Vegan Alfredo Pasta Bake
Creamy, cheesy, warming Vegan Alfredo Pasta Bake. Pasta noodles are tossed in a luscious alfredo sauce, and topped with homemade vegan mozzarella. Perfect for pleasing a crowd (vegan or not)!
For the alfredo:
- 14 oz rigatoni, penne, or other short pasta (gluten-free if preferred)
- 3 tablespoon(s) vegan butter
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 4 clove(s) garlic minced or pressed
- 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour (gluten-free if preferred)
- 3 cup(s) plant-based milk (such as oat or soy)
- 2 tablespoon(s) nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon(s) white miso paste
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) black pepper
- 2 tablespoon(s) fresh parsley divided
For the mozzarella (or sub 1 ½ cups store-bought vegan mozzarella):
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a 9"x13" baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the packaged instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In the meantime make the alfredo sauce. Melt the vegan butter in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally until the onions soften and just begin to brown.
- Sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat the onions. Keep stirring while cooking the flour for about 60 seconds. Add the plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, miso paste, salt, and pepper and whisk well. Cook, while whisking often until the sauce thickens, 5 - 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of parsley and remove from the heat.
- Spread the cooked pasta in the baking dish and pour over all of the alfredo sauce, stir to coat the pasta.
To make the Mozzarella (optional):
- Softening the cashews (optional): Softening the cashews helps them blend. If you have a high-powered blender you can skip this step, but if not, this step is important to get a smooth mozzarella. You can either boil or soak the cashews. To boil the cashews (the fast method): add the cashews to a small pot, cover with water, and boil for about 10 minutes until the cashews are very tender. To soak the cashews: add the cashews to a bowl, and cover them with water. Let soak for 4 hours or overnight until tender. Drain and rinse cashews before using.
- Add the cashews, plant-based milk, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, vinegar, salt, and garlic powder to a blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Pour into a small pot and cook while stirring often. The sauce will start to get clumpy as it cooks, and then will turn into a gooey cheese sauce.
- Remove from the heat and then dollop the mozzarella over the pasta. Use a spatula to spread it over the pasta.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until the pasta is heated through. Optionally you can brown the mozzarella a bit by putting it under the broiler for a few minutes while keeping a close eye on it so that it doesn’t burn. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of parsley and serve hot.
White Miso Paste: adds an aged tanginess to the sauce giving it those cheesy vibes). If you do not have miso paste on hand, you can substitute it with a splash of sauerkraut brine, or you can simply omit it and it will still taste great. Raw Cashews: cashews are my favorite to make the smoothest creamiest cheese. Alternatively, you could sub-blanched almonds or macadamia nuts. For a nut-free option, you could try raw sunflower seeds but they might give the cheese a green tint. Tapioca Starch: makes the cheese stretchy and gooey. It's my favorite starch to use for vegan cheeses. If you do not have it on hand you could substitute it with 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch which will make a nice cheese but won't be stretchy.
Serving: 1serving (recipe makes 6 servings) | Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 629mg | Potassium: 614mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1040IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 265mg | Iron: 3mg