The Creamiest Vegetable Pasta Bake | FoodByMaria Recipes

Vegan Comfort Food

Sam’s Creamy Bachamel in a Veggie Pasta Bake

Prep

10 mins

Cook

20 mins

This delicious Vegetable Pasta Bake would be no one without the Bechamel from my baby girl Sam, from So Beautifully Real (formally @sobeautifullyraw).

It is the perfect warming dish for a cold night, or if you’re in need of a large meal prep carb idea! It is not the “cleanest” meal option but sometimes one must choose flavor over an extra couple of minutes on the stair master.  In my mind, any extra “added flavor” to a meal is added fluff to my muscles, and strong body!

This vegetable pasta bake might as well have been a mac, and cheese because it was so damn creamy, and rich but obviously much more healthy, and nourishing for you than traditional mac recipes.

The kicker in this recipe for me was the lemon juice.  It cuts the creaminess so it is lighter, and less gooey on your tongue. So make sure to add a bit of acid if you are not too fond of extremely rich foods!

Vegetable pasta bake in a casserole dish

Vegetable pasta bake in a bowl with a fork

Why you’ll love this vegetable pasta bake: 

  • It’s easy peasy: Yep, this vegetable pasta bake isn’t going to take you a million hours or an arm and a leg to create, this bad boy is easy and will only take 30 minutes to whip up 
  • Creamy: The healthier bechamel sauce in this recipe from Sam is totally a gamechanger. I use it on everything and it’s so perfect in this creamy pasta recipe
  • Healthier: This healthier version of mac & cheese is loaded with veggies and even the pickiest of eaters will gobble this up

Ingredient Notes: 

Yellow Tomatoes: You can use normal tomatoes here too but I love yellow tomatoes for something different. They are a bit larger and have a meaty texture and add a pop of colour to this vegen pasta bake.

Zucchini: Rich in nutrients, zucchini is so versatile. I love to use them in baking and cooking, and they work perfectly in this deliciously creamy recipe. Oh did I mention they’re high in antioxidants and great for digestion?

EVOO: Make sure you choose a good quality olive oil. Look for “extra virgin” on the label and avoid anything in a clear bottle since olive oil doesn’t like light!

How to make vegan vegetable bake: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Add water to a large pot, once boiled add your pasta. Cook as instructed.
  3. Grate your cheese, chop, and wash your veg.
  4. Into a large frying pan add your EVOO, and veg. Cook down for 5 minutes then add your seasoning.
  5. FROM SAMS WEBSITE! Prepare the béchamel by melting the vegan butter over a medium-high heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk to form a roux. Let this simmer for 30-60 seconds until it bubbles (don’t let it burn) then slowly begin to add 1/2 of the plant based milk. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens, then slowly add the remaining milk and whisking until no lumps remain and it is silky smooth. Adjust the liquid to suit your desired consistency. Once all the milk is combined and the sauce is smooth and creamy remove from the heat and add the nutritional yeast, onion/garlic powder and salt and whisk until the nutritional yeast is fully dissolved. The Nutritional Yeast would have thickened the sauce slightly, so add and extra tablespoon or two of milk to thin back out if needed.
  6. Once your pasta is cooked strain, and add to the pan with the veg and seasoning.
  7. Now to add more texture add your coconut cheese, lemon juice, and Sam’s Bechamel.
  8. Stir to get everything nicely coated.
  9. Transfer pasta mixture to a deep bake dish and bake for 20 minutes or till crispy on the outside, and hot and creamy on the inside.
  10. Optional, add fresh herbs, bread crumbs or peas to the mix! Yum!

Expert Tips & FAQ: 

Storage: Make this pasta dish ahead and store it in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 3(ish) days. However, I love it best fresh out of the oven. 

Vegetables: Get creative and swap out the veggies for whatever you have on hand or whatever your family likes.

Non-Vegan: You can totally make this non-vegan too. For the bechamel, just swap out the plant-based milk for regular milk or cream, and use parmesan instead of nutritional yeast. You can also use any regular cheese you have on hand. 

Once again thank you Sam for your beautiful recipes and creations.  You inspire me every day and I am genuinely addicted to this sauce of yours! I hope you all enjoy this simple dish! Please leave a comment below if you do try this recipe!

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Vegetable Pasta Bake

  • Author: Maria Koutsogiannis
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Pasta Bake
  • Cuisine: Plant based

Description

Comfort food at its finest. This Vegetable Pasta Bake paired perfectly with the creamiest bechamel, beautiful seasonings, and hint of citrus.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 250g dry weight pasta – I used Tubetti
  • 1 cup of coconut cheese, or your favourite plant based cheese
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 cup of chopped asparagus
  • 2 yellow tomatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 a cup of zucchini, but I would suggest adding more now that I know!
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • juice of half a one lemon
  • Cheesy Bechamel – COMPLETELY AND ENTIRELY FROM SAM’s WEBSITE!
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 c plant based milk (more if needed)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • A few extra tbsp of plant based milk
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Add water to a large pot, once boiled add your pasta. Cook as instructed.
  3. Grate your cheese, chop, and wash your veg.
  4. Into a large frying pan add your EVOO, and veg. Cook down for 5 minutes then add your seasoning.
  5. FROM SAMS WEBSITE! Prepare the béchamel by melting the vegan butter over a medium-high heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk to form a roux. Let this simmer for 30-60 seconds until it bubbles (don’t let it burn) then slowly begin to add 1/2 of the plant based milk. Whisk continuously until the mixture thickens, then slowly add the remaining milk and whisking until no lumps remain and it is silky smooth. Adjust the liquid to suit your desired consistency. Once all the milk is combined and the sauce is smooth and creamy remove from the heat and add the nutritional yeast, onion/garlic powder and salt and whisk until the nutritional yeast is fully dissolved. The Nutritional Yeast would have thickened the sauce slightly, so add and extra tablespoon or two of milk to thin back out if needed.
  6. Once your pasta is cooked strain, and add to the pan with the veg and seasoning.
  7. Now to add more texture add your coconut cheese, lemon juice, and Sam’s Bechamel.
  8. Stir to get everything nicely coated.
  9. Transfer pasta mixture to a deep bake dish and bake for 20 minutes or till crispy on the outside, and hot and creamy on the inside.
  10. Optional, add fresh herbs, bread crumbs or peas to the mix! Yum!

 

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