

When I have a variety of “leftover” vegetables in the refrigerator or on the counter that are begging to be used, I love to create this dish—it’s the epitome of “everything but the kitchen sink.” Some of my favorite ingredients and vegetables that I almost always have in my kitchen are in this recipe. However, feel free to experiment with it with whatever you have on hand.

This dish also just consists of three ingredients: vegetables, sauce, and pasta, which are all customizable. While the basic sauce—a simple mixture of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup, with optional red pepper flakes for spiciness—is my absolute favorite for vegan stir-fry pasta!

Modify the sweetness, heat, and veggies; add protein; and make it gluten-free. Really, there are a ton of options, and it’s really simple to alter this vegan spinach and cabbage stir-fry pasta!

Scroll down for the detailed recipe, but I suggest you don’t skip the information included in the blurb.

cabbage spinach stir fry overlay on grey background in a white plate

Effortless and Flavorful Meal in a Single Pot!

In the world of deliciousness, where ease and health go hand in hand, this vegan cabbage and spinach pasta stir-fry is an ideal example. Picture a pot where different flavors and textures come together in perfect harmony to create a masterpiece that delights your tongue. You need to add this recipe to your collection immediately because it so perfectly combines the essence of both nutritious comfort and the excitement of trying something new.

This recipe is centered around the combination of two common yet exceptional ingredients: spinach and cabbage. Crisp and hearty, cabbage adds a pleasant bite that contrasts wonderfully with spinach leaves’ delicate embrace. Together, they make an amazing pair that delivers both heft and finesse with each bite.

The technique—stir-frying—is nothing less than culinary magic.  A single pot becomes a canvas where flavors meld and develop. The colors and tastes of the cabbage and spinach intensify as they sauté with grace. A dash of spicy red pepper flakes and a hint of fragrant garlic take the harmonious blend of flavors to new heights.

However, the pasta itself is the real star of the show. The veggie medley may take center stage because of its perfectly cooked texture. As it twirls around the fork, each bite becomes a delightful journey, capturing the essence of every ingredient in its embrace.

Not only is this one-pot look delicious, but it’s also a lifesaver for those with hectic schedules. You can create a supper that nourishes your body and soul with very little work. You can enjoy the pleasures of cooking without being tied to the stove, thanks to the simplicity of preparation. When time is short and you still want to dine well, this recipe is here to save the day and show you that it’s possible.

Let’s dive into how to make this vegan cabbage spinach pasta stir fry.

Ingredients spinach, cabbage, pasta stir fry

Ingredients you’ll Need:

  • Cooked pasta: Use your favorite pasta (regular, or gluten-free). Use your choice of shape, such as penne, fettuccine, or spaghetti.
  • Cabbage: Crisp and hearty, cabbage provides a satisfying crunch to the stir-fry. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and vitamin K. I used red and green cabbage.
  • Spinach: Tender and nutrient-packed, spinach adds a vibrant green color and a mild earthy flavor to the dish. It’s an excellent source of iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic infuses the dish with a delightful aromatic quality and depth of flavor.
  • Onion: Sliced or diced onions bring a sweet and savory element to the stir-fry, enhancing the overall flavor profile of this pasta.
  • Olive oil: You may use sesame oil or any other vegetable oil.
  • Vegan Soy Sauce: A key seasoning that adds a savory, umami-rich taste to the stir-fry. To enhance the flavor even further, add a mixture of dark and light soy sauce. The sauce gets a lot more umami flavor from the dark soy sauce. For a gluten-free or soy-free version, use tamari or coconut aminos.
  • Lemon juice adds brightness and a touch of acidity. 
  • Maple syrup: You can use agave syrup, brown rice syrup, or even granulated sugar in place of the maple syrup.
  • Red pepper flakes: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, chili flakes provide a mild spicy element to the dish.
  • Salt and pepper: These basic seasonings enhance the overall taste and balance of flavors.
  • Toasted sesame seeds: Toasted sesame seeds can be sprinkled on top for extra texture and a nutty flavor.

How to Make Vegan Cabbage and Spinach Pasta Stir-Fry?

  1. In a large pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic and chopped onion to the hot oil. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add the shredded red cabbage and green cabbage to the pan. Stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes until the cabbage starts to wilt and becomes tender.
  4. Next, add the fresh spinach leaves to the pan. Cook for an additional 2–3 minutes until the spinach wilts and combines with the cabbage.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, maple syrup (or agave syrup), and red pepper flakes (if using).
  6. Pour the sauce mixture over the cooked vegetables in the pan. Stir everything together, ensuring the vegetables are coated evenly with the flavorful sauce.
  7. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss everything together until the pasta is well mixed with the cabbage and spinach.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If you prefer additional spice, you can sprinkle more red pepper flakes.
  9. Once everything is heated through and well combined, turn off the heat.

Serving Suggestion

Serve the vegan cabbage and spinach pasta stir-fry in a bowl, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds for a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.

Leftover Storage Instructions

Any leftovers can be refrigerated for two to three days in an airtight container. Leftovers can be eaten cold or reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Since this recipe comes together so quickly, I haven’t tried freezing leftovers, but believe that it might change the texture of some veggies and pasta.

Additions Or Substitutions

Colorful Veggies:

  • Enhance the nutritional value and visual appeal by adding colorful bell peppers, carrots, or snap peas.

Pasta Variety:

  • Use different types of pasta, such as whole wheat, gluten-free, or legume-based pasta, to cater to various dietary needs.

Italian Flair:

  • Use marinara or tomato sauce as a base and add Italian herbs like basil, oregano, and thyme. Top with vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast.

Spice It Up:

  • Add red pepper flakes, chili paste, or sliced jalapeños to give the dish a spicy kick.

Nutty Twist:

  • Toss in some toasted nuts, like almonds, cashews, or pine nuts, for a crunchy texture and extra flavor.

Protein Boost:

  • Add tofu, tempeh, or seitan for added protein. Marinate and sauté the protein before adding it to the stir-fry.
  • Incorporate cooked chickpeas, black beans, or lentils for a legume-based protein source.

Creamy Sauce:

  • Create a creamy vegan sauce using cashew cream, almond milk, or coconut milk. Blend soaked cashews with water or plant-based milk for a luscious texture.

Citrus Zing:

  • Squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over the stir-fry just before serving to add a burst of citrusy flavor.

Herb Infusion:

  • Experiment with fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley, or mint to bring a refreshing twist to the dish.

For a low-carb version:

  • You may use noodles made from butternut squash or zucchini for a low-carb version. But for a more filling meal, I prefer the mix of veggies, carbs, and optional protein.
Overlay spinach pasta stir fry recipe

Other Vegan Asian-Inspired Recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other vegetables besides cabbage and spinach?

Yes, you can definitely customize the vegetable selection to your liking. Bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, and mushrooms are great options to add flavor, color, and nutrients to this stir-fry pasta.

Can I Add Protein to This Vegan Pasta Stir-Fry?

Absolutely! You can add protein sources like tofu, tempeh, seitan, chickpeas, or edamame to make the dish more filling and well-rounded. Marinate the protein in your choice of seasonings before adding it to the stir-fry.

Is this dish healthy?

Yes, vegan cabbage and spinach pasta stir-fry can be quite nutritious, especially if you add a variety of colorful vegetables. Cabbage and spinach are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and by using whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, you can add complex carbohydrates to the dish.

Can I make this dish ahead of time and freeze it?

This recipe can be prepared in advance and refrigerated, but it is not recommended for freezing due to possible textural changes in the veggies and pasta. Generally, it tastes best when it’s freshly prepared or a few days after it’s been refrigerated. If you do freeze it, think about cooking the vegetables a little less than fully to allow for reheating.

If you like and enjoy this recipe, please leave a comment to let me know about your feedback.

Vegan Cabbage and Spinach Pasta Stir-Fry

Let’s create a delicious and easy vegan pasta dish using cooked pasta, red and green cabbage, and spinach. This recipe will be flavorful and nutritious.
3.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cabbage side dish, cabbage stir fry
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 People
Calories: 1343kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large skillet

Ingredients

  • One large skillet
  • Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces 225g cooked pasta (your choice of shape)
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegan soy sauce or tamari for a gluten-free option
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional, for added heat
  • Salt to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish optional

Instructions

  • In a large pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and chopped onion to the hot oil. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion becomes translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the shredded red cabbage and green cabbage to the pan. Stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes until the cabbage starts to wilt and becomes tender.
  • Next, add the fresh spinach leaves to the pan. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the spinach wilts and combines with the cabbage.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, maple syrup (or agave syrup), and red pepper flakes (if using).
  • Pour the sauce mixture over the cooked vegetables in the pan. Stir everything together, ensuring the vegetables are coated evenly with the flavorful sauce.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss everything together until the pasta is well mixed with the cabbage and spinach.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer additional spice, you can sprinkle more red pepper flakes.
  • Once everything is heated through and well combined, turn off the heat.
  • Serve the Vegan Cabbage and Spinach Pasta Stir-Fry in a bowl, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds for a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.
  • This easy and nutritious vegan pasta stir-fry brings together the vibrant colors and textures of red cabbage, green cabbage, and spinach, creating a satisfying and wholesome meal. It’s quick to make and perfect for a light lunch or dinner option. Enjoy the delicious blend of flavors in this simple yet delightful dish!

Notes

Here are some helpful tips to make the Vegan Cabbage and Spinach Pasta Stir-Fry even more delicious and enjoyable:
1. Cook Pasta Al Dente: When boiling the pasta, cook it “al dente,” which means it should be tender but still have a slight firmness when bitten. This helps prevent the pasta from becoming mushy when stir-fried with the vegetables.
2. Use Fresh Vegetables: Opt for fresh red and green cabbage and spinach for the best taste and texture. Fresh vegetables retain more nutrients and have a crisper texture compared to frozen ones.
3. Thinly Shred Cabbage: To ensure even cooking, thinly shred the cabbage. If you prefer a quicker cooking time, consider blanching the shredded cabbage in boiling water for a minute or two before stir-frying.
4. Don’t Overcook Spinach: Spinach wilts quickly, so add it towards the end of the cooking process to avoid overcooking. This will help retain its vibrant green color and fresh taste.
5. Customize the Sauce: Feel free to adjust the sauce ingredients to suit your taste. You can add a splash of lemon juice or a sprinkle of your favorite herbs, such as basil or oregano, to add more flavor to the dish.
6. Add Protein: If you want a more substantial meal, consider adding protein-rich ingredients such as tofu cubes, chickpeas, or cooked lentils to the stir-fry. These additions will boost the nutritional value and make the dish more filling.
7. Use High-Quality Olive Oil: Choose extra-virgin olive oil for a more pronounced and fruity flavor in the stir-fry. The quality of the oil can greatly enhance the overall taste of the dish.
8. Toasted Sesame Seeds: For an extra nutty flavor and crunch, toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes until they become golden brown. Sprinkle them over the stir-fry just before serving.
9. Meal Prep: This dish is great for meal prepping. You can prepare the shredded vegetables and sauce in advance, and then simply stir-fry them with the cooked pasta when ready to serve.
10. Experiment with Spices: Don’t hesitate to experiment with different spices or seasonings. For example, adding a pinch of smoked paprika can add a lovely smoky dimension to the dish.
With these tips, you can make the Vegan Cabbage and Spinach Pasta Stir-Fry even more flavorful and suited to your taste preferences. Enjoy the wonderful combination of vegetables and pasta in this simple and nutritious meal!

Nutrition

Calories: 1343kcal | Carbohydrates: 225g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Sodium: 2174mg | Potassium: 1867mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 8049IU | Vitamin C: 181mg | Calcium: 322mg | Iron: 8mg