Vegan Baked Ziti is a super easy and filling weeknight meal. This easy pasta casserole comes together in under an hour.
Y'all, can you believe I let my kid almost turn SIX without ever feeding him baked ziti? This was a childhood favorite of mine, and I am so excited to have come up with an easy vegan baked ziti to share with my kid!
This recipe is SUPER easy. Like, woah.
Easy Baked Ziti
It uses jarred pizza sauce, though you are welcome to lovingly craft your tomato sauce from scratch instead. That's just not how I do things on a Tuesday. If only!
It also fully uses pre-made vegan meatballs. Traditional baked ziti has ground beef in it, but I left these meatballs whole, because I like the texture they add that way.
I tend to use Gardein "meatballs", but there are lots of other vegan meatballs out there, so choose your fave.
Magical Fairy Dust & Vegan Ricotta
There are two things in this recipe that I did make from scratch, and they're so worth the (very, very tiny amount of) effort. The first one is my Magical Fairy Dust.
If you haven't whipped up a batch of my Fairy Dust yet, drop what you are doing and DO THAT. It packs a big flavor punch, and we put it on everything lately. Pasta, rice, potatoes, veggies, tofu, and on top of this vegan baked ziti.
The other from-scratch element is the Tofu Ricotta, and it takes approximately three minutes to make. Crumble the tofu, add some olive oil, lemon juice, herbs and spices, and mix. BOOM.
Putting the Pasta Casserole Together
Assembling your ziti is all about layers:
- a little sauce
- a little pasta + a LOT of "meatballs"
- super easy tofu ricotta
- vegan cheese shreds
- a little more sauce
- more pasta
- more sauce
- another round of cheese shreds
- Fairy Dust
That's a lot of layers, but I promise that this recipe is still super simple to make. If you make the ricotta and cook the "meatballs" while the ziti boils, it all easily comes together in under an hour.
Vegan Baked Ziti
Make the Easy Tofu Ricotta
- 1 block extra firm tofu - pressed
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Baked Ziti
- 1 12-ounce package frozen vegan meatballs
- 1 14-ounce jar pizza sauce - check the ingredients for cheese, cream, and milk (You can also use about 2 cups of your favorite, homemade tomato sauce, if from-scratch is your thing.)
- 2 cups dry ziti - cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup vegan mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons Magical Fairy Dust
Make the Easy Tofu Ricotta While the Ziti Cooks
- Crumble the tofu into a medium bowl. Add the remaining tofu ricotta ingredients, and mix well. Set aside.
Assemble & Bake
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cook the meatballs in the oven or the air fryer. In the air fryer, cook for 10 minutes at 400F. In the oven, cook on a greased baking sheet at 400F for 20 minutes. This is a good time to boil up that ziti.
- Spread 1/2 cup of the pizza sauce to cover the bottom of an 8x8" glass pan. Layer on half of the cooked ziti, and arrange the meatballs, nestling them in with the pasta.
- Spread the tofu ricotta over the ziti and meatballs, then sprinkle 1/3 cup of the mozzarella over the ricotta. Spread on another 1/2 cup of the pizza sauce.
- Now, layer on the rest of the ziti, top with the remaining sauce, and top with the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle on the Magical Fairy Dust, and bake for 30 minutes.
- If vegan meatballs aren't your thing, you can omit them or substitute 1 3/4 cups cooked white beans or kidney beans.