Pasta bake – an easy peasy, wholesome dinner that’ll please almost anyone. A steaming bowl of boiled pasta is of course a winning dinner in itself, but BAKING your pasta definitely adds another level of comforting deliciousness. Underneath that wonderfully crispy cheese topping is a layer of garlicky tomato and basil pasta, with spinach and onion for some added goodness. This vegan/dairy free pasta bake has become such a staple for me!
How long do you boil the pasta before baking?
You may have seen some recipes that recommend putting the dry pasta straight into the oven with the sauce. I find that with this method the pasta doesn’t always cook evenly, and a lot of stirring is required as it bakes. By giving the pasta a quick boil before baking, you won’t need to touch it again once it’s in the oven. Boiling for about 2 minutes less than the time stated on the pasta packet works well for me. Feel free to adjust depending on how soft/firm you like your pasta!
What goes well with pasta bake?
To enjoy this dairy free pasta bake in all its glory, there’s nothing wrong with keeping things simple and serving up a bowlful on its own. But sometimes I like to add some extra veggies on the side. Some great options include:
- Steamed broccoli
- Roasted carrots
- A fresh leafy salad
- Grilled portobello mushrooms
Can I freeze my dairy free pasta bake?
Pasta bake is a great one to make in bulk and freeze for later. This will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge, but if you have too much left over, it’ll be fine in the freezer for 2-3 months. Just pop individual portions into freezer bags or boxes. To serve, defrost completely in the fridge before reheating in the microwave or oven.
Looking for more dairy free dinners?
Why not try:
- Cauliflower and chickpea curry
- Lightly spiced vegetable and bean soup
- Mexican stuffed aubergines
- Tofu miso and peanut noodles
If you give this comforting pasta bake a try, let us know how you got on by leaving a comment and rating below. You can also tag us in photos of your foodie creations on Instagram @BlueSkyEating. Enjoy! 🙂
Dairy Free Pasta Bake
- 300 g pasta (gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 10 g fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 100 ml red wine
- 100 ml vegetable stock
- 80 g grated dairy-free cheddar style cheese
- A handful of fresh spinach
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C / 170°C fan.
- Boil the pasta for 2 minutes less than the cooking time stated on the packet.
- Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil over a medium heat until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Stir through the the crushed garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the basil and tomato paste and stir through.
- Add 40g of the dairy-free cheese and all remaining ingredients except for the spinach. Stir until heated through.
- Finally sprinkle the handful of spinach over the top and allow to wilt.
- Stir through the cooked pasta until everything is well incorporated.
- Transfer into an oven dish (I use an oval shaped one that measures approx 29 x 18cm) and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp.
Please note that nutritional information is based on estimated quantities and therefore not always 100% accurate.