‘Cheesy’ Tomato Basil Baked Pasta (Vegan + Gluten Free)

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Typically, when I make a lasagna or a baked pasta like this, I alternate layers of marinara sauce and a creamy cashew cheese sauce- for this recipe I decided to save time and put them together in one sauce. This creamy tomato cashew cheese sauce is truly perfection. The pasta is tossed in the sauce and then sprinkled with an oregano scented cashew parmesan crumble and baked until browned and crisp on top. I like to top it with heaps of fresh basil, the more the better. This is comfort food at its finest- and it’s also completely vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free.


For The Sauce:

1 cup raw cashews (soaked)

1/3 cup filtered water

1 cup marinara sauce, preferably tomato basil (I used Barilla ‘Vero Gusto’ Tomato & Basil)

2 cloves garlic

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon oregano

* for soaked cashews, either fully submerge cashews in water and soak for a few hours or overnight, or for a quick soak, submerge fully in boiling water and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

For the Cashew Parmesan Crumble:

1/2 cup cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano


Other ingredients:

1 box of pasta ( I used gluten-free brown rice pasta)

a few bunches of fresh basil for topping


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Cook pasta so that it is slightly undercooked (it will continue cooking in the oven)

3. For the sauce, strain and rinse soaked cashews, and add them to a high speed blender along with all of the other sauce ingredients. Blend on high until a smooth creamy sauce forms.

4. To make the ‘parmesan’ crumble, simply add all ingredients to a food processor (cashews, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and oregano) and pulse until its finely chopped and resembles parmesan cheese.

5. Toss the slightly undercooked pasta in the sauce and add to a baking dish. Evenly distribute cashew parmesan crumbles across the top.

6. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and broil for 5 minutes to get the topping nice and browned. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve with fresh basil on top.








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