Comfort food in a casserole dish - this Vegan Baked Rigatoni Bolognese is the perfect family dinner! A simple and flavorful vegan dinner idea!
This Vegan Baked Rigatoni Bolognese is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe to make when you want something comforting without a ton of hassle. The sauce is packed with flavor and bulked up with vegan beef crumbles. This is the type of dinner everyone will love and ask you to make again and again.
How to make the sauce
The star of the show is really the sauce. It is herby, flavorful goodness - and it only requires a few ingredients and very little chopping. Start out by cooking the onion & garlic down in some olive oil and dried herbs. Once that smells delicious, add the vegan beef crumbles & sun-dried tomatoes to the mix.
If you don't love vegan beef crumbles, you can always swap them for cooked lentils!
Lastly, add the marinara, crushed tomatoes & tomato paste and give everything a stir. Partially cover the sauce and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
How to make the "cheese" topping
This faux cheese topping is my favorite hack for all of my baked pasta recipes - you saw me use it in my Ultimate Vegan Lasagna recipe. It is just a combo of vegan cream cheese, non-dairy creamer and fresh herbs. It might seem funky, but once it bakes, it makes the best "cheese" topping.
How to serve Vegan Baked Rigatoni Bolognese
To bring everything together, combine the sauce and cooked rigatoni and stir it together. Transfer the pasta and sauce to a baking dish and finish it off with the "cheese" topping. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Uncover and let it cook for another 10 minutes. Remove this beauty from the oven and let everything rest for a couple of minutes. Top with more fresh herbs and serve.
This would be great with a huge side salad - I'd try my Toasted Breadcrumb and Vegan Parmesan Kale Salad.
Need more recipe inspo? Check these out:
Vegan Baked Rigatoni Bolognese
FOR THE BOLOGNESE
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- salt & pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste, optional
- 12 ounces vegan beef crumbles or sub cooked lentils
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 28-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound rigatoni dry
FOR THE TOPPING
- 4 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons non-dairy cream* or sub non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs I used a combo of basil & oregano
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, dried herbs, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes. Cook down for a couple of minutes. Add the vegan beef crumbles & sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the marinara, crushed tomatoes & tomato paste and stir to combine. Partially cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente (I cooked mine for 12 minutes). Drain and set aside.
- Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce pot and stir to combine. Transfer the pasta and sauce to the baking dish. Drizzle the cream cheese mixture over top and spread it out to coat the pasta. Spray a piece of foil with non-stick spray and cover the baking dish. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes. For a crispier top, you can turn the oven to broil and cook for another couple minutes. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with more fresh herbs.
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