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Veggie Pasta Bake (Cheesy Baked Pasta)

This Veggie Pasta Bake is a perfect easy and comforting vegetarian pasta casserole. With veggies and cheese, this vegetable baked pasta is great for crowds, easy to freeze and reheat, and convenient for pregnancy meal prep

closeup of veggie pasta bake in cooking dish

This post is sponsored by Eggland’s Best. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow Bucket List Tummy to continue! 

Originally Posted: April, 2018 || Updated: December, 2019

I’ve been wanting to share this vegetarian pasta casserole with you for a while, as it was one of the things I made in advance before baby!

I don’t know what it is about a cheesy pasta bake, but it just always brings comfort. And it’s ALWAYS good for leftovers.

Baked pasta is just a magical food group. I don’t care if it’s lasagna, ziti, baked pasta – you name it, I’ll eat it. 

Not to mention we always get some sort of pasta dish in our bi-monthly Sun Basket hauls.

I wanted to create a comforting, tasty casserole-type dish that would be easy to freeze and reheat and this was the best vegetable baked pasta I came up with.

closeup of baked ziti pasta

Truly a favorite of the vegetarian pasta recipes I’ve ever made.  It’s also great as a meal prep pasta, which makes for a nice and easy week if you’re into that sorta thing.

When I’m homesick, I usually make some soup or pasta, and I really think it’s because it was my mom’s thing to do.

Like I mention over and over again on this platform, food is social. Food flexibility is SO much more than nutrients and calories.

And while I have a newborn right now, I’m ALL the more grateful that past Sarah chose to test and make this creamy vegetable baked pasta for present Sarah.

thrive market block
Easy pasta bake on a dish

I’m all about vegetarian pasta recipes. Not only do they add more nutrients, but also more “fluff” without always having to rely on meat.

Oh, and I’ve filed this meatless pasta bake under my easy vegetarian casserole options, too. 

Vegetarian Pasta Bake Secret Ingredient

One thing I did in this veggie baked ziti that I haven’t done for past baked pasta recipes is I added eggs.

Eggs are a great binder and they held up well.

The eggs helped create a stickier mold and casserole-type feeling in this easy plant-based recipe. I would definitely add them again.

Easy pasta bake on a dish

Eggs are awesome for thickening, binding, flavoring, or leavening, yet also delicious and respectable on their own.

Plus, Eggland’s Best eggs have even more nutrients per egg – specifically, higher contents of B-Vitamins, Vitamin E, iodine, omega 3‘s, and Vitamin D.

Along with a variety of vegetables for this cheesy vegetable pasta recipe, add in eggs, the secret ingredient, for a creamy vegetarian pasta dish.

Ingredients For This Vegetarian Baked Ziti

We order most of these in bulk from Thrive Market.

Here’s what you’ll need for this easy veggie pasta bake; 

  • ziti noodles or pasta of choice
  • mushrooms
  • small zucchini
  • medium onion
  • salt
  • paprika
  • parsley
  • garlic cloves
  • black pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • grated Mozzarella cheese (or Parmesan Cheese if not vegetarian)
  • shredded Mozzarella Cheese, or your favorite cheese
  • eggs
  • milk
  • tomato sauce

We also love a good veggie sausage pasta bake – add any source of meat you’d like. 

creamy vegetable baked pasta in clear pyrex

Why We Love This Vegetable Pasta Bake

Baked pasta dishes are one of our weeknight go-to dinners and meatless pasta recipes can be so versatile. Plus, kids love pasta and it’s one of my tried and true freezable toddler meals

They come together so quickly and can be easily customized based on what foods you have as pantry staples and/or fridge. 

Some reasons you’ll love this cheesy pasta:

  • Cheesy
  • Comforting
  • Veggie rich
  • Customizable (add in your favorite add in’s – meat, greens, other veggies)
  • Thick and filling
  • Great for an easy weeknight meal and cheap meal prep

You really can’t go wrong with all of this deliciousness. And remember, you can always add MORE CHEESE to this cheesy pasta dish.

Cheesy Pasta Bake before baking in oven. Ziti with sauce and cheese

My biggest tip of advice for this roasted vegetable baked pasta is don’t overcook the pasta beforehand.

Remember, you’ll be baking it after you boil it so leave it a little al dente. Trust me on this one. 

What Kind Of Pasta Should You Use for Veggie Pasta Dish?

That’s the best part, whatever you want! The versatility of this recipe is unmatched.

While I used ziti (I’m partial to baked ziti with vegetables), baked penne pasta is also very popular. You could also use:

  • shells
  • rigatoni
  • spaghetti
  • fettuccine 
  • penne
  • any gluten free pasta

It also can be made with your choice of vegetables as well. If you want to add a protein source, these bison meatballs pair really well. You could also add ham or prosciutto. 

I’m telling you – this is the best vegetarian baked ziti you will ever taste. I know that’s a daring statement, but I 1000% stand behind it. And I wouldn’t promise anything I can’t keep.

From all of my pre-run meals, I’ve tried many different pasta variations. So, I know what’s good and what’s so-so in a pasta veggie bake. 

serving spoon scooping pasta in veggie pasta bake

But, this is among my favorite vegetarian pasta recipes. Fresh basil and tomato sauce make it delicious (but dried basil works too). 

Plus, the simplicity of this vegetarian baked ziti with vegetables or penne pasta makes it great for a weeknight meal, too! Just preheat the oven, and while you’re cooking the pasta, chop your veggies.

Within 10 minutes, you have all the ingredients ready, and you just combine them in a bowl with cheese and eggs and pour it into a casserole dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, and you have dinner/leftovers/meal prep! It doesn’t get much easier. 

While this meal prep pasta has certainly made our lives easier, you don’t have to be planning for a baby to want to do some meal prep or make some freezer meals.

closeup of veggie pasta bake in cooking dish

For example, this can come in handy for those busy weeks, or say, the week after vacation. You know when you don’t have any food on hand yet you don’t feel like grocery shopping?

That’s when I turn to our vegetable pasta casserole. 

What Equipment Do You Need To Make a Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake?

FAQ and Modifications For This Veggie Pasta Bake

  • What veg should you put in your roasted vegetable pasta? It’s completely up to you, but to give you some ideas you could use tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.
  • Can you make this meatless pasta bake gluten free? If you use gluten free pasta, definitely!
  • How long will this healthy vegetarian pasta bake last? This pasta bake with vegetables will last 2-4 days in the refrigerator after cooking, making for the perfect meal prep leftovers.
  • Can you freeze a pasta casserole? Yes, absolutely! According to Food Network, leftover pasta dishes or vegetarian baked pasta will stay fresh for about up to two months in the freezer.
  • How healthy is cheesy pasta bake? Because this recipe uses a lot of fresh vegetables and ingredients, it certainly has a variety of food groups, but can be personalized to your liking. For instance, the cheese can be switched out and other ingredients can be added. 

If you’re looking for some other freezer-friendly meals, check out these easy freezer meals for new moms

Freezer meals are lifesavers, especially during pregnancy, postpartum, surgery, or just tough life transitions!

ziti noodles with cheese and veggies close up

Other Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Recipes

Kale and Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese is another cheesy winner, and if you’ve got little ones, Toddler Mac and Cheese with Pears and Broccoli is a great option for them too! 

 

kale and sweet potato mac and cheese in white bowls

And if you love pasta and need a good pasta salad recipe, this gluten-free Hummus Pasta Salad is a game-changer, made with gluten free pasta.

It’s also a healthy version that’s great to take to cookouts, barbecues, and large crowd gatherings. 

I hope you enjoy this freezer meal as much as we have. Please do let me know if you make it by tagging me on social media or adding the hashtag, #bucketlisttummy.

Veggie Pasta Bake

Veggie Pasta Bake

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This Veggie Pasta Bake is a perfect easy and comforting vegetarian pasta casserole. With a variety of veggies and cheese, this vegetable pasta bake is great for crowds, easy to freeze and reheat, and convenient for meal prep! 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ziti noodles or pasta of choice
  • ½ lb mushrooms, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (or Parmesan Cheese if not vegetarian)
  • 1-2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese, or your favorite cheese
  • 4 Eggland’s Best Eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 cups jar tomato sauce, divided
  • Dried parsley or basil, for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Rub or spray the inside of 9x13 pan or casserole dish with olive oil or butter. 
  3. Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, saute veggies and spices over medium heat for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add cooked pasta, cheese and veggies to medium bowl and stir to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and milk and add to pasta, cheese and veggies.
  6. Pour half of pasta, cheese and veggie mixture into casserole dish. Pour over half the marinara sauce. Repeat again for second layer.
  7. Sprinkle extra cheese and dried herbs on top and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese has melted and top begins to brown. 
  8. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 476Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 1452mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 6gSugar: 10gProtein: 26g

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Veggie Pasta Bake with text overlay | Bucket List Tummy
Veggie Pasta Bake closeup for Pinterest
 

What’s your favorite type of pasta?

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  1. Id suggest letting the pasta cheese veggie mixture cool down before adding the egg mixture, this will prevent the eggs from cooking

    1. Hi Emily – you can do either. I prefer to make it ahead of time and then freeze it before baking. And when you’re ready to bake, just thaw it the night before in the fridge.

      1. I’d like to make this for a friend who just had a baby. If i prepped it the day before and brought it over the following day, is it safe for her to bake and eat?

        1. Hi Christy – yes I would recommend that she bake it that day. If she wanted to wait, she could then throw it in the freezer but either way, she would need to decide that day to make or freeze.

    1. I don’t see why it wouldn’t, but I haven’t tested it with macaroni noodles – you’d probably just want to use more. Feel free to report back either way 🙂

  2. I’ve made this and it’s so good! I was wondering, if I made it to freeze for later, would I still follow the exact recipe instructions? And then do you know how long it would take to reheat?

    1. Yes, same instructions. To reheat, toss it in the oven at 375 for about 60 minutes, covered with foil, or until warm in the center. I like to do 10 minutes additional after taking the cover off. Glad you enjoyed it!

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