This luscious creamy Vegan Baked Ziti with Nut-Free Cheese is a delicious take on a classic family meal. Taking just 30 minutes to make, this is an easy and tasty meal to please even the pickiest of eaters.
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Hey Internet, want a simple but delicious dinner that takes less than 30 minutes? I know I do because it's my favorite kind of dinner.
This easy vegan baked ziti is a fun, cheesy, and comforting meal that's a twist on a classic Italian baked ziti. My version does not feature ricotta or meat, but it's delicious nonetheless and I urge you to try it.
The ziti makes a great dinner, but it also holds up well to eat in lunches throughout the week, to reheat or even eat cold (I have always liked cold pasta and I don't care if that makes me weird).
My nut-free vegan mozzarella makes a fantastic creamy cheese for this dish, though you can use any other vegan cheese if you wish. I will say I also have a cheddar that tastes good in this dish -- sometimes I use both!
I built the recipe that you can make the cheese while you make the pasta, so we can keep this meal to 30 minutes or less (if you use a power burner it will likely take less time).
Ready to dig in? I know I am.
What Goes In Vegan Baked Ziti?
In this vegan baked ziti, we have regular ziti noodles, but we'll often make this with penne or macaroni, or whatever we have around. It will also work with gluten-free or bean pasta.
For the sauce, I used a jar of fat free marinara. This is one of my go-to "lazy" dishes, so I always keep a couple jars of marinara sauce on hand.
However, you can absolutely make your own tomato sauce with this. I recommend adding oregano and basil while cooking it!
Finally, the cheese just relies on a block of tofu (you can sub white beans or soaked cashews if you like), a little tapioca starch (necessary to make it stretchy, but it tastes good without), lemon juice, and some spices. It'll take you just over 5 minutes to make and you can prepare it while the pasta water is boiling.
How to Make Vegan Baked Ziti
Making this meal couldn't be much easier.
First, put a pot of water on to boil and preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius). You can salt your water if you wish (it adds to the flavor, but feel free to skip it if you're watching your sodium.
Make your cheese while you wait for the water to boil. Simply throw all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Pour your cheese into a small saucepan and cook on medium heat for 5ish minutes, stirring constantly when it starts to curdle.
Within a few minutes it will transform into a gooey, smooth, stretchy cheese. Turn the heat off of that burner.
When the water is to a nice boil, add the pasta and cook till al dente -- that is, lightly chewy but not crunchy. Drain the pasta in a colander and return to the pot.
Mix through the sauce with a spoon. I used a large jar of sauce per pound of pasta.
Now, add half the cheese and stir it into the pasta and sauce mixture. Add your pasta to a baking dish (I use a glass square or ceramic 9 x 13 most often).
Using a clean spatula and spoon (easiest method I've found), spread the remaining cheese over the top of the pasta.
Now bake it uncovered for 10 minutes. The cheese will stiffen a bit on the top (the texture is amazing) and the underside will be SUPER MELTY and creamy.
Serve hot and enjoy! (Or eat leftovers cold out of the fridge… for breakfast… no judgement here :)
Want More 30 Minute Meals?
I make a lot of 30 minute meals (many of them one-pot) because I too am pressed for time in the evenings. Even though I don’t have kids, I do work full time and run a business full-time (I also do freelance writing, oy).
I get it.
So, if you’d like to add a few more quick vegan meals to your arsenal, check out some of the recipes below!
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do. This Vegan Baked Ziti is:
- and Crazy delicious (I couldn't come up with another adjective that kept with my alliteration theme lol)
Let me know in the comments below if you make it, tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!