This spinach artichoke baked pasta recipe is made with a creamy cashew sauce and topped with crispy, toasted bread crumbs. It's perfect to enjoy as a comforting, cozy weeknight casserole.
If you're looking for a delicious weeknight casserole, you've hit the jackpot!
This vegan baked pasta recipe is the perfect cozy and comforting meal that's perfect for a fresh meal or make ahead dinner.
This recipe is perfect to serve with my Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing or Butternut Squash Apple Soup.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Vegan/Plant-Based: This vegan spinach artichoke baked pasta is free of meat, dairy, eggs, and all other animal products making it fully plant-based.
- Creamy & Crispy: You'll enjoy a variety of texture with this dish! The pasta is tossed in an incredibly creamy sauce and topped with deliciously toasted bread crumbs.
- Cozy Weeknight Dinner: This spinach artichoke casserole makes for a great comfort food! Serve it as a comforting weeknight dinner that the entire family will love.
Artichokes: The recipe calls for jarred artichoke hearts for ease and convenience.
Cashews: Soak the cashews in hot water for at least 30 minutes prior to making the sauce. This will help give you an extra creamy consistency.
Garlic: I always prefer to use fresh garlic rather than jarred garlic. This will give you the best and freshest possible flavor.
Nutritional Yeast: This flavor-packed addition is a common plant-based substitute for cheese. It gives a cheesy flavor while remaining fully vegan/plant-based.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions & Additions
Make it gluten-free: If you want to turn this into gluten-free spinach artichoke baked pasta all you'll need to do is use a gluten-free pasta and gluten-free bread crumbs.
Make it spicy: Add some heat to this dish by adding 1-2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper to the onion and artichokes when roasting them. The spice will transfer to the entire dish once everything is mixed together.
Skip the oven: If you're short on time or not interested in baking this pasta you can omit the bread crumbs and the final step of baking the meal.
You can also sauté the onion, artichokes, and garlic rather than roasting them in the oven if you're short on time.
Add extra veggies: If you're looking to level up your vegetable intake you can add more vegetables to this recipe. You can double the onions, artichokes, and/or spinach. You can also add any extra vegetable that the original recipe doesn't call for.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Start by boiling a small pot of water and preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Once the water has boiled remove it from heat and pour the cashews in to soak for at least 30 minutes.
Chop the onions and artichokes and peel the garlic cloves. Place the peeled garlic cloves in a small piece of aluminum foil with olive oil and close the top so the garlic is sealed in.
Toss the onions in olive oil and place them on a baking sheet along with the foil/garlic. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
Step 2: After 15 minutes remove the baking sheet from the oven. Take the garlic off the baking sheet and combine the artichokes with the onion then return them to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
Step 3: Boil another pot of water and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Set aside 2 cups of water from the pasta pot at the end of cooking before straining the pasta.
Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a blender and blend until its smooth and creamy.
Step 4: Pour the sauce into the pasta pot (without the pasta in it-leave it in the strainer for now) and warm the sauce over medium-low heat for several minutes until it thickens slightly.
Top Tip: Don't forget to set aside 2 cups of reserved pasta water before draining the pasta. You'll need this for your sauce.
Step 5: Melt the plant-based butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Then add the bread crumbs to the pot and continue to cook them over medium-low heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently and making sure they don't burn.
Step 6: Once the bread crumbs are perfectly toasted combine the pasta with the sauce, roasted vegetables, and spinach. Stir until well combined.
Step 7: Transfer the pasta to a greased baking dish and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.
Step 8: Bake the pasta in the oven on the top rack for about 15 minutes. Watch the pasta closely in the oven to make sure the bread crumbs don't burn.
Allow your deliciously creamy baked pasta to cool slightly before enjoying!
- Pre-toast the bread crumbs: Don't skip the step of toasting the bread crumbs in melted butter prior to baking the pasta. The bread crumbs will absorb the butter and will get a head start on their incredible texture and flavor.
- Make extra sauce: If you're anticipating having leftovers, double the sauce to save some for later. You can either add some extra sauce to the pasta once reheated or toss fresh pasta in the extra sauce.
- Bake on the top rack: In order to get the incredibly crispy toasted bread crumb topping on this baked pasta, bake the pasta on the top rack of your oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
We make our own homemade cream sauce that we toss the pasta in. The sauce has a base of soaked cashews, vegetable broth, oat milk, and reserved pasta water to make it nice and creamy.
In our fully plant-based version of spinach artichoke pasta we swapped the cream sauce for a plant-based version and used vegan butter in place of traditional butter.
More Plant-Based Pasta Recipes You'll Love
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Spinach Artichoke Baked Pasta
- Baking Sheet
- ½ pound pasta
- 15 oz artichoke hearts chopped
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 tablespoon plant based butter
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1 head garlic about 10 cloves
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast 1
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup oat milk
- 2 cups reserved pasta water
- Start by boiling a small pot of water and preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the water has boiled remove it from heat and pour the cashews into the water. Allow the cashews to soak for at least 30 minutes but longer if possible. At the end of soaking drain the cashews and rinse them off.
- Dice the yellow onion and peel the garlic. Place the garlic in a small piece of aluminum foil and pour ¼ teaspoon of olive oil on top. Then pinch the foil closed so the garlic is wrapped up. Toss the diced onion in the ¾ olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt and place in the oven for about 15 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting in the oven boil a large pot of water and cook the pasta according to package instructions. At the end of cooking the pasta, remove 2 cups of the pasta water from the pot and set it to the side.
- After 15 minutes of roasting the vegetables remove the garlic from the oven and toss the chopped artichoke hearts on the baking sheet with the onion. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce in a blender and blend until your sauce is smooth and creamy.
- While the pasta is still in the strainer, use the empty large pot that you used to cook the pasta and warm the sauce over medium-low heat for about 3-5 minutes or until it has thickened slightly.
- Melt the butter in a small pan over medium low heat and once it has melted add the bread crumbs. Toast the bread crumbs over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Combine the cooked pasta, sauce, artichoke hearts, onion, and spinach in the pot and stir until well combined. Grease a baking/casserole dish and pour the pasta into the dish. Top with the toasted bread crumbs.
- Place the pasta in the oven on the middle rack and bake it for about 15 minutes or until the bread crumb topping is toasted.
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