The best baked ziti recipe
This Vegan Baked Ziti is vegan comfort food at it's finest. The tangy marinara, hearty tofu ricotta and smoky vegan "cheese" are a flavor sensation. I dare anyone to try this comforting meal and say vegans are missing out. A major plus is this vegan version is lower in fat and higher in protein than the classic dairy version!
For this Vegan Baked Ziti we make a quick homemade marinara sauce. Of course if you prefer to use a store-bought marinara you may but this one is easy and has very few ingredients. There is no added sugar and if you prefer to omit the salt, you may. It will still be very tasty. I like making my own marinara since I can make the sauce while the pasta cooks.
What is tofu ricotta?
For the tofu ricotta we will combine crumbled tofu with spices. I add nutritional yeast to make it cheesey. However be aware that people who are sensitive to msg may react to "nooch". It is amazing how similar in taste and texture tofu is to ricotta cheese. I like mine with bigger chunks which is why I simple crumble the tofu but you can put yours in a food processor to make it creamier.
Tips for using vegan cheese
The vegan "cheese" I used in this recipe is smoked provolone but there are many wonderful vegan cheeses out there that will work in this recipe. I like "smoked" cheeses that have a bit more depth to their flavors and I also go light on the vegan cheeses. Vegan cheese is great for texture but does not have the same flavor as a dairy cheese. In this vegan baked ziti, the smoked provolone adds a nice flavor but if you cannot find it, a regular vegan mozzarella will do the trick.
More vegan pasta recipes
If you like vegan pasta dinners, check out these other recipes:
Vegan Baked Ziti
- 1 pound ziti
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ onion small dice
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 red bell pepper cut in cubes
- 1 pound extra firm tofu drained and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 4 slices vegan smoked provolone diced fine
- Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside until last step.
Make the sauce
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add the garlic, onion, and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, until toasty. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, salt and maple syrup and boil. Simmer 5 minutes while you make the ricotta.
- In a bowl put the tofu, salt, nutritional yeast, vegan provolone, and Italian seasoning, crumble the tofu and mix all of the ingredients until combined
- In a large casserole dish, mix the cooked pasta and sauce. I like to use mine saucy but use to your preferences. Once the pasta is coated with the sauce, crumble the ricotta mixture over pasta and mix it in gently.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes at 375 until it is hot in the center.