This easy vegan baked spaghetti makes for the best comfort food recipe to serve to your family! It is so full of amazing flavors and it includes vegan tofu cream cheese with marinara sauce and yummy crunchy vegetables. Perfect to make ahead and fully vegan, dairy-free and easy to make gluten-free.
I couldn’t wait to share this vegan baked spaghetti recipe on the blog, it is so delicious everyone loved it! It is also called "spaghetti pie" and it is filled with healthy pantry ingredients.
I do love a good simple baked pasta dish for dinner, especially when I am craving comfort food. They are perfect for meal-prep and usually super easy to come together so you can make them during the week, but also festive and elegant enough for the weekend or to serve to guests.
My go-to vegan baked pasta recipes have been this roasted garlic white sauce vegetable rigatoni and this cauliflower mac and cheese for a while now. I love to make them ahead of a busy week to have a healthy dinner ready-to-go without a fuss when I don't feel like cooking later in the week.
And recently I was eager to make another baked pasta recipe for the blog before the summer heat hit us and came up with this vegetarian baked spaghetti that I am sure you will LOVE!
Similarly to my vegan baked ziti and my bechamel lentil lasagna, it combines layers of red AND white sauces. I used a store-bought marinara sauce for convenience and included my vegan cream cheese made with tofu, the result was simply perfect!
Just like a classic spaghetti casserole recipe which often includes ricotta and eggs, the tofu cream cheese and pasta cooking water in this case bind together with the spaghetti noodles and make for a perfect filling! I love how the tofu makes the noodles creamy while keeping this recipe fully vegan and dairy-free. But also, it adds a heaping serving of plant-based protein to make it more filling and nutritious.
The fun and unique texture of this baked pasta recipe is made by using spaghetti, which I think is amazing. There is also a good crunch coming from the sweet onion and green pepper, but you can use whatever veggies you have.
Then, the creamy spaghetti is covered with marinara sauce for a tasty finish: this is a dish that's flavor-packed, texture-filled and very healthy, perfect dinner recipe for the whole family or to impress your guests, whether they are vegan or not.
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
This recipe at a glimpse
- Cozy, hearty and filling...amazing comfort food recipe!
- Great for meal-prep
- Requires only a few simple ingredients
- Healthy and rich in protein
- Absolutely delicious
- Family-friendly and perfect crowd-pleaser
- Easy-to-make with simple steps
- 100% vegan, dairy-free, meatless, nut-free and can easily be made gluten-free
Ingredients you'll need
- Spaghetti noodles: I love whole grain spaghetti for this recipe! It is full of amazing nutrition and the heartier texture of these noodles actually works better and hold very well when sliced. But, use regular spaghetti, it will work well too.
- Vegan tofu cream cheese: you can also use my vegan cashew ricotta cheese or my vegan mascarpone. I wanted to use protein-filled tofu and make this recipe nut-free, so I went for a tofu-based cream cheese, but both recipes work well.
- Sweet onion: I love how sweet onions are sweeter even if I keep them crunchy, but a yellow onion would work too.
- Green pepper: adds nutrition, but also color and a nice crunch. Use other colored peppers if you prefer!
- Marinara sauce: a homemade marinara sauce or jarred marinara work depending on the time you have.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: I love how they add flavor but also a nice chewy texture to the noodles.
- Baby spinach: or any other leafy greens, such as baby kale or chopped collard greens.
How to make a vegan baked spaghetti
Start by making the vegan tofu cream cheese (or cashew ricotta). You can easily make it ahead of time and keep in the fridge for a few days until ready to use. If making the marinara from scratch, also make it now.
Then, prep the veggies: remove the oil as much as you can from the sun-dried tomatoes using paper towels and also, chop the onion and pepper.
Also, cook the spaghetti al dente and don't forget to reserve some pasta cooking water aside to use later (about 1 cup).
Then, pre-heat the oven to 350º.
Cook the vegetables
In a large non-stick pan, cook the onion and pepper until tender on medium-high heat stirring often. When the veggies are softer, then add the spinach to the pan, stir and remove from the heat when the leaves are all wilted.
Assemble and bake
Transfer the cooked and drained spaghetti back to the pot used to cook them and then add the cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, cooked vegetables and about ¼-1/3 cup of the reserved cooked pasta water.
Use tongs to stir the pasta until mostly uniform and add more pasta cooking water as you go to help combine the noodles.
To a large baking dish (9x13 inches), add half of the noodles, then spread 1 ½ cup of the marinara sauce over. Then, top with the second half of the noodles and finish up by spreading the remaining 1 ½ cup of marinara sauce.
Bake in the oven uncovered for 30-35 minutes and then, let the dish rest for another 10 minutes or so before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Watch how to make it
- Be sure to cook your spaghetti al dente and to not over-boil. It will keep cooking in the oven and boiling the spaghetti to al dente - not more - will ensure that the pasta dish has a great texture without turning mushy.
- To make this recipe oil-free, then you can also use sun-dried tomatoes that are not kept in oil. In this case, you will have to first rehydrate them in hot water for about 1 hour, then drain and pat dry before chopping them.
I love to sprinkle the baked dish with some nutritional yeast for a nice finish and to add more cheesy flavor too. You can also sprinkle some chopped fresh basil to add color and an amazing Italian fresh flavor.
Other pairing ideas include:
- Crunch kale salad
- Cucumber carrot salad
- Italian focaccia
- Vegan Waldorf salad
- Watermelon cucumber salad
Leftovers are more than great, they are almost better the next day! Just keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheat using the microwave or the oven (a mini toaster oven would be perfect here).
The dish can dry out a little bit over time, especially if you are storing it for a few days before eating it, so if you have extra marinara sauce, then you can add some more over the leftovers before reheating.
This baked pasta dish is very easy to customize to your taste. Here are a few ideas:
- Swap the veggies: you can really use any vegetables you already have or prefer, such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, green beans, cherry tomatoes, baby kale, eggplant, etc. Simply cook them in the pan or do a quick steam to tenderize them before adding them to the spaghetti.
- Make it spicy: feel free to use a spicy tomato sauce or simply add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the cream cheese pasta mixture for some added heat.
- Make it cheesier: if you have some vegan cheese, then feel-free to cover the dish with some before baking it in the oven. We don't use it often, but when we do, I'll choose the vegan mozzarella cheese from the brand Violife.
Any pasta that you like! You can use all sorts of short noodles, such as fusilli, rigatoni or penne. Also, feel-free to swap for another long pasta, especially bucatini or linguini.
Yes! If you have more than you can eat, then definitely freeze some for later. You can freeze the leftovers in individual containers so they are ready to grab and go for easy dinners or lunches. Ideally, thaw overnight in the fridge and then, reheat using the microwave or the oven until warmed through.
You can make the whole dish ahead of time, except for baking it in the oven, which you can do only when ready to eat it. Just keep the dish covered (make sure it does not dry out) in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and then, bake in the oven as described. You might want to bake it for a few extra minutes if the dish was cold from the fridge to make sure it is heated through.
More recipes like this
- Vegan lasagna roll-ups
- Butternut squash ravioli
- Vegan white sauce lasagna
- Bucatini pomodoro
- Gnocchi marinara skillet
- Vegan eggplant rollatini
- Vegan creamy tomato pasta
- Vegan manicotti
I hope you enjoy this vegan baked spaghetti as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Baked Spaghetti
- 16 oz spaghetti - I used the whole grain spaghetti from Barilla
- 1 green pepper - diced
- 1 sweet or yellow onion - diced
- 3-4 cups baby spinach
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes - chopped (in oil or not, see notes)
- 1 batch of vegan cream cheese - I used my vegan tofu cream cheese
- 3 cups marinara sauce - choose store-bought or make your own marinara sauce
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º.
- Cook the spaghetti in boiling water until just al dente (do not over cook, they will cook more in the oven). Reserve some pasta cooking water (about 1 cup), then drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Set the spaghetti and reserved pasta water aside.
- Make the vegan cream cheese. Then, set aside. This can also be made ahead and kept in the fridge covered until ready to use.
- In a large non-stick pan, warm up a little oil (optional, can be made oil-free) and then, add the onion, pepper and a little salt. Cook on medium heat stirring often until tender, but still crunchy, about 5 minutes. Then, add the spinach and stir. If it gets too dry, then add a splash of water. Keep cooking until the spinach is wilted, then remove from the heat.
- Return the cooked pasta back into the pot used to cook them and then, add the cream cheese, cooked vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes and stir. Add a little bit of pasta cooking water to help combine the pasta, about ¼-1/3 cup at the time.
- In a large baking dish, add about half of the spaghetti mixture, then spread 1 ½ cup of the marinara sauce over. Cover with the rest of the spaghetti and finally, top it off with the other 1 ½ cup of marinara sauce. Use a spatula to roughly spread out the marinara sauce on top.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes and let the dish rest for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before serving. You can sprinkle some nutritional yeast over before serving. Enjoy!
- If using sun-dried tomatoes in oil, then first transfer the slices of tomato on a few layers of paper towel and gently press on them to remove as much oil as you can. To make this recipe oil-free, then use oil-free sun-dried tomatoes in a sealed package that's kept in the pantry. In this case, rehydrate the sun dried tomatoes in boiling water for about 1 hour before draining and drying with towels.
- This dish keeps for about 3-4 days covered in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or use the oven.
- You can use whatever vegetables you like in this recipe, such as broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, baby kale, etc.
- If you like store-bought vegan cheese, then feel-free to sprinkle some over the dish before baking it in the oven.