Vegan Zoodle Bake
Zoodles. If you don’t like them, it’s probably because you haven’t tried them yet. I mean I don’t blame you. It doesn’t make sense how a zucchini can go from salad addition to delicious spaghetti, but this recipe right here is sure to convert you if you haven’t already been converted. They’re one of my favourite pasta substitutions and this recipe is why. When you bake them in this simple, yet rich tomato sauce topped with my creamy vegan ”cheese” sauce their texture goes from crunchy that perfect amount of bite that is missing from every gluten free pasta brand I have ever tried.
I have very high pasta standards. I learned how to make fresh pasta while working on a farm for a month in the north of Italy and ended up living in Venice simply because the food was just too good. Discovering my gluten intolerance was devastating for me. I’m convinced that it stems from the fact that I at pasta every single day for the last 15 years. What I’m basically trying to explain here is that this recipe has my seal of pasta lover approval… without having any pasta in it.
If you haven’t used a spiralizer before, don’t worry! If you would like to invest, you can get mine here, or if you would like one slightly less cumbersome you could try out this one which is currently on my wish list for travelling (life as a gluten free, lactose free vegetarian often leads to cooking my own meals while globetrotting). You can also pick up pre-spiralized veggies in many supermarkets these days (for those of you in Ireland where I am, Dunnes always has them on stock in the salad section). Or use a potato peeler to make zucchini tagliatelle. If you are using a spiralizer, be sure to cut the strands as you’re spiralizing so as they’re at a reasonable size. This will make your noodles far easier to handle and your bake easier to eat.
If you’re not vegan, then a generous sprinkling of parmesan on top before you pop these into the oven will help them get to a nice golden brown finish- this is completely optional.
If you like this cheesy cashew sauce then you should check out my vegan sour cream recipe here.
- 2 small zucchini
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon tomato puree
- A handful of chopped basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 garlic cloves
- 150g cashews
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Simmer cashews in hot water for 20 minutes
- Heat olive oil in a large pot, chop onion and sauté with the paprika until soft.
- Mince and add the garlic
- Pour in tomatoes; add basil, tomato puree and sugar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Spiralise the zucchini and set aside
- Blend the cashew nuts with the almond milk. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add more almond milk to achieve a consistency slightly runnier than if you were making a normal cheese sauce.
- Add the zoodles to the tomato sauce and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Divide the zoodles mixture between 2 oven safe dishes and top with the cashew cream sauce.
- Bake for 30 minutes
- Allow to cool slightly before serving
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