Vegan Baked Ziti: A Delicious and Easy Pasta Dish

If you are looking for a satisfying and comforting meal that is vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free, then you will love this vegan baked ziti recipe. It is made with simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, and it can be customized to your taste preferences. You can also make it ahead of time and bake it later, or freeze it for future use.

What is Baked Ziti?

Baked ziti is a classic Italian-American dish that consists of cooked tubular pasta (such as ziti, penne, or rigatoni) mixed with tomato sauce and cheese, and baked in the oven until bubbly and golden. It is often served with a green salad and garlic bread.

How to Make Vegan Baked Ziti

To make vegan baked ziti, you will need the following ingredients:

• Pasta: You can use any tubular pasta shape that you like, such as ziti, penne, or rigatoni. If you are gluten-free, you can use gluten-free pasta as well. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, but slightly undercook it by 2-3 minutes, as it will continue to cook in the oven.

• Tomato sauce: You can use your favorite store-bought or homemade marinara sauce for this recipe. If you want to make your own sauce, you can follow this simple recipe In a blender or food processor, combine one 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), one small onion (chopped), two cloves of garlic (peeled), two teaspoons of dried oregano, one teaspoon of dried basil, one teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional). Blend until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a large skillet and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.

• Vegan cheese: To make this dish creamy and cheesy, you will need some vegan cheese. You can use store-bought vegan cheese shreds (such as Daiya or Violife), or you can make your own cashew cheese Soak 1 1/2 cups of raw cashews in boiling water for at least 15 minutes. Drain and rinse the cashews and add them to a blender along with 3/4 cup of water, the juice of one lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons), four tablespoons of nutritional yeast, one clove of garlic (peeled), and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. If you are nut-free, you can use this tofu ricotta instead: Crumble one 14-ounce block of extra-firm tofu into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, two tablespoons of lemon juice, one tablespoon of olive oil, one teaspoon of dried basil, one teaspoon of dried oregano, one teaspoon of garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well with a fork or your hands until well combined.

• Optional additions: You can also add some vegan meat to this dish if you like. You can use store-bought vegan ground beef (such as Gardein or Beyond Meat), or vegan sausage (such as Field Roast or Tofurky). You don’t need to cook them beforehand, just add them to the pasta and sauce mixture before baking. You can also add some fresh or frozen spinach for some extra greens.

To assemble the vegan baked ziti, follow these steps:

• Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

• In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the tomato sauce and the vegan meat (if using). Spread the pasta mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish.

• Spoon dollops of the vegan cheese over the pasta mixture. You don’t need to cover the entire surface, just leave some pockets of cheese throughout.

• If you want, you can sprinkle some more vegan cheese shreds on top for extra cheesiness.

• Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

• Enjoy your vegan baked ziti with some chopped parsley or basil on top if desired.

How to Store Vegan Baked Ziti

You can store leftover vegan baked ziti in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat it, you can microwave it for a few minutes or bake it in the oven at 350°F (177°C) for 15 minutes or until heated through.

You can also freeze vegan baked ziti for up to 3 months. To do so, let it cool completely before wrapping it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. To reheat it from frozen, bake it in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. You may need to remove the foil or plastic wrap halfway through to prevent burning.

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Baked Ziti

This vegan baked ziti is:

  • Delicious and satisfying
  • Easy and quick to make
  • Customizable and adaptable
  • Gluten-free and nut-free options
  • Perfect for feeding a crowd or meal prep

I hope you enjoy this vegan baked ziti recipe as much as I do. It is one of my favorite comfort food dishes that always hits the spot. Let me know in the comments if you try it, and feel free to share your feedback or suggestions. Bon appétit!

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