Here’s an easy vegan pasta casserole that has all the great flavors of lasagna with less hassle. And this pasta bake only needs about 20 to 25 minutes in the oven — just enough time for the (vegan) cheese to melt and the flavors to meld.
Lasagna has a timeless appeal, and is always such a hit, whether you make it for your family or take it to gatherings. But I find it a bit of a pain to make, what with having to arrange the noodles just so.
As for no-cook lasagna noodles, it’s hard to find a vegan brand — they often contain egg. If you just go ahead and use any uncooked lasagna noodles, the casserole can take up to an hour to bake.
You can use almost any kind of short, chunky pasta; when I last made this to photograph I used twists, as you can see, but other times I used a flatter pasta like bowties, which worked even better. Rombi would be perfect, I would think.
It almost goes without saying that you can vary the vegetables you use here; suggestions follow the recipe. Any vegetables used should be lightly steamed or sautéed first.
What to serve with vegan pasta casserole
As with all hearty pasta dishes, a colorful salad is all that’s really necessary to complete the meal, but a bright green vegetable like asparagus, green beans, or broccoli doesn’t hurt!
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- 1 pound pasta, any short shape (shells, twists, bowties, etc.)
- 28-ounce jar good-quality marinara sauce
- 15- to 16-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
- 8 ounces white or cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 12.3-ounce package firm or extra-firm silken tofu, well mashed
- 8 ounces vegan mozzarella shreds
- Finely chopped parsley or chives for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 400º F.
- Cook the pasta according to packaged directions until al dente, then drain and return to the pot.
- Pour in the marinara, crushed tomatoes, and seasoning blend and stir to combine with the pasta.
- Lightly oil a 2-quart casserole dish. You need a large casserole dish for this! If you don’t have one, split this between two casserole dishes.
- Pour half of the pasta into the casserole dish, then arrange of the sliced mushrooms and zucchini over it.
- Layer the mashed tofu over the vegetables. Follow with a layer of half of the mozzarella shreds.
- Finally, pour in the remaining pasta and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella shreds.
- Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with optional parsley or chives. Let stand for 5 minutes or so, then serve.
You can make this in the morning or a day ahead of time, and leave unbaked (cover with foil). About a half hour before you’d like to serve it, bake at 400º F. as directed.
Variations: Substitute other vegetables for the ones recommended here. Small broccoli or cauliflower florets, chopped chard or kale, and diced eggplant are all great choices. You’ll want to use 4 to 5 cups veggies total, and in the case of these particular vegetables, lightly steam them. You can also add a layer of raw baby spinach any of these combinations or the one given in the main recipe.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 413mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 10gSugar: 16gProtein: 12g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used. This is given for informational purposes only and accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
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