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An overhead shot of a black bowl with a serving of creamy, cheesy vegan pasta bake with rigatoni, shreds of vegan mozzarella cheese and a gray napkin.
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5 from 10 votes

Instant Pot Vegan Pasta Bake

With barely any prep work and just 10 minutes of hands-on time required, this cheesy and creamy Instant Pot Pasta Bake is sure to become your favorite meal to cook--and your family's favorite vegan dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course/Pasta
Cuisine: Can be Gluten-Free, Can be nut-free, Soy-free, Vegan
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Instant Pot Pasta Bake, Vegan Pasta Bake
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 503kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Blender

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 14 to 16 oz vegan sausage (or "beef". Any brand is fine. It should crumble like ground meat)
  • 7 cloves garlic (crushed and minced)
  • 28 oz tomato puree (canned or fresh is fine. I use canned)
  • 2 tbsp oregano (minced, sub with 2 tsp dry. Or use basil)
  • 1 tbsp sage (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 1 tsp paprika (or red pepper flakes, use more or less according to your taste)
  • 16 oz rigatoni (or any hardy pasta. See substitution options above)
  • ¾ cup raw cashews (see substitution options above if nut-free)
  • cups water
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 7-8 oz vegan mozzarella shreds (I used a packet of Daiya)
  • More herbs for garnish (basil, parsley, oregano are all fine, choose one or more)

Instructions

  • Blitz the cashews with a cup of water into a smooth cream. Set aside.
  • Turn your Instant Pot to the "saute" function. Heat the oil in the Instant Pot liner. Add the vegan sausage or beef and garlic and "brown" the meat for a couple of minutes, stirring it frequently and scraping up any bits that stick. It won't really brown much but what you want to do is make sure it's broken down into tiny bits and not clumping together.
  • Add the tomato puree, oregano (or basil, or both), and sage to the pot. Add salt, pepper and paprika along with a cup of water. Give it all a good stir.
  • Add the rigatoni to the pot, the cashew cream, and the remaining 2 ¼ cups water. Give it a quick stir and taste the water. It should be slightly saltier than you would like your pasta to be.
  • Turn the Instant Pot off.
  • Seal the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 10 minutes. Go with eight minutes for smaller pasta shapes.
  • Once cooking is done, wait 15 minutes, then release the steam manually and open the IP lid. Scatter on the cheese and close the lid again immediately. Let it sit 5-10 minutes for the cheese to melt.
  • Garnish with parsley or basil or oregano and serve.

Notes

Update: I've added a bit more water to this recipe after some readers mentioned concerns about the "burn" function of the IP. Cooking time remains the same, but give 15 minutes after cooking is over before you manually release pressure for the perfect texture and flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 289mg | Potassium: 790mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 669IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4mg