This simple vegan pasta bake with tofu is a flavourful crowd-pleasing dish that is also great for an easy weeknight dinner! Made with a creamy and healthy tomato sauce and packed full of vegetables, this dish is so tasty that you’ll be coming back for seconds. Gluten-free and oil-free.
Pasta is honestly a food I could never get bored of. You can eat it by itself with some sort of simple sauce and incorporate it into a whole range of recipes. Pasta salad, one-pot pasta, and so much more. Although, I have to admit that I don’t make pasta bake anywhere near quite as often as I should. Making vegan pasta bake, after all, is much easier than it seems. You quite literally put pasta and a bunch of other ingredients into a casserole dish with a delicious sauce and put it in the oven. That’s it!
Vegan pasta bake with tofu
I planned to make this recipe a while ago, but for some reason didn’t get round to it until a few days ago, and it turned out perfect after only two attempts.
Pasta is always such a crowd-pleasing dish that vegans and non-vegans alike love, making it perfect for holidays and special occasions. If you’re looking for a last-minute idea to bring along to a party table, this certainly could be it. However, as this vegan pasta bake only takes around 45 minutes to make, it’s also great as a comforting weeknight dinner.
This healthy pasta bake is incredibly flavourful and creamy thanks to the addition of cashews to the sauce. It’s also incredibly easy to make, from readily available ingredients!
Make tofu taste good
Tofu has a bit of a bad reputation with some people, because it can come across as a bit bland and flavourless. However, I’ve mentioned before that it’s all about preparation and that it is one of my favourite ingredients. Firstly, tofu is a great source of vegan protein, which is why I often eat tofu-containing meals after my workouts. And paradoxically because it’s quite bland when plain, it does soak up the flavour of whatever you cook it in quite well and has a great, chewy texture. So, if you want to start incorporating more tofu into your diet, I would definitely recommend this easy pasta bake recipe as a starting point!
What’s to love about this vegan pasta bake?
Pretty much everything! The outcome is…
- Savoury and incredibly flavourful.
- Packed full of vegetables for a delicious way to get more of those into your diet.
- Easy to make and beginner-friendly.
- Made with healthy ingredients.
- Great for meal prep.
How to make vegan pasta bake
Start off by cooking your pasta according to packaging instructions. The type of pasta you use is up to you, but I went for a gluten-free brown rice penne. At the same time, marinade your tofu in the tamari for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add all the sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor, which are: drained and rinsed soaked cashews, canned tomatoes, garlic, paprika, cumin, nutritional yeast, fresh oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend the sauce until smooth.
Once the pasta is cooked, add it to a large mixing bowl together with the tofu, asparagus, aubergines and red onion and toss them together. Then, transfer to a casserole dish and pour the sauce over the top. Cook in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C/392 F for around 20-25 minutes, or longer if you want it crispier (just make sure that the pasta doesn’t start to burn). Serve straight away with a side salad and some vegan yoghurt, or store in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Tips and modifications
- If you want the tofu to be slightly crispier and chewier, bake it separately for around 10-15 minutes at 200 degrees C/392 F before adding to the pasta bake.
- This vegan pasta bake is also delicious with some vegan cheese on top!
- If you don’t like tofu, you can replace it with beans of your choice, such as chickpeas or butter beans.
Other recipes you might like…
- If you’re a fan of the tofu and pasta combo, check out this creamy tomato pasta recipe!
- Easy cheesy potatoes with Brussels sprouts make a great weeknight dinner.
- How about a tempeh pasta salad with roasted cauliflower?
Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite way to make pasta? If you give this vegan pasta bake a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations!
Simple Vegan Pasta Bake With Tofu (Gluten-free)
- 0.8 lbs gluten-free penne pasta
- 1 lb firm tofu, cubed
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 cup cashews soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans canned tomatoes (800g)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 15 asparagus tips
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 1/2 medium aubergine chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/392 F. Cook the pasta according to instructions on packaging until al dente. Drain and rinse once it is ready. At the same time, marinade the tofu in the tamari for at least 15 minutes.
- Add the cashews, canned tomatoes, garlic, paprika, cumin, fresh oregano, salt and pepper to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the tofu, asparagus, red onion and aubergine. Transfer to a casserole dish and pour over the sauce.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve straight away wish a side salad and vegan yoghurt, or keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.