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Pasta Bake with Tofu recipe


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This is a great vegetarian dish. Enjoy with a side salad and/or garlic bread.

96 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 55g pasta shells
  • 250g passata
  • 50g mushrooms, diced
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled firm tofu
  • 4 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
  3. In a medium bowl combine passata, mushrooms and tofu. Stir in cooked pasta. In a separate, small bowl combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  4. In a small baking dish, layer pasta mixture and cheeses.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(95)

Reviews in English (70)

by KRISTA BB

Note from the recipe author -- A few people mentioned that it was missing something. If you noticed in the description, I said that it is a basic recipe, meaning that it is a starting point. Add your favorite spices and vegetables.-08 Jun 2002

by The Bunny Chef

This was really good! Like someone else, said, it's really the sauce you use that makes or breaks it. I made my own tomato sauce. I also quadrupled the recipe, and used penne instead of shells. I didn't use any of the cheese, but the tofu sure fooled everyone as ricotta! Also, I sauteed zucchini slices and a portabello mushroom. I decided to layer it like lasagna, with sauce on the bottom, a layer of noodles, some mushroom and zucchini chunks, then the tofu (used more), and then started over with the sauce. I ended it with sauce on top and sprinkled chopped black olives all over the top. Yum, yum, and quite healthy!!! Next time I'll try it with lasagna noodles!-18 Feb 2003

by BCFERRI

This was SO GOOD! I have been been searching for ways to make healthful vegetarian dishes, and this one was amazing! I especially liked how there was tofu incorporated into the sauce, and how there wasn't much cheese at all. This dish was also very filling on not a whole lot of calories, which was very nice. I will definately be making his again.Thank You!-06 Jul 2005


Recipe Summary

  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (12 ounce) package firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt, and black pepper.

Slice tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices, and place in bowl of cold water. One at a time, press tofu slices into crumb mixture, turning to coat all sides.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook tofu slices until crisp on one side. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, turn, and brown on the other side.

Combine tomato sauce, basil, garlic, and remaining oregano. Place a thin layer of sauce in an 8 inch square baking pan. Arrange tofu slices in the pan. Spoon remaining sauce over tofu. Top with shredded mozzarella and remaining 3 tablespoons Parmesan.


Baked Tofu

Tofu gets a bad rap for being flavourless, boring, and at times undesirably rubbery&mdashbut the hate is undeserved. Avoid thinking of it as a meat substitute, let it exist on its own terms, as its own thing, and be surprised by what it has to offer. Treat it kindly and you'll be rewarded with a versatile protein that can play the field as a sweet or savoury ingredient.

What is tofu?

Also known as bean curd, tofu is made from minimally processed soy milk that has been cooked and pressed into a block&mdashessentially a vegan cheese. Depending on how much it's drained and pressed, tofu texture can vary from very soft, fragile "silken" to extra firm. Each type is suitable for different kinds of dishes. For baked tofu, the best kind to use is firm or extra firm anything softer will likely crumble for this recipe.

Flavour it right.

Let's address the most popular complaint about tofu: its blandness. Just like a fresh cheese&mdashthink ricotta, cottage cheese, paneer, fresh mozzarella&mdashit is mild in flavour. Add to the fact that it's made from relatively low-fat soybeans rather than rich, creamy cow's milk, it's a lot less indulgent-tasting straight out of the package. Produced and packaged with only very small quantities of salt, tofu needs to have the right background singers before its potential can truly shine. Fresh tofu isn't very porous, which means that even if it sits in a marinade, it won't take on a lot of flavour.

Because of its high moisture content, there are two ways to season tofu effectively: cubing the tofu then soaking it in boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt to 480ml water) or freezing then defrosting it. The soaking method flavours the tofu by osmosis as the salty solution displaces the unseasoned water content inside the tofu. The freezing method causes the moisture content inside the tofu to crystallise. As water turns to ice, cell walls are punctured, and upon defrosting, the once solid tofu will take on a tannish hue and porous, springy texture. Once completely defrosted, the tofu can be squeezed dry with a little more pressure, and its new spongey quality allows for much better absorption of flavourings and marinades.

If you don't want to go through too many extra steps to get flavour into your tofu, you can simply use an assertive sauce or dressing that coats and clings to the cooked tofu. This recipe uses a slightly spicy sesame-ginger marinade that gets brushed on as a glaze for a double dose of flavour.

Should I drain or press tofu?

We do recommend pressing the tofu with a weighted drainage set-up for at least an hour to eliminate extra moisture in the tofu. But truth is, pressing tofu isn't always necessary for every occasion and is only preferred if the recipe calls for it. In testing this recipe, I discovered that my favourite result came from just dabbing the tofu with some paper towels, exerting just enough pressure with my hands to get some water out without breaking the tofu. This method of preparation only takes a couple of minutes as opposed to an hour (or more!) and preserves the creamy, tender texture of the tofu.

It's all about the texture.

In developing this recipe, I tested all four ways of tofu treatment to see which yielded the best results: pressing under cast iron pans for 1 hour, cubing then soaking in boiling salted water, freezing then defrosting, and drained and dabbed by hand. The winning method was also the simplest and quickest: dabbing the tofu by hand with four paper towels over two minutes got out just enough moisture. It retained its subtly milky essence and remained soft and tender through the bake, which contrasted so well with the saucy crispy-crunchy exterior.

The runner-up was the frozen tofu: this version absorbed the marinade the best and took on the most flavour. It also had a very interesting texture that reminded me of a mildly aged cheese, like a ricotta salata&mdasha bit crumbly, a bit chewy, in a good way. Surprisingly, the pressed tofu was my least favourite and the worst of both worlds: the texture was tough and chalky (the bad kind of crumbly), and the flavour inside was the weakest of the bunch.

Cornflour, baking powder, and oil.

Use baking powder if you want crispy baked tofu! Cornflour alone will not do the job. Because your tofu is still moist, cornflour will gel into a slurry once it comes in contact with each piece, and this slurry will create only a soft crust during the bake. Baking powder, on the other hand, will react with heat in the oven and moisture in the slurry to create tiny bubbles that will crisp up this crust.

To ensure even distribution of the baking powder&mdashwe're only using 1/4 teaspoon here&mdashmix together your cornflour and baking powder well in a small bowl before adding to your tofu. And for a touch of extra crunch, toss your slurry-coated tofu in another tablespoon of sesame oil to approximate a little fry action in the oven! Start off hot with a 200°C (180ºC fan) oven to seal the crust, then decrease the oven temperature to 190°C (170ºC fan) and flip each piece of tofu to allow for even crisping.


Baked Tofu Ingredients

To make this baked tofu recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Tofu: One block of tofu, either firm or extra-firm. I also strongly recommend buying organic tofu, if it’s available.
  • Oil: Olive oil, or whatever your preferred cooking oil may be.
  • Cornstarch: This is the magic ingredient that helps make tofu (as well as many other foods) extra-crispy in the oven.
  • Seasonings: I typically just use a mixture of garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper to season my tofu. (This mixture goes well with just about any recipe.) But see below for other seasonings ideas.


What’s In This Vegan TikTok Feta Pasta Recipe?

  • Vegan “Feta” Cheese: I actually used marinated silken tofu for this recipe which turned out great. I soaked a block of tofu overnight in lemon juice, miso paste, apple cider vinegar, and oregano. I stock up on this pantry-staple tofu which I used in this dish. And I keep a few of these miso paste containers on hand at all times… bring the flavor!
  • Cherry Tomatoes: I used ones that we froze from our garden in the summer, but any cherry tomatoes would be great. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, I’d recommend these boxed diced tomatoes… they are great to keep on hand and the box is more eco-friendly and sustainable than canned tomatoes. A win/win!
  • Garlic : I use fresh garlic when I have it, and this great jarred organic garlic when I don’t have fresh. It’s actually super convenient to have pre-chopped garlic on hand for quick and easy meal prep.
  • Olive Oil: I like to use this delicious Zoe olive oil which has a fantastic flavor and deep color- it’s really inexpensive online here, so I keep a few liters stocked up in my pantry. For the quality of oil you get, it’s an excellent value, I would highly recommend!
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt:I like to use a pink Himalayan Sea Salt in my kitchen, which has more natural minerals than plain processed table salt. It’s fairly inexpensive, so I’d recommend this salt if you’re looking for an easy way to level up your spice pantry.
  • Tellicherry Black Pepper: Like the salt, it’s amazing the flavor difference you can get with really good tellicherry black pepper . This pepper is the same price is buying pre-ground , and has a million times more flavor! I use these really great tellicherry peppercorns , which I would definitely recommend.
  • Fresh Basil
  • Pasta: To make this recipe gluten free, this GF fettuccine makes an excellent pasta for this sauce! I like a long shaped pasta because honestly, who doesn’t love twirling with a fork?
  • Coconut Milk: an optional ingredient if you want a little extra creaminess! I only use full-fat coconut milk in my recipes (because YUM) and I keep a few of these cans of coconut milk on hand which are actually a really good deal online.


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Creamy Tofu Garlic Mushroom Pasta

I’m in the honeymoon phase with mushrooms. I couldn’t stand the taste and texture of mushrooms for most of my life, but I’m happy to report that I'm definitely in love as of this blog post. I know I’m not the only one who's had a rollercoaster relationship with fungi. Mushrooms are extremely polarizing. If you’re a mushroom lover, which I hope you are, you’re going to love this easy, decadent weeknight dinner: creamy tofu garlic mushroom pasta. The sauce is made with Mori-Nu Silken Tofu , which provides a creamy base for all of the delicious flavors happening in this dish.

One of my favorite parts of summer turning to fall is the return of hearty noodle dishes. I’ve made tons of creamy vegan desserts with Mori-Nu Silken Tofu in the past (like the Mini Key Lime Pies in our cookbook) so I had a feeling it would work really well as a pasta sauce. Of course, it did! I love how versatile silken tofu can be.

Many creamy vegan pasta dishes rely on soaked and blended cashews for that coveted silky texture. While I love cashews, I also know myself and hardly ever remember to soak them overnight. Luckily, you don’t need cashews for this creamy tofu garlic mushroom pasta. In fact, the entire dish is nut-free. When it comes to making a dairy-free cream sauce, Mori-Nu Silken Tofu offers the same smooth consistency as cashews with zero prep effort and a fraction of the fat and calories. Plus, Mori-Nu Silken Tofu has a long shelf life and doesn’t need to be refrigerated, making it a great pantry staple. I have another package waiting in my cabinet for the next impromptu pasta night.

If you can believe it, this recipe comes together in about 30 minutes. But, don’t let the simplicity fool you into believing this is just another pasta dish. The combination of garlic, white wine, shallots, and fresh thyme will make your kitchen smell like heaven. I call this “date night pasta” because it’s approachable, yet romantic. Finish off that bottle of wine between bites and cap off the evening with a Netflix binge. This creamy tofu garlic mushroom pasta is the perfect meal for a cozy Friday night at home with your favorite person.


What I need for pasta bake?

Pasta bakes are very popular and are usually made quickly.

  1. You need pasta and short ones are the best for casseroles, such as fusilli, farfalle, rigatoni, girandole, gemelli or torchietti.
  2. Then different types of vegetables zucchini, tomato, eggplant, carrots, mushrooms, fennel etc.. These are fried with onions, garlic and herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, fennel seeds, turmeric …).
  3. A delicious sauce: bechamel sauce, tomato sauce or a creamy vegetable sauce (pumpkin, cauliflower etc.)
  4. The ingredients are all mixed together and placed in a baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake.


This vegan recipe is so simple! And please, feel free to modify the above ingredients using what you have on hand. Here’s how I make my creamy vegan pasta bake:

  1. Prepare the box of pasta according to the directions and drain
  2. Add the pasta to a large baking dish and toss with the jar of pasta sauce.
  3. Drain and rinse the can of lentils and mix them into the pasta.
  4. Sprinkle the frozen spinach over the pasta.
  5. Add 1/2 of the tofu ricotta mixture to the pasta in large dollops, spaced about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes until heated through.

Veggie Pasta Bake w/ Tofu

I’ve had this Veggie pasta bake in my sights for a very long time now. It is packed with vegetables – zucchini, spinach, carrots, peas, corn, onions and bell peppers PLUS I threw in a little Tofu for good measure! Despite how complex it looks, it was basically a breeze to make. And the vegetables make a very good excuse for the carbs and the cheese! Once in a while, it’s OK to loosen up people!

If you had read my post on the best (spicy) 5 minute pizza sauce + marinara – you’ll know how delicious this pasta bake is going to be. This sauce is magic, really! Turned me around on marinara.

I used Rotini, but feel free to use any of your favourite pasta shapes. Just remember to chop the vegetables to about the same size. Keeps cooking even.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions, but remove from heat about a minute earlier. The rotini needs 7 minutes to cook al dente but I took it out at 6 minutes. Throw in the peas, corn and carrots and let it cook in the warm pasta water. Drain them all together.

In addition to the peas, carrot and corn, I also used spinach, tofu, zucchini, onions and bell peppers (capsicum). Have these ready as the pasta cooks.

Sauté these vegetables (except spinach) in a little butter until slightly cooked. Season with salt, garlic powder and maybe a little fried red chilli flakes. Turn off heat and add in the spinach. Then comes the fun part. Toss in the cooked pasta and vegetables and douse everything in my special marinara sauce. Seriously guys, this sauce is the magical component of this dish.

Stir in half of the cheese into the pasta and transfer to a casserole. Then top with a lot of cheese. Seriously. A lot!

Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the marinara is bubbling underneath. Your Veggie Pasta Bake is done! Serve hot!