Vegan Baked Ziti

IMG_1742

Vegan
Cheesy
Baked
Creamy
Goodness. Yes. Ziti noodles, tomato sauce, vegan cheese, vegan cream cheese, need I say more?

Everyone loves a great pasta dish, or at least they should. This recipe is easy and fulfills the vegans and non-vegans alike. Add Gardein “meatballs” from the frozen better choices section in the supermarket for an extra delicious protein boost. Coming from someone who is not a huge fan of leftovers, this pasta is almost BETTER the next time around, hot or cold, anytime and anywhere. This is serious guys. This dish is super easy to put together with minimal prep! Great for a busy weeknight meal.

Ingredients:
1 box Ziti or Penne noodles*
1 yellow onion
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic
¹⁄ ³ c + handful shredded vegan mozzarella (Daiya)
1½  tbsp vegan cream cheese (Tofutti)
1 tbsp olive oil
dash white vinegar
salt, pepper, fennel to taste (about 1 tsp of each)
1 bag Gardein meatballs (optional)

Get Cooking:
1) Start boiling noodles, add a pinch or two of salt to boiling water. Make entire box.
2) Preheat oven to 350° F and get out a baking dish that will fit all noodles and sauce. We used a glass Pyrex 9x7x3.
3) When noodles are done (check box directions if unsure) drain and add mozzarella and cream cheese and stir to promote faster melting.
4) Dice onion and brown in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add diced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds then add both cans of tomato sauce and vinegar and turn down heat. Add spices. Simmer until warm.
5) Transfer cheesy pasta into baking dish and cover with sauce. Top with thin layer (handful) of mozzarella and bake for 30-35 minutes. Top should be a little crispy but not scorched. Cheese will change minimally do not base baking time on melt of cheese. Vegan cheese will not melt like animal cheese, but it WILL taste better.
6) Devour.

*We used veggie style ziti noodles made from carrots and tomatoes here but any ziti/penne style pasta will work

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