Spaghetti Casserole loaded with greens and beans, then topped with vegan cheese is my family's new dinner obsession, and it is the easiest thing ever!
This vegan Spaghetti Casserole recipe is really the result of my husband and I being terrible at communicating about groceries. Somehow, we ended up with five boxes of spaghetti in the pantry.
Y'all, I don't normally even love spaghetti. But clearly, I needed to find a spaghetti recipe that I loved eating.
This Spaghetti Casserole is it! My whole family is wild about it, which is a win all on its own. It's also super duper easy, because it's full of cheater steps:
- Cook the canned chickpeas in the same pot as the pasta.
- Use the boiling water from the pasta pot to cook the kale right in the colander.
- All dried herbs and spices mean zero mincing or chopping.
It really is the simplest thing to make. Just boil the pasta and beans, then pour them into a colander piled high with chopped kale (tip: buy bagged, pre-chopped kale. You deserve it!). Transfer the whole thing to a baking pan with vegan butter, toss in some dried herbs, cover in vegan cheese, and bake.
It is great fresh from the oven or reheated the next day for lunch. And it makes a ton, so you'll likely have plenty to pack in your lunchbox.
This is also a great make-ahead casserole. I haven't tried freezing it, but I have made it up to a day ahead, then refrigerated. Just let it sit out for about 30 minutes or so, to come closer to room temperature, before you pop it into the oven.
Why Not Tomato Sauce?
I can feel you wondering now why I'd opt for vegan butter instead of tomato sauce in this recipe, and the answer is simple: Dave can't have tomato sauce. It makes him really ill!
Also, butter is delicious, y'all.
Instead of baked-in tomato sauce, the tomato-lovers in my house top our bowls with fresh tomato, so everyone can have what we want.
If you want to reduce the fat in this recipe, you are more than welcome to add a cup of tomato sauce to the pan, rather than use the butter. I have not tested the recipe this way, but this seems like a foolproof substitution to me!
Drop a comment, if you make this with tomato sauce, so we can hear how it went!
My Family's Favorite Spaghetti Casserole
- 1 16 ounce box spaghetti
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas - drained
- 8 cups chopped fresh kale - loosely packed
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 7.1 oz. bag vegan cheese shreds of your choice - We love using vegan mozzarella, but I've made this with cheddar and would love it with pepperjack, too!
- chopped fresh tomato - for topping, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, and add the chickpeas to the pot when you add the spaghetti. While the pasta cooks, chop the kale, and put it into the colander.
- When the pasta is done cooking, pour it into the colander, making sure that the super hot water hits all of the kale. This will cook the kale a-plenty.
- Measure the vegan butter into a 9x13" pan, then transfer the hot pasta-bean-kale mixture from the colander to the same pan, so it melts the butter. Add the Italian seasoning and garlic powder, and toss to coat everything in the butter and seasonings. You can add salt and pepper, to taste, at this point, if that's your jam. I never do this, but you do you.
- Top the whole thing with the vegan cheese shreds, then bake for 20 minutes. Serve hot, and top with some fresh tomato, if that's your thing.