healthy vegan pasta bake
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Vegan Pesto Pasta Casserole

This creamy pesto pasta vegan casserole is pure comfort food! It's super simple to assemble, it's ready in 30 minutes, and it's loaded with delicious pesto flavor that everyone will gobble up! Vegan. 
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 585kcal
Author Stacey Eckert

Ingredients

Vegan Alfredo Sauce -

Pesto Pasta Casserole -

  • 3/4 cup vegan pesto (I used a 6.7 ounce bottle of Sprout's Organic Vegan Pesto)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup grated vegan parmesan cheese (I used Violife parmesan cheese)
  • 1/2 large lemon

Instructions

  • Here's the recipe for the vegan alfredo sauce
    ***Note - The vegan alfredo recipe calls for 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk but I added an additional 1/2 cup to the sauce because baking the pasta tends to dry it out a little bit. The extra 1/2 cup of liquid helps to keep it creamy. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Boil the pasta noodles in a large pot. While the noodles are cooking, make the vegan alfredo sauce.  
  • Drain the noodles, and pour them into a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Pour the alfredo sauce over the noodles and mix it well so the sauce coats each noodle. Evenly spoon the pesto sauce in dollops over the noodles and spread it over the top of the casserole. 
  • Add the diced tomatoes and top with grated parmesan cheese. Bake the casserole for 20 minutes or until it's hot all the way through. Remove the casserole from the oven and squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the top. Add a sprinkle of black pepper and more parmesan cheese if you'd like. 

Notes

  • Penne, rigatoni, cavatappi, ziti, elbows, or gemelli noodles are all good options for this vegan casserole. 
  • Feel free to add vegetables to the casserole: broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, peas, or cauliflower would be delicious additions. 
  • Use a smaller type of noodle to make it easier to serve and for a prettier presentation.
  • Don't skip the vegan parmesan! You can make it yourself or use store-bought (I love Violife) but either way it adds texture and flavor to the casserole.
  • You can use store-bought or homemade vegan pesto (I used Sprout's vegan pesto), it won't impact the taste of the casserole. 
  • Don't skip the fresh lemon juice at the end, it gives it such a delicious flavor boost!
  • I know that it's tempting to increase the oven temperature so it will cook quicker but please don't! If you bake the casserole at too high a temperature, the top of the noodles will get crispy and the casserole will be dry. 
  • Add water or unsweetened soy milk to the pan when reheating leftovers to help loosen up the sauce.
  • If you'd like to make this vegan casserole gluten-free, these chickpea noodles and these quinoa noodles are what I use. They taste great and they don't turn to mush when you cook them. 

Nutrition

Calories: 585kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 565mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 615IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 4mg