Vegan Baked Ziti with Cashew Cheese. Simple ingredients come together to create a comfort food classic that is sure to please all of your friends and family. Noodles, marinara sauce and a luxurious creamy cashew cheese sauce are baked to perfection.
Traditional Baked Ziti usually consists of white pasta with a tomato sauce, sometimes meat, and a TON of cheese. My Vegan Baked Ziti with Cashew Cheese gets a healthy makeover without sacrificing flavor. Seriously, this dish is deliciously rich, creamy and comforting. You won’t miss the meat or cheese.
I have been making this recipe for years for my family and it never disappoints. I usually throw a cooked vegetable or salad on the side as well, such as Instant Pot cooked kale, roasted brussel sprouts, steamed broccoli or roasted cauliflower.
This Vegan Baked Ziti with Cashew Cheese is:
A comfort food classic
Creamy and rich
Bursting with tomato goodness
Topped with Vegan Parmesan
Quick and Easy
First, prepare your pasta (I used Trader Joes Gluten Free Brown Rice Noodles). Try to use whole wheat or whole grain gluten free noodles. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Next, pour your pasta sauce on top.
Stir your pasta sauce in with the noodles.
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Stir cashew cheese sauce into the noodles, but not too much, leaving some pockets of cheese unmixed. Sprinkle Vegan Parmesan on top, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes.
This is a great meal to impress non-vegans and show them the magic of cashews as a stand in for cheese! We have a joke with some of our friends when they ask “what’s in this?”, that my answer is usually either cashews or chickpeas. It’s the truth!
See this recipe for Vegan Parmesan. This stuff is good anywhere you would use parmesan cheese, such as sprinkled over pasta or pizza. It keeps for weeks in the fridge in a glass container. I always have some on hand!
- 1 lb whole grain or gluten free ziti noodles (or similiar shape)
- 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 5-10 minutes
- ¾ cup water
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 25 oz jar marinara sauce
- ½ cup Vegan Parmesan, see link in text above
- Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Make the Cashew Cheese sauce: Add the soaked and drained cashews to a high powered blender along with the water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion powder and salt. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides down as needed.
- Add the cooked noodles to casserole dish.
- Pour the marinara sauce on top of noodles and stir to combine.
- Pour the cashew cheese on top of noodle/sauce mixture and stir gently, leaving pockets of cheese intact.
- Sprinkle vegan parmesan on the top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Serve with steamed kale, broccoli, or roasted brussel sprouts.
Check out The Best Vegan Lasagna for another healthy vegan Italian meal!