Tofu Ricotta Pasta Bake

A hearty and flavorful pasta bake that is packed with veggies and plant-based protein from the tofu and legume (bean) noodles.  

I had so many tomatoes and so much basil growing in my garden this past summer, so I started playing with this Tofu Ricotta Pasta Bake back in August of 2021. It has gone through several trials and tests to land on the current version. It’s delicious!

Tofu Ricotta Pasta Bake is a play off of my Vegetable Lasagna Pasta Bake. Both dishes are fantastic, just some slight variations in the ingredients and method. This recipe includes less cashews, and no lentils (just to make it faster). It’s still packed with veggies and flavors- and using tofu and legume (bean) pasta noodles you still get plenty of plant-protein. This one is a little less on the tomato saucy side and lets the ricotta take more centerstage, and I made up a homemade tomato sauce layer for the top too! That tomato sauce is really simple to make, so that might will probably become more a staple around here instead of buying jarred tomato sauce (it’s hard to find oil free, salt free marinara in the store). I tried to simplify this recipe a bit more than the other one- as sometimes I need a bit faster recipe when I am low on time or energy for cooking. 

This is a great recipe for a group of people or when you are wanting to batch cook! I love making this recipe and sharing with family or saving leftovers for the week. If you are just cooking for 1-2 people, consider freezing some for leftovers in the future, enjoy as leftovers throughout the week, or feel free to cut the recipe in half. 

A few notes before you get started:

PASTA: I prefer to use lentil pasta noodles here. Tolerant lentil noodles has been a consistently reliable legume pasta in all of my cooking. I am not sponsored by them or make any money from them, I just have tried many other bean/ legume pastas and many do not hold up the same once all saucy. So that’s been a very reliable brand for my cooking. Feel free to use whole wheat pasta here too. 

AMOUNT OF PASTA: My original version of this recipe called for 1 package of cooked pasta. The dish was a bit too saucy- it was still very good and everyone liked it, but it didn’t meet my vision for this recipe. I have since tested with 2 packages of cooked pasta— and it was what I visioned. Feel free to make this part your own. Anywhere from 1-2 packages of cooked pasta should do, and as you are going you can decide if you add both packages to the dish or just do 1.5 packages. Really depends on how saucy you want this vs, how much texture from the noodles.. and so on. 

FOOD PROCESSOR VS BLENDER: I have only tried making the ricotta in my high speed blender, but feel free to give this a try in a food processor. The cashews might be a bit more textured that you’d get in a high speed blender- but that’s okay. 

TOMATO SAUCE: I have a tomato sauce recipe included- it was one I came with up on the spot when I ran out of marinara sauce one day when testing this recipe. I liked it so much I tested it again- and kept it with the recipe. Feel free to use your favorite marinara instead of it or do without the sauce all together. My first few versions of this recipe included no tomato sauce- and it was still great! I just prefer a bit more of that tomato vibe. 

TOMATOES: I have been using cherry or grape tomatoes for this recipe and just cutting them in 1/2. I have not tested chopping the tomatoes into smaller pieces, but I plan to do that next time I make this. Just to help the tomatoes hold a bit better in the dish and look prettier. Feel free to play around with this! My original recipe called for 6 cups of tomatoes, but I cut it back to 4 cups for this. That being said feel free to use 4-6 cups of tomatoes (2 pounds is approximately a little over 5 cups of halved cherry tomatoes).

CAULIFLOWER: I use the frozen riced cauliflower from Costco and thaw it before cooking. It’s also fairly easy to make in a food processor. Just wash and then chop the cauliflower. Add it to a food processor and pulse. Remove the larger pieces and then pour the rest into a bowl, add the cauliflower back in and pulse again until all the cauliflower reaches desired texture. I love using riced cauliflower in my recipes because it adds a lot of great texture- but blends in with the rest of the dish really easily. A great way to pack in some cruciferous veggies! 

BASIL: My original recipe called for 1 cup of chopped fresh basil. I love using fresh basil in the summer months when I can pull it from my garden. It gets a bit hard for me in the winter months to remember to buy basil- I usually have all the other ingredients for this dish on-hand. So I swapped in dried basil for the recipe. If you want to use fresh basil, add 1 cup chopped when cooking the veggies in step 2 or add them with the kale in step 5. 

Tofu Ricotta Pasta Bake



4 cups diced tomato 

2 cup chopped Bell pepper (about 2 peppers)

3 cups riced cauliflower

1-1½  cup chopped onion (or 1 small onion) 

¼ cup lemon juice

3 cups chopped and massaged kale


1-2 (8 oz) packages of legume-based pasta noodles or 100% whole grain (see note above)


¼ cup raw cashews

½ cup water 

1 (14-16 oz) package of firm or extra firm tofu 

½ cup of nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon white miso paste

¼ cup dried basil 

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon oregano

Tomato Sauce:

1 (6oz) can of tomato paste 

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes/ crushed (with the juice)

2 tablespoon dried basil

2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoon dried oregano 

½ teaspoon black pepper

½-1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon white miso paste


  1. Wash and prep the veggies. Preheat the oven to 350F. 
  2. Add the veggies (except for the kale) and the lemon juice into a large, deep glass baking dish. Stir everything together, and then bake for 30 minutes. 
  3. Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. 
  4. In a high-speed blender, combine the cashews and water. Blend until smooth. Crumble or dice the tofu. Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, white miso paste, dried basil, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried oregano to the blender. Blend until well combined. It may help to scrape down the sides and move the ricotta around to get it fairly smooth. It’s okay to leave a little texture in the ricotta. Place the ricotta aside in a bowl.
  5. Feel free to leave the remaining bit if ricotta in the blender, no need to rinse it out if you don’t want to. Add the tomato paste, diced or crushed tomatoes, dried basil, garlic powder, dried oregano, black pepper, fennel seeds, and miso paste to the high speed blender. Blend until smooth.
  6. After 25-30 min of cooking the veggies, add the kale, tofu ricotta, and cooked pasta. Stir together until well combined. Add a layer of the tomato sauce over the top. Bake the pasta dish uncovered for 45 more minutes (or until top is a bit browned around the edges). Allow the dish to cool. Then slice and enjoy!