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Made with your favorite vegan sausage, pasta, and sauce…along with a few other ingredients, this Vegan Pasta Bake is pure nostalgia and creamy delicious. It will remind you of the pasta bake casserole of your childhood – only made vegan!
For some other easy vegan remakes on classic family favorites click on the links:
- Salsa Verde Mexican Casserole
- Easy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole
- Vegan Devil’s Food Cake
- Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole
Does anyone else remember the gooey, saucy, chewy pasta bake of years gone by? You might have called it goulash or Italian casserole. In my family, we called it “goo-flop” – appropriately named by one of our regular babysitters who made a terrible mess when she dumped it on the counter and made a gooey disaster – or “flop”. We didn’t care! We just scooped it up and chowed down.
“Goo-flop”, or classic pasta bake has long been one of my childhood favorites I was eager to recreate and veganize. In the past, I was never really happy with the vegan meat substitutes I used to recreate this dish until I tried Beyond Sausage. It was absolute perfection! Give it a try and I think you will agree.
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What you will need to make this recipe:
- dry pasta of choice – I use a thick tube-like pasta like rigatoni for all of the yummy ingredients to tuck into
- vegan sausage of choice – I like Beyond Sausage (the spicy kind- it really isn’t that spicy though)
- chopped onion of choice – white/yellow/shallot
- light tasting oil for sauteing the onion and cooking the sausage – I like avocado
- pasta sauce – I use bottled sauce but feel free to make your favorite. I’ll list some suggestions below. You will need about five cups which is two 24 ounce jars.
- nutritional yeast (Amazon affiliate link)
- vegan cheese shreds
How to make this quick and easy vegan pasta bake:
It really couldn’t be easier! While you are boiling the water and cooking the pasta, you can prepare the sauce.
Chop the onion and the sausage links. Cook both with a little oil until the sausage is browned the the onion is softened. (If your vegan sausage is precooked then just cut into small pieces and add to the onion after it has softened and begun to brown.)
You will want to sop up any grease in the pan after the sausage and onion have cooked. I use a paper towel for this.
Next, I add the sauce, nutritional yeast, and vegan cheese shreds. Stir around to heat and incorporate all of the ingredients.
By now the pasta should be finished cooking. (You will want to cook your pasta to al dente because it will continue to cook in the oven.) Drain the pasta well and add the sauce to the pasta and stir.
Baking the pasta:
Now, you could stop here – just after you’ve stirred to cooked pasta sauce into the noodles. It will taste fine, but it won’t be an actual pasta bake. And it won’t be quite as delicious. When you bake this pasta dish, all the flavors meld and the texture gets to that slightly softened gooey perfection.
So pour it into a prepared casserole dish and bake away until you hit pasta bake perfection! Please note that you are using vegan cheese and it’s not likely going to melt like dairy cheese would. It’s just a fact. It’s okay.
Can I make my own sauce?
Sure if you are into that! I have found some really yummy jarred sauces though and it sure is a time-saver on a busy night to just pour them in. I have a new favorite, Rao’s Marinara. It tastes pretty darned authentic. You can probably find it at your grocery store. I’ve ordered mine from amazon. (Affiliate link) But keep in mind that you will only need about 5 cups and might have some extra in their larger jars. I’ve never minded because it’s so delicious.
If you would like to make your own sauce, you can try these recipes. Just remember to adjust for the amount you’ll need:
- Homemade Pasta Sauce, Oil-Free (this one’s mine and you will want to double it)
- Quick and Easy Spicy Marinara Sauce from Veggie Inspired (you will need to 1.5x this recipe)
- My Mom’s Pasta Sauce from Rescue Dog Kitchen (this one makes 18 cups so you will need to cut it down significantly or freeze the remainder)
This recipe makes 6 hearty servings. It works great for meal prep and will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days BUT pay attention to the expiration date on the vegan sausage and don’t keep it past that date.
Otherwise…. serve with some crusty bread, a nice crunchy green salad, and a glass of red wine. Sit back and relax and be grateful you didn’t work all day in the kitchen for this one!
The recipe with printable recipe card:
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- 16 ounces dry shapped pasta I used rigatoni
- salted water to cover pasta
- 14 ounces vegan sausage uncooked
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 Tablespoon oil I used avocado
- 2 24 ounce jars pasta sauce 5 cups
- 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup vegan cheese shreds
- optional vegan cheese shreds to sprinkle on top
- Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°
- Following package directions, boil 16 ounces of shaped pasta till al dente.
- Whiile the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, you may prepare the vegan meaty pasta sauce.
- Prepare the onion by chopping/dicing into small pieces. Break up the uncooked vegan sausage or meat of choice. (See notes if your vegan meat is precooked.)
- Pour the oil in a medium-sized pan. Cook the onion and vegan meat on med/high heat until browned. This will take 9-12 minutes.
- If you have excess oil in your pan, you should drian most of it or sop it up with a paper towel. Do not rinse your cooked meat.
- Add in the pasta sauce, nutritional yeast, and vegan cheese. Heat for a few minutes till heated through.
- After the pasta has finished cooking, drain it well and add the cooked sauce to the pasta. Stir together.
- Pour the pasta with sauce into prepared pan.
- If you choose to add the optional shredded vegan cheese on top, sprinkle up to 1/2 cup. Remember, this is vegan cheese and probably won't get nice and melty.
- Cover with foil and bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. It will be nice and bubbly and the pasta will have absorbed that yummy saucse. But don't be sad if your vegan cheese doesn't melt. It will get hot and "melty" but keep it's shape.