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vegan baked ziti recipe served
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4.67 from 9 votes

Vegan Baked Ziti

Vegan baked ziti is a blend of ziti noodles, in a cashew basil cheese sauce and homemade marinara, with lentil meat and mushrooms baked to a golden brown in the oven. This vegan baked ziti is a family favorite topped with vegan parmesan cheese.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Entrees
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 344kcal



  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight
  • ½ cup organic vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ cup fresh basil tightly packed
  • cup nutritional yeast

Lentil Meat

  • 1 yellow onion diced small (yield 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms I used white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 15 ounces organic diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • ¼ cup organic vegetable broth
  • 2 ½ cups cooked brown lentils I used Trader Joes 17.6 ounce package of steamed, cooked lentils
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped basil

Other Ingredients


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce

  • In a high-speed blender, combine soaked cashews and remaining ingredients.
  • Blend on high until smooth.
  • Set aside.

Lentil Meat

  • In a large skillet, saute garlic and onions until onions are translucent.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, and cook until brown.
  • If vegetables begin to stick, add a small amount of vegetable broth.
  • Then, add cooked lentils, oregano, basil, and fire-roasted tomatoes.
  • Stir until heated through; remove from heat.

Cook the Pasta

  • While the lentil meat is cooking, cook the noodles for 3 FEWER minutes than indicated on the package.
  • Drain and set aside.

Layering the Vegan Baked Ziti

  • In a 9 X 13 casserole dish, pour ⅓ of the sauce in the pan's base and spread around to cover the bottom.
  • Now add ½ of the noodles, creating a layer on top of the sauce.
  • Then, add a layer of the lentil meat mixture on top of the noodles.
  • Spread ½ of the cashew basil cheese on top of the lentil meat mixture.
  • Top with another ⅓ of the marinara sauce, and spread on top of the cheese layer, spreading evenly.
  • Next, repeat with the remaining noodles, lentil meat mixture, cashew basil cheese sauce, ending with a top layer of the remaining marinara sauce.
  • Place the pan uncovered into the over for 30 minutes
  • 10 minutes before it is done cooking, add a vegan parmesan cheese layer and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
  • Scoop into bowls and serve with a basil garnish and more vegan parmesan cheese.


  • Instead of using cashews, try sunflower seeds for a nut-free option. Or, use silken tofu or white beans as an option as well. But, if using silken tofu or white beans, reduce the vegetable broth by one-half.
  • If using jarred sauce, choose a jar with at least 25 ounces, but no more than 32 ounces.
  • I like to make the vegan ziti recipe ahead of time, and then I can throw it in the oven when I'm ready to cook it for dinner.
  • Another idea is to freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays when lemons are in season to use throughout the year.
  • Always place sauce on the bottom of the pan in a thin layer, covering the bottom to prevent sticking and keep the noodles from drying out.
  • If you don't like or don't have nutritional yeast, try using soy sauce, Tamari, liquid aminos, or white miso paste. Use ½ Tablespoon of soy sauce (or other alternatives) for every Tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
  • I suggest serving it with an Italian chopped salad with creamy Italian dressing.


Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 764mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 615IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 5mg