about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    For general inquires, contact: EmilyBMalone@gmail.com.

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    Looking forward to chatting with you!


    What’s Cooking?

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    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

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    A Look Back.

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake.

I’ve been trying to do some more make-ahead meals recently.  Perhaps to prepare myself for October, when I assume we’ll be living off of rolled oats and whatever we can find in our freezer.  It has been nice to cook dinner early in the day, and then simply pull it out and heat it up when we’re ready to eat – my evenings feel wide open!

I’ve never really been one for casseroles, simply because they tend to be really heavy, creamy, and too-much-cheesy for my taste.  But I thought the idea of lightening up one of my favorites would be fun, and making a vegan cheese sauce to go with it felt like a good culinary endeavor for a Wednesday afternoon.   

Any time I see vegan cheese sauces, they tend to be made with either fake vegan cheeses, or ground cashews.  I don’t know about you, but I never have several cups of expensive cashews sitting around my house, and I never plan far enough ahead to remember to get them!  So for this sauce, I tried something different and the result was nothing but light and delicious.

Vegan Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake

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Print this recipe!

Ingredients: (makes large casserole)

  • 1 14oz package firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • 1 16oz bag pasta
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

Instructions:  First things first, start a pot of water in your stovetop to boil your pasta.  While you wait, let’s work on the sauce.  The star of this cheese sauce is the unexpected…tofu!  Take one package (drained) and add to your food processor

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Let it process so that it’s to a creamy consistency – should just take a few seconds.

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Next add the nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder, and salt, and give a good whir.  Do you see what I see?

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Add almond milk and olive oil, and process into a smooth and creamy sauce.  Add more salt if needed.

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Once your water is boiling, cook pasta until al dente. 

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With 1-2 minutes left of cooking time, toss your broccoli florets into the pot with the pasta to allow them to cook for just a minute or two as well.

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Drain both when pasta is al dente.  You still want it to have a tiny bit of bite, as it will finish cooking in the casserole pan. 

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Transfer pasta and broccoli to a large serving bowl and add cheese sauce.

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Stir to combine until evenly coated.

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Pour mixing bowl into a large 9×13 casserole dish.

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And garnish with 1/4 tsp smoked paprika.  Love that red color!

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At this point you can either cook and serve immediately, or put it in the refrigerator until later.  To reheat, cover with foil and cook on 325 for 15 minutes.  Depending on how long it has been in the refrigerator (or freezer), cooking time may vary. 

Once warmed, scoop and serve!

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I wasn’t sure how tofu would work for making a cheese sauce, and I was happy to find that the result was light, creamy, and most definitely cheesy. 

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Many vegan cheeses and sauces are nut-based, and tend to be really heavy and rich.  While this one is surely full of flavor, it also didn’t leave me feeling weighed down.

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Broccoli and cheese are like peanut butter and jelly.  Am I right?

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This is a great meal for making ahead or eating right away.  The leftovers are just as delicious the next day!

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As always, enjoy!

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118 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Jean     at 11:59 am

I made this Sunday and we had it Tuesday nite for dinner. Mine was a tad dry but I did what Tabitha (previous post) mentioned and warmed up some almond milk in the microwave to mix into it. That helped a lot. My husband had leftovers for lunch yesterday and reported they were ‘terrific’. He wants me to use this ‘cheese’ sauce on everything :-). Great recipe, thx.


Rebecca     at 9:14 pm

I made this tonight and it was super yummy! I added a little more nutritional yeast and yellow miso to give it that bite that cheese usually has. It turned out great. Thank you for the recipe!


Britney     at 6:01 am

This is exactly what I was looking for! I wanted a casserole dish that would let me use my CSA veggies and be fairly easy to put together. I’m definitely going to try it this week, substituting the broccoli with one or two of the veggies in my share. Thank you!


Annie     at 3:56 pm

I made this yesterday, and added some sundried tomatoes, 1/4 diced onion, and spinach along with the broccoli (just usin’ up the produce drawer!), and crumbled some pita chips on top for that added crunch, and YUM. GENIUS recipe, since I can’t eat cashews and I had all of the necessary ingredients in my pantry already! Thank you. :)


Emily Malone Reply:

So glad you liked it!


Erin     at 3:42 pm

This was so amazing!! My cheese sauce almost tasted like hummus on its own but tasted like a cheesy casserole when mixed with everything. This is my new favorite sauce recipe!!


Caz     at 8:09 am

Amazing! This is the first vegan cheese sauce I’ve tried (I was happier with tofu than cashews which cost a fortune around here :-) and until I spilled the news to the boyf (a traditional meat and potatoes Aussie bloke who’s threatened to break up with me in the past for feeding him tofu) he had ZERO idea it wasn’t a creamy, cheesy pasta. He loved it!


Laura     at 6:28 pm

Just made this tonight and loved it! I’m new to Vegan eating, so this was my first time making a “cheese” sauce without cheese. It was my first time cooking with tofu, too! I was pleasantly shocked to discover how easy and tasty it was. I also love all the add-in suggestions I’ve found in the comments for next time – seems like a very versatile recipe, and I can’t wait to make it again… and eat the leftovers tomorrow! Thank you!


Emily Malone Reply:

So glad you liked it! Definitely lots of room for variation so you can make it again and again. :)


Natale     at 1:39 pm

This looks ahhmazing and I totally am going to make it and NOT tell my bf there is no cheese! ( & tofu)


Kate     at 3:46 pm

Emily, I just made this and oh my word! I love it! Thanks so much for this super healthy, easy meal! Absolutely one I’ll go back to!


Aimee     at 4:53 am

This was delicious and super easy to make. I also loved the fact that I didn’t feel weighed down after eating. I will be making this again very soon.


Emily Malone Reply:

Awesome! Thanks for letting me know!


Kristen @ Life as an Americanadian     at 5:13 pm

Looks delish! My mom has some major food allergies and can’t eat any dairy…she often gets frustrated since she feels like there are no options. But after I started sending her your awesome looking recipes she’s getting all excited looking forward to all the food she can eat instead of what she can’t.


Emily Malone Reply:

That is so awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipes.


Christi H     at 8:45 pm

This was so delicious!! Can’t believe how cheesy and creamy it was! Yum. I had some day old wheat bread that I threw into the food processor after pouring the sauce out, and then sprinkled it on top of the casserole for a little crunchy texture, a nice add! Thanks for such a creative and tasty recipe! :)


Emily Malone Reply:

Glad you liked it!


Joy J     at 10:19 am

I love this recipe! I make it all the time and add different vegetables depending what is available. It is great with mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes added in.


Jenn     at 7:47 pm

Great recipe–I’ll spice it up a bit more next time, definitely add pepper, maybe some picante, and more mustard and nooch…I can also see it working well with many veggies, not just broccoli.


Sherlock     at 1:14 am

This looks awesome! Thinking I’ll throw this together for lunch tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.
As far as using tofu instead of cashews, I agree with you. I am sick of seeing cashew cheese sauces all over the place. They’re definitely not budget friendly! I can see the appeal though with soy intolerance and all.
Great site btw!


Sherlock     at 11:42 am

To reheat it’s listed at 325 degrees. Where’s the temp for actually baking it??


Jenn Reply:

I noticed the same thing, and heated it using the reheat directions. It worked, but it’d be great if Emily could edit it in.


Sherlock     at 12:16 pm

This was very bland as is. Not gross just bland. I had to add more of everything for it to taste right. I do like using tofu as the cream for sure. I’m going to have to do that more often.


Emily Malone Reply:

I’m sorry you didn’t like it! Thanks for the feedback though.


Alice     at 12:26 pm

Another great recipe – as always a little challenging for your your non US readers as 16oz packs of anything dont exist in metric land! I realised too late that US mustard is nothing like French and so mine was a bit heavy on the mustard flavour but otherwise great. My only issue was that after leaving it in the fridge for most of the day it went really dry and the wetness of the sauce disappeared :-( any tips to avoid this as I love the make ahead part?


Emily Malone Reply:

Sorry about that! I’m not really as familiar with metric measurements. For making ahead, you might try leaving the sauce and bake separated until just before baking!


Jenn Reply:

500 grams is pretty close to 16 oz. and you can easily substitute. It’s actually 17 1/2 ounces, but for pasta that doesn’t make much difference. Don’t do it with flour!


Veganicide – Peta Mayer     at 4:50 am

[…] Broccoli “Cheese” Pasta Bake (Ditto with the sauce and i added sundried tomatoes to the bake) […]

Ness     at 6:30 am

This was so creamy and delicious! Even my meat-loving husband devoured it. I made it exactly as your recipe described, and it turned out perfect. I was very happy with how quick and easy it was to make. I may have to find a way to sneak in the vegetables, instead of putting huge chunks of them in it, so I can get my 2-year-old to eat it. I think this would even be a great dinner option for my diabetic dad; especially when made with quinoa pasta (my pasta of choice). Really great recipe!


Samara     at 2:51 pm

Made this tonight and it was tasty and filling, but it came out a bit dry after baking. Any suggestions for keeping it creamy, especially when we reheat? Thanks!


Veronique     at 10:25 am

I made this yesterday, it was really creamy but I thought it was a bit dry once it was out of the oven. I had to add more almond milk because the sauce was too thick, tasted good though. I think next time I’ll try it with Silken tofu, it might work better for me. Thank you for the recipe!


Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks for the feedback!!


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