Delicious noodles filled with creamy sauce topped with a layer of melted cheese, baked ziti is such a comforting, satisfying meal.
Before going vegan, baked ziti was one of Luke and I’s favorite meals, but for some reason we only got around to veganizing the recipe recently. It’s ok though, we’ve made up for a few ziti-less years by making this easy vegan baked ziti many times over the past couple of months!
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To make it, whip up a batch of tofu ricotta (and vegan parm if you don’t have any on hand) while you’re waiting for the water to boil. Then cook the ziti (I get ziti from Whole Foods because it doesn’t have any weird ingredients/it’s labeled as vegan.)
Next mix the cooked ziti with the tofu ricotta and a jar of Rao’s marinara sauce. Rao’s is pricey, and you could try a different sauce, but you want something with a lot of flavor. Now that I’ve tried Rao’s, a lot of other marinara sauces are mediocre to me (not sponsored! I just love it.)
Then pour the mixture into a 9×13″ baking dish and cover with a bag of vegan mozzarella (my favorites lately are Parmela Creamery and Violife) and sprinkle vegan parm and Italian seasoning on top. Finally, bake until the ziti is warm and the cheese has melted.
Vegan Italian sausage (I like both Gardein and Field Roast Italian sausages) goes amazing with baked ziti, as does steamed veggies like broccoli or squash.
It makes about eight servings, but Luke and I still end up finishing it off within days because it’s so tasty! Also, if you want this recipe to be oil free, you could skip the baking part and just eat the ziti in the creamy ricotta marinara sauce and top it with vegan parm.
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment letting me know what you think and/or tag me on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook @pennysportal!
- 32 ounces flavorful marinara sauce (I use & recommend Rao's Marinara Sauce)
- 16 ounces vegan ziti noodles
- 7-8 ounces vegan mozzarella shreds
- 1 batch of Tofu Ricotta (see below)
- ¼ cup Vegan Parmesan (you can also you store bought if you want)
- Italian seasoning mix
- Tofu Ricotta
- 1 (14-ounce) package extra firm tofu
- 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (~1/2 a lemon)
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the vegan Parmesan if you don't have any on hand. Then prepare the tofu ricotta by adding tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, basil, oregano, garlic and onion powder, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender and blend until creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Once the water is boiling, add ziti noodles and ½ tsp salt and stir. Boil pasta until al dente according to package instructions (edible but still a little firm, mine takes 9-10 minutes).
- When the pasta is done boiling, drain the pasta in a colander and then add the noodles back to the pot. Mix in the marinara sauce and tofu ricotta until thoroughly combined.
- Pour pasta mixture into a 9x13" baking dish and cover with mozzarella and vegan Parmesan. Sprinkle some Italian seasoning on top.
- Bake pasta on middle rack for 25-35 minutes or until pasta is warm and the cheese has melted. Optional: Broil the pasta for the last few minutes of cooking (I like to do this to brown the cheese a little.) If you do, watch it constantly because it can start to burn quickly. Don't walk away.
- Remove pasta from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, and serve with more vegan Parmesan on top.