Vegan cheesy pasta "lasagna" bake

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Usually when I ask Dayv what he wants for dinner, he shrugs and offers a suggestion that's completely off the table.  I'm sorry, but I don't have four hours today to make homemade gluten-free vegan ravioli.  (I have been saying these exact words every week for the last two years.  I guess I should find the time to make ravioli sometime soon...)  So, I end up going to the grocery store and getting the same things I always get to make the same meals over and over again.  

Luckily, Dayv offered a pretty interesting suggestion a couple weeks ago- a lasagna-like dish that wasn't lasagna.  Kind of obscure and abstract, but I was definitely up to the challenge.

I decided to combine pasta and cheese sauce, then layer it with tomato sauce and shredded cheese.  I based the cheese sauce off of the cashew crema in my lasagna recipe in order to keep it more ricotta-like, as opposed to a macaroni and cheese variety.  

I had no idea what to expect, but the results were amazing.  The shells created little pockets of cheese and tomato sauce throughout the dish, and all of the elements melded perfectly together.  It also smelled amazing and reminded me of the baked ziti I grew up eating as a child.  Only better.

Vegan cheesy pasta "lasagna" bake
serves four to six
2.5 c dry pasta, gluten-free if necessary (I used shells)

heaping 1 c cashews, soaked for six hours
juice from 1/4 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
pinch of salt 
1/2 c water

2-3 c tomato sauce
vegan mozzarella cheese (I used Teese)

Cook pasta according to instructions.  While pasta is cooking, combine cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt, and water in food processor and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides when necessary.  Drain pasta and then place back into pot.  Add cheese mixture and combine until pasta is evenly coated.

Preheat oven to 350.  In an 8x8 casserole dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce.  Next, spread half of the pasta in the dish and cover with tomato sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.  Repeat with the other half of the pasta, more tomato sauce and cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and place in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool for about 5 minutes, and serve.  Enjoy!


  1. That looks deeeeeelish!!!!! Def saving this recipe. I make a tomato sauce-less vegetable lasagna that could easily swap out almond cheese for regular cheese!

  2. That's so funny about Dayv always picking something that would take hours to make! I used to pose the same question to David, and he'd come back with an Ethiopian platter. That only required making injera, niter kibbeh, any necessary spice mixes, and several kinds of stew! It's the equivalent of asking for homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast! ;) Your pasta looks very tasty. I'm sure it made Dayv a happy man!

    1. HAH! Mark always asks for homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Some things he'll never learn...

  3. the pasta bake looks fabulous.l am sure it took some hours to make to! :))
    hubbs is still waiting for his authentic marwari (regional) indian meal which has multiple dishes. he might just get some because i have to make some for the cookbook:)

  4. This dish looks delicious! I think that I am going to have to try it. In my opinion every night could be a pasta night.

  5. Yum! I love that I have all of the ingredients for this! It looks sooooo goooood! :)

  6. This looks delicious! We don't have nutritional yeast here - is it okay to omit it from the recipe or will it turn out too differently?

    1. thanks! you can omit the nutritional yeast. since it's only a tablespoon, the flavor shouldn't change very much.

  7. That looks so good Caitlin! Love the fact that it's so simple and quick to make as well!


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