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Vegan Penne Pasta Casserole in a round copper pan with a wood spoon taking some out of the pan

Vegan Penne Pasta Casserole

Whole wheat penne, spinach, basil, onions, garlic, and cashew cream come together to make a delicious Italian casserole that's actually healthy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 489 kcal
Author Linda Meyer

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 454 g whole grain penne pasta
  • 1 tbsp 15 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 15 oz 411 g fire roasted tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup 120 ml water
  • 2 tsp 5 g Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups 675 g baby spinach leaves, pack the cups
  • 1 cup 40 g fresh basil leaves, pack the cup

FOR THE CASHEW CREAM

  • 1 cup 112 g cashews, soaked in boiling water for at least 1 hour
  • ¾ cup 180 ml) water
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp 15 ml fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground sea salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup 30 g bread crumbs
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C)
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta according to the instructions. For best results, cook until just al dente.
  3. In a large skillet heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to caramelize. Approximately 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and water, and seasonings. Stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

FOR THE CASHEW CREAM

  1. Put the cashews, water, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a high-powered blender and blend until the liquid is smooth and creamy. Approximately 2 minutes. There shouldn’t be any pieces of nuts in the mix.
  2. In a large bowl or the pasta pot, add the pasta, spinach, basil, tomato sauce, and cashew cream and stir until completely combined. Spread into a large baking pan, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and evenly spread the breadcrumbs on top. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crumbs begin to turn brown.

Recipe Notes

The nutrition facts in this recipe are an estimate. 

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Penne Pasta Casserole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 489 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Sodium 763mg 32%
Potassium 440mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 77g 26%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 6g
Protein 16g 32%
Vitamin A 38.2%
Vitamin C 13.1%
Calcium 8.3%
Iron 23.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.