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This vegetarian taco pasta bake is made with crumbled tofu, plenty of vegetables, taco sauce, salsa, and melty cheddar cheese. It’s such an easy, delicious, and nutritious dinner idea that is perfect for meal prep and batch cooking!

Taco pasta bake in a large white baking dish.

I recently shared this tofu tomato pasta recipe and it was such a hit on Instagram – I decided to make another tofu pasta, but this time in the form of a pasta casserole bake with taco-inspired flavours!

Enter: this taco pasta bake recipe 🙂

As a dietitian, I’m happy to share that it’s packed with tons of fiber-rich veggies (like corn, zucchini, spinach, peppers, and tomato sauce) as well as quality protein from the crumbled tofu and cheddar cheese. It’s a nutritionally-balanced, filling dinner that also makes EXCELLENT leftovers.

This is one of those recipes that’s sure to be a hit with the whole family. As always, I share some recipe modification ideas and tips for making this one vegan and/or gluten-free. I hope you enjoy it!

Want more pasta recipe inspiration? Check out my roundup of 20+ easy, healthy pasta recipes for more ideas!

A serving of taco pasta bake in a white bowl.

Taco Pasta Ingredients

All you need to make this taco pasta recipe are 11 simple ingredients:

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Small bowls of recipe ingredients.

Recipe Modifications & Ingredient Swaps

  1. For a gluten-free option, use certified gluten-free pasta made from either brown rice, quinoa, or legumes. Be sure that the taco sauce you’re using is also gluten-free – my go-to taco sauce is :)!
  2. Feel free to use different pasta shapes, such as penne, farfalle, or macaroni. Just be sure to use a short shape!
  3. For a vegan option, use a vegan/dairy-free alternative for cheddar. If you can’t find these, you can try using a different variety of vegan “cheese,” like mozzarella or parmesan.
  4. Feel free to use or include different veggies – for instance you could use some chopped broccoli or some torn kale leaves in here, too.
  5. For extra flavour, feel free to add some chopped onion to the veggies (I personally just don’t digest it well!)

If you don’t want to bake this recipe, you can always skip the oven! Simply cook everything as directed, then stir the veggies and pasta together with the salsa and cheese instead 🙂

Zucchini, peppers, spinach, corn, and tofu cooked in taco seasoning in a large pan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are pasta bakes healthy?

They can be, depending on what’s in them! This baked pasta recipe is PACKED with vegetables which provide lots of dietary fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Crumbled tofu offers a complete protein, pasta is a energy-giving carbohydrate, and you’ve got healthy fats from olive oil as well. It’s truly a complete, nutritionally-balanced meal!

How long will pasta bake last in the fridge?

This recipe will keep for about 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Can pasta bake be frozen?

Leftover pasta can be frozen in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. It will maintain best quality for 1-2 months, but will be safe to eat beyond that time.

After thawing in the fridge, it will keep for an additional 3-4 days. If thawing in the microwave, it should be eaten immediately.

Can pasta bake be made in advance and reheated?

Definitely! Baked pasta is actually a great option to make ahead (batch cooking or meal prep). Leftovers keep well and can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven.

Which is the best pasta for pasta bakes?

The best pasta shapes for pasta bakes are SHORT ones. This keeps the pasta in similar bite sizes like the rest of the vegetables. Anything like rigatoni, penne, cavatappi, shells, macaroni, farfalle (bowties), fusilli, orecchiette, etc. will work!

Tofu Nutrition Benefits

Tofu is a form of condensed soy milk that is pressed into solid blocks. It’s a great source of plant-based protein, with numbers ranging from 8 grams to 14 grams of complete protein per serving (depending on the brand and type of tofu). Extra firm tofu will provide the most protein out of all the tofu varieties.

In addition to protein, tofu is a great source of essential micronutrients, like:

  • manganese
  • calcium
  • selenium
  • phosphorus
  • copper
  • magnesium
  • iron
  • zinc

While there is controversy around soy, the majority of studies suggest that soy is linked to improved cholesterol levels, heart health, fertility, and reduced cancer risk. These health benefits are likely due to the presence of beneficial plant compounds called isoflavones.

Taco pasta bake scooped out of a large white baking dish.

More Healthy Pasta Bake Recipes

Did you give this Vegetarian Taco Pasta Bake Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Healthy Taco Pasta Bake (Vegetarian)

This vegetarian taco pasta bake is made with crumbled tofu, plenty of vegetables, taco sauce, salsa, and melty cheddar cheese. It's such an easy, delicious, and nutritious dinner idea that is perfect for meal prep and batch cooking.
Taco pasta bake in a large white baking dish.
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups small pasta shape, dry (I used bowtie!)
  • 1 package tofu, firm or extra firm (drained)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large bell pepper, cored + chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 cup taco sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa (mild or medium)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, freshly grated or shredded
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • Optional: chopped parsley or cilantro, to garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions.
  • While waiting for water to boil, crumble tofu: remove from packaging and drain liquid. Wrap in paper towel, then gently press out excess water. Over a large bowl, use your hands to tear block of tofu into smaller chunks. Then, squeeze those chunks into even smaller pieces, until the entire block is "crumbled."
  • Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add chopped zucchini and bell peppers, and cook for 5 minutes (stirring frequently).
  • Then, add crumbled tofu, canned corn, baby spinach, taco seasoning, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Transfer cooked vegetables to a large baking dish. Add pasta and taco sauce. Stir everything together until well-combined.
  • Then, spread salsa in an even layer overtop of pasta mix. Sprinkle cheddar cheese overtop of everything, again in an even layer.
  • Transfer baking dish to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  • Remove from oven, add garnish (if desired), and serve hot!

Notes

*SERVINGS: Recipe as written makes about 4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you and your family are 😉
*LEFTOVERS:
  • This recipe will keep for about 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Leftover pasta can also be frozen in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. It will maintain best quality for 1-2 months, but will be safe to eat beyond that time. After thawing in the fridge, it will keep for an additional 3-4 days. If thawing in the microwave, it should be eaten immediately.
*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • For a vegan option, use a vegan/dairy-free alternative for cheddar. If you can’t find these, you can try using a different variety of vegan “cheese,” like mozzarella or parmesan.
  • Feel free to use or include different veggies – for instance you could use some chopped broccoli or some torn kale leaves in here, too.
  • For extra flavour, feel free to add some chopped onion to the veggies (I personally just don’t digest it well!)
  • If you don’t want to bake this recipe, you can always skip the oven! Simply cook everything as directed, then stir the veggies and pasta together with the salsa and cheese instead 🙂

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for a healthy vegetarian taco pasta bake recipe.
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