This vegan baked penne pasta casserole is so easy to throw together and makes the perfect week night meal prep! Simple, yet flavorful, and super cheesy!
People have asked us for more casserole dishes and we are here to provide them! This vegan baked penne pasta is SO easy to make!
Many people have dishes like this when they need something meal prepped ahead or even a last minute idea where they need something that is assembled within minutes, but then just thrown in the oven.
We’re here to show you that even vegans can have casserole meals like that, especially cheesy ones!
This baked penne pasta only needs 10 ingredients to make and most of them, you likely have laying around your pantry. We’ll give substitutions ideas and tips for perfecting this dish every single time!
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VEGAN BAKED PENNE PASTA INGREDIENTS:
Below are notes about the ingredients before we get into the full recipe located lower in this post on how to make this easy vegan penne pasta casserole:
- penne pasta – we couldn’t call these penne pasta without the penne pasta, so that’s what we are using for this recipe.
- bell pepper, onion and garlic – these are the base layer of flavor for our dish. They add healthy vegetable options, while starting to create layers of flavor depth
- vegan meatless crumbles – we are using a frozen meatless crumble (Morningstar in these photos) for this
- spaghetti sauce – we highly recommend our vegan homemade spaghetti sauce that is absolutely phenomenal. Alternatively, our favorite jarred sauce is Rao’s or Prego’s Farmers Market. You can use your favorite!
- fired roasted tomatoes – tomatoes are traditionally in chili and we love the additional of flavor that you get from using fire roasted ones in this recipe
- vegan parmesan – this adds some salty flavor while also being cheesy. Our go to is the Violife parmesan block because we like the taste and how it melts
- vegan mozzarella – You want a vegan shredded cheese that will meltable. You can use our shredded vegan cheese list to help. For this particular set of recipe photos we did use the new Follow Your Heart FINELY SHREDDED mozzarella and love how it melted.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
- penne pasta – any small noodles can be used, as well as gluten free noodles, like rotini, elbow noodles, etc
- vegan meatless crumbles – you can use vegan ground meat or if you want to omit you can use beans, walnut meat, mushrooms, cauliflower, jackfruit and more depending on your tastes!
- spaghetti sauce – use your favorite jarred if not making homemade! You can also try switching up the sauces, like vegan cheese sauce
- fired roasted tomatoes – other diced tomatoes can be used, we just love the added flavor of fire roasted
- vegan cheese – Try switching it up to cheddar if you’d prefer or adding some nutritional yeast instead of parmesan
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST VEGAN BAKED PENNE PASTA?
We highly recommend the following things:
- Only cook your noodles to al dente. This is a few minutes short of fully cooked. Because this gets baked and the noodles continued to get cooked, you don’t want to over cook them during the boiling phase because they they will be mushy once baked
- Take time to make the homemade spaghetti sauce – While there are some really great store brand sauces, nothing beats homemade. If you have the time, we highly recommend it.
- Use the best vegan cheeses – there are some really gross vegan cheese brands out there. We recommend using brands that you love! We personally used for this dish – Violife parmesan block, and Follow Your Heart Finely Shredded Mozzarella (this is new). See our vegan mozzarella taste test for inspiration!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes! This meal can be completely Top 8 Allergen Friendly.
First, make sure your pasta noodles are gluten free.
Then, you want to make sure that you are also choosing a vegan ground crumbles that are allergen friendly too. Some have soy and wheat in them. Try Lightlife ground as an option
There is usually oil in vegan meat crumbles and cheese, so it’s hard to remove it all unless you are making other swaps. For just the olive oil added, you can swap with vegetable stock to saute.
This recipe will last up to 3 days in the fridge, which means you could prep it that far in advance.
You may need to add a splash or broth when reheating if it needs it.
WHAT SIDES TO SERVE WITH THIS VEGAN PENNE PASTA CASSEROLE?
There are endless possibilities but a side salad and some bread are great starting points.
Here’s some bread ideas:
- Vegan Garlic Knots
- Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks
- Vegan Italian Cheesy Bread Rolls (photo shown above)
- Vegan Garlic Bread
- Easy Vegan Dinner Rolls
What other vegan pasta ideas could I make?
If you are like us, then pasta dishes are a go too! They are easy, usually budget friendly, and kid-friendly! Here’s some more delicious vegan pasta recipe ideas!
- Vegan Chili Mac and Cheese (photoed above)
- Vegan Crispy Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Garlic Parmesan Pasta
- Vegan Creamy Mushroom and Asparagus Pasta
- The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach (photoed above)
- The Best Vegan Lasagna
- Vegan Alfredo
- Vegan Cheesy Hamburger Helper Skillet
- Spinach and Walnut Pesto Pasta
- Vegan Carbonara
- Vegan Creamy Broccoli and Chickpea Pasta
Pin this vegan baked penne pasta casserole for later!
Let’s see your creations!
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Vegan Baked Penne Pasta
- 12 oz penne pasta, uncooked
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bell pepper, finely chopped (any color)
- 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
- 14 oz vegan meat crumbles
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 36 oz spaghetti sauce
- 1 15oz can fired roasted tomatoes, not drained
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan, shredded
- 1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella, shredded, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook pasta according to packaged instructions. Drain once done.
- In a separate large bottomed pot, add oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the peppers and onions and cook for 3-5 minutes of until softened.
- Add in the meatless crumbles and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, vegan parmesan and 1/2 cup of the vegan mozzarella. Stir together. Remove from heat. Pour in the drained, cooked penne and gently stir until well combined.
- Pour into a 9×13 casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining vegan mozzarella cheese over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted.