Need a comforting, EASY, healthy plant-based pasta dish? This vegan baked ricotta pasta is literally perfection. The best explanation for what this dish is reminiscent of is that this tastes like a deconstructed lasagna. If you love cheesy, creamy pasta dishes but don’t want the dairy, this is for you, bestie.
How to Make Vegan Ricotta Cheese
Believe it or not, tofu makes great vegan ricotta cheese. Vegan ricotta cheese sounds complicated but it’s very simple. You’re going to add all of the ingredients into a food processor then blend. It takes less than 5 minutes. You’ll need tofu, vegan milk: I like to use Milkadamia macadamia nut milk for ultimate creaminess, nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor, fresh or dried basil (whatever you can easily find), salt and lemon.
What vegan milk do you recommend?
Macadamia milk is amazing for vegan cheese sauces (especially in pasta dishes) because it’s creamy, nutty, smooth and absolutely delicious. I use the unsweetened original one in this recipe. My favorite brand is Milkadamia and I am excited to have teamed up with them on this recipe! Their vegan nut milks are made from raw macadamia nuts that are sustainably farmed (so cool right?!). If you want to read more about their regenerative farming practices, head over to Milkadamia’s website to learn all about it! Milkadamia’s products are all non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. Use the Milkadamia store locator.
How do you assemble the vegan baked ricotta pasta?
Boil your favorite pasta to al dente, I like penne, then pour into a casserole dish. Add in 1 jar of marinara sauce, and the ricotta cheese then mix. Bake for 20 minutes then serve! When it comes out of the oven, top with fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese.
Will my non-vegan family and friends enjoy this?
I promise this will be your new favorite go-to vegan pasta dish. Even the skeptics of plant-based food will be blown away by this recipe. Every time I make this for my guests it’s a crowd pleaser. It tastes super rich and indulgent but it’s secretly healthy. Everyone who I have made this for ends up falling in love with and always asks me for the recipe. This is also great for picky eaters when you’re trying to sneak in some extra protein! I guarantee that if you make this for people when they come over or if you decide to make it for your non-vegan family members, they will eat this up!
A few important tips:
- Undercook the pasta slightly so that when you bake it, it cooks to perfection and doesn’t get mushy.
- Feel free to use any pasta you like! I find penne works great.
- Store this in the fridge for up to 5 days in a sealed container. Reheat with a little extra marinara sauce on top.
- Do not over-bake, it will dry out.
Substitutions and Alterations:
Pasta Shape: I like using short noodles for this recipe. If you don’t have or like penne use rotini, fusilli, or shells! Again, I used penne in this vegan baked ricotta pasta.
Vegan Milk: I highly recommend Milkadamia brand macadamia nut milk in the ricotta but if you don’t have access to get that, use any vegan non dairy-milk like almond milk.
Tofu: Don’t like tofu or can’t have soy? Make cashew ricotta. Blend 1 cup of raw boiled cashews instead of tofu in the ricotta.
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Vegan Baked Ricotta Pasta
- 16 oz penne pasta
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- fresh basil garnish
- vegan parmesan cheese garnish
- 1 16 oz package extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup macadamia nut milk I use Milkadamia
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Boil pasta until just al dente. While pasta boils, make ricotta by blending all tofu ricotta ingredients in food processor until it's all combined.
- Strain pasta and pour into a 9x13 casserole dish, add in the marinara sauce and and ricotta and mix to combine well. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Garnish with basil and vegan parmesan!