Creamy and comforting yet completely dairy-free and vegan unlike traditional baked ziti recipes prepared with cheese and other dairy ingredients, this makes a great dinner for weeknights and terrific leftovers. And, unlike traditional creamy recipes, this one is good for you, too! Nutritional Yeast is a b-vitamin power house, and healthy fats from tofu and olive oil make this a guilt-free indulgence.
While many baked zit recipes are prepared with some type of red sauce, this one is prepared with a creamy sauce instead, but don't worry--you can have the best of both worlds! If you prefer, simply prepare the creamy baked ziti according to the recipe and then serve with a ladle of red sauce (like marinara) of your choice.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
- For the Tofu Ricotta:
- 1 12.3-ounce box extra firm silken tofu, drained
- 1/4 cup finely ground cashews
- 2 T. nutritional yeast
- 1 t. olive oil
- 1 t. lemon juice
- 1/2 t. salt
- For the Pasta:
- Water, for boiling
- 1 lb ziti pasta
- 2-3 cups broccoli florets
- For the Sauce:
- 4 T. dairy-free margarine
- 6 T. flour
- 2 1/2 cups dairy-free soy milk
- 1/4 t. salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- For the Topping:
- 2 cups dairy-free breadcrumbs, store-bought or homemade
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9"x13" casserole dish with dairy-free soy margarine. Set aside.
2. Prepare the Tofu Ricotta. In a mixing bowl using a fork or your hands, crumble the silken tofu until it resembles ricotta or cottage cheese. Mix in the ground cashews, nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt until well combined. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Boil a large pot of lightly salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until al dente. Add the broccoli to the water for 1-3 minutes, or until bright green. Drain and set aside.
3. Make the sauce. Heat the dairy-free soy margarine in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk vigorously and continuously until the mixture starts to bubble and thins slightly. Turn the heat down to low, continuing to whisk, for 1-2 more minutes or until the mixture smells toasty. Gradually add the dairy-free soy milk, stirring constantly until all has been added. Turn up the heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Add the salt and pepper and remove from heat.
4. Assemble the dish. Pour the noodles and broccoli into the prepared casserole dish, then mix in the tofu ricotta. Pour the sauce over the noodles, mixing to combine slightly. Top with the dairy-free breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.