For cold winter nights, theres nothing better than a hot bubbling dish of vegetarian baked ziti!
This baked pasta is super satisfying for a dinner, and makes a great dish for entertaining. It could be a delicious side dish for a holiday as well – a nice meatless alternative to a heavy holiday meal. Its sort of like a free-form lasagna.
This is a really great make ahead dish! It can be put together in a casserole dish the night before, covered, and then baked as normal the next day 🙂
Its perfect to assemble the day before, then pop in the oven before expecting company. Pairs perfectly with a nice salad and garlic bread!
The BEST Vegetarian Baked Ziti (Meatless, Gluten Free, Vegan Option)
- 1 (16 ounce) Box Ziti noodles Gluten Free
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 zucchini diced
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms about half cup diced
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 8 ounce container of ricotta cheese (For Vegan Option: sub 1 cup cashew cream)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese divided (For Vegan Option: sub Daiya cheese)
- 1/2 cup parsley chopped
- 1 egg For Vegan Option: sub flax egg
- 1 32 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes, pureed into sauce
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese For Vegan Option: sub vegan parm
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Ferenheit
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, cook the ziti al dente according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside.
- In a pan, heat the olive oil on low heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and onions and saute for 4-5 minutes until they become soft. Add the zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach, and saute for another 8 minutes until all veggies become soft.
- In a large bowl combine the ziti, ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, parsley, and egg. Mix together well so all the ziti is coated with the cheese.
- In a deep 13x9 inch baking dish, layer 1 cup San Marzano sauce, 1/3 of the ziti mixture, half vegetables, 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat until all pasta reaches 3 layers. Top with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake for 30 minutes covered, and an additional 20 minutes uncovered until pasta and cheese becomes hot and bubbly.