How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that’s creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It’s made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.

Meet your new favorite comforting dinner: vegan baked ziti! It’s creamy, cheesy, soul-warming, and super flavorful. It has a few homemade components, but it all comes together surprisingly easily. Perfect for chilly nights!

Early on in our relationship, my boyfriend Kyle told me baked ziti is his favorite food. Baked ziti – filled with gluten noodles and meat and lots and lots of dairy-filled cheeses. Not exactly of the gluten-free, dairy-free, primarily plant-based diet I follow.

How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that's creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It's made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.

But come his birthday in July, I wanted to make him his favorite baked ziti, but make it gluten-free vegan baked zitiSo, I developed this recipe. As it turns out, making this vegan baked ziti is a simple process and is just as satisfying as the original baked ziti your mom served!

Now — let’s talk about how to make the vegan baked ziti deliciousness:

How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that's creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It's made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.

The Main Components of Vegan Baked Ziti

  • Pasta: traditionally, baked ziti is made with ziti noodles. They are a tube noodle with straight-cut edges. I don’t think any gluten-free noodle brands make a ziti noodle, so I used penne. If you are not gluten-free, use traditional ziti noodles.
  • Marinara Sauce: I always use a store-bought marinara sauce here. My favorite brands are Rao’s, Michael’s of Brooklyn, Lucini, and Thrive Market Brand. To bulk up the marinara sauce, we’ll add in a ton of sauteed mushrooms and onions.
  • Homemade Easy Vegan Ricotta: I prefer to make my vegan ricotta, mostly because it’s so simple and easy to make. To make it, you’ll simply blend up raw blanched slivered almonds, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt. However, if you prefer, you can purchase vegan ricotta already made. I recommend Kite Hill.
  • Homemade Vegan Mozzarella Sauce: I opted to make a homemade vegan mozzarella sauce as well. It’s simpler than it sounds and simply requires blending all of the ingredients together and then letting them cook over the stove for a few minutes. However, if you prefer to buy your favorite vegan cheese and use that instead, go for it!

Pretty simple, right?

How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that's creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It's made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.

As for the actual recipe steps, they go like this:

  1. Saute mushrooms and onions in olive oil. Add your marinara sauce and warm through.
  2. Stir the cooked pasta in your sauce to coat it completely.
  3. Dollop on the vegan ricotta. Stir in gently.
  4. Pour the noodles into a prepared casserole dish.
  5. Pour the vegan mozzarella sauce over the noodles.
  6. Bake until the mozzarella is browning and bubbly.
  7. Garnish with herbs as desired and devour!

How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that's creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It's made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.

I hope you adore the gluten-free and vegan baked ziti recipe as much as I do. This warm, cheesy vegan casserole is a belly-warming dish that will leave you feeling so satisfied.

I love serving it with my Vegan Caesar Salad on the side for some fresh greens! It’s also great with a side of my favorite roasted broccoli. Enjoy!!

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How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that's creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It's made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.

Vegan Baked Ziti

  • Author: Rachel Conners
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, vegan dinner

Description

How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that’s creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It’s made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.


Ingredients

Scale

Homemade Vegan Ricotta

  • 1 ½ cups slivered blanched almonds or raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove or 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  •  cup water

Homemade Vegan Mozzarella

  • ⅔ cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon agar powderthis is the one I use
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • ⅓ cup (67g) refined coconut oil
  • 1⅔ cups water

For the baked ziti

  • 12 oz. (1 box) ziti or penne pasta, gluten-free if needed, cooked as directed on the box
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, diced
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9” square baking dish or similarly sized casserole dish by lightly greasing with olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Begin by making the homemade cheeses if you are making them from scratch. If you’re using store bought cheeses, skip to the “prepare the baked ziti” section.

For the homemade ricotta

  1. Add all ricotta ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed (~2 minutes). It should be well pureed and not chunky. If the mixture needs some help blending, add water a little at a time until you’ve reached a thick, creamy texture.
  2. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt for overall flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and lemon juice for acidity.

For the homemade mozzarella

  1. Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour out into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. It will start to thicken — as it does, continue to stir very vigorously.
  3. As soon as it starts to bubble along the sides, set your timer for 2 minutes and keep stirring, after the 2 minutes has timed out, remove from the heat. Keep covered until ready to use.

To prepare the baked ziti

  1. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add in the diced onions and mushrooms and sauté until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have evaporated all of their water and are starting to brown slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the marinara sauce.
  2. If your pan is large enough, add the pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Alternatively, you can pour the sauce over the pasta in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Dollop on the ricotta cheese and stir gently — you want to incorporate it slightly but not completely mix it into the sauce.
  4. Pour the pasta into the prepared casserole pan and then pour or dollop the mozzarella cheese sauce over the top. You may have some leftover – if you do, just pour into a bowl or small container and keep it in the fridge.
  5. At this point, you can store the baked ziti tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  6. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  7. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese on top is browning and bubbling.
  8. Garnish with fresh herbs, I used fresh basil.

Notes

The Vegan Mozzarella recipe is adapted from Alison at Loving It Vegan – she makes all sorts of amazing homemade vegan cheeses!

Keywords: vegan dinner, vegan baked ziti, gluten-free baked ziti, vegan mozzarella, vegan ricotta

How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that's creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It's made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.

How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that's creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It's made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.

How to make Vegan Baked Ziti that's creamy, cheesy, and absolutely delicious! It's made with gluten-free noodles, marinara sauce, easy vegan ricotta cheese, and homemade vegan mozzarella sauce.

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