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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Baked Vegan Pasta With Roasted Vegetables

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This cheesy, healthy, baked vegan pasta recipe is so easy to make and packed full of tasty, nutritious ingredients. It’s loaded with roasted veggies, gooey vegan cheese, and paired with a rich tomato sauce – it’s a meal that the whole family will enjoy!

Vegetarian Pasta Bake with roasted vegetables served on a white plate

Baked ziti (or if you like penne better than ziti – baked penne pasta) is traditionally made with white pasta and loaded with cheese, sometimes meat, and very few vegetables — which makes it refined carb heaven, but not that great for you.

But why can’t a pasta bake be healthy too? My healthy pasta bake is comforting, homey, amazingly flavorful, but so good for you that you could literally eat it every day – completely guilt-free. This is one of my favorite vegan recipes to prepare for my non-vegan friends and family because they absolutely love it, and don’t even know it’s vegan!

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The first time I made this my husband LOVED it – he said it was hearty and couldn’t believe it was vegan too! This dish was inspired by a recipe I found from Giada De Laurentis – which is more like a traditional meatless baked ziti.

With a few simple swaps, my vegan baked ziti recipe is healthier and doesn’t skimp on any of the flavors from the original!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Vegan and Dairy-Free Pasta Bake
  • Cheesy Without Cheese
  • High in Fiber
  • Low in Calories
  • Low in Fat
  • Perfect for the entire family!
  • Simple to Make
  • Great for meal prep, tastes even better the next day!
  • Best baked vegan pasta ever!

🥘 Ingredients

See the recipe card for complete measurements and instructions for this veggie baked ziti. You can also find all of the ingredients at your local grocery store.

Baked vegan pasta ingredients: whole wheat penne pasta, marinara sauce, spices, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, red pepper, vegan cheese, peas.

Pasta: I used whole wheat pasta for added whole grains, but you can use any kind of pasta you like! Whole wheat, chickpea pasta, lentil pasta, or quinoa pasta would all taste great in this dairy free pasta bake. Follow the package directions and make sure to cook the pasta al dente.

Fresh Veggies: I chose zucchini, cremini mushrooms, onions, red bell pepper, and peas, but this dish is so versatile you can add any combination of vegetables you like!

Seasoning and Herbs: fresh basil, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes

Vegan Cheese: I used vegan mozzarella, but you could use vegan parmesan cheese or any dairy-free cheese you like. You can also nutritional yeast if you don’t want to use vegan cheese.

Sauce: Use your favorite store-bought marinara sauce to save time! Just make sure it has no added sugar.

📖 Variations

Change Up The Veggies: You can use any veggies you have on hand in this vegan pasta bake recipe! Try a combination of your favorite vegetables – other types of squashes, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, asparagus, spinach, or artichokes would all work well in this easy pasta bake!

Gluten Free Vegan Pasta Casserole: Use your favorite gluten-free pasta instead of the whole wheat pasta to make this baked vegan pasta gluten-free! I like using a lentil or chickpea pasta to increase the protein in this dish. If you use a lentil/chickpea pasta, you want to cook it for half the time listed on the package (so if it calls for 9 minutes of cooking time, you want to cook it for about 5 minutes before mixing it with the veggies/sauce/cheese and baking it).

Vegetarian Baked Ziti: You can easily make this pasta bake vegetarian by using ziti pasta instead of penne, and use regular mozzarella instead of the vegan mozzarella!

🔪 How To Make Baked Vegan Pasta

Step 1: Chop all the veggies and preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

roasted Vegetables - squash, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, peppers - on a baking tray

Step 2: On a baking sheet (or in a casserole dish/large pan), toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.

Roasted vegetables and other ingredients for Vegetarian Pasta Bake

Step 3: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, reduce to medium heat and cook for about 6 minutes. Don’t overcook your pasta! It will cook a second time in the oven, so you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain and set aside.

Step 4: Once the veggies are done toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. If you used a large casserole dish/pan to roast the veggies in, you can add the cooked pasta into that pan to mix the whole thing together (that’s what I’d recommend!). Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.

All ingredients in a glass casserole dish

Step 5: Top the pasta with the remaining cheese (about 1/3 cup). The cheese turns this recipe into a super creamy vegan pasta bake!

Shredded cheese on top of the rest of the pasta ingredients

Step 6: Bake until the top is golden and the cheese melts for about 25 minutes. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. I love how gooey and bubbly the vegan cheese gets once it’s all melted! The veggies are perfectly cooked, and the whole wheat pasta gives the dish a great nutty quality. It’s a filling and balanced meal. If you’d like to add more protein, you can use lentil pasta.

A spoon lifting up some Vegetarian Pasta Bake from the casserole dish

❓Recipe FAQs

What makes vegan baked pasta healthy?

These simple healthy swaps make this baked penne pasta decadent, and luxurious, but one serving has only 350 calories and 8.5 grams of fat! Here’s how to make baked penne pasta healthy:
Use whole-wheat penne pasta, lentil pasta, or chickpea pasta for whole grain, high fiber alternative to white pasta.
Tons of veggies: A mix of squashes, mushrooms, and peppers adds fiber and antioxidants to this dish. You can even add 4 cups of chopped baby spinach to your marinara sauce before mixing it with the pasta to sneak in some extra greens if you like!
Less Butter and Oil: 1.5 tbsp is all you need for flavor and a nice caramelized quality to the veggies
Less Cheese/Vegan Cheese: Eating healthy and vegan doesn’t mean you have to go without cheese – and is it even a pasta bake without it?! Using 1.5 cups of vegan cheese is plenty and you still get that gooey, melted cheese crust on top!

How Do you serve vegan baked pasta?

This vegan ziti is so hearty and satisfying you could just serve it all on its own! Feel free to top with lemon juice, or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of black pepper, and fresh basil. For a slightly bigger meal, serve with a simple green salad and garlic bread!

How do you store baked vegan pasta?

Refrigerator: Allow the leftover pasta bake to cool completely. You can cover the baking dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or transfer it to an airtight container. The pasta will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Freezer: Transfer the veggie pasta bake to a freezer-safe container. Write the contents and the date on the package. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Reheat: Place the pasta bake in a baking dish, and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 450 F.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Make sure to use a large, deep casserole dish for baking so that you can fit everything into one dish!
  • To save on cleanup, roast the veggies in the dish you’re going to bake the pasta in.
  • You can make this ahead of time – follow the steps to step 5 in the recipe, then cover and keep in the fridge until ready to cook later that day.
  • Leftovers should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge – they will last for up to 4 days and gently reheated in the microwave or oven. You can also freeze this recipe in an airtight container – it will keep for up to 3 months! To reheat from frozen, defrost in the microwave on low and then heat in the oven on 350 until warmed through.
  • Don’t overcook your pasta. I recommend cooking it 50-60% of the time recommended on the package. It should still be a little hard inside when you drain it, and it will continue to cook while it’s in the oven.
Top shot of Vegetarian Pasta Bake in a glass casserole dish

🍝 More Healthy Pasta Dishes!

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📋 Recipe Card

Print Recipe
5 from 13 votes

Baked Vegan Pasta

This cheesy, healthy, Baked Vegan Pasta recipe is so easy to make and packed full of tasty, nutritious ingredients. Lightened up with roasted veggies, paired with a rich tomato sauce, it's a meal that the whole family will enjoy!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers (yellow, orange or red) cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • 2 zucchini quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 summer squash quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 cremini mushrooms halved
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
  • Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt divided
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper divided
  • 2 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 5 cups marinara sauce store bought or homemade
  • cups frozen peas thawed
  • 1-1½ cups vegan shredded cheese keep about 1/3 cup for the topping

Equipment

Instructions

  • Chop all the veggies and preheat your oven to 450 degrees
  • On a baking sheet (or in a casserole dish/large pan), toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Don't overcook your pasta! It will cook a second time in the oven, so you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain and set aside.
  • Once the veggies are done, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. If you used a large casserole dish/pan to roast the veggies in, you can just dump all of the additional ingredients (pasta etc.) into that pan to mix everything together (that's what I'd recommend!). Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.
  • Top the pasta with the remaining cheese (about 1/3 cup).
  • Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Make sure to use a large, deep casserole dish for baking so that you can fit everything into one dish!
  • To save on cleanup, roast the veggies in the dish you’re going to bake the pasta in.
  • You can make this ahead of time – follow the steps to step 5 in the recipe, then cover and keep in the fridge until ready to cook later that day.
  • Leftovers should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge – they will last for up to 4 days and gently reheated in the microwave or oven. You can also freeze this recipe in an airtight container – it will keep for up to 3 months! To reheat from frozen, defrost in the microwave on low and then heat in the oven on 350 until warmed through.
  • Don’t overcook your pasta. I recommend cooking it for 50-60% of the time recommended on the package. It should still be a little hard inside when you drain it, and it will continue to cook while it’s in the oven.
Adapted from FoodNetwork.com

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 59.9g | Protein: 16.1g | Fat: 8.5g | Sodium: 551.2mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 10.6g

Posted In…

Italian Recipes ·

These recipes are sure to be a hit! Make a healthier pizza or a guilt-free pasta and enjoy the fresh flavors of Italy.

Many people think carbs and cheese when they think Italian, but there is so much more to appreciate: aromatic herbs, fresh ingredients, and bright flavors shine. Many of my Italian-inspired recipes are suitable for special diets, such as vegan ratatouille or gluten-free lasagna.

46 responses to “Baked Vegan Pasta With Roasted Vegetables”

  1. We loved it. The penne was delightful. The roasted veggies heard no whines,just was a peaceful dinner.5 stars

  2. There’s plenty of vegetables in this dish, so it’s definitely healthy. It’s also easy to make and my family loves it.5 stars

  3. Love how comforting this dish is without leaving you feeling stuffed or bloated from all the cheese. Plus, so many veggies in one plate 🙂5 stars

  4. Loved this recipe. The fresh veggies are great and this turned out to be a great way to get my kids to eat their veggies. Will definitely be making this again.5 stars

    • It’s not actually that spicy because I made this recipe more kid friendly, but if you want more spice just add a lot more crushed red pepper to either the sauce or the roasted veggies before you bake it! Then it will definitely be spicy enough for you! 🙂

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