When we think of pasta, it's hard not to think immediately about Parmesan, meatballs or an incredible Alfredo sauce. But despite those Pavlovian associations, you can actually make a seriously bomb pasta... vegan. Yep, you can have cheesy macaroni and savory stroganoffs without any dairy or meat. It takes some smart substitutions, but that's what recipes are for: to show you how to make what you've never made before.

We rounded up the best vegan pasta dishes that will make you see that a meat-free pasta dish is not only possible, it might actually taste better.

1. Avocado pasta recipe

Image: Damn Delicious

Avocados are a great source of energy, and their texture lends itself perfectly for creamy sauces, like in this recipe for avocado pasta.

2. Vegan Bolognese recipe

Image: Rachel Cooks

Lentils and quinoa make this recipe for vegan Bolognese a hearty and healthy option, even better when served alongside a mixed-greens salad.

More: How to Use Powdered Peanut Butter — Your New High-Protein Vegan BFF

3. Maitake fettuccine in creamy sauce recipe

Image: Allyson Kramer

Earthy maitake mushrooms make this maitake fettuccine in creamy sauce a delicious dinner idea. If you can't find maitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms work well too.

4. Pan-fried lemony artichokes with asparagus-pistachio pesto pasta recipe

Image: Half Baked Harvest

To make this pan-fried lemony artichokes with asparagus-pistachio pesto pasta vegan, just exclude the Parmesan cheese grated in the pesto.

5. Vegan fettuccine with creamy walnut sauce recipe

Image: Getty Images

Nuts are the perfect element when creating flavorful and creamy sauces for pasta, like this vegan fettuccine with creamy walnut sauce.

6. Pumpkin Alfredo recipe

Image: Allyson Kramer

Pumpkin Alfredo is something we've always wanted to make ourselves. The orange pumpkin color is similar to the comforting cheddar in traditional mac and cheese.

7. Vegan mac & cheese recipe

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Sometimes you just need a dose of comfort food, like this vegan mac and cheese with crumb topping.

8. Lasagna with creamy red wine sauce recipe

Image: Allyson Kramer

Serve up a slice of this gorgeous lasagna with creamy red wine sauce, and no one will miss the animal products, such as cheese, cream and meat.

9. Vegan penne alla vodka recipe

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Vodka is definitely vegan, so make sure to add a splash, and cook it down to make this luscious vegan penne alla vodka.

10. Creamy mushroom & tofu stroganoff recipe

Image: VeganHugs

Another comfort food favorite, this creamy mushroom and tofu stroganoff recipe is great for chilly spring nights.

11. Creamy Mexican mac & cheese recipe

Image: SheKnows

Spice up your Meatless Monday nights with this version of creamy Mexican mac and cheese topped with fresh tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro. It's the perfect spiced-up meal.

12. Linguine with chipotle-pumpkin cream sauce recipe

Image: Sarcastic Cooking

The balance between chipotle and pumpkin is one that makes this recipe for linguine with chipotle-pumpkin cream sauce shine.

13. Stuffed shells with cashew ricotta cheese recipe

Learn to make your own vegan cashew ricotta cheese with this recipe for stuffed shells with cashew ricotta cheese.

14. Smoky butternut mac & cheese recipe

Image: Allyson Kramer

We're drooling over this delicious-looking smoky butternut mac and cheese recipe.

Keep reading for tofu soba noodles and more!

A version of this article was originally published in April 2015.

15. Tofu soba noodles recipe

Image: Damn Delicious

Craving a pasta dish with an Asian twist? These tofu soba noodles hit the spot.

16. Cilantro-basil pesto pasta recipe

Image: Vegan Family Recipes

For all the pesto lovers out there, this cilantro-basil pesto pasta is a must-try. You can use the leftover pesto for sandwiches or salads too.

17. Vegan stir-fried udon noodles recipe

Image: Simple Vegan Blog

This vegan stir-fried udon noodle recipe will remind you of the days you used to sit on the couch and eat all the Chinese food your stomach could hold. Thank goodness this recipe is healthier.

More: 13 Store-Bought Items That Seem Vegan-Friendly, but Aren't

18. Vegan green chili mac 'n' cheese recipe

Image: Minimalist Baker

This vegan green chili mac 'n' cheese is reminiscent of those childhood instant mac 'n' cheese days, just infinitely better.

19. Vegan roasted red pepper pasta recipe

Image: Minimalist Baker

This vegan roasted red pepper pasta is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet.

20. Creamy cashew potato & pasta recipe

Image: Mind Body Green

This creamy cashew potato and pasta salad has all the nutrition and flavors you need.

21. Vegan pasta primavera recipe

Image: One Ingredient Chef

Try this healthy, vegan spin on a classic pasta primavera for a quick, flavorful dinner dish.

22. Ginger-coconut green linguine recipe

Image: Produce on Parade

This ginger-coconut green linguine is sweet but has a hint of ginger spice.

23. Garlicky white bean pasta with kale pesto recipe

Image: Healthy Recipe Ecstasy

The white bean sauce in this garlicky white bean pasta with kale pesto is a healthy alternative to the ordinary Alfredo sauce.

24. Grecian Kalamata pasta recipe

Image: Produce on Parade

This Grecian Kalamata pasta dish has its own unique Greek flair. It's filling and perfect for dinner.

25. Vegan lemon-asparagus pasta recipe

Image: Minimalist Baker

This vegan lemon-asparagus pasta recipe is a quick fix for a weeknight dinner filled with vegetables and flavors.

26. Vegan caprese baked pasta recipe

Image: Edible Perspective

This vegan caprese baked pasta is filled with different textures and flavors that will just make you want to have more.

Image: Getty Images, Half Baked Harvest/Design: Regina Ferrara/SheKnows

A version of this article was originally published in April 2015.