Comforting and family friendly vegan pasta bake! With a rich tomato sauce, vegan sausage and cheesy white sauce that’s baked to crispy perfection!
This vegan pasta bake is everything you want from a saucy cheesy pasta dish!
It’s firm favourite in our house and for good reason! With colder days creeping up we crave comforting meals that are delicious and easy to make.
This is actually one of my boyfriends signature dishes so he’s the inspiration behind it, and I’ve tweaked it with some of my favourite things!
For the sauce, we start with a base of red onion, garlic and red pepper. This adds sweetness to the sauce.
Adding sausage to this dish is optional but we love the extra flavour and protein it adds. You could switch it for vegan mince, ‘chicken’ pieces or vegan meatballs.
If you’re in the UK our favourite vegan sausages are Richmond Meat Free, Naked Glory or Sainsbury’s Shroomdogs.
Here’s what you’ll need for vegan pasta bake:
- Red onion
- Red pepper
- Vegan sausage (or other vegan protein)
- Chopped tomatoes (in a tin)
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- Balsamic vinegar
- Italian herbs
- Vegan butter
- Vegan milk (any, unsweetened)
- Vegan cheese (cheddar and mozzarella)
- Dijon mustard
- Penne pasta
For the sun dried tomatoes you want to use the kind in a jar in oil. The oil is packed with flavour and we will be adding some to the dish.
You can use any type of milk for the white sauce, I usually use unsweetened almond or oat milk.
For the cheese, I use Violife Epic Mature – this is the closest to dairy cheddar in my opinion. For the vegan mozzarella I use Sheese Mozzarella Style – it melts really nicely, it’s also great for pizza!
How to make vegan pasta bake:
Start with the homemade tomato sauce. Finely chop a red onion and fry on medium heat for a few minutes.
Then add finely chopped red pepper and garlic. Leave this cook until both the onion and pepper is really soft. This is going to bring the sweetness out in the pepper.
Now add the chopped tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, sun dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and herbs. Bring to a gentle simmer and leave for about 15 minutes until it has thickened and deepened in colour.
In a separate pan, fry the sausages. Cut them into small chunks and fry until crispy. Leave aside until everything else is ready.
To make the cheesy white sauce melt butter in a saucepan on low heat. Once it’s melted add the flour and stir until it forms a roux/paste.
Now add the milk gradually whilst whisking until it forms a smooth sauce. Add the cheese and whisk again until melted. It will thicken the sauce. Set aside.
Cook the pasta until al dente and place in an oven proof dish. You can use any pasta type you want but i love using penne or rigatoni as chunks of sauce get sucked up the tubes.
Once the tomato sauce it cooked, taste and season with salt and pepper and pour over the pasta.
Add the sausage pieces and stir it all together. Pour the white sauce over the top so it is evenly spread. I like to leave some gaps on the edges for the pasta to crisp up.
Sprinkle grated vegan cheese on top and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until melted and bubbling at the sides!
I like to serve with a side salad and garlic bread! But it is equally delicious just as it is!
It will serve 4-6 depending whether you serve it with sides. And will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
For more vegan pasta recipes you may enjoy these:
As always if you make this vegan pasta bake be sure to leave me a comment, rate this recipe and tag me on Instagram. I love seeing all your photos of my recipe recreations!
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- 1 red onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 red pepper
- 2 tins (800g) chopped tomatoes
- 175ml/3/4 cup water
- 5 sun dried tomatoes, in oil
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
- Pinch chilli flakes
- 6 vegan sausages
- 1.5 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 175ml/3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 50g vegan cheddar
- 350g/12.5 oz penne pasta
- 25g/1/4 cup vegan cheddar, grated
- 25g/1/4 cup vegan mozzarella, grated
- Pre heat oven to 180C/350F.
- Finely chop the onion and place in a saucepan on medium heat with some oil. Leave to fry for a few minutes.
- Mince the garlic and finely chop the red pepper and add to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes until the onion and pepper are soft through.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, water, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, sugar, mixed herbs and pinch chilli flakes (optional). Bring to a gentle simmer and leave to cook for 15-20 minutes. It should have thickened and deepened in colour, add a little more water if you need to whilst cooking.
- In a separate pan, heat some oil. Cut sausages into small chunks and fry until browned and crispy. Set aside.
- Make the white sauce. Add vegan butter to a small saucepan on low heat. Once melted add the flour and mix until it forms a roux/paste.
- Gradually add the milk and whisk continuously until smooth. Add the vegan cheddar and whisk again until melted and thickened. Set aside.
- Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and place in an oven proof dish.
- Taste and season the tomato sauce and pour over the pasta with the cooked sausage. Stir well.
- Pour the white sauce over the top so it is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the vegan cheddar and mozzarella on top and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- The cheese should be melted and the sides crispy and bubbling.
- Serve and top with some fresh basil!
You can leave the vegan sausage out, or sub for other vegan protein like mince.
You can sub the milk for any other vegan milk, just make sure it is unsweetened.
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