Delicious Vegan Baked Ziti Recipe Your Family Will Love!

Welcome to my vegan baked ziti recipe article! Get ready for a comforting, delicious and 100% plant-based twist on a classic Italian recipe – baked ziti. If you’re a fan of pasta casseroles, this recipe will quickly become one of your favorites.

Gone are the days when traditional baked ziti recipes required dairy cheese and ground meat. With the rise of plant-based protein alternatives, it’s easier than ever to make indulgent comfort foods without compromising your dietary choices or values. This vegan baked ziti dish is just as satisfying and hearty as the original version, but with a dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan twist!

I’ve carefully curated the ingredients list and recipe instructions to ensure that you’ll not only enjoy eating this dish but also have fun cooking it. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow, requires minimal prep work, and yields tasty results every time.

So, let’s start gathering our ingredients and preheat the oven; you don’t want to miss out on this amazing vegan baked ziti recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegan Baked Ziti
Vegan Baked Ziti

Are you a fan of comfort food, but want to enjoy something that is plant-based and completely dairy-free? Look no further! This Vegan Baked Ziti recipe is the perfect dish for you.

Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also incredibly delicious. This pasta bake combines tender ziti noodles with flavorful vegan ground meat and marinara sauce, all topped off with a layer of soy mozzarella cheese that melts beautifully in the oven.

But what really takes this recipe to the next level is the addition of fresh herbs like oregano and basil. The combination of aromatic herbs with the savory tomato sauce makes this ziti recipe an amazing vegan alternative to traditional Italian pasta dishes.

And let’s not forget, this recipe is also entirely gluten-free. So for those who are looking for gluten-free vegetarian or vegan recipes, this definitely delivers on that front too.

But the best part? You won’t even notice that this is a vegan dish! Whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian or meat-eater looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, this Vegan Baked Ziti recipe will become a fast favorite. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredient List

 Ooey-gooey vegan baked ziti - the ultimate comfort food!
Ooey-gooey vegan baked ziti – the ultimate comfort food!

Let’s dive into the ingredients of this easy vegan baked ziti recipe, shall we? Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Ziti Pasta:

  • 1 pound of ziti pasta (you can use gluten-free or regular)

For the Vegan Ground Beef:

  • 1 package of your favorite plant-based ground beef substitute (such as Beyond Meat) OR 16 oz of crumbled tofu ricotta

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Vegan Ricotta:

  • 3/4 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste (optional)

For the Topping:

  • 4 cups of shredded vegan mozzarella cheese made with soy

Note that you can find vegan mozzarella cheese and tofu ricotta at most well-stocked grocery stores these days. Also, feel free to adjust the quantities based on your preferences.

The Recipe How-To

 This vegan baked ziti is perfect for a cozy night in with your loved ones
This vegan baked ziti is perfect for a cozy night in with your loved ones

Now that you have all the ingredients, let’s start cooking! This easy vegan baked ziti recipe will be ready in less than an hour and will become a staple comfort food for those cold winter nights.

Step 1: Cook the Pasta

In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add 1 pound of ziti pasta and some salt. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until al dente.

Step 2: Prepare the Sauce

While waiting for the pasta to cook, let’s prepare the sauce. On a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a saucepan. Once heated, add 1 large diced onion and two crushed garlic cloves . Cook until softened. Add either one package of vegan ground beef or 1 pound of Beyond Meat, according to your preference. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add 1 12-ounce can of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of fresh oregano, and 2 tablespoons of fresh basil to the pan. Mix everything thoroughly.

Step 3: Make Vegan Ricotta Cheese

In a food processor, add 1 cup of raw cashews, juice from a lemon, some salt, and two garlic cloves. Pulse until it looks similar in texture to ricotta cheese.

Step 4: Build the Pasta Bake

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, mix it in with the prepared marinara sauce. Grease a casserole dish with olive oil, then layer half of the pasta mixture down first followed by dollops of ricotta cheese (or tofu ricotta) and top it off with more marinara and a final layer of ziti pasta on top. Be sure to press each layer firmly down as you go!

Step 5: Bake

Preheat your oven to 375F degrees. Cover your dish with foil and bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Now that you know how to make an amazing vegan baked ziti recipe, impress your friends with this plant-based take on classic Italian comfort food.

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready to sink your teeth into layers of deliciousness with this baked ziti recipe
Get ready to sink your teeth into layers of deliciousness with this baked ziti recipe

Are you looking for ways to customize this vegan baked ziti recipe and make it your own? Here are some ideas to try:

– Soy mozzarella cheese: if you’re not a fan of soy-based products, you can use other vegan cheeses such as almond, cashew, or coconut. Opt for a brand that melts well and has a good flavor.

– Fresh herbs: swap out the oregano and basil with other fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, or rosemary. Use the ones that speak to your palate and complement your sauce.

– Gluten-free: if you’re gluten intolerant or prefer gluten-free options, switch the regular pasta with gluten-free pasta like quinoa or brown rice pasta. Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary, so adjust accordingly.

– Beyond meat: instead of vegan ground beef, you can use Beyond Meat crumbles or any other plant-based “meat” substitute of your choice. This option will add a unique flavor and texture to your ziti.

– Tofu ricotta: for an extra protein boost, replace the raw cashews in the tofu ricotta with silken tofu. You can also add nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan to give it a cheesy flavor.

– Vegetable-packed: experiment with adding more vegetables to your ziti. Try diced eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, squash, or mushrooms to make it more filling and nutritious.

– Different pasta shapes: although this recipe specifies using ziti pasta, feel free to use other pasta shapes like penne, rigatoni, or fusilli. Different shapes can bring different textures and fun elements to your dish.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and play around with ingredients that you love. Remember that cooking is an art form, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Have fun making this vegan baked ziti recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Experience the magic of marinara sauce and vegan cheese with every bite of this ziti
Experience the magic of marinara sauce and vegan cheese with every bite of this ziti

Delicious vegan baked ziti is a crowd pleaser and the perfect comfort food for any occasion. The great news is that you can serve this dish on its own or pair it with other tasty dishes for added flavor.

This hearty vegan baked ziti recipe pairs well with garlic bread, a fresh Caesar salad, roasted vegetables or alongside some crispy, refreshing salad greens drizzled with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. If you are feeling more adventurous, try out my recipe for roasted garlic cauliflower steaks, which adds a satisfying crunch to every bite.

When it comes to beverages, a red wine like Chianti would be an excellent pick to complement the rich flavors in this pasta bake. For non-alcoholic options, a cold glass of lemonade, sparkling water or iced tea would be refreshing choices.

This dish is also versatile enough to serve at any time of day – whether it’s brunch, lunch or dinner. It’s easy to make ahead and store in the fridge or freezer as well, making it a convenient option when entertaining guests or when you need dinner on the table in no time.

The possibilities with this vegan baked ziti recipe are truly endless. Experimentation with your favorite sides and desserts can make for an unforgettable feast that everyone will enjoy.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You won't believe it's vegan - this baked ziti recipe is that good!
You won’t believe it’s vegan – this baked ziti recipe is that good!

One of the best things about this vegan baked ziti recipe is its versatility. It can be made ahead of time and even frozen for later use. To prepare the dish in advance, prepare and assemble the ziti completely without baking it. Cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, remove the dish from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature while you preheat your oven to 375°F. Bake until hot and bubbly, which should take an additional 10-20 minutes.

If you want to store leftovers, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. To reheat the baked ziti, place it in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Preheat your oven to 350°F and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until warm throughout.

For those who prefer a microwave, simply transfer the leftover portion to a microwavable dish and reheat until warm. Be sure to stir occasionally for even heating.

This vegan baked ziti recipe is perfect for meal prep too! Make a big batch on Sunday afternoon, divide into single servings, then pop them in the fridge or freezer for healthy meals throughout the week.

Overall, this easy vegan baked ziti recipe is a versatile comfort food that can be enjoyed anytime. Its make-ahead options and simple reheating process make it the ideal fit for busy weekdays or entertaining weekends.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect balance of texture and flavor in every forkful of vegan baked ziti
The perfect balance of texture and flavor in every forkful of vegan baked ziti

Making the perfect vegan baked ziti can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re new to vegan cooking. It’s important to get the right texture, flavor, and seasoning for your baked ziti. Here are some tips to help you make the ultimate comfort food that will make everyone happy:

1. Pick the Right Pasta

Start with a pound of ziti pasta. You could also use penne pasta for this recipe. To make it gluten-free, swap out the wheat pasta with a gluten-free option. Make sure you cook your pasta al dente as it will continue to cook in the oven.

2. Use Vegan Meat Alternatives

In place of traditional ground meat, you can utilize soy-based ground beef or beyond meat. The plant-based protein works fabulously in this dish and gives it that deliciously robust flavor.

3. Be Generous With Sauce

Be generous with sauce if you don’t want your ziti casserole to turn out dry! Mariana sauce is always an excellent choice for this dish.

4. Don’t Overcook Your Sauce

When cooking your sauce, make sure you do not overcook it. Cooking your sauce for too long could burn it and create an unpleasant and bitter taste.

5. Use Vegan Cheese

Use shredded soy mozzarella cheese made specifically for baking by any vegan brand of your choice – these will melt beautifully on top of your ziti mixture great when serving disches that are dairy free.

6. Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs like oregano and basil add an extra oomph of flavor when added to any baked pasta recipe like ours here.

7. Add Garlic

To enhance garlic’s flavor when added to virtually any savory recipe – raw minced garlic adds depth of taste if prepared well minced.

Use these tips to deliver amazing vegan baked ziti every time!

Bottom Line

I hope you’ll give this amazing vegan baked ziti recipe a try! It’s a plant-based twist on a classic comfort food that’s perfect for any occasion. With easy-to-follow instructions and a list of substitutions and variations, this recipe is the perfect starting point to create your own delicious version of baked ziti.

Whether you’re a long-time vegan or just looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, this recipe is an excellent choice. The soy mozzarella cheese and tofu ricotta add a creamy texture, while the fresh herbs and garlic provide bold flavor.

Don’t forget to play around with different types of pasta, sauces, and proteins to make it your own! And if you’re cooking for someone with specific dietary needs, there are plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options available.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your ingredients and preheat that oven- it’s time to make amazing vegan baked ziti!

Vegan Baked Ziti

Vegan Baked Ziti Recipe

I just kind of threw this together the other night and it turned out to be one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had. And its easy! (Also, to the chef who said soy mozzarella isn't vegan, buy the Follow Your Heart brand, it is. There are several vegan cheeses on the market, you just have to look for them.)
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 495.4 kcal


  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1 (14 ounce) package Gimmie Lean sausage flavor
  • 2 (25 1/2 ounce) jars pasta sauce (Muir Glen Tomato Basil is excellent)
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 4 leaves fresh basil, torn
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup soy mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Put a pot of water on to boil.
  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Put the sausage in the pan and break down into small bite-sized pieces with the edge of a spoon. Sauté until brown.
  • As the sausage is browning, salt the boiling water and add the ziti.
  • Add the garlic and onions to the pan of sausage and cook together until onions are softened. By this time, the pasta should be done.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Drain the pasta, return to the pot, add the sausage and onion mixture, 1 1/2 jars of sauce, 1/2 of the grated cheese and the fresh basil and oregano. Toss well to combine and pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Even the mixture out in the pan, cover with the rest of the sauce, scatter the torn basil over the sauce and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until everything is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 282gCalories: 495.4kcalCarbohydrates: 87.3gProtein: 15.1gFat: 9.3gSaturated Fat: 1.3gSodium: 1164.1mgFiber: 4.4gSugar: 23.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, Egg-free, European, Free Of..., Lactose-free, Vegan, Vegetable
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