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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 Italian 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

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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…

Vegetarian Italian Recipes ·

These vegetarian Italian recipes are sure to be a hit! Make a healthy homemade 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 bolognese or gluten-free lasagna. Be sure to try other reader favorites like this vegetarian pesto pasta, our healthy risotto, and our homemade alfredo sauce without heavy cream!

46 responses to “Baked Vegan Pasta With Roasted Vegetables”

  1. What a great twist to the traditional pasta recipe! I love this already, will be adding to the menu this weekend.5 stars

    • Hi Elisha! If you make it with whole wheat pasta, it won’t be technically low carb. But you can always substitute a lentil based pasta instead of the whole wheat pasta, and then it will be lower in carbs and gluten free!

  2. My hubby loved it a lot! Thanks a ton! I am so excited to try more recipes from your blog as they are all vegetarian recipes. Wish I had an option to upload the pictures of my pasta..

    • Awesome! So happy to hear that Pooja! I can’t wait for you to try more of my recipes – I’m sure you will love them! As for a pic of your pasta, unfortunately my comments won’t support images but you can email it to me if you’d like! (at pickyeats@gmail.com). I’d love to see it!

  3. Hi Anjali, this recipe looks delicious. My husband and I are vegetarians too! Going to try this recipe tonight.. Hopefully he will love it!

    • Awesome!! This is one of my absolute favorite recipes Pooja – I’m sure you and your husband will love it! Let me know how it goes!

  4. Just FYI. You should NEVER cook extra virgin olive oil. It not only will taste foul but it’s also cancerous, as heating extra virgin olive oil above 70C will convert it to formaldehyde. Cook w rapeseed oil or coconut oil, and drizzle olive oil on before serving.

    • Hi Andika, that is actually a myth. While it was previously thought that extra virgin olive oil becomes carcinogenic when cooking, that has been disproven. See the summary of the research here and here. Extra virgin coconut oil is a great option for cooking – but extra virgin olive oil works well too! Hope that helps clear things up!

  5. Yum wow this looks so good – and even better if my 9 month old daughter can have it! Yum this one is going down for me to try next week! thanks

  6. I am looking for new recipes that are low fat and low sodium. My husband suffered a mild heart attack and I am trying to get all the dairy out of our diet. With out the salt things taste bland so I am looking for ways to use spices to make things taste better. This recipes looks delicious and I will be trying it soon.

    • Hi Gloria! I’m so sorry to hear about your husband — that must have been so scary! But yes, makes sense what you’re doing with his dietary changes. I hope a modified version of this recipe hits the spot for both of you! Let me know how it goes!

  7. This recipe is such a hit with my family! I am on holiday in India at the moment and made this one day and they loved it, and want it all the time! Thank you 🙂

  8. This looks AMAZING!! I’m definitely adding this to my pepperplate (It’s an app for recipes). Penne is one of my favorite pastas lol no twirling!

    • Oh awesome!! I’m sure you will love this recipe – penne is one of my favorite pastas too! 🙂

  9. Congrats and happy birthday! My birthday is also just before my anniversary in May. This looks really yummy. I usually overindulge on unhealthy things and end up with a stomach ache on my birthday. I like how you showed the original recipe and your edits. I just found your blog through google. Are you a vegitarian? We eat meat about 3 times a month (especially now that I’m pregnant) but I have lots of vegan stuff on my blog. I want to do more restaurant reviews. It’s so much fun, even though I feel funny taking pictures of the food. I feel like it’s a protected property, like taking pictures of art in a gallery.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog! I am a vegetarian (so is my husband) – we’ve both been vegetarians for ~10 years now. I have lots of friends who were vegetarian but started eating meat when they were pregnant (like you!) to get more protein 🙂 You should definitely do restaurant reviews! I’ve found that the waiters/other diners are pretty understanding of you taking pictures of the food – especially if you tell them you have a food blog. Looking forward to connecting with you more through our blogs!

  10. I know I am late but then birthday celebration should go on for a week :)Wish you a very happy birthday and hope you have loads and loads of fun. That pasta dish looks lovely and delicious.

  11. Super healthy and super yummy! Love it when its a win win. =) Happy bday and have a great anniversary.

  12. That looks absolutely delicious and so easy. Happy birthday and anniversary and congratulations..merry christmas happy new year and the rest!

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