If you’re looking for an easy vegan dinner, look no further than this simple but satisfying pasta bake. This recipe is just dump and bake, no boiling required!
I wasn’t sure that a no-boil pasta bake would work because it seems too good to be true, but let me tell you: it works and it’s so convenient!
You can use the base formula of pasta + sauce + water and get as creative as you want with this recipe. This bake offers up endless dinner options depending on what kind of pasta, sauce, proteins and veggies you have on hand.
- Penne pasta is tossed in store bought marinara with veggie sausage and topped with homemade cashew parmesan
- Only requires 10 minutes of prep
- No boil: pasta doesn’t have to be cooked before adding to the pan
- Easy to customize: choose your favorite pasta, sauce, veggies, etc.
- Penne: I use white penne pasta but whole wheat is a great option. Any medium pasta shape should work here.
- Marinara is mixed with water to help the dry pasta cook through. I use a jar of basic marinara sauce but you can use any kind of pasta sauce.
- Water is a key ingredient because without it the pasta wouldn’t bake in the oven.
- Veggie sausage: I like to use Tofurkey Italian style sausages. Adding it reminds me a lot of this rigatoni pasta bake recipe, which can also be made vegan.
- Peas: I love using frozen peas because they add a pop of sweetness and color. If you don’t like peas, cooked green beans also work or you can just omit them entirely.
- Cashew parmesan is mixed with vegan butter for a “cheesy” breadcrumb topping. You can use leftover cashew parm in these vegan caesar salads.
Step by step instructions
To make the cashew parmesan
This adds a nice, crispy and umami topping in lieu of vegan cheese.
Combine all cashew parmesan ingredients, except for the vegan butter, in a blender. Pulse until the cashews are mostly broken down.
Just before removing the pasta from the oven, combine the parmesan and melted butter.
To make the baked pasta
- Add the pasta, marinara sauce, water, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and veggie sausages to a 9×13 baking dish. Stir with a mixing spoon to combine.
- Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 425 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
- Remove from the oven and top with peas and cashew parmesan. Bake uncovered until golden.
- Remove from the oven and serve with sliced basil, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.
Recipe FAQ and expert tips
- Baking time may vary depending on the type of pasta you use. I recommend checking the pasta around the 35 minute mark and adjusting bake time from there.
- Foil: Make sure that the casserole dish is tightly covered with foil. The allows the liquid to simmer and cook the pasta.
- Veggies: Try adding sliced mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, etc. for extra veggies. You can sauté them before cooking for a deeper flavor or add the raw veggies directly to the dish.
- You want the pasta to be al dente when you take the foil off. The pasta will continue to bake uncovered another 5-10 minutes, but if it’s not cooked through when you take the foil off it may not get there by the time the cashew parm is browned.
- Make it nut-free by using your favorite vegan mozzarella in place of the cashew parmesan. Add the cheese when you would add the parm and bake until melted.
Yes, you can cut this recipe in half. Cut all ingredients in half, including the liquid. The cook time will be the same. Use a smaller casserole dish like 8×8.
I haven’t tried this with gluten-free or protein pasta. I’m assuming that if the cook method is similar to traditional pasta (cooking in boiling water then draining) that it should work. Some protein pastas aren’t boiled, so if that’s the case I wouldn’t try it.
For best quality, keep leftovers covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave. To reheat the entire pasta dish, cover with foil and bake at 325F until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes.
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No Boil Pasta Bake (Vegan!)
Penne, marinara sausage and veggie sausages are mixed together in this easy no boil pasta bake.
Servings: 6 servings
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice the sausage links into one inch pieces. Set aside.
Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add the dry penne, marinara sauce, water, Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper and sliced veggie sausages. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 425 degrees F for 35-40 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
Meanwhile, make the cashew parmesan. Add the raw cashews, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder and salt to a blender. Pulse until the cashews are just broken down. Just before removing the pasta from the oven (you don’t want to do this step too early or it will be harder to handle), stir the melted vegan butter with the cashew parm.
When the pasta is al dente, remove it from the oven and uncover it. Sprinkle the thawed peas across the top, then sprinkle the cashew parm/butter mixture over the top.
Return to the oven and bake uncovered for another 8-10 minutes, or until the top is golden. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve topped with freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and sliced fresh basil.
- Veggie sausage: I like to use Tofurkey Italian style sausages. You can also use meatless grounds in place of links.
- Pasta: Any kind of medium pasta shape works. I haven’t tested this with gluten-free pasta.
- Leftovers and reheating: For best quality, keep leftovers covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave. To reheat the entire pasta dish, cover with foil and bake at 325F until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes.
Calories: 521kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 24gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 1130mgPotassium: 783mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 947IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 14mg