Vegan baked ziti is an easy, delicious, comforting pasta recipe that everyone loves! Ziti pasta is tossed with a subtly-spicy marinara sauce, cashew cream, and veggie sausage. Then, it’s sprinkled with vegan mozzarella and baked in the oven. This pasta bake is dairy-free, vegetarian, meatless, and can be gluten-free and oil-free.
- 1 lb (16oz) dry ziti or penne
Marinara with Vegan Sausage
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 1 and 1/2 cups crumbled vegan sausage
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 24oz jars marinara sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp mellow white miso paste (optional, but recommended)
- 1 tsp tapioca starch or arrowroot starch (optional, but recommended)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella or parmesan
- Fresh parsley
- Soak cashews: Soak raw cashews in hot water for 30 minutes. After, drain the water. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta and marinara with vegan sausage.
- Marinara with vegan sausage: In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add crumbled vegan sausage, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and crushed red pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add marinara sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Pasta: Cook pasta according to package instructions, but stop 1-2 minutes early. The pasta should be cooked al dente or “to the tooth.” In other words, it should be chewy, a bit firm, and slightly underdone. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven later on. Remove the pasta from heat, drain, and rinse it. Set aside.
- Cashew cream: Combine soaked cashews and all other ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Preheat oven: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Assemble: Lightly oil a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Add several spoonfuls of marinara to the dish and spread across the base. Add half of the pasta, then half of the marinara sauce on top. Gently toss to combine. Add spoonfuls of cashew cream on top, creating pockets of cream throughout the dish. Use half of the cashew cream. Then, top with the remaining pasta and marinara sauce. Gently toss to combine. Again, add the remaining cashew cream on top, creating pockets of cream throughout the dish. Finally, sprinkle vegan mozzarella or parmesan on top.
- Bake: Bake for 35 minutes, uncovered, on the middle rack in the oven.
- Serve: Remove baked ziti from the oven. Garnish with fresh parsley. Slice into 8 servings. Enjoy!
- To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta. To make this recipe oil-free, omit the olive oil and replace it with 1/3 cup water.
- Vegan sausage: I recommend Field Roast Italian Garlic & Fennel Sausage.
- Vegan mozzarella: I recommend Violife, Follow Your Heart, or Daiya.
- Marinara: I recommend Rao’s marinara sauce.
- Tapioca starch/arrowroot starch and mellow white miso paste are optional ingredients. You can omit them with success. However, I highly recommend including them for the best results. Tapioca/arrowroot starch are also called tapioca/arrowroot flour.
- The nutrition information below is an estimate and will vary depending on the brand of marinara, vegan sausage, and vegan cheese used.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 467
- Sugar: 4g
- Fat: 15g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 62g
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 19g
Keywords: vegan baked ziti, vegan mostaccioli, meatless baked ziti