Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère makes a great meatless meal for Lent or any time you are looking to skip the meat. Can also be served as a hearty side dish. Our submission for today’s Sunday Supper focuses on Meatless Casseroles for Lent. Click here to jump to the recipe or read on for details on how to prepare Vegetarian Baked Pasta and wine to serve with it.
Vegetarian Baked Pasta dishes are a winter staple in our house. Today’s recipe has pasta combined with just a few simple ingredients that we had on hand. Spinach and Gruyère cheese provide much of the flavor and nutrition. Roasted red peppers also add nice flavor and color to the dish.
This vegetarian baked pasta has just about 15 minutes of active cooking time on the stove top, then about 20 minutes in the oven while you can do other things. The result is a cheesy, satisfying meatless meal!
How to Make Vegetarian Baked Pasta
Our Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère is a recipe template that can be easily adapted based on your tastes and what you have on hand. The building blocks are the pasta, sautéed veggies and cheese.
Choose a short pasta shape to make Vegetarian Baked Pasta. We have recently made this recipe with corkscrew shaped fusilli pasta and gemelli. Pick a whole wheat pasta to enhance the nutritional value of the dish.
I rely on a skillet of sautéed vegetables along with a modest amount of cheese to bind the Vegetarian Baked Pasta together. I start with an onion and garlic with some olive oil in the skillet; but you could use just one or other. You can also add chopped fresh red bell pepper at this time instead of the roasted red pepper.
You can easily swap in other leafy greens instead of the baby spinach. If you want to use a hearty green like kale or collard greens, I would add ¼ cup water or other cooking liquid, and let it braise covered for about 10 minutes. Just takes a bit more to cook those.
Gruyère cheese is good for melting and adds nice flavor, but any other good melting cheese will do here. Cheddar is of course a natural for a baked pasta dish; I also made this with a goat gouda cheese and that was tasty.
On the top of Vegetarian Baked Pasta, I like to have a combination of melted cheese and something to give the dish a bit of crunch. We used provolone on top; mozzarella and Parmesan also work well. I used some homemade breadcrumbs sprinkled on top, but have also used pumpkin seeds with good results.
So follow our Vegetarian Baked Pasta recipe exactly as we present it if you like, or experiment with some of your favorite ingredients you have on hand. Let me know how yours comes out!
More Vegetarian Baked Pasta Recipes
As you can see, several of the Meatless Casserole recipes shared by my #SundaySupper friends below are forms of vegetarian baked pasta. Another favorite here on Cooking Chat is the Veggie Mac and Cheese Casserole shown above. The approach to that recipe is very similar to the one we are sharing today. One neat thing about that recipe is it features sautéed leek greens–so if you typically discard leek greens, next time give our recipe a try as a way to put them to use!
Wine Pairing for Vegetarian Baked Pasta
The first time we had this Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère I served a full-bodied Italian red wine that was a bit overwhelming for this dish. A lighter California Pinot Noir worked much better the second time we served this vegetarian baked pasta. I would say Pinot is a good choice if you are in the mood for red wine. A full bodied white wine like a Chardonnay or white Rhone blend could also work well.
Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère
Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère for a meatless meal or hearty side dish. Easy to adapt to use veggies and cheese that you have on hand.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: American
- 12 ozs gemelli, fusilli or other short pasta shape
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped (½ large onion or 1 medium/small onion)
- 3 to 4 cups baby spinach
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 ozs roasted red pepper, drained and chopped
- ¾ cup Gruyère cheese, grated
- 1 slice provolone cheese, torn into bite sized pieces
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and begin boiling a large pot of water to cook the pasta.
- Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté about 5 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Gradually add the spinach to the skillet, stirring to combine with the onions and garlic. Lower to medium low heat and cook about 5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm while the pasta finishes cooking.
- Begin cooking the pasta according to package instructions shortly after the spinach is added to the pan. When the past is done, drain the pasta and toss immediately with the spinach / onion mixture.
- Stir the roasted red pepper and Gruyère cheese into the pan with the pasta and veggies.
- Empty the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish. Spread the the provolone cheese around the top of the pasta, then sprinkle the bread crumbs around the top.
- Cover the casserole, and bake covered for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 5 minutes.
- After 20 of total baking time, switch the oven to the broil setting. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes to brown the top of the casserole a bit. R
- Carefully remove the vegetarian baked pasta from the oven. Scoop and plate serving portions, and enjoy!
Meatless Casseroles for Lent
Marvelous Meatless Meals
- Asparagus, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Herb Bread Pudding by Wholistic Woman
- Baked Eggplant Parmesan Casserole by Jersey Girl Cooks
- Baked Mushroom Fettuccine by Delaware Girl Eats
- Cheesy Mushroom Marsala Pasta Casserole by Hot Eats and Cool Reads
- Greens and Pea Manicotti by Food Lust People Love
- Leek and Swiss Chard Gratin by Caroline’s Cooking
- Mushroom Breakfast Casserole by Brunch-n-Bites
- Raisin Bread Cheddar Strata by Pies and Plots
- Ricotta Pasta Frittata by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Roasted Vegetable Lasagna by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Tex Mex Vegetarian Bake Freestyle Recipe by Positively Stacey
- Spaghetti Squash Parmesan Casserole by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Spinach Ravioli Bake by Our Good Life
- Spinach Ricotta Pasta Bake by The Bitter Side of Sweet
- Tuna Noodle Casserole from Scratch by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère by Cooking Chat you are here!
- Vegetarian Enchiladas Recipe with Chickpea Curry by Sunday Supper Movement
- Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie by Simple and Savory
- Veggie & Quinoa Baked Stuffed Peppers by Hardly A Goddess
The Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.
A weeknight meal too!
Definitely, just had it the other night!
This has a really nice pasta to vegetable ratio. I always crave something fresh with decadent cheese and pasta.
They say we eat with our eyes first – this dish looks just yummy
Thanks Cathy…that is true the visual appeal gets one in the mood to eat!
Love the sound of this combination of ingredients! Cheesy pasta dishes are always a ht around my house!
Baked pasta dishes are so perfect for chilly winter nights!
I’m a big fan of gruyere, and it sounds great with everything else in here too.
Look at all those colors! This looks so hearty and delicious.