Who doesn't like a good pasta bake? This vegan artichoke pasta bake is a quick and easy vegan artichoke recipe. It's basically healthy comfort food that comes right from the oven.
Vegan artichoke pasta
The secret to making a flavorful vegan pasta bake with cashew sauce is the seasoning. I love using vegetable broth and some additional spices to make the sauce and keep it very simple with the rest of the ingredients. This dish is similar to an artichoke casserole but made with pasta. You could also add (fresh or frozen) spinach to make a spinach artichoke pasta bake. Feel free to add your own little twist to this recipe!
Which artichokes to chose
I think we all agree that cleaning and cooking artichokes is a tedious task. If a recipe only requires artichoke hearts, it can be a lot of work for only a tiny bit of ingredients. But if you love doing it or have some fresh artichokes at hand, please go ahead! However, to save you a lot of time and effort, this recipe calls for canned artichokes. Make sure to use canned artichoke hearts and not artichoke bottoms for this recipe (I once grabbed the wrong can and it was simply not the same).
Why you'll love this recipe
- It is made with the easiest cashew sauce ever. There are no weird ingredients such as nutritional yeast or miso paste. I'm a firm believer in "the more simple the better".
- You won't even miss the cheese. The cashew sauce and crust make this pasta bake so special and delicious. If you don't expect it to taste like your regular cheesy pasta bake (which it obviously doesn't), you'll LOVE this recipe.
- It's ready in 30 minutes (if soak the cashews beforehand), 100% vegan and gluten free.
Vegan cashew sauce
The most important component of the vegan artichoke pasta bake is the cashew sauce. The ingredients are very simple and kept the necessary minimum for a flavorful pasta sauce. You will need:
- Cashews that are soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes. If you don't have a very powerful blender, it's better to soak them for 2 hours to make sure they will blend easily. If you already know that you will make this dish on the next day (hello meal planners), you can also soak them overnight, which wills save you time.
- Vegetable broth will add a ton of flavor to your sauce, without having to add 10 different ingredients.
- Garlic powder will enhance the flavor of the whole sauce and pairs really well with artichokes.
- Nutmeg is a must in pasta bakes in my opinion.
There is no need to add salt to the sauce because vegetable broth are usually already relatively salty. If you also cooked your pasta in salted water, the dish will have just the right amount of salt.
Step by step with pictures
Soak the cashews and drain the artichoke hearts. Soak the cashews in boiling water for 30 minutes to 2 hours (30 minutes should be enough if you have a high-speed blender) or overnight. Drain and rinse the canned artichokes and cut them in half or in quarters.
Make the cashew sauce. Drain the cashews and add them to a blender or food processor with the vegetable broth and spices. Blend on high until perfectly creamy. This can take 3 to 5 minutes.
Combine everything. Add the (pre-)cooked and drained pasta to an oven-proof dish. Top it with the cashew sauce and the artichokes and give it a good mix.
Make the cashew crust. Blend raw cashews until finely ground. Mix them with your favorite Italian seasoning blend and a pinch of sea salt if desired.
Prepare the pasta bake. Sprinkle the ground cashews on top of the pasta and bake for 15 minutes on grill mode.
Storage and reheating tips
If you have leftovers or made an extra serving, you can store the pasta bake in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2 days. I don't recommend freezing the vegan pasta bake.
As the pasta bake cools down, the cashew sauce will thicken. To make it creamy again when reheating it, simply add a splash of water (about 2 tablespoons) and toss the pasta around the dish. I recommend reheating it in a pot over low-medium heat or in the microwave (not in the oven).
More easy pasta recipes
- Lemony tomato and artichoke pasta salad (15 minutes)
- Vegan lentil bolognese (30 minutes)
- Easy spinach pasta (15 minutes)
- Creamy peanut butter noodles (15 minutes)
30-Minute Vegan Artichoke Pasta Bake
- 320 g gluten free pasta
- 2 cans of artichoke hearts make sure it's not artichoke bottoms
For the cashew sauce
- 200 g cashews* soaked in boiling water for 30 min - 2h
- 500 ml vegetable broth
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
For the crust
- 50 g cashews
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
- 1 pinch of coarse sea salt
- Soak the cashews in boiling water for at least 30 minutes. This should be enough if you have a powerful blender. If not, soak them in very hot water for 2 hours.
- Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. You want to slightly undercook them. If the cooking time is 12 minutes, cook them only for 9 minutes. Drain them and quickly rinse them under cold water.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400 F).
- Make the cashew sauce by adding all the ingredients (drained cashews, vegetable broth, garlic powder and nutmeg). Blend for 2 to 3 minutes until creamy. If necessary, run it through a sieve to remove any small bits.
- Add the pasta, the artichoke hearts and the cashew sauce to a baking dish. Toss gently, then top with the ground cashews to make the crust.
- Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes on grill mode. Watch carefully to prevent it from burning, every oven is different.
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