Get ready to make the most delicious vegan baked pasta with cheese! This recipe is a plant-based spin on the viral TikTok trend that will leave you craving more. Farfalle pasta, dairy-free ricotta, cherry tomatoes, and rustic seasonings come together in an unforgettable dish.
What is vegan baked pasta?
Vegan baked pasta is a twist on the trendy TikTok baked feta pasta. This recipe’s claim to fame is the simplicity of preparation along with the use of an entire block of feta cheese. It’s no doubt this video went viral, and it’s now being replicated everywhere across the internet!
I decided to make an easy vegan TikTok pasta with just a few additional ingredients and swaps. Instead of feta, I used Kitehill's Ricotta made from almond milk. Let me just express how flavorful this pasta turned out to be. It’s quick, delicious, and great for leftovers.
Is baked pasta vegan?
There are numerous ways to make baked pasta, but the TikTok version is not vegan-friendly. In this recipe, I replaced regular feta with meltable vegan ricotta. Although the taste isn’t exactly the same, it’s extremely close to the real thing. I promise you won’t miss dairy one bit!
How to cook al dente pasta
To make the perfect pasta, generously salt the water once you’ve brought it to boil. Start tasting your pasta around 1-2 minutes before it reaches the cooking time indicated on the package. Once the pasta is tender and chewy, drain it in a colander (but don’t rinse it).
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Pasta: I use farfalle (bow-tie pasta), but this recipe can be made with any short pasta variety such as penne, fusilli, ziti, or rigatoni. For a gluten-free option, use your favorite gluten-free brand as a 1:1 substitute.
- Olive oil: For an ultra-rich sauce, add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to the dish before baking it. Always opt for the best quality olive oil you can get your hands on!
- Vegan ricotta: To avoid an overly salty, tangy feta flavor, I opted for almond milk ricotta, which makes a delicious addition to this pasta. It’s mild, creamy, and silky smooth.
- Tomatoes: Either grape or cherry tomatoes work for baked pasta to add bursts of juicy, tangy, and vibrant elements in each bite.
- Garlic: Fresh, whole garlic cloves add deep, savory, and caramelized flavors throughout the pasta. I would not recommend replacing fresh garlic with powdered garlic for this recipe!
- Balsamic vinegar: Look for "Balsamic vinegar of Modena" at the grocery store. If you’re short on balsamic, replace each tablespoon with 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and ½ teaspoon of sugar.
- Maple syrup: To balance out the acidic components in this recipe. I prefer 100% pure maple syrup, but agave nectar works as well.
- Basil: Freshly chopped basil leaves add herbaceous notes with a subtle finish of pepper, anise, and mint. I wouldn’t recommend going for anything but fresh basil here!
- Oregano: For more herbaceous, rustic, and hearty flavors, add Mediterranean oregano. I use dried oregano, but you can also use fresh oregano. You will need to use triple the amount.
- Salt & pepper: To add just the right amount of flavor enhancement. I always recommend sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Step 1: Preheat your oven to 370 degrees F, and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Once it is al dente, drain the pasta.
- Step 2: In a large casserole dish, drizzle half of the olive oil. Add the vegan ricotta to the center, then evenly disperse the tomatoes and garlic cloves around it. Use your hands to gently coat the tomatoes and garlic cloves with olive oil.
- Step 3: Sprinkle some oregano, sea salt, and black pepper around the dish, then drizzle balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and the rest of the olive oil over top.
- Step 4: Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the dish from your oven. Mash and combine the sauce with a fork or potato masher. Add fresh basil and toss with the drained pasta.
- Step 5: Garnish with a drizzle of the remaining olive oil, basil leaves, and cracked black pepper.
What to serve with vegan baked pasta
Once your vegan TikTok pasta is ready, serve it alongside some of these veggie-forward side dishes and salads:
Storage & Reheating
If you have leftover baked pasta, let it cool completely before following these storage times:
- Fridge: Vegan baked pasta will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
- Reheating: Reheat covered in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through. Alternatively, you can heat it in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring as you go.
- Cheese: Try using any of your favorite vegan cheese brands. You can also make this recipe meltier by using shredded vegan cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
- Gluten-free: Swap out regular pasta with any gluten-free variety if you have gluten intolerances.
- Spicy: For a spicy vegan TikTok pasta, add red pepper flakes, cayenne, or hot sauce before baking.
- Add fresh garlic. For an ultra-savory recipe, I highly recommend using fresh, organic garlic cloves. You won’t regret it!
- Cook until al dente. For the perfect pasta texture, start checking to see if it’s done 1-2 minutes before the time listed on the package.
- Don’t rinse the pasta. To help the sauce stick to the pasta, don’t rinse away the starches that are left behind from cooking it!
Yes, you can make this recipe gluten-free by swapping out the pasta with your favorite gluten-free brand.
Yes, in this baked pasta recipe, you need to cook the pasta before adding it to the sauce mixture.
If you enjoyed this vegan baked pasta recipe, take a look at some more of my favorite pastas:
- Lemon orzo salad: Zesty orzo salad filled with Mediterranean flavors.
- Mushroom couscous: A earthy, hearty, and umami-rich dish ready in 15 minutes.
- Linguine pasta: A simple Italian dish served with garlic herb sauce.
Baked Pasta with a Vegan Spin
- 4 cups pasta of choice
- ⅓ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 8 oz Kitehill Ricotta
- 16 oz grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- 10 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup basil chopped
- black peppercorn crushed
- Preheat your oven at 370° F
- Cook pasta according to the package instructions.
- In a deep dish baking pan, drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add your Kitehill Ricotta in the center, and add your tomatoes and garlic cloves around it. Use your fingers to gentle coat the olive oil around the tomatoes and garlic cloves.
- Season some salt and oregano on the tomatoes and round cheese block. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and another 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the cheese and tomatoes. Then bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove baking pan from the oven. Mash and combine sauce with a fork or potato masher. Add ½ cup of fresh basil and toss with the drained pasta.
- Garnish with a drizzle of the remaining olive oil, basil leafs, and crushed black peppercorn.