This Vegan Baked Spaghetti Casserole is an easy and comforting family dinner! It's a one-pan recipe, made with healthy pantry ingredients!
If you are searching for some new dinner ideas, this vegetarian baked spaghetti will be your new family favorite! It's cozy, hearty, and a real crowd-pleaser!
Baked pasta (also called spaghetti pie) is traditionally made with pre-cooked pasta that gets tossed in a hearty meat and tomato sauce. Then it's topped with lots of cheese and baked until golden.
My version is a lot simpler because the pasta doesn't require pre-cooking, you simply throw everything into a casserole dish, and bake until cheesy perfection!
This baked pasta dish is 100% plant-based, soy-free, and dairy-free, and can be made oil-free.
Ingredients and notes
See the recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Spaghetti: We use regular pasta here, but if you want to add more fiber, you can whole wheat spaghetti noodles.
- Marinara: Make sure to use a good-quality marinara sauce or your favorite pasta sauce, because it makes a lot of difference.
- Canned tomatoes: Diced tomatoes from a can work best here.
- Vegan cheese: We use vegan mozzarella cheese, but any type of dairy-free cheese will work! If you don't have vegan cheese on hand, you can top the casserole with a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast instead.
- Cooked lentils: Use canned lentils to make this recipe easier. They add protein and fiber and give volume to the dish. You can also use black beans.
- Vegetable broth: Either store-bought or homemade. You can also use water.
- Olive oil: It gives some more flavor to the dish, but you can omit it for an oil-free option.
- Vegetables: For this, I am using red bell pepper and red onion, but you can also use yellow onion, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and spinach.
- Spices: You'll need Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. If you don't have Italian seasoning on hand, you can use equal parts oregano and dried basil.
How to Make Vegan Baked Spaghetti
Then, add chopped tomatoes, marinara sauce, spices, minced garlic, basil leaves, olive oil (optional), vegetable broth, and salt and black pepper. Stir carefully until everything is well mixed.
Bake for 25 minutes. Then, remove from the oven, add shredded cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes more, or until it's golden on top and the pasta is fully cooked.
Serve right away and garnish with some fresh basil and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese!
- Add salt in the beginning. Just as with boiling pasta on the stovetop, it's important to salt your pasta in the beginning, before adding the layer of shredded cheese. This way you'll have more flavor in every bite.
- Add enough liquid. It may seem like this recipe requires a lot of liquid at first, but trust me when I say that you'll need all of those 3 cups for your pasta to cook properly.
- Stir halfway to prevent sticking. I personally don't mind if the pasta sticks, but if you are not a fan, be sure to use pasta tongs to stir everything well before adding the cheese on top.
- Add more vegetables. This recipe is so versatile! You can add veggies like mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. No need to pre-cook them.
- If you don't want to use the one-pan method, you can cook the pasta in a separate pot. You'll need to cook it following the package directions, until al dente. Then, add the cooked spaghetti to the baking dish or to a mixing bowl and toss it with the rest of the ingredients, except for the vegetable broth which you won't need.
There is no need to cover your casserole before baking. There is enough liquid to ensure that the pasta won't dry out. Plus, you'll get some crispy edges, which is always a win.
No! There is no need for that one extra step, you can add everything uncooked, including the pasta.
Yes. This recipe freezes well for 3 months, but you can also freeze it uncooked. Make sure to wrap it securely. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as per instructions.
If you want to switch things up, you can use penne, fusilli, linguini, or angel hair pasta. The pros of using small-shaped pasta like penne are that stirring the casserole halfway through is a lot easier.
Also, note that if you're using angel hair pasta you'll need to add ½ cup less vegetable broth and bake the casserole for 10-15 minutes less since angel hair pasta is thinner and cooks faster.
Yes, this recipe can be assembled 2-3 days in advance and kept in the fridge until you're ready to bake! Make sure to wrap the top of the casserole dish with foil or cover it with a lid to prevent it from drying.
Let leftovers cool to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 4-5 days!
More Easy Vegan Pasta Recipes
Vegan Baked Spaghetti Casserole
- A casserole
- 1 pound (500gr) spaghetti (not cooked)
- 1 15 oz can lentils, drained and rinsed
- ½ of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium red pepper, diced (~1 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water
- 2 cups shredded vegan cheese*
- Add uncooked pasta, lentils, onion, and red peppers, followed by minced garlic, fresh basil, dry basil, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Next add olive oil, chopped tomatoes, marinara sauce, and vegetables broth.
- Use your clean hands or pasta tongs to mix everything until it's well coated. Bake for 25 minutes, uncovered.
- Take the casserole out of the oven, and give it a gentle stir to prevent the pasta from sticking. Top with shredded vegan cheese and bake for 20 minutes more or until the top is golden and the pasta is well cooked.
- Serve immediately with fresh basil on top, and if you are feeling fancy, sprinkle with some vegan parmesan. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with third-party calculations without including the optional ingredients.