This Vegan Baked Pasta with Tofu Ricotta is perfect if you are looking for an easy, budget-friendly meal that is also delicious!
Back when I was going to college in Chicago, I was on a strict budget.
Between living in Chicago and going to private art school, I didn't have lot of extra money to spend on groceries.
One of my favorite recipes to make was this Vegan Baked Pasta with Tofu Ricotta.
This baked pasta recipe doesn't require any expensive ingredients to make it.
When I first started making this recipe years ago, the vegan cheese options are the market weren't the greatest. Plus, a little on the expensive side if you have a limited budget.
I think that this baked pasta doesn't need the extra vegan cheese on top.
If you love vegan shredded cheese and have some on hand, you can always add some halfway through the cooking time.
How to Make the vegan baked pasta
The recipe for this Vegan Baked Pasta with Tofu Ricotta starts by boiling the pasta.
Whenever you are making a baked pasta recipe, you want to undercook your pasta by a minute or two according to the package directions.
This prevents the pasta from overcooking and getting mushy.
For a gluten-free option, I really love using Banza chickpea penne pasta. It holds up really well when baked too!
After the pasta is cooked, it gets tossed with marinara sauce. You can use your favorite store-bought marinara sauce or homemade sauce.
I always stock up on my favorite brands of marinara sauce when they go on sale at my local grocery store.
For this recipe, you'll need two bottles of jared marinara sauce.
The pasta gets layered with tofu ricotta. I love the combination of the ricotta and pasta.
The tofu ricotta is very easy to make. The lemon juice and nutritional yeast give the tofu a cheesy-like flavor.
Another layer of pasta goes on top of the tofu ricotta. The pasta gets topped with the remaining marinara sauce and bakes in the oven.
I like to let the pasta sit for a few minutes before serving. This just makes it easier to scoop out of the pan.
This Vegan Baked Pasta with Tofu Ricotta also reheats beautifully. Perfect for meal prepping too!
I always think that the leftovers taste better the next day too.
I hope that you enjoy this Vegan Baked Pasta with Tofu Ricotta recipe as much as I do! If you make this recipe, be sure to tag us @thymeandlove and #thymeandlove on Instagram!
Vegan Baked Pasta with Tofu Ricotta
Penne pasta tossed with marinara sauce and layered with tofu ricotta. An easy, budget-friendly meal!
- 12 Ounces Penne Pasta
- 3 ½ Cups Marinara Sauce, homemade or store-bought
- 1 Pound Extra Firm Tofu, pressed and drained
- 3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon Dried Basil
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil an 8 by 8 baking dish or casserole dish.
- Bring a lot pot of water to a rolling boil, add the penne pasta, and cook 1-2 minutes less than the package directions call for. You want the pasta to be al dente. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
- Add 2 cups of the marinara sauce to the pasta; stir to combine.
- Meanwhile, make the tofu ricotta. In a large bowl, crumble the tofu. Add the nutritional yeast, juice of 1 lemon, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to evenly combine.
- Taste and see if it needs more lemon juice for tang or salt.
- Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan. Add half of the pasta. Top with tofu ricotta. Add the remaining pasta on top.
- Pour the remaining marinara sauce on top, spreading evenly, making sure all of the pasta is covered in sauce.
- Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the pasta is cooked and the sauce is bubbling.
- Serve and enjoy!
Hi there! This looks like a great recipe!
I was wondering if you had any tips for adding a vegetable layer to the pasta to make it more well-rounded in terms of nutrients (tips on preparation and what vegetables may go best, as well).
Thanks in advance! I'm looking forward to trying this out!
Thank you! I think adding a vegetable layer would be great! You could really add any sautéed vegetable that would like. I think mushrooms and spinach would be a great addition. Also, maybe some roasted eggplant would be delicious!
I am really annoyed that I didn't get any photos before we gobbled this delicious dish up! I followed the recipe exactly. However I did add a layer of spinach and sliced mushroom topping. It looked beautiful and tasted amazing. My husband was impressed that there was no meat or dairy in this meal. I will be making this more often as it was extremely easy and yummy. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
I am new to the vegan world and this was my first experiment with tofu. Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe! It tastes amazing!
I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it! Welcome to the vegan world! 🙂
Best vegan ricotta recipe ever! Tasted good by itself 😋
Looks yummy! Can't wait to try this.
This was an excellent recipe. I add mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, and thyme. It was a hit at church today. Everyone went crazy for the recipe. Thanks
This baked pasta recipe is the best I’ve ever had! It tastes better than the baked ziti my mom made when I was a kid. (And better than my own vegan ziti recipe I created when I was new at creating recipes.) I usually have to adjust recipes to my own taste preferences, but this was perfect just the way it was! Plus, my kids love it! Thank you!
Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so happy that your family enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
Omg just made this - sooo yummy and easy to make! The vegan ricotta was everything 🤤
Made this tonight and it is fantastic. We added zucchini, onion, spinach and mushroom. I will definitely add this to the weekly rotation. I'll also be stealing the tofu ricotta for other dishes. 🤤
Would firm instead of extra firm work as that’s all I have on hand?
Yes, it should work! I would just make sure to press it really well.
I made this. It was okay, pretty basic. I wouldn't make it again
I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy this. This is meant to be a budget-friendly, easy pasta recipe!
I was surprise at how much I loved this recipe!! It's soooo simple yet so delicious. I've made it several times, freezes well, and I add shredded zucchini or spinach depending on what I have on hand. Thank you so much!
This is very good and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed. I added spinach as well and little more seasoning. Thanks for sharing and it is inexpensive but doesn’t taste like it. A great ‘go to’ recipe.