Vegan Baked Ziti is the perfect weeknight meal. It’s filling, flavorful, and super easy to make. You can customize the sauce to add in some of your favorite veggies or just add some of Gardein’s beefless ground, which tastes JUST like bolognese sauce.
Let's talk sauce!
You can really make this sauce however you want, there's no right or wrong way. I kept it simple and just used my favorite marinara sauce (oil free) with Gardein's beefless ground. I do add some chopped onions, garlic, and jalapeños with seasoning to the sauce to 'jazz' it up a little bit more. You know..for more flavor!
If you want to be even healthier, add mushrooms, zucchini, and other favorite veggies. Just make sure to cook them through completely before adding in the marinara sauce.
This sauce is super versatile, you can use it in so many different pastas - I even use it as my main Bolognese sauce on spaghetti night. Always a hit!
**Gardein's beefless ground does have oil in there, so if you'd like to keep this recipe completely oil free then you can sub with just veggies or soya chunks**
Why you need this cashew cream in your life
..well for starters, it's just A M A Z I N G! I use it for SO many recipes, lasagnas, stuffed shells, and so much more. The recipe is pretty easy, just throw everything a high speed blender and blend until smooth. **For a nut free version of this recipe, just sub the cashews with 1 block of silken tofu
Homemade Parmesan Cheese- YES PLEASE!!
I topped my ziti off with my homemade parmesan cheese, which is totally optional, but it adds that nice crusty texture. You can also use store bought vegan mozzarella if you prefer that instead.
Gluten free pasta, especially the ones made from chickpeas or brown rice, break really easily when overcooked. Cook the pasta until el dente as it will cook a little bit more in the oven as well. **Always make sure you check your ingredients as some gluten free pastas are not vegan.
If you want to make sure this recipe stays oil free, be sure to use a marinara sauce that is oil free as well. I love the organic ones you can find at Trader Joes and Whole Foods
If you like your ziti more on the saucy side then I would recommend using 1.5 jars of marinara sauce.
If you're going to make the cashew cream, then I do suggest making this a couple of hours ahead of time so it's nice and cool when you add it to the ziti.
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12 oz cooked GF ziti pasta**(see notes)
1 jar marinara sauce
1/2 cup Gardein’s beefless beef ground (optional - sub with veggies or soya chunks for oil free)
1/2 onion - finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper - finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
Salt to taste
1.5 tsp Italian seasoning
1 - 1.5 tsp paprika
1/4 cup cashew cream** (see notes)
1/2 cup homemade vegan parmesan** (see notes)
Preheat oven to 375º F
Cook the pasta according to package instructions
In a medium saucepan, sauce the onions until translucent and then add the chopped jalapeno and minced garlic - cook for another 2 minutes
Add in the beefless ground and cook for another 3 minutes
Add in the marinara sauce, salt, Italian seasoning, and paprika - cook for 4 minutes then remove from heat
In a deep baking dish, add the cooked pasta, then pour the sauce over, add the cashew cream and spread evenly, top with parmesan cheese
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes