This gluten-free no-boil vegetarian pasta bake is the perfect weeknight dinner! Simply mix uncooked pasta, sauce, cottage cheese, frozen broccoli, and nutritional yeast together, then bake for a high-protein, high-fiber dinner. Top with mozzarella to finish it off!
What makes this gluten-free pasta bake so easy? It doesn’t require any pre-cooking!
You don’t have to boil the pasta noodles or chop any vegetables.
The noodles are added dry to the pasta bake, and the frozen broccoli simply gets added from a bag.
Hold up, don’t you have to boil pasta before baking?
Most baked pasta recipes instruct you to boil the noodles until cooked halfway before baking them. This allows the pasta to finish cooking in the oven while it soaks up the sauce; however, this method presents some challenges.
If you boil the noodles too long, they’ll be overcooked by the time you pull the finished dish out of the oven. No one likes overcooked, mushy pasta.
This is why I prefer making no-boil pasta bakes instead! You don’t have to worry about dirtying up extra dishes, and your pasta cooks to perfection every time!
Gluten-Free No-Boil Vegetarian Pasta Bake Ingredients
The key to any delicious recipe is high-quality ingredients. Here is what you’ll need to make this easy, high-protein vegetarian pasta bake:
- Pasta sauce — You can certainly make your own from scratch (click here for my no-added-sugar marinara), but I opted to use a no-added-sugar sauce to keep things super simple. If you’re looking for an extra creamy pasta bake, try adding my Vegan Tomato Cream Sauce! My favorite healthy store-bought sauces are Rao’s, Primal Kitchen Foods, and Private Selections from Kroger.
- Frozen Broccoli — I am a huge broccoli fan when it comes to pasta bakes. I find that broccoli does a great job of soaking up the delicious sauce and bursts with flavor when you take a bite. I have only tried this recipe with frozen broccoli, but I’m sure fresh would work just fine.
- Cottage cheese — Are we even surprised a little bit!? Cottage cheese is my secret weapon when it comes to cooking. I add it to buffalo chicken dip, pasta sauce, toast, eggs, and dip veggies in it. This high-protein cheese creates the most perfect creamy sauce. Cottage cheese makes this dish resemble an easy no-boil lasagna bake, but without the mess of lasagna noodles!
- Mozzarella — I’m a sucker for melted cheese on top of my pasta. Adding it at the end creates a cheesy crust that is to die for!
- Nutritional yeast — If you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast, you can read my blog post about it here. Nutritional yeast is packed with b vitamins and protein, and adds a cheesy, savory flavor that’s perfect for pasta!
- Chickpea Pasta — I have only made his dish using chickpea pasta, but I’m confident quinoa pasta or brown rice pasta would work great as well. Chickpea pasta is high in fiber and protein, which is great for vegetarian pasta bakes! I used this chickpea pasta.
- Water — You can use chicken broth if you’d like, but again, I wanted to keep things extra simple! The added water prevents your no-boil pasta bake from drying out while it cooks in the oven.
How To Make Gluten-Free No-Boil Vegetarian Pasta Bake:
Once you’ve gathered all of your ingredients, simply follow the instructions below. It’s seriously easy!
- Preheat your oven to 400F degrees.
- Spray a 9×13 inch oven-safe glass baking dish with cooking spray.
- Dump everything into a bowl (except for 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese) and mix.
- Pour into your pan and cover with foil. Bake it for 55 minutes.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
- Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted to your liking. Enjoy!
Do you bake pasta covered or uncovered?
You should always cover your pasta bake with foil to prevent moisture loss.
You especially need to cover a no-boil pasta bake with foil! This helps the uncooked pasta get all the way cooked through.
Can I freeze this vegetarian pasta bake?
Yes! This pasta bake is great for making ahead and freezing. If you’re freezing an entire pasta bake, I recommend skipping steps 4 and 5.
Instead, after baking for 55 minutes, let it sit for about an hour before covering and freezing. Once you’re ready to reheat it, bake at 400F (covered) for 45 minutes. Take it out of the oven, sprinkle with mozzarella, then bake an additional 10-15 minutes uncovered, until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
If you’d like to freeze individual portions, bake the pasta all the way through, then spoon into freezer-safe containers. You can reheat individual portions by microwaving for 3-4 minutes, or by baking at 400°F for about 20 minutes.
What can I serve with this no-boil pasta bake?
I love serving salad or veggies alongside pasta dishes. Here are some of my favorite recipes:
- Easy Harvest Salad with a Creamy, Vegan Walnut Vinaigrette
- Pear, Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seed Salad
- Honey Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Apples | 30 Minute Recipe
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