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Vegan Baked Ziti Recipe
I don’t know about you, but I have yet to find a good vegan baked ziti recipe anywhere on the internet!!
So, I decided to make my own! And, of course, share it with you!
It turned out way better than I had imagined it would; it seriously almost tastes like the ziti, or even stuffed shells, I remember from my childhood; even though the meals I remember from childhood had a ton of cheese in them.
And, although my recipe is meant for individual sized ziti cups, like little ziti muffins; the recipe absolutely works if you use an 8 inch baking dish instead! The baking time may need to be a little longer, though. I originally made these as a snack for the A to Z healthy snacks series, that’s why they are snack sized. But, add two or three together and you have yourself a meal!
Another great thing about these is that they are toddler approved!! My two year old loves these; sure, I cut them up a little smaller for her, but she’ll eat two whole baking cups of these for a meal!
Like usual, I took out most of my ingredients before starting. What isn’t shown is the breadcrumbs I used for the top, but those are optional. I also left the soymilk in the fridge for this picture. At this time, I want to let you know that you will need a food processor for this recipe, and then of course regular cooking items. But, I know I just bought my food processor maybe a year or two ago; before that, I had never even used one. It comes in super handy, and it’s something that I can’t really live without now!
If you’ve never used a food processor before, this is the one I use.
You’ll want to start the actual cooking process by peeling the potatoes and then chopping them and the carrots up. Boil them until you can easily stick a fork through them. This can take awhile, which is why it’s first. Once these are soft you then have to wait for them to cool before making the “cheese”.
In the mean time, preheat the oven to 375 ℉ and go ahead and cook the ziti. This certainly doesn’t take as long as cooking the veggies. When it’s done, make sure to drain and then cover until the “cheese” can be poured in and mixed with it. (I used a big pot for the veggies and the small one for the pasta.)
If you still have time while the ziti cooks and the veggies cool, set up the baking cups on a cookie sheet, or prepare the baking dish. You could also make the breadcrumb topping at this point, too. Simply mix the breadcrumbs with nutritional yeast. For the baking cups I had a little extra. If you choose to use a dish instead of cups and need more topping; it’s simply 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs for every 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
Make the “cheese”
Once the veggie cool, go ahead and drain them and transfer them to the food processor. Then add in all of the other ingredients, besides the marinara sauce and breadcrumbs. Process them until they have a good consistency. It should be like a thick sauce. Once it’s at a good consistency, go ahead and pour it over the cooked and drained ziti. Stir the “cheese” sauce in and add in the marinara sauce. Make sure everything gets mixed evenly.
When you have the ziti evenly coated you can separate it out into the baking cups, it should fill about 18 of them. Or, if you’re trying to go more traditional about making this, pour the coated ziti into your baking dish. Then add the topping, if you want to. It’s completely up to you.
Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the ziti starts to feel firm when you poke it; just don’t burn yourself poking it. Again, if you used a baking dish, the cook time is going to be longer. Maybe, check it at 20 and then check it every 5 to 10 minutes after until it looks and feels done.
Enjoy your cruelty free, delicious ziti!!
Makes 18 muffin sized cups.
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
- about 12 large baby carrots (or 2 to 3 large regular carrots)
- 3 cups dried ziti
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp soymilk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- a pinch of paprika
- a pinch of black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup marinara sauce (depends on how saucy you like your ziti)
For the topping
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Preheat the oven to 375℉. Peel, chop, and cook the sweet potatoes and carrots; then cool when soft. Cook the ziti, when done; drain and cover. As soon as the veggies are cool, place in food processor with all other ingredients, besides the marinara sauce and topping ingredients. Process til it turns into a thick sauce. Mix the “cheese” sauce in with the drained ziti, also add in the marinara sauce at this time. Make sure the ziti gets completely covered then pour it into the baking cups, or if you chose to use an 8 inch baking dish instead, pour it in that. Make the topping if you haven’t already; add to the top of the ziti. Then cook for about 20 minutes or til ziti is slightly firm to the touch. Don’t burn yourself! If using a baking dish, it will take longer. Check on it at 20 minutes and then every 5 to 10 minutes til done.
Enjoy!! and don’t forget to share this vegan baked ziti recipe with your friends and family!